Control Yourself Please

In the eyes of many Arab and Muslim men unveiled  Western females are  seen as “loose” and  targets of easy conquest.  That being said, most, especially professionals keep their feelings to themselves.   Occasionally, some  do not.  Asif Zardari, President of Pakistan, has been criticized  for losing control of himself in his recent meeting with Sarah Palin:

A radical Muslim prayer leader said the president shamed the nation for “indecent gestures, filthy remarks, and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt.” Feminists charged that once again a male Pakistani leader has embarrassed the country with sexist remarks. And across the board, the Pakistani press has shown disapproval.

What did President Zardari do to draw such scorn? It might have been the “gorgeous” compliment he gave Ms. Palin when the two met at the UN last week during her meet-and-greet with foreign leaders ahead of Thursday’s vice presidential debate with opponent Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

But the comments from Zardari didn’t end there. He went on to tell Palin: “Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you.”  “You are so nice,” replied the Republican vice presidential hopeful, smiling. “Thank you.”   But what may have really caused Pakistan’s radical religious leaders to stew was his comment that he might “hug” Palin if his handler insisted

Would Zardari have acted that way to a vieled Muslim female?  I think the answer is a 100% No.   But even more disturbing is the behavior of a former Pakistani PM:

The incident bears some resemblance to yet another charm offensive by a senior Pakistani politician. Marcus Mabry’s biography of Condoleezza Rice includes a passage in which he relates a meeting between former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Ms. Rice, in which Mr. Aziz was said to have stared deeply into the secretary of State’s eyes and to have told her he could “conquer any woman in two minutes.”

Wow.  How weirded out must Condaleeza Rice have felt?  But these attitudes towards Western women can not be dismissed as aberrations.  They are generally shared by a majority of Muslim men throughout the region.  Ask any Western women who has spend time in the Middle East and they probably have 50 similar stories.  And notice how in Arabic film, the loose women are usually “Western.”   Or if they are not Western, they tend to be Lebanese.  Here’s one perfect example-  Halet_Hubb.   There are three women.  The American comes to Egypt and immediately has sex (or it is implied that she is willing to) with an Egyptian man she met on the internet.  Then, there are two Egyptian women.  One is played by Hind Sabri, who is working as a journalist in Paris.  The clear theme of the movie is that the West is a moral wasteland and while living there she has premarital sex with her boyfriend.  But then she takes a trip to Egypt and realizes all that she was missing and that she needs to get closer to her moral roots.  The third women, the good Egyptian, who never leaves Egypt,  is pure and never oversteps the boundaries of “proper Arab-Islamic morals.”  Of course she doesn’t do anything bad like that.

3 Responses

  1. I agree that he should have behaved in a more professional matter than he did – even though he wasn’t rude. But, after all, she is the candidate to Vice-president and as such should be respected as such. She is also the governor of a State of the Union which is also a position that must be respected.

    What must be noted is that Pakistanies – especially Panjabies – are very protocol. A man flirting around is not well liked. Even polygamy is not socially accepted by Panjabies – the people who run the country. The straw that breaks the camel´s back is the fact that he is a widower and many Bhutto supporters resent him being so friendly to other women.

    It’s complicated but it could be anyone of these things or all at the same time. I’m still asking myself how he got into office?

  2. Lest you forget Sharon’s comments about the gams of Madame Secretary. And God help Jumblatt for anything he may have said to her, probably more racist than sexist. And, of course, now we have a story of Rumsfeld making her cry.

    Actually, I will buy her memoirs — if she writes them — partially to hear about all the sexist crap she had to put up with, on Pennsylvania Avenue and abroad.

  3. Are you talking about Condi??? No!!!

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