You really think you've heard it all when it comes to defending the "rights" of Muslim women to not be required to remove their headdress hijab thing at security checkpoints, but this response by Georgetown professor of Islamic history John Voll takes the cake.
Recently Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler ruled that in the interest of courthouse security those wearing the hijab would be required to remove it before entering courthouses. The ACLU has come out in favor of allowing those wearing masks to enter the courthouse unhindered and without any obstruction.
The most asinine response to this ruling though was by John Voll.
Many disputes arise out of cultural ignorance, said John Voll, a professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University. He said that for Muslim woman, the hijab or niqab is a matter of chastity and propriety. He compared forcing the removal of that garb at a security checkpoint, rather than in a private setting, to subjecting any woman to a public strip search.
"The parallel would be for a deputy sheriff to require a woman going through security to take off her brassiere right there in the inspection section," he said.
Yes, because we all know that a woman's breast are prominently featured on all identification and we absolutely must see them. This guy should have his professorship pulled for such an ignorant statement, but then again he's probably tenured.
Our colleges have really gone downhill in the intelligence department. And certainly in the arena of debate.
Oh, by the way, John Voll asserts removing the hijab at a security checkpoint is the reasoning behind his strip search argument since it is not in a "private setting". However the AG was planning on having private areas where this occurred and with female officers. So not only is Voll an ignorant debater, he is also not even knowledgeable of what he is commenting on. Either that or *gasp* he is purposely skewing the facts into some sort of fear of what was not even proposed.
Oh and a little more more on this Voll guy. According to his bio at Georgetown, he is also the director of the Prince Al-waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.
Tying this together by looking around Wikipedia, In 2001, Prince Al-waleed bin Tala offered New York City a donation of $10 million towards relief efforts after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected the donation because Al-Waleed suggested that the attacks were an indication that the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause."
In December 2005, Al-Waleed donated $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University to fund Islamic studies. The gift to Georgetown, which renamed the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in his honor, to the Prince Al-waleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, was the university's second-largest donation in history, and the gift to Harvard was among its 25 largest.
Oh and this guy also received a Presidential Medal in recognition for scholarship on Islam from President Husni Mubarak of Egypt In 1991.