In 1958 Egyptian audience laughs over proposal for women to wear head scarfs


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Okay… that one guy shouting “Let him wear it” is my hero…

Egypt was quite cosmopolitan - historically speaking. As was Lebanon, Syria, and much of the other urban areas of the Middle East during the 50s, 60s, and into the 70s. It was our constant support for “alternatives” to Pan-Arabism and socialism that drove the Islamist movement and gave it the edge they needed to start becoming serious contenders for the ears of the middle east. They went into rural areas of the region, and created constiuencies based on urban contempt for the rural areas and those with a religious bent. Nasser was one of the few people who was able to compete with the Isalmists because he had programs which benefited the working classes and rural Egyptians - even acknowledging the violence of the coup and what happened to the traditional ruling class, Nasser created some effective reforms that kept groups like the Brotherhood at bay. As soon as Sadat came into power and reoriented away from the Non-aligned movement Nasser helped found, all bets were off. His assasination only further entrenched western interests in the Egyptian government. Which gave groups like the MB an advantage in the rural, more religious areas. it helped that they actually paid attention to the people there and worked for their support…


This is why I don’t laugh at Trump. And why I didn’t laugh at Sarah Palin. Nothing is so ridiculous and wrong-headed that it won;t be taken very seriously someday.


Yeah, it’s easy to forget that not that long ago much of the Middle East was moving towards a type of modern secularism. I am sure we have seen the pics of the women in mini-skirts going to school in Afghanistan in the 70s.


Right, but we couldn’t have that because communism, mumble, mumble, blah blah blah. I mean, Reagan called the Taliban the moral equivalent of the founding fathers, because they were fighting the Russians, and the secular, socialist government…


We supported some right jackasses because they were the enemy of our enemy.


Putting a veil on Egypt
Class of 1959

Class of 2004


That was a pretty common tactic… we supported lots of right jackasses because of the Cold War… While some have characterized the era as relatively peaceful, this was not true for much of the rest of the world. Europe, the Soviet Union proper, and the US saw calm and economic expansion, but this was at the expense of much of the rest of the world. The soviets did this too. Their fingers are all over various wars and coups that helped destabilize the non-aligned world.


That’s a great pic, but a couple of things. First, the second picture has far more women as a percentage. The first is a majority men, the second majority women. This might be cause more young men with the means to go to college go abroad, leaving the university system in the Mid East dominated by young women whose families won’t send them abroad.

Second, the original link seems to have come from pajama’s media, which I think is part of the right wing blogosphere, if I’m not mistaken (though it now just points back to the main page of pjmedia instead of the original blog post).


Watch this 2015 American audience laugh over proposal to outlaw birth control.


Yep. “Forward into the past!” isn’t just a joke, it’s a campaign slogan.


I wish someone would do a study on the reaction to modernity that comes from some religious groups. I’d love to see the parallels between the religious right in the US compared to the religious right in the Mid East. I wonder how many ties exist (the Bushes and the House of Saud, for one), what are the similar ideas, what are the major differences… how much of this ties into the creation of Israel, and reactions to that (from both American evangelicals and religious hardliners in the Mid East). I bet that would be a productive study, actually.

Meanwhile… here’s me at the debate over birth control…


Furthermore, is that Laurie Anderson?


Cilian Murphy, no?



@daneel, I think @Boundegar means my avatar, not the gif… the gif is Cillian Murphy.


I am a stupid.


Not at all!


Right. They’re both forces of fascism and Dominionism, and are taken seriously by many Americans. It’s not funny, and their 15 minutes comes at the expense of real living persons.


Firstly, let my inner pedant thank you for not dropping the “of” in that sentence. :grin:

This seems to be true. However, if we’re talking percentages, I don’t see even a single veil in the first picture which puts the number of veils at 0%, in contrast with the last picture with veils being in the upper-high percentage.

If this is true, it says as much, or even more about the status of women in modern Cairo than the number of veils does.

To be honest, I’m not familiar with Pajama’s Media, so can’t comment on that, but regardless, that would seem to be a case of message vs messenger which would be a neglectful way of looking at the issue.
TinEye finds 24 occurrences of the first image and 32 of the last. I’ve not gone through them to establish their sources, but a more patient person than I could perhaps do some verification of authenticity.


Replace was with is, unfortunately.

Toady, western governments are perfectly keen on arming Syrian rebels who fade directly into Daesh, because they have decided that anything is better than the Syrian government. So we get chaos, refugees fleeing a civil war and the rise of ultra-fanatical fundamentalists, because western powers really wanted to topple a government that for all its nasty, dictatorial leanings was still a force for secularism and modernity.

And of course, we have Saudi Arabia. Which is best of friends with western governments, gets showered with weapons, and is never censured, despite its own nasty fundamentalism, its export of its brutal, intolerant brand of reactionary Wahabbism, and its complete disregard for any form of human rights. Even though they are barely concealing their involvement in stoking the war.

No, if you value universal human values like human rights, secularism, equality and all the fruits of the enlightenment, then past and current foreign policy has been an utter disaster.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m not surprised that western governments will indulge in these darkest forms of Realpolitik. I’m just constantly amazed at how bad they are at it, with a complete inability to serve their long-term interests.