"Naïveté in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity." ~ Eric Hoffer
Perhaps you find those to be harsh words for a woman who ranks second in the line of presidential succession, following Vice President Dick Cheney. A woman who is foolish and naive enough to think that by donning a "hijab" in an Islamic country that she is merely showing respect for her hosts. She isn't.
What Nancy Pelosi fails to understand is that by donning the hijab she is not showing respect for the culture of her hosts. From remote villages to cosmopolitan mega cities, women all across the world, from every ethnic background, wear the hijab. The hijab is not a "cultural thing". The hijab has nothing to do with culture, it has everything to do however with Islam.
In the alternative, perhaps Nancy Pelosi is naive enough to think that she is showing respect for the religious beliefs of her hosts. She isn't. No two Islamic scholars will argue that the wearing of the hijab is not based on a woman's respect or submission to man, but rather on the woman's submission to the will of Allah.
The wearing of the hijab is explicitly written about in the Quran, and what the Islamic world and her Arab hosts see is a malleable and naive woman, who happens to be the second in line of presidential succession submitting herself to the will of Allah and the religious tenets of Islam.
This is not a simple faux paus by an ignorant American that will soon be forgotten on the Arab Street or in the Islamic world. The phantasmagorical image of what is seen to be nothing more that America's congressional and political leadership's submission to the will of Allah work only to substantiate the position of the Islamic extremists by rekindling the prophecies of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. And so, whatever Nancy Pelosi thinks that she is doing or has to say in her defense really becomes irrelevant. The damage is already done.
What message does Nancy Pelosi have for the women who have been struggling for their rights in the Islamic world? Women who have been beaten and in some cases killed for refusing to wear the chador or hijab?
The irreputable damage to our nation's efforts to combat Islamic extremism aside, we find ourselves perplexed wondering just what the purpose of Nancy Pelosi's trip is and deeply troubled to find that her motives amount to what can best be described as nothing more than a coup.
Congressman Tom Lantos, who is a member of the delegation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led to Syria, put the mission clearly when he said: "We have an alternative, Democratic foreign policy."
Nancy Pelosi is a Congresswoman, she is not a diplomat, nor is she an employee of our nation's State department or the Executive branch of our government and has no right to dictate or discuss foreign policy with the leaders of other countries.
Our nation is faced with many challenges ahead, and to be a viable nation, we must be able to speak with one voice, our inablity to do so creates a grave risk not only the viablity of nation's foreign policy but to the safety and security of our nation.