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The Collective
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Drudge currently has a large photo of Speaker Pelosi wearing a headscarf on his front, and several bloggers are aghast and agog over the whole thing. (At right is a different photo of the event, courtesy of the AP).

According to some bloggers, somehow this is supposed to signal some huge propaganda victory for The Enemy, or, at least, some sign of surrender on Pelosi’s part.

First off, I have never been a big fan of members of the legislative branch making big state visits outside of cooperation with the executive branch, as foreign policy, especially of the diplomatic sort, is the proper constitutional purview of the president. That having been said, members of Congress have every right to make such visits should they choose to.

Second, do we really have to get in a knot over the headscarf? Pelosi was visiting a Mosque and showed the proper signs of respect for such a visit, just as a non-Jewish man might wear a yarmulke when visiting a synagogue . Further, as No More Mister Nice Blog notes, pre-Vatican II women wore headcoverings in church. I would further note that there are still some very conservative protestant churches where women still wear a veil to church services-indeed, there are a small number who require women to where something on their heads all the time.

So, really, enough with the “Dhimmi” business and such.

Somehow of all the problems we have these days, the fact that Speaker showed proper respect during a visit to a Mosque isn’t one of them. Are we really in such a tenuous position globally and so insecure that something like this is upsetting?

The AP notes the headgear in question here: Pelosi visits market, mosque in Syria

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) mingled with Syrians in a market and made the sign of the cross at a Christian tomb Tuesday during a visit to pursue dialogue with the country’s leader. President Bush denounced the trip, saying it sends mixed signals to Syria’s government.

[...]

Wearing a flowered head scarf and a black abaya robe, Pelosi visited the 8th-century Omayyad Mosque, shaking hands with Syrian women inside and watching men in a religion class sitting cross-legged on the floor.

She stopped at an elaborate tomb, said to contain the head of John the Baptist, and made the sign of the cross. About 10 percent of Syria’s 18 million people are Christian.

Technorati Tags: Pelosi, Syria, Hijab

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11 Comments

  1. Just what we need in this country another Jessie Jackson.

    Comment by Walter Archambeault — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 7:56 am

  2. At least Pelosi has been elected to something, unlike Mr. Jackson.

    Indeed, she is the third highest constitutional officer in our system.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 8:02 am

  3. Middle East Round-Up, Credit And Blame Edition.

    In other news, Representative Nancy Pelosi shows politics really heats up at the water’s edge and “begins negotiations”, I suppose with her office, with the Syrian branch of the Baath conspiracy. Look at the picture of her sitting wit…

    Trackback by Pros and Cons — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 9:21 am

  4. [...] Honza P. labels me a “Congressional supremacist” in a post today at Pros and Cons. The context of his post is that of the notion that I likely support Pelosi’s trip to the Middle East. As I noted this morning, I am not a fan of such trips independent of the basic foreign policy strategies of a given administration (and would still not be a fan if it was a Democratic President and Republican Speaker), but I also think that she has every right to pursue the trip if she so desires. Not only is she the third ranking constitutional officer in our system, but Congress has the right to fact find, which is essentially what she is currently doing. [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » On Congressional Supremacists, Democracy and Madison — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 11:55 am

  5. [...] Honza P. labels me a “Congressional supremacist” in a post today at Pros and Cons. The context of his post is that of the notion that I likely support Pelosi’s trip to the Middle East. As I noted this morning, I am not a fan of such trips independent of the basic foreign policy strategies of a given administration (and would still not be a fan if it was a Democratic President and Republican Speaker), but I also think that she has every right to pursue the trip if she so desires. Not only is she the third ranking constitutional officer in our system, but Congress has the right to fact find, which is essentially what she is currently doing. [...]

    Pingback by PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » On Congressional Supremacists, Democracy and Madison — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 11:55 am

  6. Covering one’s head

    Nancy Pelosi may have her head covered with a scarf, but some bloggers out there got paper bags over their heads. Again.

    Trackback by The Florida Masochist — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 2:24 pm

  7. [...] I don’t like Pelosi’s trip either. Congress people of either party shouldn’t be taking part in private diplomacy. Other voices of reason are Steven Taylor and Ann Althouse. Not surprisingly, Ann, Steven and James are three of my favorite bloggers. [...]

    Pingback by The Bullwinkle Blog » Blog Archive » Covering one’s head — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

  8. Nancy Pelosi’s Syria Head Scarf Controversy

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria has sparked controversy, not just because it is in defiance of White House foreign policy but because of her decision to wear a head scarf and abaya while visiting a mosque.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mi…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  9. I have a couple questions one might suppose could easily be answered by the State Department if they so chose.

    1) How would the State Department advise Executive branch officials concerning protocol when visiting a religious institution on foreign soil? (I assume but am not certain they would advise other government officials if asked)

    2) About a year ago, Condi Rice was scheduled to visit a Mosque in JAck Straw’s home district. The visit was cancelled due to threatened anti-war protests. But one would assume that protcol for the visit had been reviewed and that appropriate attire was established well in advance. So was Condi going wear headscarf?

    Comment by RandyB — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 7:25 pm

  10. I want to say that both Rice and Laura Bush have worn similar scarves in the past, but I have not been able to locate a picture.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

  11. [...] Q: “Somehow of all the problems we have these days, the fact that Speaker showed proper respect during a visit to a Mosque isn’t one of them. Are we really in such a tenuous position globally and so insecure that something like this is upsetting?” [...]

    Pingback by Rhetorical Questions with Real Answers, the Continuing Series § Unqualified Offerings — Wednesday, April 4, 2007 @ 10:51 pm

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