Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Buckeye Burqas

Yes, this Columbus-area woman can’t see a thing while she’s driving, but your a bigoted Islamophobe for even being concerned that she might accidently ram into your car and wipe out your entire family. But in that event, don’t worry: she has diplomatic immunity!

The photo above accompanied a story published by Arab News last June, “She is Neither a ‘Ninja’ Nor ‘Ghost’, She is Just Wearing Black”, by-lined from Ohio. Arab News has the largest circulation of any English daily in the Middle East, and is owned by the Saudi royal family, which means that it is probably more than just coincidence that they are interviewing Samar (above), because her husband is a Saudi government employee here in Columbus. What is a Saudi government employee and his burqaed wife doing living in Columbus, Ohio? Again, you’re a bigoted Islamophobe for even thinking that question.

And the Arab News article tells you right up front how bigoted you really are:

Since 9/11, Muslim women who live in the West and dress in traditional Islamic clothing have seemingly become easy targets of abuse by bigoted ill-informed people.
The appearance of burqas in the Buckeye State is just one indication of why counterterrorism officials have identified Central Ohio as one of the top five “hot spots” for radical Islamic activity in the country.

But the Arab News is not the only media outlet applauding the new Buckeye burqa fashion trend. A cover story earlier this month in the “progressive” weekly Cincinnati City Beat, “Veiled for Allah“, hails the Islamization and radicalization trend of veils and burqas as female empowerment. More than that, though, is that wearing the hejab or burqa is a protest against American foreign policy:

Moving beyond the personal decision to wear a specific kind of clothing, Bedawi says American culture has a dramatic impact on the lack of equality afforded to Islamic woman in this country.

“Most Muslims the world over hold America as the hope, as a place where we can practice our religion wholly, because of the constitution and the Bill of Rights,” she says. “We’d like the greater community to understand us and what we’re all about, not to convert anyone but to help them respect our beliefs so we can practice.

“We’d like the freedom to practice without discrimination. American foreign policies are the main obstacle to that dream. The propaganda coming out from the current administration isn’t giving a clear picture to the greater American community as to what Muslims in the U.S. and all over the world are really all about.”
I have always wondered about the thinking that lies behind the belief that women should be concealed. In Islamic theology, of course, it is rooted in the belief in the hyper-sexualized nature of women, which much be supressed lest men fall victim to their tempting wares. There is no commandment in the Quran for burqas, but that’s where their theology takes them.

But if Allah wanted women to wear burqas, why are they born naked? Did Eve have to wear a burqa? I guess I’m a bigoted Islamophobe for even asking those questions.