World Hijab Day was February 1, and Princeton Professor Robert P. George marked the occasion by publishing a piece in the Catholic journal First Things entitled "Muslims, Our Natural Allies." He included in his article a video in which a World Hijab Day organizer stoutly defended her right to cover her hair; George proclaimed: "I stand with the young woman in the above video in defense of modesty, chastity, and piety." Michael Potemra at National Review led the cheering: "Let's take a moment to praise the intellectual fearlessness of NR's friend Robby George."
George acknowledges that "in certain cultures, including some Muslim cultures, the covering of women is taken to an extreme and reflects a very real subjugation, just as in sectors of western culture, the objectification of women (including the sexualization of children at younger and younger ages) by cultural pressures to pornify reflects a very real (though less direct and obvious) subjugation." Yet are these really our only choices? Women who choose modesty, chastity and piety, and women who "pornify" themselves?
Modesty is a virtue only when it is freely adopted, not enforced by threats. Yet George takes no notice of the fact that many Muslim women don the hijab not out of modesty, but out of fear. The woman in his featured video defends her freedom to wear the hijab, but it is far more likely that women will be victimized for not wearing it than for wearing it. Aqsa Parvez's Muslim father choked her to death with her hijab after she refused to wear it. Amina Muse Ali was a Christian woman in Somalia whom Muslims murdered because she wasn't wearing a hijab. Forty women were murdered in Iraq in 2007 for not wearing the hijab.