May 31, 2016

If Tourists Can Wear Bikinis But Local Women Must Wear Chadors Does That Prove the Muslim Brotherhood is Moderate?

The answer to that headline is, “No. But seeming to answer ‘yes’ proves the West is hypocritical about supporting human rights.”

Oh, wait, what if a democratically elected government decides to enforce such a system in a law legally passed by a democratically elected government? I guess that’s just democracy in action.

The Western media is obsessed with whether the new, Islamist-dominated Egyptian government will let tourists wear bikinis. When some Islamist leader says that there will be no dress code for tourists–due to the desire to keep getting tourist dollars–journalists pronounce the Muslim Brotherhood to be pragmatic, as in this Los Angeles Times article.

While Brotherhood leaders seem to disagree on this issue, I can see the outlines of a “deal” that will prove to Westerners that the Brotherhood is going to be “moderate” in power, nothing to worry about, and therefore an organization that should be spoken of sympathetically. Ready to hear the “deal?” Here it is:

A few hundred visiting Western women will be able to wear bikinis on isolated beaches in expensive resorts where almost no Egyptians will see them.

Tens of millions of Egyptian women will be forced to wear all-enveloping black robes and veils.

Sound fair enough?

To read the rest of the article, click here.

About Barry Rubin

Prof. Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan)