Posted on | April 14, 2012 | 23 Comments
Before blogging about this, I first checked Five Feet of Fury to see if the One Good Canadian, Kathy Shaidle, had weighed in. Because she obviously should, and if she had, I would have been obliged to link and quote her. How she could have missed this one, I don’t know.
Canadians are in an uproar — one might even say they’ve gotten their panties in a wad — because of the photo above, taken by a 24-year-old university student in British Columbia:
Sooraya Graham produced the image and presented it earlier this year for a class assignment as part of her fine arts degree at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. . . .
Some politically correct student busybodies were offended by the photo and removed it from display without securing anyone’s permission.
“I have a lot to express,” Graham said in an interview Thursday, explaining she wanted to remind people that Muslim women wear undergarments too.
“Even though some people want to silence those thoughts or make them go away, we live in Canada where as long as we’re not hurting another individual we have that right to express ourselves.”
Ah, but some Canadians are more equal than others, Sooraya, and one must always keep in mind the tender sensitivities of the easily offended bien-pensants. OK, now readers should brace themselves for the classic Paul Harvey now-you-know-the-rest-of-the-story plot twist:
Graham said her intention had been to “humanize” women who wear the niqab, which covers a woman’s entire head except for her eyes, by showing one doing a simple act that many women can relate to. . . .
Graham said her own decision to wear Islamic dress is aimed at being modest and garnering respect for her voice over her looks. Her friend, who is pictured in the photo, wears different variations to reflect her own feelings.
Whoa! The photographer is herself a Muslim who wears traditional garb and the woman pictured in the photo is her friend!
Since the incident was made public, an education centre in Kamloops funded by the Saudi Arabian Embassy has gone public with its opposition as well, Graham said.
Thus we have Saudi-funded organizations attempting to regulate the portrayal of Islamic culture in Canadian society: Perfect.
(Hat-tip: The Daily Beast.)
UPDATE: Because I’m an information omnivore, I sometimes forget where I get stuff. Checking my e-mail just now, I realized the Daily Beast item was sent to me — with the note, “How’d you miss this one?” — by a contributor to National Review, who shall remain anonymous, lest he get the Derbyshire treatment merely for being my acquaintance, much less for taking notice of this exemplary failure of multiculturalism.
By the way, in case you missed it: National Review “Derbed” another contributor, University of Illinois professor emeritus Robert Weissberg, for his unauthorized association with Thought Criminals.
The floggings will increase until morale improves!
UPDATE II: CBC has more on the Saudi angle:
But the Saudi Education Centre in Kamloops, which is funded by the Saudi Arabian government and provides support to Saudi students and their families, is taking issue with the photo.
“The artist didn’t approach the artwork let’s say in a very professional way that can state and can clarify the information and clarify the idea behind the picture,” said centre president Trad Bahabri.
Bahabri said he thinks text explaining the photo’s meaning is needed.
“I’m pretty sure many people misinterpret and many people misunderstand it. I can guarantee that,” he said.
Here’s Ezra Levant’s video commentary:
(Hat-tip: Lloyd S. on Twitter.)