Prolific neoconservative agitator Daniel Pipes has a new issue. Why are so many Muslim women winning beauty pageants?
Pipes, on the basis of seemingly no evidence at all, thinks this is an example of some sort of perverse affirmative action. But what strikes me as really odd about this is that what usually gets folks like Pipes most up in arms is the hijab — as a symbol of female subordination and anti-modernism, a point that has a lot to say for it. But most of these women Pipes now has a separate beef with are — like most beauty pageant winners — spending a decent amount of their time waltzing around with almost their whole bodies exposed (i.e., in bikinis). So the whole thing leaves me a bit confused. Strikes me as an example of rather successful Westernization.