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What signal does Barbie's burka send?
The other day, George Jonas passed on to his readers a characteristically shrewd observation gleaned from the late poet George Faludy: "No one likes to think of himself as a coward," wrote Jonas. "People prefer to think they end up yielding to what the terrorists demand, not because it's safer or more convenient, but because it's the right thing . . . Successful terrorism persuades the terrorized that if they do terror's bidding, it's not because they're terrified but because they're socially concerned."
This is true. Resisting terror is exhausting. It's easier to appease it, but, for the sake of your self-esteem, you have to tell yourself you're appeasing it in the cause of some or other variant of "social justice." Obviously, it's unfortunate if "Canadians" get arrested for plotting to murder the artists and publishers of the Danish Muhammad cartoons, but that's all the more reason to be even more accommodating of the various "sensitivities" arising from the pervasive Islamophobia throughout Western society. Etc.
Yet this psychology also applies to broader challenges. By way of example, take a fluffy feature from a recent edition of Britain's Daily Mail: "It's Barbie in a Burka," read the headline. Yes, as part of her 50th anniversary celebrations, "one of the world's most famous children's toys, Barbie, has been given a makeover." And, in an attractive photo shoot, there was Barbie in "traditional Islamic dress," wearing full head-to-toe lime-green and red burkas. At least, I'm assuming it was Barbie. It could have been G.I. Joe back there for all one can tell from the letterbox slot of eyeball meshing.
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