Can You Spot Something Missing In This Picture?

RALLY-articleLargeThe cover picture on the Israeli newspaper HaMevaser may seem familiar to those who watched the historic march for free speech in Paris this weekend, but something is missing. If you said, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, you have a keen eye and the qualifications to be an ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper editor. The newspaper removed not just Merkel’s picture but the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo and Simonetta Sommaruga, the president of Switzerland as well as a European Union official. The reason? God does not want men to see pictures of women, even world leaders, for reasons of modesty and religious purity.

I have noted before the irony of the similarities between the view of such groups and extreme Muslim religious beliefs (particularly with regard to women) despite the historic tensions between the religions (here and here and here). The notion of Andrea Merkel corrupting the morals of Jewish ultra orthodox men is a new concept. It appears that the very appearance of Merkel can drive an Ultra Orthodox man crazy with desire and impure thoughts.

The best response came from an Irish satirical newspaper Waterford Whispers that released a photo that removed the male leaders. (For the photo, click here).

It is almost as if the Ultra Orthodox did not want to be out crazied by their Muslim counterparts after a Muslim cleric ruled that building Snowmen is a sin and potentially arousing.

Allison Kaplan Sommer of the newspaper Haaretz condemned the act as a national embarrassment “at a time that the Western world is rallying against manifestations of religious extremism, our extremists manage to take the stage.”

Others noted that the newspaper did not just blur the faces but actually removed the female leaders entirely as if the world is led by men alone.

Rama Burshtein, the ultra-Orthodox filmmaker of the critically acclaimed 2012 movie “Fill the Void,” explained “It’s very, very, very, very, very hard for a nonreligious person to understand the purity of eyes.” Yep, though many would call it insanity rather than purity to remove world leaders from historic pictures. He added “By us, men don’t look at women’s photos, period. As long as you don’t know that, then it sounds ridiculous, or changing history or events. But we’re not here to get the events the way they are. We are here to keep the eyes.” Well, most people know that you do not look at women or apparently allow airplanes to take off if there are women in your row. However it still sound ridiculous . . . even if you “keep the eyes.”

I expect that many people in Paris, still reeling from the attack of Muslim extremists, feel a bit like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets:

Source: NY Times

56 thoughts on “Can You Spot Something Missing In This Picture?”

  1. Sandi, There is always the problem when you name someone and don’t name someone else. I was merely glancing over the women who commented on this thread and gave kudos. You are an infrequent contributor but I appreciate your comments as well. Mea Culpa.

  2. Nick you have just ticked off every other woman writing on this site. Your favorite three are fine. The rest of us are chopped liver?

    Inga, your description of fundamentalists seems very close to progressives. Somewhat totalitarian by telling us all what’s good for us, Obamacare. Is that dangerous also?

    I don’t know when the Amish came here, but they came for the freedom of their religion. I have driven through Amish country. Some move as far as they can so you can pass, others don’t.

    Bibi should not have had to fight for that front row. He should have been there to begin with. If he had not come, as Hollande is rumored to have preferred, would there have been any focus on the killings at the market? The only reason to kill there are to kill Jews. I think that was,mass always, good for the world to see.

    Where do you think Obama would have been?

  3. Careful Mr Turley
    In certain parts of the Western world what you write is arrestable slander against Israel. France might even label it anti-Semetic.

  4. She could eat corn on the cob through a chain link fence. Orthodontists lobbied to have Hillary photos hopped out.

  5. We have some real sharp women here, Olly. Karen and DBQ are WONDERFUL additions here. We are blessed to have their intellect and wit. I thank the Good Lord they contribute.

  6. I recall that an orthodox newspaper also removed Hillary Clinton from pictures of those in the Situation Room the night Osama ben Laden was killed. They sited the same reasoning.

  7. I am not comparing subcultures. I am pointing out the fact that conservatives resent the fact that Muslims wish to maintain their religious customs, e.g., wearing the hijab in public, but do not complain about the fact that ultra-orthodox women are supposed to wear wigs to cover their hair for the sake of modesty.

    @ Jeff

    As a child of immigrants, as are probably 99% of us here, I respect and admire the keeping of cultures. There is no reason to abandon your identity when you immigrate. However, as immigrants, we need to respect and adhere to the culture of the country to which we have immigrated. If I moved to Saudi Arabia, I would be aware that driving as a female is forbidden and as much as I would not like it….I would not drive. If I don’t like that law and others in Saudi Arabia….then I should not move to Saudi Arabia. Period.

    Most customs are not at odds or antithetical to living in your NEW country….other customs are at odds and are actually dangerous.

    As dumb as it may be to me and others, shaving your head and wearing a wig does no harm to society. Wearing a face mask in public, hiding your identity, being unable to be distinguished in public IS a custom that is antithetical to the customs in OUR Western society. If Muslims want to demean their women by making them wear a giant black bag….they can do that in private. However in public, it is not permissible by law in some cases and is a barrier to integration.

    Some customs are harmless and interesting and not a detriment to society or a deliberate affront to society. Others ARE. Some customs are offensive and beyond the pale in the new country. It is incumbent on the immigrant to know what those customs are and abide by the rules. Honor killing is abhorrent and ILLEGAL. If you don’t like the rules…..just like my Saudi Arabia comment……do not move here.

    I repeat…….Integration into society does NOT mean giving up your identity!

    Learning the language of your new country so you can communicate. Learning and abiding by the laws of your new country. Learning the history. Learning about the other various cultures that make up the new country.

    Teach your children about the value of your own culture, honoring your own culture and traditions and allowing and encouraging them to know the value of their NEW home and honor the customs and traditions there as well.

    This is assimilation. Not erasing yourself, but becoming part of something new and contributing to the whole entity.

    If you can’t do that….if you refuse to do that….then you should not have immigrated.

  8. Jeff,
    If you don’t like my use of Jefferson’s or Locke’s terminology, then for arguments sake they are ‘inherent powers’; not to be confused with the inherent powers the people provide to government.

    To be clear; do you believe these powers (formerly known by me as natural rights) are still inalienable?

    By the way, that’s twice now you have implied I believe rights are granted by a supernatural being. PROVE IT!

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