Filed under: Culture and Catholicism, Uncategorized | Tags: Christianity, culture, feminism, Islam, modesty, Muslim, pornography, values, veil
This article in Canada.com reports that a Quebec commission spent 5 million dollars to conclude that the Muslim headscarf is no threat to the values of Canada and should be allowed. The article discusses various Islamic aspects of the question and ignores another aspect, the fact that our western, re-paganized society has very much to do with the veil.
But we should discuss the ‘veil controversy’ in a wider context. It should be discussed that our society is making the situation worse with our ever-increasing toleration of libertarian behavior, whether the reason for Muslim women choosing to veil is oppression by men in Muslim society in which these men do not want to be subjected to the effects of immodestly clothed women and enforce modesty; or whether, on the other hand, it is what the article referred to as ‘Muslim feminism” in which Muslim women dislike and reject the sexual exploitation of women through immodest dress, which they see as a second form of male oppression, this time by men who enjoy-or profit from– the effects of immodestly clothed women and try to enforce immodesty–try to enforce that hair, legs, arms, bosom belly, all be on open display as women, definitely on the defensive, frantically vie for ‘market attention.’ This enforcement is done through a variety of cultural pressures, but sometimes even through government force, as in forbidding Muslim women to opt out.
I am deliberately leaving out of my discussion the ‘third way’ which Jesus taught, that men literally should ‘put the veil in their own heart’ and themselves behave modestly, no matter how women were dressed. I love this teaching of Christ, almost more than any other, but since Christians have effectively been silenced, since Christians refuse to speak up, since Christianity has been almost completely neutered in our world, now, I will leave it out. Men’s responsibility in modesty, Jesus’ challenge, is not playing a role now, even though its sweet practice made the free society in which western women found themselves, where they could go about wherever they liked, reasonably dressed, where they could obtain an equal education, where their roles as mothers and wives was respected and honored, where they could participate in the marketplace, own and inherit, and where they ultimately obtained the vote in these western cultures, overcoming the centuries and centuries of pagan oppression of women. Christianity must be dismissed from the discussion, because we fools are throwing it away. We have returned to paganism now. That is what ‘equality’ was all about, knocking us down when we were more than equal. (How do you like it, sisters?)
We, the west, contribute more than we admit to the veil controversy. It is stupid to make it a purely ‘Muslim” topic. We’re all in to the veil controversy. There is no way to deny that our society is increasingly sexualized, from the geriatric set (the effects of Viagra and libertarianism), to the nursery (Playboy birthday paper in the toy aisle, for example, today’s little story to tsk over and forget). There is no denying that sex acts and sex organs are on display at every corner newsstand and billboard. There is no denying that almost every sexual behavior is ‘covered’ in soaps and theaters in every single western culture, and that the more sexual the topic and the more extreme, the more likely to win the west’s admiration and Oscars. And money, and profit. There is no denying that divorce and infidelity rule, and that both men and women are failing to marry, and failing to reproduce. There is no denying that profit, not virtue, not family, not goodness, but only profit rules our world. There is no denying that western behavior puts the sharpest possible edge to this discussion and suffocates moderation. (In the end, there is no denying that we are dying.)
In this context, I agree with the article that we should ‘tolerate’ the Muslim take on the situation even when it reflects in some few instances not the choice of the woman but the insistence of the man (the recent Gallup poll indicates a huge majority of Muslim women choose to veil and feel that poor undressed western women are the ones oppressed).
In fact, the next time I see a woman in a hijab–on the bus, for example, where the advert to my right exploits homosexuality to sell its product (but calls it ‘support’), and the woman across the aisle is dressed for her pole dancer class–I think I might whisper to the modest Muslim lady a little heartfelt Thank you. Perhaps, sister, you can keep modesty alive until Christianity awakes.
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