UD will cop to being a passionate voyeur of Israel’s ultraorthodox madmen.

She loves the mad things they say, the mad things they do – in airplanes, on city streets, in schools, at archeological sites… She has been able to count on them for madcap anti-democratic action lo all these years.

Nor does she think the very bad outcome for them in the latest Israeli election will stop them from wrapping themselves in cellophane on jetliners or spitting at insufficiently orthodox eight year old girls and calling them whores, etc., etc. After all, God calls them to this behavior.

No, now that they’re cornered by a secular country that hates them, UD expects the ultras to go positively batshit with rage and paranoia.

But, as one observer points out, the election results have thrown a wrench in Bibi’s effort to shut down Israel’s Supreme Court (“Netanyahu does not have the votes to get himself a government that will … tinker with the Supreme Court“), which means that the extreme and endemic law-breaking of the ultras will be punished. And that will be fun to watch too.

‘Frum Parties in Panic’

UD‘s favorite headline so far from Israel’s close election.

UD doesn’t know how excited she should get about the prospect of Israel’s religious bigots getting fucked over in the next election.

Headlines like At Last, Israelis Are Turning Away From Their Medieval Religious Maniacs certainly sound promising, but even if a secular coalition prevails, Israel will still need to do something about its many varieties of other right-wing cultists. Not only that, but any felt threat to the ultraorthodox will have the haredim pouring into the streets and burning down their neighborhoods. (Note, in the headline, the word maniacs.)

UD wonders what’s happening in Firozabad…

… where things got violent between burqa and non-burqa factions on a college campus there. Burqas have now been banned from the school. It would be good to know who started things. If the model for this sort of outbreak is Tunisia, yikes.

“The day that thousands of women take off their headscarves and burn them … is the day the Islamic Republic is finished.”

Airport security people in Canada tell a girl to remove her hijab for a moment, and the girl makes a HUMONGOUS fuss and her father threatens to sue over this horror etc. Meanwhile, in the real world, more and more Iranian women are being imprisoned for lengthy periods of time in some of that country’s most dangerous prisons because of their courageous militancy against the compulsory hijab and myriad other theocratic repressions.

Assuming you have any interest at all in the business of women – girls – veiling themselves or being made to veil, UD suggests you’ll spend your time more wisely attending to the women of Iran.

‘… convinced that her body is 100%…

… vagina…’

My support for removing some terrorists’ citizenship…

… receives some legal backing in England, where a high court judge has turned down a request to reinstate an ISIS member’s citizenship.

The father of a British-born student who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS) has lost a legal fight to keep his son’s UK citizenship after he was stripped of it by the former home secretary Amber Rudd in 2017.  

Abdullah Islam had wanted his 22-year-old son, Ashraf Mahmud Islam, who joined IS aged 18 and is now being held in a Kurdish-run military prison in Syria, brought back to the UK to face justice and to be protected from facing the death penalty.

However, in the first case of its kind in the High Court, his case was rejected on Wednesday in a judgement which could set a precedent for other alleged British IS fighters and their wives who face or have had their citizenship revoked.

The judge’s remarks were scathing.

My posts on the issue can be found here (it’s the first seven entries).

‘Sit down, pay extra to upgrade to business class, or get off the plane.’

Music to UD‘s ears: An ultraorthodox man demands that a woman sitting next to him on an El Al flight move because he refuses to sit next to women. Instead of letting him rant on and eventually force the woman to move, the flight director tells him what it says in UD‘s headline: Fuck off.

As long as Israel’s courts remain real courts (not guaranteed!), her heroine, Anat Hoffman, who with her organization brought the suit that forced gender equality on El Al, will keep winning virtually every case she brings, just the way she won this one.

Hoffman was on this particular plane; she witnessed the exchange.

I was proud to hear the flight director use the exact wording as promised by El Al in court. It was as if she were reading from the verdict itself, stating in no uncertain terms that the in-flight staff would not ask the woman to change her seat. If the staff had acted differently, and if they had, in any way, asked the female passenger to change her seat ‘for everyone’s benefit,’ I would have encouraged her to sue El Al. That passenger did not know it, but she had all of IRAC—a powerful ally—standing behind her.

Before the flight director finally issued an ultimatum to this man, other people on the plane began to pressure the woman to move, practically bringing her to tears. But, as UD‘s beloved Christopher Hitchens used to say, “Enough with clerical and religious bullying and intimidation.”

‘Vast majority of Germans in favour of burqa ban: poll’

That was 2016; since then, Angela Merkel has called for a ban.

With its eyes on the Netherlands, where a ban just went into effect, Merkel’s party has once again brought up the matter. It will not go away, and Germany, which already has a partial ban, will eventually get a full one.

‘I’ve seen what happens when the public space is infringed upon by the religious. My medical career took me to Saudi Arabia, aged 31, where I was mandated by law to wear the hijab, covering all of my hair and neck. And with it the abbayah, a cloak covering my entire body from my neck to my ankles. For those two years, I became intimately acquainted with the cumbersome nature of forced veiling and its impracticality — even seeing it imposed upon my unconscious female patients.’

‘Quick! Hypertonic saline!’

‘Fuck that. Get this chick an abbayah.’

When a woman who covers her mouth (and everything else) with a thick black cloth…

… lectures the rest of us on the importance of open communication, the only thing to do is laugh.

Another Islamophobic Islamic Country Bans the Burqa.

Talk about self-loathing. It’s not just imperialist Europeans who ban it; Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria… and Egypt’s been trying to ban them for years.

UD in fact predicts Egypt will be the next place the full face and body veil will fall. Meanwhile, welcome, Tunisia, to the developed world.

A new spin on the veil issue: You have to be crazy.

A New York Times writer brings our cool calm collected American sensibilities to those hot-headed French.

… [T]he veil … especially exercised France since 1989, when three children were barred from attending middle school after refusing to take off their hijabs, setting off months of anguished, often hysterical public debate.

It was the first of countless “veil affairs,” and in this century successive French governments passed two laws: one from 2004 that forbids the veil (as well as the skullcap and large crosses) in schools, and another in 2010 banning full-face coverings such as the niqab in all public spaces. And the freakouts keep coming, most recently during a heat wave in France this week. After a group of women defied the city’s ban on the hooded “burkini” bathing suit at a community pool, a government minister for equality said the burkini sends “a political message that says, ‘Cover yourself up.’”

Really, those silly over-emotional French (and Austrians, Danes, Belgians, Latvians, Bulgarians, Spanish, Italians, Swiss, Dutch, Moroccans, Sri Lankans, etc., etc., etc.). have so much to learn from us.

The anti-burqistas.

‘They [have] this sense that they [are] being watched and on stage and carrying the torch for equality and cultural change for girls and women.”

US soccer.

Banning the Niqab in Canada

[L]et’s examine why we should want a ban on niqabs. Canada is indeed an open and inclusive society. That quality is maintained and cultivated by the steady and full interactions between its citizens. The more we know each other, the greater our capacity for acceptance. The next time you pass someone on the sidewalk, in the park, even looking toward them from your car, notice how automatic it is to look toward their face, make eye contact and exchange acknowledgement.

This is how we “know” the “other” in our society. This is how our common humanity is transmitted. It’s called familiarity. Family. The visual exchange is absolutely powerful in sensitizing and personalizing all of us to each other’s rights and shared humanity.

The niqab prevents that from happening. It portrays anonymity and evokes uncertainty. It is an act of hiding, isn’t it? Consider for a minute whether there would be any argument at all if there was instead the religious interpretation that men should be wearing niqabs and not women. How many Canadians would be clamouring against a niqab ban in that case? I suspect that no country in the world would allow men to wear niqabs, regardless of religious claims. 

This brings the issue back to the gender of niqab wearers. Does anyone believe that it was women who decided to implement the stipulation that they should only be seen by male relatives, that they should be cloaked to all other eyes on the street? Or was it dictated by a patriarchal society that saw women as being subordinate to their husbands’ preferences? In various Muslim countries today, a woman cannot travel outside of the country without permission from a husband or father. Who originated that custom?

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