Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Raymond Ibrahim: Lessons on the Long Road to Hijab


This caricature, which first appeared on CagleCartoons.com, has been making the rounds on the Arabic blogosphere, and points to how democratic elections are serving to Islamize Egypt: average women enter the ballot box—"overseen" by the Muslim Brotherhood—only to emerge thoroughly veiled, thoroughly Islamized.





Speaking of veils and the Brotherhood, here's an interesting video of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (1956-1970), showing just how much times have changed.


Speaking before a large assembly, Nasser told of how back in 1953 he wanted to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood, and met with its leader. (Nasser eventually learned that the only response to the Brotherhood is suppression, not cooperation, a lesson John Kerryand others in the current administration would do well to consider.)

According to Nasser, the very first demand of the Brotherhood leader was for the hijab to return to Egypt, "for every woman walking in the street to wear a headscarf."

The audience erupted in laughter at this, then, ludicrous demand; one person hollered "Let him wear it!" eliciting more laughter and applause.

Nasser continued by saying he told the Brotherhood leader that if they enforced the hijab, people would say Egypt had returned to the dark ages (to more laughter), adding that Egyptians should uphold such matters in the privacy of their own homes.

But the Muslim Brotherhood leader informed him that, as Egypt's president, Nasser himself must enforce the hijab, to which Nasser replied:
Sir, I know you have a daughter in college—and she doesn't wear a headscarf or anything! [laughter] Why don't you make her wear the headscarf? [laughter] So you can't make one girl, your own daughter, wear it, and yet you want me to go and make ten million women wear it?!" [burst of laughter and applause]

Nasser and wife Tahia, back in an era when the idea of
institutionalizing
 the hijab provoked laughter and ridicule
Half a century later and none of this is a laughing matter: the hijab, if not the full burqa, is commonplace in Egypt, even as the Muslim Brotherhood—who for decades were banned and imprisoned for trying to return Egypt to an Islamic dark age—are now poised to govern the nation, all under U.S. tutelage.
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