Laura Bush Criticized For Wearing Muslim Headscarf

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MrsSpringsteen

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Nancy Pelosi has worn one as well.


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This morning on Fox News Sunday, Laura Bush forcefully dismissed conservatives who attacked her for wearing a Muslim headscarf during her visit last week to the Middle East. "Oh, you've got to be kidding me," she said, before disagreeing with one Weekly Standard columnist's claim that she had given "a tacit endorsement of Islam's subjugation of women."

"[T]hey saw this as giving me a gift from their culture," Bush said. "And it was the scarf with the pink ribbons and the pink edging on it, the breast cancer scarf, that I put on." She added later, "I think we all have these stereotypes of each other, Americans and Arabs, and it's a really good thing to be able to break those stereotypes down and get to know each other.


Transcript

WALLACE: Of course, Mrs. Bush, with a higher profile almost inevitably comes criticism. And some conservatives in this country are upset with you -- and we have a picture up there on the screen...

BUSH: Oh, you've got to be kidding.

WALLACE: ... for putting on a scarf given to you...

BUSH: Oh, really?

WALLACE: ... by a Saudi doctor. And let me put up a blast, if you will, from The Weekly Standard. That she would oblige her hosts by wearing a shmata, which is Yiddish for a scarf, on her head is a tacit endorsement of Islam's subjugation of women.

BUSH: Well, I did not see it that way at all. In fact, I'd had the meeting with them totally uncovered. I mean, you saw other photographs, obviously.

WALLACE: Right.

BUSH: And they saw this as giving me a gift from their culture. And it was the scarf with the pink ribbons and the pink edging on it, the breast cancer scarf, that I put on.

I will say that I told them that I had always felt like they were closed to me, that I wouldn't be able to reach them because of the way they're covered, and one of the women said to me -- she said, You know, I may be all dressed in black, but I am transparent.

And what they were saying to me is they want to reach out. They want American women to know what they're like. And these women do not see covering as some sort of subjugation of women, this group of women that I was with.

That's their culture. That's their tradition. That's a religious choice of theirs.

Now, I did meet, on the other hand, in Kuwait, where women just got the vote in 2005, with a group of women activists, several of them who had run for office the first parliamentary election after women got the vote -- didn't win, any of them, but they made the first step, certainly, by getting in the political process.

And in that meeting, very few women were covered. And they don't feel like they have to be. But you know, I think we all have these stereotypes of each other, Americans and Arabs, and it's a really good thing to be able to break those stereotypes down and get to know each other.

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Can anyone find that for me on the Weekly Standard web site? I can't find it.

You can't see anything of that woman on the far right. I know it's their tradition but that disturbs me-especially because it's about breast cancer

capt.sge.mmg75.231007084427.photo01.photo.default-512x307.jpg
 
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I think it's nice that she wore a headscarf. It was showing respect for the culture that she was in. Normally the Queen of Jordan doesn't wear a headscarf, either, but she did when she was in Iran helping people with the earthquake because women in Iran wear headscarves.
 
MrsSpringsteen said:
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me,"

I'm not usually a fan of any of the Bushes, but that is great, especially because I bet it was said with disgust. Sums up the whole thing. :yes:
 
MrsSpringsteen said:
WALLACE: ... by a Saudi doctor. And let me put up a blast, if you will, from The Weekly Standard. That she would oblige her hosts by wearing a shmata, which is Yiddish for a scarf, on her head is a tacit endorsement of Islam's subjugation of women.
Ugh. Let me guess, was this Michael Goldfarb?

Shmata is NOT Yiddish for headscarf--that would be tichel. Shmata means 'rag' and like the English word, can mean either something you wipe the floor with, or a term of strong disparagement of someone's clothes. Whoever wrote that was just looking for a way to say "ragheads" while hiding behind the fact that most of their readers won't know any better than to take their word that it means 'headscarf.'
 
verte76 said:
I think it's nice that she wore a headscarf. It was showing respect for the culture that she was in. Normally the Queen of Jordan doesn't wear a headscarf, either, but she did when she was in Iran helping people with the earthquake because women in Iran wear headscarves.

I agree. If I were over there I'd wear one, I don't plan on traveling and insulting countries in which I am a guest :shrug:
 
unico said:
Many nuns wear headscarves here in the U.S.. Do those same conservatives bitch about that?

Mia, Mia, Mia, c'mon, that's Christianity! Christianity can't do anything wrong!

I'll just say I much prefer Mrs. Bush to Mr. Bush.
 
The Magic Kingdom is a happy place where women are liberated by not having to be subjegated under objectification baed on their look
Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers.

In a rare criticism of the kingdom's powerful "mutaween" police, the Saudi media has accused them of hindering attempts to save 15 girls who died in the fire on Monday.

About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurred.

According to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.

One witness said he saw three policemen "beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya".

The Saudi Gazette quoted witnesses as saying that the police - known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - had stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned "it is a sinful to approach them".

The father of one of the dead girls said that the school watchman even refused to open the gates to let the girls out.

"Lives could have been saved had they not been stopped by members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice," the newspaper concluded.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1874471.stm

:down: to muttawa

:down: anthropocentric God.

:down: to the House of Saud and it's foreign enablers.
 
What, respect other cultures as equally valuable to the vaunted American culture? How. Dare. She.
:eyeroll:

What the heck's up with American insistence that our culture is the only culture worth respecting?

Personally, I don't see a problem is with Muslim dress. There are days when I've been sorely tempted to just go for it simply because I don't want to worry about what I'm wearing.

Since that'd be disrespect to the reasons Muslims wear it, I don't.
 
A_Wanderer said:
:down: to the House of Saud and it's foreign enablers.
Oh, come on. She was graciously showing her appreciation of a gift adorned with the international breast cancer survivors' symbol from a group of Saudi breast cancer survivors, not giving a shout-out to some muttawa who caused schoolgirls' deaths 5 years ago, when the muttawa were still allowed to detain people. I suppose she should've spat in that woman doctor's scarf-topped face and set the gift on fire instead?
 
The flip side of this is muslim women who wear headscarves here. I have a friend from Tunisia who wears traditional Muslim clothing and she is profoundly lonely. She tells me how people glare at her, or are afraid of her, judge her, etc.

She's one of the coolest people I know, but when people see her they think "terrorist" and do not treat her with the respect she deserves.
 
Hinder said:
What the heck's up with American insistence that our culture is the only culture worth respecting?

Thank you. I hear Americans talk all the time about how people who come here should learn our ways of life and respect our culture, so what exactly is the problem with Laura returning the favor?

I'm no fan of that look, either, I personally couldn't stand being dressed like that every day, but as of now, that is the way things are where these people live, so...:shrug:. I don't see where Laura is in the wrong here, either. I think it's good that she didn't alienate them-right now, that's really the last thing we need.

Angela
 
yolland said:

Ugh. Let me guess, was this Michael Goldfarb?

Shmata is NOT Yiddish for headscarf--that would be tichel. Shmata means 'rag' and like the English word, can mean either something you wipe the floor with, or a term of strong disparagement of someone's clothes. Whoever wrote that was just looking for a way to say "ragheads" while hiding behind the fact that most of their readers won't know any better than to take their word that it means 'headscarf.'

Yes, someone quoted him in the comments about this story. I don't know who he is but I assumed he wrote the Weekly Standard article criticizing Mrs. Bush.

I knew that word Shmata wasn't appropriate too, I have always heard it in sort of a pejorative sense.
 
I'm not a supporter of George Bush at all, but I like Laura Bush, and this really disgusts me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her wearing the headscarf; she was only paying her respects by wearing it.

Some people really need to get their priorities straight. :huh:
 
I've been trying to think of something to respond to this stupid tidbit.

The people that are critizing her obviously do not understand or have respect of another ones culture. Instead of beating on Laura Bush, take some action and maybe help these women become equals in their respective countries.
 
This criticism is so inane, there is no point in responding to it. :shrug:

Wearing a little head scarf as an accessory is hardly covering up one's body and face entirely in a burqa. There is such a thing as cultural sensitivity and being respectful of your hosts. For example, say if someone from a nudist colony visits your house, they may choose to wear clothing that covers parts of their body that they personally don't have any issues showing but they realize that you might. That's all. Heck, if you try to visit the Vatican and you're a woman with bare shoulders, they'll have you put on a shawl or a cardigan or something. If you're a man and you're wearing shorts to visit the King's Palace in Bangkok, they'll ask you to wear long trousers to cover your legs. Different modesty norms for different places within reason.

I've worn head scarves before and I consider myself a feminist. When you're trying to be diplomatic and get people on your side as friends so that you can then have a rational discussion and convince them to change some things, it's usually best to approach the venture in a non-antagonistic and friendly manner. Showing respect for the culture of the person you want to influence is just commonsense. Or at least it seems that way to me, but then again I've actually been outside of the U.S. It seems that most of the talking heads that spend their days spewing on TV and radio haven't even been outside their front yard. :tsk:
 
A_Wanderer said:
The Magic Kingdom is a happy place where women are liberated by not having to be subjegated under objectification baed on their lookhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1874471.stm

:down: to muttawa

:down: anthropocentric God.

:down: to the House of Saud and it's foreign enablers.

Saudi Arabia is Wahhabi country. Its brand of Islam is not practiced in any other Muslim country. Books denouncing Wahhabism have been published in Istanbul. I will agree, the House of Saud are not very likeable people. But they have good people in it, like the princess who was the main character in Jean Sasson's "Princess" books.
 
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