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Remember the Nancy Pelosi hijab flap?
Pelosi had no business going to Syria, undermining Bush Administration foreign policy, and giving an undeserved PR boost to Bashar Assad in the first place. She had to compound that error by wearing the symbol of a religion that she (supposedly) does not believe in, and by embracing a symbol for the oppression of women. But then, tasteless behavior and bad judgment is exactly what one would expect from a liberal Democrat, especially one from California. (See Syrian Reformists: The Damage from Pelosi’s Visit Will Be Felt for Years.)
Covering the cranium to cuddle up to CAIR
Bush officials don the hijab for the rededication ceremony of The Islamic Center in Washington June 27, 2007. They took some heat in the blogosphere for that. Here again, they had no business attending such a gathering at all.
Did Laura Bush get the take-home lesson?
Photo op: Touring the Middle East for breast cancer awareness
Laura Bush plans six-day tour of the Middle East; spokeswoman says she won’t wear abaya
Laura Bush departs Saturday on a six-day tour of the Middle East, with stops planned in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan. The White House says the first lady plans to meet with government officials and leaders of medical and women’s groups during her overseas trip.
Given that the first lady wore a headscarf when she visited a Jewish holy site in Jerusalem and a mantilla when she met with Pope Benedict XVI, we asked if Bush will be wearing some sort of abaya while she’s in Saudi Arabia. “No,” Sally McDonough, the first lady’s spokeswoman, tells USA TODAY’s David Jackson, adding: “they do not expect nor encourage it” of Western visitors.
There’s nothing wrong with working for improved detection and cure of breast cancer, or any other type of cancer. I’m all for that, and you may recall that I have blogged about cancer both here and on the 1389 Message Blog. But some have questioned Laura Bush’s priorities in taking that quest to the Muslim world, where there are more severe and immediate threats to females’ health and survival. To put it bluntly, too many girls will not live long enough to be at much risk for a disease that mainly afflicts mature women.
But that’s not all: Laura Bush went back on her word about not wearing the abaya, as you can see from the photo above.
“So she’s wearing an abaya. Why does this matter?”
Why does breast cancer goes untreated in the Middle East?
Evidently, Laura Bush donned the abaya because it was a gift and she felt that it would be appropriate to be photographed in it. Unfortunately, this was a setup that sends exactly the wrong message, on so many levels!
In a nutshell, when women are veiled and kept in seclusion according to Islamic principles, how likely are they to go out and get proper medical care, which would include screening for, and treatment of, breast cancer? In Saudi Arabia, women still aren’t allowed to drive. Many Muslim women are unwilling to be examined by male doctors. Girls are too often discouraged from becoming educated in medicine or anything else.
And don’t forget that the country that is responsible for the bulk of the advances in medical treatment in the Middle East is, of course, Israel. But Israeli physicians are not welcome in the Muslim Middle East.
Poor Longevity for Saudi Women
I often use the CIA World Fact Book’s stats about demographics.
In regards the “kingdom,” the stats show an incredible drop off in women after age 15….
What does this picture reveal?
In this picture, Laura herself is unveiled, but she is seated between two veiled breast cancer survivors. If women like these were free to seek whatever medical care they needed, without the necessity of wearing veils, of finding a male relative to drive them, and finding a female doctor to examine them, wouldn’t their chances of early detection and remission be far better?
It’s about CANCER, not photo ops and protocol!
By wearing an abaya to meet with dignitaries, Laura Bush is promoting the anti-woman Islamic ideology that is causing the problem in the first place!
Accepting such “gifts” means accepting Islamization!
The handlers for the Bush entourage should have made it clear, before the trip, that gifts of an Islamic nature should not be given and cannot be accepted. The Saudis don’t even allow Christian or Jewish items into the Tragic Kingdom at all!
Update (10/28/07): Laura Bush missed a great opportunity to keep quiet
“They do not see covering as some sort of subjugation of women:” Laura Bush defends the hijab.
Note: wearing the abaya in Saudi Arabia is not a “choice.” It’s mandatory for all women when they are in public. If they show even a little bit of ankle, they’re subject to being beaten and arrested by the Saudi religious police (mutaween).
Does Laura Bush really think those women will be honest about their opinions on this misogynistic practice?
More bizarre pix!
Lack of sunlight is unhealthy for women, unborn babies, and nursing infants.
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