Babes In Nosebags

Democracy,Feminism,Gender,Islam,Middle East,Propaganda


Has anyone spotted women in secular attire among the crowds of protesters in Egypt? I’ve seen one or two in the footage (via the Guardian). More often than not, when one does see women on the streets, they’re wearing the traditional nosebag. I understand that the self-celebrating media wants us all to slobber in unison over the protests. Fine. Whatever floats the people’s boat. (The conditions of my slobber were stipulated in “Frankly, My Dear Egyptians, I Don’t Give a Damn.”) Still, I’d like to know how representative are the images transmitted from the Egyptian street, and whether the presence everywhere of women in these nosebags correlates with their mistreatment.

Feminist Phyllis Chesler has a photo essay featuring Cairo University graduates in 1959, 1978, 1995, and 2004. I can see what she means when she observes that “the female graduates in 1959 and 1978 had bare arms, wore short sleeved blouses, dresses, or pants, and were both bare-faced and bare-headed. By 1995, we see a smattering of headscarves—and by 2004 we see a plurality of female university graduates in serious hijab: Tight, and draping the shoulders.”

Chesler equates the trends with “a regression really, in terms of women’s rights.”

A June, 2010 Pew opinion survey of Egyptians confirms that Egyptian society is thoroughly Islamized:

Fifty nine percent said they back Islamists. Only 27% said they back modernizers. Half of Egyptians support Hamas. Thirty percent support Hizbullah and 20% support al Qaida. Moreover, 95% of them would welcome Islamic influence over their politics….Eighty two percent of Egyptians support executing adulterers by stoning, 77% support whipping and cutting the hands off thieves. 84% support executing any Muslim who changes his religion…When this preference is translated into actual government policy, it is clear that the Islam they support is the al Qaida Salafist version.

I agree that the demos must have its say. But must we American prance about like fools pretending that there are no concerns about popular rule in Egypt?

6 thoughts on “Babes In Nosebags

  1. Myron Pauli

    That photo essay of Cairo University women brings to mind the movie Cabaret (1972) “Willkomen” where the audience is normal looking at the beginning of the film and all decked out in uniforms and swastikas at the end of the film. Eerie.

    On the topic of musicals, I would not confuse the Moslem Brotherhood with the “Brotherhood of Man”:

    Well, to the media, there’s nothing so exhilarating like a good popular uprising like the one that got rid of the big bad Shah of Iran. While I could not locate the finale of Cabaret, I did find this uplifting ditty:

    Can’t wait to see the photo of the Islamic University of Cairo, 2014.

  2. sunnyblack

    re: the added clothing over the years
    well, they say it’s a religion of fleece.

  3. George Pal

    The regression to the norm – Islamic Kulturkampf – apparent in the Cairo pictures can also be seen in Kabul.

    Seems “Everything Old Is New Again.”

  4. Frank Brady

    Progressive U.S. politicians, the mass media, and the educational establishment have been conflating “democracy” with “freedom” for considerably more than a century. Mubarak’s dictatorship is only the first casualty of the unfolding events in Egypt. Mubarak’s fall, plus the trajectory of other events in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and across northern Africa should convince even the most obtuse that the result of “democracy” is Islamic countries will be regimes that support Islam. The American people were free, not because they could vote, but because the Constitution limited government’s power over them. Perhaps today’s events will help highlight that distinction.

    Another casualty is (or should be) the interventionist drive that has shaped U.S. “foreign policy” for decades. It is my humble belief that the nature and composition of future governments in Egypt, Lebanon, or anywhere outside our borders should be a matter for the inhabitants of those countries to decide. It is exactly none of our business. If some future government is stupid enough to attack us, we should deal with that event when and if it occurs.

  5. irongalt

    If they take the canned “democracy” the US is trying to push on them, they’ll be wishing to be under Mubarak again.

    Notice how the world’s governments swoop in at any hint of a revolution to make sure that it does not result in a “free territory” as Hans-Hermann Hoppe put it.

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