Michelangelo's Mother of Christ from "Pieta" (left) and "Slinky Knits" two-piece hijab, from our May 2004 post "Life imitates art," wherein we quoted Amir Taheri: "In 1981, Abol-Hassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic [of Iran], announced that 'scientific research had shown that women’s hair emitted rays that drove men insane' … the hijab he had invented was inspired by the headgear of Lebanese Catholic nuns, itself inspired by that of Christian women in classical Western paintings."
"Morally rancid," says our fave US Rep,Thad McCotter (MI-11) on Fox & Friends this morning talking about the UN's recent election — with a straight face — of the Islamic Republic of Iran to something called the Commission on the Status of Women. Foreign Policy had a great write-up:
Last week just as a senior Iranian cleric declared that women's un-Islamic garb — meaning a wisp of hair showing — is the root of men's immorality and the cause of earthquakes, the regime moved to secure a seat on the UN's Commission for the Status of Women …
The Iranian government by contrast has taken every conceivable step to deter women's progress and institute a regressive regime against gender equality.
We guess it depends upon what your definition of "gender equality" is.
The veil should be a choice, not an imposition. Above, Tiny chooses to conceal herself in the shadows amongst the lilacs out front, able to see without being seen as she defends her turf against the intruder.
But back to that wicked wisp of a woman's hair that sets Imamic men to trembling and the planet Earth to shaking. As we wrote years ago in "The woman made me do it, Lord," one of our earliest blogposts, "Is that all it really comes down to? A man's fear of his own feelings towards women?" A need to control oneself by controlling others? And from a related post, "Life imitates art" (top images and caption):
Remarkable how the misogynist fantasies of a couple of dystopic guys like Mussa Sadr Al-Sadr and Ayman Zawahiri can infect entire generations of muslim youngsters in much the same way that Nazi and marxist ideologies infected everyday folk in the last century.
It looks like we may have been onto something back then in sensing a connection between the psychological dynamics of European and Middle-Eastern ideologies of mass destruction. This from a UK Telegraph review last week, "Roots of Islamic fundamentalism lie in Nazi propaganda for Arab world, book claims":
"The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would have been over long ago were it not for the uncompromising, religiously inspired hatred of the Jews that was articulated and given assistance by Nazi propagandists and continued after the war by Islamists of various sorts," said Jeffrey Herf, a history professor at the University of Maryland …
Islamic fundamentalism, like European totalitarianism in the 20th century, was and is a mixture of very old and very modern elements …
The Nazis relied on radio broadcasts — translated into Arabic — to sow propaganda because of high illiteracy in the Arab world at the time. Although radio ownership was small, it was commonplace for cafes and bazaars to draw large crowds to listen to broadcasts.
Whatever role Nazi propaganda may have played in fanning the fires of ancient tribal hatreds, all utopian ideologies that feed on hatred and fear of "the other" — whether that "other" be women, Tea Partiers [!] or the Jewish people — are doomed to failure because they deny human nature. Thad McCotter expressed the idea most brilliantly in a CPAC showstopper last February:
Now the question is, what is the state of the [Tea Party] movement, even post the election of Senator Brown?
I would argue it is strong, it is healthy. I would argue that we remain philosophical, not ideological because as those who've read Russell Kirk understand, conservatism is the negation of ideology. We fit our mind to the world, not the world to our mind.
Men who would fit women's world to their mind by forcing the veil upon us are in reality attempting a futile veiling of their own fearful human nature. Is it too much of a stretch to posit a similar psychological projection at work in the savage attempts of political elites — who know better than we what is best for us — to silence dissent?