04 April 2007

Speaking of birdbrains ...

What is it with some people? Now the conservative right is screaming about Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing a head scarf while visiting a mosque in Damascus, Syria.

Um, might she have tied that scarf over her head because tradition and custom requires women to wear a head covering in religious buildings in the Muslim world? As a citizen ambassador of the United States of America, Pelosi tied a scarf around her head to honor and respect her hosts.

Had she been visiting the Vatican, she would have worn a scarf there, too, since the Pope requires that of women visitors. It’s a matter of respect for customs different than our own. Putting on a scarf or yarmulke doesn’t make you a Catholic, a Muslim or a Jew. For that matter, wearing a Stetson and pointy boots doesn’t make you a cowboy (someone ought to tell Codpiece).

Honestly, sometimes I’m just flabbergasted by the truly stupid things that “outrage” these idiots.

Years ago, when I lived in Germany, Americans associated with the U.S. government or military there were urged by our own government to consider ourselves citizen ambassadors and behave accordingly when we mixed with our German hosts. That meant doing our best to respect local customs and try – really try – not to be boorish assholes. While I was never required to wear a head-scarf there, it wouldn’t have bothered me at all. When I was invited to a German friend’s house for dinner, I found bringing my hostess a bouquet of flowers a delight. I also learned as much of the language as I was able and used it all the time, even when I got it wrong. My German friends were charmed.

It’s called “diplomacy,” birdbrains.

Pelosi isn’t the first American dignitary to put on a head-scarf while visiting the Middle East. The First Lady has also worn a head-scarf while visiting religious sites there. Condoleeza Rice, too.

Please. Can we get worked up over something worthwhile? Like ... the IQ level of the average wingnut?


Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Oh, I could do great things in Deutschland. I'd be like, "Mehr Bier, bitte!"

Wil Robinson said...

I'm amazed at the uproar that the head cloth, veil, etc. causes among Westerners.

Don't signs at McDonalds say: "No shirt, no shoes, no service"???

I suppose we ought to bomb McDonalds for imposing their dress code on others...