Shocker! Most socially progressive country in the …

world, mandating assimilation to Danish values. A real blow to cultural relativism, that.

“[S]exual violence and human trafficking for domestic work, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual slavery…. acid attacks, female genital mutilation, child marriage and physical abuse.”

Whew! Long list. At least the world’s largest democracy hasn’t forgotten to keep its women terrified and enslaved.


With today’s Dutch burqa ban, Europe collectively asserts a vision of civic life, personal freedom, and gender equality which our country will want to examine as it faces its own eventual reckoning with the burqa. Most European countries now have partial or full bans, and of course many other countries, in other regions, also ban it.

As UD predicted, bans are now coming so fast and furious that organizations opposed to them aren’t even bothering to issue their boilerplate about religion or personal choice or extremely peculiar philosophies of liberation or whatever the hell they think they are dealing with. Instead one ban after another flies by without complaint, and as they do girls and women smothered by cruel ideologies begin to have a fighting chance to get out from under.

El Al Airlines: Far Out.

Sing it, Donovan.


They will bring haredim in a bag
They will take off late with the pious blind
And apart from that they’ll be so kind
In consenting to blow your mind.

Fly El Al Airways, get you there past time.
Fly El Al Airways, get you there past time.

They will force favors from the ladies
The hours will pass in excellent style
“Would you please move your stinking impiety
To the section of unclean aisles?”

Fly El Al Airways, get you there past time.
Fly El Al Airways, get you there past time.

They will bring joy to criminal bigots
And sorrow to law-abiding women
Who, disgraced, degraded, finally give in
For the sake of other passengers
Who sit for hours while El Al assholes
And haredi assholes scream at each other.

Just who did this startle?

A startling poll released on Friday by public broadcaster ARD showed 81 percent of Germans support banning the most conservative types of Islamic veils from schools and government institutions. The garments they want banned are the burqa, which covers women from head to toe, including the face, and the niqab, which does the same except for a narrow slit instead of mesh square to see out of.

Could we please declare a moratorium on this particular startle reflex? I guess the Foreign Policy guy who wrote this 2016 article was startled; I guess he thought gobs of Germans, and no doubt other Europeans, were fine with public spaces full of degraded women. Will he also be startled to discover that a not-small part of that 81 percent is Muslim? Wow. Gosh.


UD has rarely seen so graphic an instance of separation between elites and everyone else as she has on the burqa/niqab front. Each time another European country bans these vile shrouds, startled reporters round up indignant people to talk about how nasty everyone in every European country is.

Maybe we could do better than this. Maybe we could stop reacting like this. It’s really dumb.

“Denmark’s Burqa Ban will Affect, at most, 0.2% of Muslim Women There”

What a sexist, ethnocentric, headline.

Denmark’s burqa ban will affect one hundred percent of the women there.

Obviously the salafist enthusiasts who wear it will have to take it off. That is the very least of it.

The reason huge majorities of people of all faiths and genders all over Europe tell pollsters they want the burqa off their streets is that it affects all modern egalitarian civic-minded human beings. It is most damaging to girls and young women, who grow up witnessing the most graphic exposure of — not the inferiority, but the nothingness of women, every day of their lives as they walk the streets of their cities. It is only slightly less corrosive to everyone else, as they suffer basic ongoing offense to their basic democratic instincts. Do I really live in a country where men can blind, deafen, and mute their women? For most rational people, the answer to this question has got to be no. And that is why, one after another, the countries of Europe are banning it.

A Victory for Women’s Rights in Denmark – the fourth European country to ban the burqa/niqab.

Denmark, arguably Europe’s most humane and progressive country, has understood where human rights lie in the burqa debate, and has acted on this understanding. As is virtually always the case, the vote in favor of the ban wasn’t even close. And as to popular sentiment!!

Indeed, UD begins to think that the battle for the hearts and minds of compassionate democrats has clearly already been won; it is the benighted elites, who can always, on these occasions, be counted on to tut-tut about religion (the burqa has nothing to do with religion) and freedom (if you can keep your eye trained on a woman in a burqa and keep whistling about freedom, your next stop is corrective surgery) who need help. As one democracy after another bans the burqa, it’s pretty clear which position is on the side of history.

Rather than passively responding to every ban with the same boilerplate about how great it is that women can freely express their right to full shrouding, Amnesty International should join that cadre of international businessmen (where are the women?) who pledge to pay the fines women are racking up all over Europe for continuing illegally to entomb themselves.

‘Crushing the university would represent another victory in Mr Orban’s war on freedom of expression and association. It is a war that, for now, he seems to be winning.’

Hungary goes down the tubes.

UD’s old friend Scott Wallace…

… (they’ve been out of touch for years) just won the Democratic US House primary in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Twenty-five years ago, we all traveled to the Greek island of Santorini and rented a house during the meltemi winds season. Sometimes the house rocked like a little boat in the labored, hours-long gusts.

That was strange: The beyond-brilliant sun, the faint caldera out to sea. And the bright blue water in the swimming pool turbulent, taking a beating from the air.

When things calmed down, we piled into the open top jeep Scott rented and drove the treacherous island roads to a black sand beach or an obscure diner or the chic shopping district.

We celebrated my birthday at a restaurant high high up on the white cliffs — the lot of us hypnotically suspended over a world of ocean.

The Bloom is Off Soros

His Open Society Foundation, under unceasing harassment from Hungary’s paranoid, reactionary government, will leave Budapest and move to Berlin; his Central European University, also based in Budapest and also under unrelenting official harassment, will stay. For now.


Berlin’s gain.


But UD must say… I mean, on the matter of Hungary… On one level she’s forced to admire the belligerent and thoroughgoing regressive approach to global coexistence coming out of that country. It’s the Saudi Arabia of Europe.

“A male international student in the class made a comment during the discussion that the speaker has a ‘moral obligation’ to her audience to dress conservatively during her thesis presentation.”

That’s the moment that would have done it for me. Not my professor rather obnoxiously complaining about my decision to give a presentation in front of class wearing short shorts, but the yutz who felt free to tell the presenter (in their public presentation class at Cornell) that she was an immoral woman because of her short shorts.

There’s a long distinguished history of women protesting various forms of repression by, en masse, taking off their clothes, and Letitia Chai, Cornell undergrad, made the perfectly reasonable decision, in this classroom atmosphere, to join that movement.

Rather than obey the young man who scolded her for immorality, Chai – and a bunch of other students whom she invited to join her – presented in bra and underwear. And then of course she went viral with the protest via her Facebook page.


What did the male international student do in this shocking situation?

UD trusts he drew his burqa more tightly around his face so as not to see.

“The harlot may as well strip off her veil and reveal her hair to the world.”

Of course the Onion was there first.

But as Saudi Arabia (insert world’s largest quotation marks around the following word) liberalizes, we will be able to enjoy many real-life versions of this story.

Australia’s Long-Suffering Legal System; and a Muslim Martyress

They’ve already convicted her husband of terrorism.

She has

sued the police for damages over the raid [on their house], alleging violence and assault in the course of the search.

The family lost, and were ordered to pay $250,000 in court costs to the Australian Federal Police and the New South Wales Police.

Her thing is that she refused to give crucial exonerating evidence because the court – after the judge tried a variety of accommodations which she rejected – wouldn’t let her testify in her burqa and damned if she was going to let some man see her face – or her hands — or anything — even for a few moments.

Now she’s racking up more legal and other expenses by appealing that decision…

And I gotta tell you. That appeal will not end well for her. So that’s more money she’s going to have to find…

But it’s all good, ain’t it?

1. As long as she makes legal noise, she keeps her attractive way of life in full view of all Australians via news coverage. Good advertising.

2. She is a martyr for her faith, something fanatics tend to want.

3. She is shaming many other countries – like France, Canada (just the province of Quebec so far, actually), Belgium, and Germany (where currently you can’t drive while in a burqa, but it looks as though more severe measures are coming) – who fail to see the gothic beauty of actual living women inside of coffins.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Defamed…

… a noble reformist Muslim and an equally noble reformist ex-Muslim (Maajid Nawaz, Ayan Hirsi Ali) by putting their names on their “haters” list.

Logically enough, Nawaz sued for defamation; but the immensely wealthy SPLC is standing by its judgment, refusing to back down, digging into its deep pockets to defend…



Someone lobs a lawsuit at them and the moral conscience of a nation immediately rips down the entire list, hurls itself to the ground, and goes veery veery quiet… Me wee mouse in little hole me not squeak to press…


SPLC has gone underground to consult the ghost of Joseph McCarthy on how to bring a new haters list back online.


More on this organization.

Back on the Burqa Beat…

UD enjoys this video (scroll down) from a Harvard talk about the blinding muting burqa as a vehicle of female empowerment.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Latest UD posts at IHE