'bigot' being defined by the PC-at-any-cost crowd as 'criticizing anybody we consider a protected species'.
Egyptians are cautiously rejoicing over the recent appointment of a veiled Egyptian American Muslim woman as an advisor to President Obama.
Dalia Mogahed, senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, was appointed this month to Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
As a general rule, anybody who's big in a 'blank-studies' organization is automatically suspect; if you expect someone who's a 'womyn's studies' professor to give unbiased opinions, for example, you're generally SOL.
Arabs are closely watching for signs that the new leadership in Washington is making efforts to improve relations with Islam, which many Muslims believe were severely damaged during the eight years of the Bush administration. The selection of Mogahed is viewed by many in the Middle East as a step by Obama to move beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that Muslims believe they have encountered since the attacks Sept. 11, 2001.
They were actually damaged by the Taliban killing women and destroying ancient statues and such, but why bring that up? Like that messy 'crash airplanes into buildings' mess, it just upsets people to talk about it.
"Dalia Mogahed is the best example of a successful Muslim woman. She proves that the Muslim should be successful in all fields, at least in [her] area of specialization," a commentator wrote on the website of the independent daily Al Masry al Youm.
It's kind of amazing to hear this; most of the muslim nations tend to consider a successful woman one who hides her face, pumps out babies and acts in a properly subservient manner. Going to schools other than a girls' madrassa can get them killed, for instance, with the Taliban not liking even that.
The Egyptian-born Mogahed moved with her family to the United States almost 30 years ago. Recently, she co-wrote the book "Who Speaks for Islam?" with John Esposito, an American political science professor who has been criticized by some as an Islamic apologist. Mogahed and Esposito published an opinion piece this month in The Times on American ignorance of Islam and the Muslim world.
"My work focuses on studying Muslims, the way they think and their views," Mogahed was quoted as saying on the website of the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya satellite news channel. "Then I should tell the president about their problems and needs, especially that lately Muslims have been perceived as a source of problems and as incapable of taking part in solving international problems and that they should work on themselves. Now we want to say that Muslims are capable of providing solutions."
We've had to learn an awful lot about islam over the past years; and to a large extent it's been "If you're not a believer, it's our duty to convert, enslave or kill you. Oh, and all the Jews should be killed in any case. Now shut up, woman, and put on your tent." And we might perceive them as a 'source of problems' because of all the murders, car burnings, rapes, declarations that "With God's help we will kill all you infidels" statements, further declarations that all will be well(or at least well on the way) when all the Jews are dead and so forth. If so many of the 'solutions' muslim countries provide didn't involved dead people all over the place, might be a little more willing to listen to them.
Yet, Mogahed's declaration that her loyalty goes first to the United States, published Monday in an interview with Al Masry al Youm, disappointed some people.
"I wish your loyalty was to your Islam first, Egypt second and your Arabism third and then to anything else," wrote a reader identifying himself as the Tiger of Arabs. "I am afraid that they might make a fool out of you and use you as a cover for policies that don't serve Egypt and the Arab and Muslim world."
I'm very much hoping Mogahed does indeed consider herself an American above all other loyalty to other places; if not, we've got another mole in the government. And Tiger? Got news for you: she's not Egyptian. She's supposed to be foremost concerned with the US, not Egypt and not the 'Arab and Muslim world'. I realize that conflicts with your views, and I don't really give a rats ass.
Done for now.