05 April 2007

Nancy and the headscarf

OK, so the Blogosphere is outraged, just outraged that Nancy Pelosi would wear a headscarf (incorrectly identified as a 'veil' in some of the more hysterical stories) in Syria.

Just kowtowing to those outdated Islamist notions of a woman's place, blahblahblah. . .

No headscarf in the marketplace.

No headscarf at the airport.

No headscarf while meeting dignitaries.

Just one headscarf photograph, which I'm sure you are all familiar with. It's headlining half the damn stories on the internet.

Turns out, unsurprisingly, that the headscarf was worn while touring an 8th century mosque.

Which Nancy Pelosi visited as a Catholic (I decline to speculate on how good a Catholic she is) interested in venerating the Head of St. John the Forerunner and Baptist. Good Christian saint, whose head has unfortunately been snagged by Muslims as well.

I'm an Orthodox Christian. I totally understand the idea of a woman covering her head in a place of worship while dealing with religious conservatives. There's a monastery where my wife wears a headscarf, and no visitors are permitted who don't have one. What's the difference?

Oh, yeah, it's not something to make political hay over.

Whether you agree with Nancy's motives and agenda for this visit to Syria or not, bash her or laud her for those. Not for a single act of respect to a place that was a holy site when your Western European ancestors could barely manage stone buildings--and the best of those built with pieces stolen from classical Mediterranean churches. Nor for choosing to visit this site to venerate a relic held in high regard by both Christians and Muslims.


Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

Here is a Pascha link for you and Jen:

Still waiting for you to call: five one two, nine three nine, one four five three.


3:24 PM  
Blogger Trevor said...

Why was she there in the first place?

The head scarf/hijab requirement is antiquated as any tradition I can think of. But that isn't really the point. The point is that Nancy Pelosi was out of line because she does not set foreign policy.

6:17 PM  
Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...


She's not wearing hijab. She has her hair loosely covered. Her forehead is visible and the scarf loosely knotted under her chin. If you've ever actually looked at hijab or niqab, you'd see the difference.

If I were not only venerating the shrine of St. John the Baptist, but also a political figure in a mosque, I'd cover my head, too. It's called being TACTFUL. Whether she should have been in there in the first place, that's a whole different discussion.

I cover my head in church sometimes, and always when I visit a monastery. I am not a fan of Islam, in any shape or form, and if I were visiting a mosque, I'd cover up there too. It's a sign of respect and (hopefully) piety and humility.

7:26 PM  

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