Saturday, October 14, 2006

Becoming Deaf, Dumb, and Blind

To cover, or not to cover - that is the question.

In jolly old Great Britain, no one is laughing these days after Jack Straw's request that Muslim women "uncover" while meeting with him. His request was based on the logic that he could better understand the female addressing him if he could see her facial expressions. His "take it off" attitude has caused a number of other incidents as the "common" class weigh in on the streets with their own version of "take it off" that has Muslim women accusing those blokes who dare open their mouths in that manner of racially motivated attacks on them.

For the Muslim women, their act to separate themselves from society by covering themselves has had results - although not the kind that they desired. Instead of being treated with respect, they feel they are being ridiculed. But do most people really know how to react to someone presenting themselves with only their eyeballs showing? The idea behind the hijab is to "hide" the woman wearing it from all men and non-believers. Possibly the way to handle this, is to ignore the veiled woman as if she did not exist - play the ultimate game of peek-a-boo with her. What would happen if the rest of the world just covered their eyes when they saw a hijab? Of course with that we could all develop a severe case of deaf and dumb to accompany the "blind". The ultimate acknowledgment of the veil. We could all "hide" that way.

"Cover it up" is what a British Airways employee was told of the Christian cross she wore. She refused and was sent home without pay. Interestingly enough, Sikh turbans and Muslim hijabs are not required to be covered in the British Airways dress code. Why? Crosses can be worn under clothing, but due to the bulkiness of turbans and hijabs these religious articles are allowed to be worn openly. Possibly this woman, should just hide her cross and cover her eyes when applicable instead of fighting the system.

The issue still remains. To cover or not to cover. As a child, I was told if you don't have anything nice to say - say nothing at all. Behaviorists teach that desirable behaviors can be formed by ignoring behaviors that are undesirable. Sometimes the best way to handle a bad situation is to do ABSOLUTELY nothing at all.

Turn the other cheek, everyone. When in doubt just develop a severe case of being struck deaf, dumb and blind. Remember - silence is golden.

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posted by Is It Just Me? at 11:43 AM