Naomi Wolf, casting about for a new topic, appears to have found it. What better way to epater, than to defend the hijab? But why stop there? Why not the burqa? Why not the eye-slit of the niqab?
Naomi Wolf preeningly insists on her empathetic identification with wearers of the hijab in this country. But she does not extend such empathy to Muslim women in Muslim-ruled lands who are forced to wear, through law or incredible social pressure, the hijab — as in Egypt today, which is rapidly re-hijabbing (to the astonishment of Nonie Darwish and others who returned to Egypt after decades away).
Wolf does not say a word about the burqa or the niqab. She says nothing about the Arab women who, the moment the planes lift off from Arab lands, delightedly fling off their burqas and other imposed dress. She says nothing about the acid thrown in the face of Pakistani women today who are uncovered. She says nothing about the religious police — the mutawwa — of Saudi Arabia, nor their Shi”a equivalent in the Islamic Republic of Iran, who are busily enforcing not only the wearing of the hijab, but of burqas. She says nothing about the French studies of the cases brought against the laic state for forbidding the hijab in schools, that French women writers have discovered — the very “feminists” whom Naomi Wolf used to claim as soul-mates — are put-up jobs, with the Muslim men forcing the girls to make this stand.
And Naomi Wolf does not distinguish between the “converts” or “reverts” to Islam in the West. They are a very particular and bizarre group (see, e.g., Ingrid Mattson). The wearing of the hijab gives them such perverse pleasure, for they now become, so often, the cynosure of all Infidel eyes. That is not the spirit in which pressure is brought upon girls and women who are born into Islam and are often forced even in the West to wear the hijab. They are forced to do so not because of the law but because of overwhelming family pressure. The “reverts” are happy in their outward sign of submission to the demands of Muslim men and to the Islam-based notion that women are dangerously seductive, and men, poor men, cannot control themselves but must, necessarily, behave as beasts if those naturally seductive women do not make every effort to tone down, or hide, that seductiveness.
No one should object to the objection that this society is immodest. It is. And modest dress is hardly objectionable in itself: few object to the long dresses of the Amish, or to the wigs of Orthodox Jewish women. And for god’s sake, one found oneself admiring the modest dress and the Gibson-girl hair-piles of the female followers of Mr. Jeffs, the ones taken into custody in Texas some months ago — if not their robotic mental state.
Wolf wishes to pluck out the hijab and disconnect it from all the things to which it is connected, and that Muslims would prefer Infidels not to know: the passages in Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira that inculcate Islamic supremacism, and that divide the world uncompromisingly between Muslim and non-Muslim, Believer and Infidel, and insist that a permanent state of war, if not open warfare, must exist between the two until, through the central duty of Jihad — that is, the “struggle” to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam — Islam rules everywhere. She ignores the collectivism of Islam and its indifference to the individual. She ignores the hostility to freedom of speech, to freedom of conscience, to free exercise of religion — as that term is understood in the West by non-Muslims. She ignores the Islamic hostility to varieties of artistic expression other than calligraphy and architecture, and to free and skeptical inquiry.
Unlike the well-informed and clever French women who have written about Islam and the laic state, Naomi Wolf remains ignorant. Whatever else she may be, she is not clever save in the crude, careerist sense — and there, of course, all kinds of people in this country, including professional “conservatives,” can give her a run for her money.
Meanwhile, we all need a treat, don’t we, after the humorlessness and silliness of Naomi Wolf. So, here, for the denizens of the advanced non-Muslim world, that world which the naomi-wolfs merely pass through, in a mental and emotional disarray that is palpable, are three most hijab-less ladies, offered in ascending order of (presumed) seductiveness. Who would not fall for, or wish to give his all for, any of the three?