Queen Beatrix of Netherlands wears headscarf on state visit to U.A.E.

Hat tip to Human Stupidity (he sends me a lot of stuff) for bringing this to my attention.  Should the figurehead monarch of a historically Christian nation honor Islam by covering her head while visiting mosques in Muslim countries?  Many people are asking this question:

Queen Beatrix took on the fiery leader of her country’s anti-Muslim party, Geert Wilders, on Thursday by dismissing as “nonsense” his criticism of her decision to wear a headscarf during a recent visit to a mosque.
The queen made her unusually forthright comment to Dutch reporters covering her state visit to the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Her comments were not recorded, but Beatrix told reporters she wore the head scarf in the UAE and again on a visit to an Oman mosque to show religious respect.
The popular monarch was responding to questions from reporters about parliamentary questions filed by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, who said the monarch’s decision to cover her head on a visit to a mosque in Abu Dhabi on Sunday legitimises the oppression of women.
It is rare for the queen to respond so directly – and dismissively – to criticism from a political party in the Netherlands, where the unelected head of state’s role is largely ceremonial.
Wilders is a staunch opponent of Islamic head scarves and head-to-toe burqa robes for women. He is not alone in his position: the government of the Netherlands has announced plans to ban burqas.

I have no idea why she was visiting a mosque in the first place, but I can think of several possible reasons.  As for her decision to obey the dress code within the mosque, of course she did the right thing.  What kind of person would visit a house of worship, of any religion, and disrespect the the dress code?
When gentile politicians visit the Western Wall in Israel, they typically wear a skull cap.  I happen to believe this is unnecessary and silly – but I understand their motivation:  They wish to show respect for local traditions and people.  When I visited Egypt, I walked about dressed in a Galabiyeh for much the same reason.
Perhaps Mr. Wilders has a problem with his queen visiting a mosque in the first place.  This I could understand, but surely he doesn’t expect her to be rude and disrespectful toward people in their own native countries.  If Europeans expect foreigners to respect European traditions in Europe, then they need to set an example by respecting other peoples in their own lands.

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8 Responses to Queen Beatrix of Netherlands wears headscarf on state visit to U.A.E.

  1. “I have no idea why she was visiting a mosque in the first place”
    She was probably trying to “adopt the local culture.” Typical of tourists, yet unsurprising from a European monarch.
    I don’t think that approach works. If the Saudi Ambassador to the USA went into a Evangelical church, it would arise suspicion more than anything else.

  2. destructure says:

    I agree that if someone visits another country they shouldn’t step on any toes. But Islamists have made it clear they wish to impose sharia on other countries. For a sitting monarch to now visit a mosque wearing a head scarf impresses me not so much as a matter of respect but subservience. That’s a very bad message to send. She shouldn’t have gone to the mosque.

  3. Jostein says:

    Greetings Jewamongyou. Completely off topic but I know you and your readers will enjoy this video. It is from a Norwegian documentary series called Hjernevask (brainwash) which explores the politically incorrect side of a number of issues. The episode I link to below includes interviews with, get this, Charles Murray and Richard Lynn among others. Guess what they talk about. The majority of the program is in Norwegian but non scandinavias can find a link to a vimeo page with English subtitles just under the youtube controls.
    I understand that you might not want to click random youtube links from strangers, in which case you might just go to youtube and type “hjernevask +rase” in the search bar.
    Of course if you have already seen this, sorry for the trouble!

  4. She definitely should not have worn the headscarf. People shouldn’t degrade themselves in order to respect peoples traditions. Its good to be polite to a point but not to the point where you degrade yourself.

  5. jewamongyou says:

    Re: SOJ,
    She traveled to THEIR land and entered THEIR place of worship. When in Rome, do like the Romans and so on.

    • I’m not sure why she visited those mosques. I assume she was invited to them. If she had been invited to them I don’t think she should have respected their clothing conventions seeing as she is not a muslim. I would say the same if someone was invited to any other place of worship, I just think people who are not members of a religion should not go through the rituals and customs of that religion.
      But if she had asked on her own to go to those mosques then perhaps she had wanted to put on a headscarf. And so perhaps she has an interest or even fascination with muslim culture. I just don’t know what the background to this story is, why she was there. But if she was their on invitation of someone else I definitely don’t believe she should have took on the customs of a religion that is not her own by wearing a headscarf.

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