It's time to learn a little about hijabs and headscarves. Many Americans see the Hijab as synonymous with the suppression of women, and certainly women suffer in societies where they are pressured to cover their faces.
However, many fully liberated Muslim women wear the hijab. Other Muslim women reject the need to wear a hijab but respect Muslim women who do. Some Muslims don't want non-Muslim women wearing hijabs as a sign of solidarity (see this Huff Post article and WaPo Article ). It's also important to remember that some Christian (like nuns) and Jewish women and other women around the world also wear headscarves (see "The Complicated History of Headscarves").
Here's the deal: let's accept that many Muslim women, including fully liberated women, wear hijabs as a sign of their faith, just like some Christian and Jewish women wear headscarves. So let's focus our concern on Muslim women who feel pressured to cover their faces. Life for women in those societies truly does suck. Deal?--KK
Historically, comedy’s primary political focus has been to mock the powerful (a fact many Trump supporters seem to forget nowadays). But there’s also a long tradition of using comedy to advance political comity. Ancient Greek comedians promoted a live and let live attitude towards ideological differences. Aristophanes (444-385 BC), the most celebrated Greek comic playwright, was a social conservative who also disfavored politicians being “the self-appointed guardians of public morals.”
Great leaders of peace have recognized the power of humor. Historians say that Gandhi, a man whose public persona focused on serious activism, had an “infectious” sense of humor that was an important weapon in his Arsenal of Non-Violence. Gandhi once said that "If I had no sense of humour, I would long ago have committed suicide.” The world is better off for a Merry Mahatma.
Humor has often been used to help break through, and heal from, seemingly intractable conflicts. The 2001 Foreign Film Oscar Winner “No Man’s Land” lampooned all sides in the brutal Bosnian war, including the United Nations. One scholar described his delight seeing thousands laugh watching the film in a mixed crowd during the 2001 Sarajevo Film festival, despite the still-fresh wounds from the war.
With ample scholarly analysis on how comedy promotes comity, the secret is simple: does the joke land across political lines? Comedy can be a tool for peace when it creates a connecting layer among belligerents. Humor can highlight our common humanity, our common foibles. That is why often the best jokes attacking political opponents are laced with self-deprecating humor. Both President George W. Bush (who mocked his own abuse of the English language, such as his reference to “strategery” on Saturday Night Live) and President Obama (who joked about aging before our eyes during his White House years) are both rightly seen as virtuosos of political humor.
Our own President could try to use a little self-deprecating humor. Then again, the shock might cause quite a few heart attacks at a time when all agree our health care system is no laughing matter. --KK
Welcome to Democracy. Very few issues these days are simple. We are discovering that now with Health Care, although many would argue that it would never be easy or simple to cover more people and not have someone foot the bill. The next step is to come to agreement on major issues... and then pass laws to implement those agreements. Should the government try to keep coverage for folks who need it ? Or do we let folks fend for themselves? Is healthcare a right or a privilege? After we agree (or agree to disagree) on those big issues, we can implement laws in our democracy. One thing is for sure: any health care legislation that doesn't get some bipartisan support is probably going to fail for the simple reason that folks who don't agree with the legislation will do all they can to undermine it. We've been dere. Done dat. Time to move on. --KK