|On a March evening three Egyptian women |
talk on a Cairo street. Photo by Jotman.
A comment caught my attention today. It concerned an article that appeared on the front page of Monday's New York Times concerning the controversial decision by the government of France to outlaw the wearing of full-face veils in public. What astounded me was not the comment itself, but the fact this particular comment was the most recommended comment of all. Some 492 Times readers recommended it (click to enlarge):
Scott, the reader who left the popular comment began, "I don't understand why the Muslims are outraged. In Muslim countries Western women are bound by Muslim laws that force them to wear a veil." Scott concluded, "We're only asking the same courtesy the Muslims ask of us when we are in their countries." The NY Times reader's comment is predicated on falsehoods. Western women visiting most of the world's Muslim countries are not bound by any dress code laws. Nor are local Muslim women in most of the world's 47 Muslim-majority countries compelled to adhere to dress code laws. Saudi Arabia is not reflective of the Muslim world as a whole.
Do the editors of the Times know any better than their readers? The newspaper's editors chose to "highlight" the opinion of a reader who strongly agreed with the most popular comment (click to enlarge):
|A woman in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Jotman.|
France has passed a law for which there are few parallels. It is conceivable that in the future a political leader in the Middle East will cite the new French law as justification for legislating a code of dress for women.