March 25, 2004


The Gulf Daily News reports:

Veiled women are protecting more than their modesty - they are also less prone to nose and throat cancers because their veils screen out viruses, a Canadian doctor said.

Professor Kamal Malaker said women in Saudi Arabia suffered a low rate of the Epstein Barr Virus which causes nasopharyngeal cancer.

Which nicely balances out the danger of honour killings.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 25, 2004 01:50 AM

Maybe the Epstein Barr virus sounds too jewish to be allowed in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: Bob at March 25, 2004 at 02:12 AM

Next up, a study on how clitoridectomy reduces ovarian cancer!

Posted by: R C Dean at March 25, 2004 at 02:19 AM

Man, they must have some big viruses over there.

Posted by: Doc at March 25, 2004 at 02:57 AM

Seems like I remember the veils also helped protect from bullets to the back of the head in soccer stadiums... unless of course they did something else wrong.

Posted by: Chrees at March 25, 2004 at 03:41 AM

If it protects from nose & throat cancers & Epstein-Barr disease, why is the veil worn only by Saudi women? Clearly Saudi men, as breadwinners with such dependent (& often enough multiple-wife & myriad-children) families should be forced to wear the veil too.

Posted by: ForNow at March 25, 2004 at 03:50 AM

You wouldn't be trying to whip up some racial hatred now, would you?

Any obscenities perpetrated against women in Australia lately?

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 25, 2004 at 05:07 AM

There was a recent report that a lot of those same women were suffering health effects of vitamin D shortage, since they got no dairy in their diet and had no exposure to the sun to permit their skin cells to produce Vitamin D.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 25, 2004 at 05:29 AM

The veil also restricts the vision to whatever is directly in front of the wearer. Is there a picture of that Canadian doctor?

Posted by: Dee at March 25, 2004 at 06:05 AM

And all along I thought cancers were a result of an errant cellular mutation.

Posted by: Forbes at March 25, 2004 at 06:25 AM

Any obscenities perpetrated against women in Australia lately?

Miranda, you are a living obscenity.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 25, 2004 at 06:26 AM

Libertarian Muslims (oxymoron) now have a solution! They now wear blinkers as this stops them getting bad thoughts looking at women.

This solution should sweep the middle east unless the burka is a excuse to control female sexual expression...

Posted by: Rob Read at March 25, 2004 at 06:49 AM

Hate to contemplate the hygiene under the chador of Auntie Fester...
The dress might keep some germs out, but it helps breeding enough to wipe out a small (infidel) nation.

Posted by: Joe Blogger at March 25, 2004 at 07:17 AM

Miranda, the reason your statement is moronic is because abuses against Aussie women (mutilation, slavery, domestic abuse, rape) are illegal and a woman suffering abuse can seek legal redress.

in places like Saudia, genital mutilation is not only legal, but required for a good marriage; woman have no rights in Saudia (can't even drive) and are thus enslaved to their husbands/fathers; can expect to be legally beaten by their male guardians; and if they are raped and this is discovered, it is the woman who is likely blamed and might suffer the death penalty for fornication or adultery.

Genius, your moral equivalence is just astonishing.

I don't like wanton racism either and hate terms like towel-head, sand-nigger etc. I think there are plenty of good Muslims out there.

BUT, your desire to embrace another culture means that you shit on the rights of the women of that culture. You do Arab women no favours by minimising what they suffer.

Unfortunately, many Arab women are complicit in their own subjugation.

For an inspiring read about Arab women (one Saudi) who are calling the men on their abuses, read this:

Posted by: brill at March 25, 2004 at 08:57 AM

Because of pervasive inbreeding,Saudi women wear veils so no one can say for sure a man's mother, wife and sister are the same person.

Posted by: Doug Morgan at March 25, 2004 at 09:41 AM

If the Canadian doctor likes them so much, he can wear them. I just love reading all the justifications for keeping women wrapped up and out of sight. The louder they talk about it, the more idiotic they sound.

Posted by: Teresa at March 25, 2004 at 09:43 AM

Well, they should be more concerned with the fact that the Koran itself allows men to have sex with children:

Posted by: Ali Dashti at March 25, 2004 at 09:49 AM

That's why alcohol is also forbidden there...Did you ever smell a beer fart under one of those burkhas? Deadly!

Posted by: JDB at March 25, 2004 at 10:13 AM

Consider the inhumanity, these Arab women have to smell their own breath 24/7.

Posted by: Deke at March 25, 2004 at 10:16 AM

Brill, you blogfool! The real blog-enemy is Tim Bloghead Blair, not the Saudis!

Posted by: Sortelli Divide at March 25, 2004 at 10:31 AM

Not to get _too_ personal, JDB, but exactly what were the circumstances under which you found yourself smelling a beer fart under a burqha? And whose burqha was it? Yours? Or someone else's?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 25, 2004 at 12:13 PM

"You wouldn't be trying to whip up some racial hatred now, would you?

Any obscenities perpetrated against women in Australia lately?

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 25, 2004 at 05:07 AM"

Ah, I was going to post some stinging rejoinder to this moron, but I gotta go put on makeup, jeans, and a sweater, drive to the job that I have because I'm educated, and then go on a date after work.

Darn. I could be wearing a veil instead.

How Western life sucks...

Posted by: ushie at March 25, 2004 at 10:14 PM

The burqa is only the fashion expression of gender apartheid practices that even protect unveiled women. On a recent trip to London, my daughter and a male friend were kicked out of a public Middle Eastern teahouse because FEMALES WERE NOT ALLOWED. Yes, sure, one might be troubled by this (illegal?) Riyahdization of the West. But the lucky girl may have been spared a coughing fit since the place was thick with hookah smoke. She realized that the Muslim proprietor was really just honoring her as he shoved her out the door.

Posted by: c at March 26, 2004 at 12:52 AM

That was in LONDON?

Posted by: Sortelli at March 26, 2004 at 09:33 AM

Quentin thinks I am a "living obscenity". Must be a Bulldogs fan.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 26, 2004 at 09:39 AM

"You do Arab women no favours by minimising what they suffer."

And what favours are you bestowing, giving vent to another bloghead-sanctioned rant about arabs and muslims, under the guise of some ostentatious tut-tutting about the rights of women.

Any serious attempt to address the rights of women - of any race, creed or nationality - on this blogmire is tantemount to wanking in the wind.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 26, 2004 at 09:44 AM

Sortelli, YES, in London. The irony is that UK Immigration almost incarcerated my daughter the night before because she did not have a work visa to shoot the cover of Russian Vogue (no money is earned and the photographer sent no visa, only a plane ticket). They deported her the next day back to the States, but grudgingly allowed her to sleep over at her hotel. It was that one awful night's dinner that she and her friend tried to get at the Middle Eastern teahouse/ restaurant...

Happy ending: a new Middle Eastern restaurant has opened 'round the corner from home and its Iraqi owner even prepares special dishes for her. Also, Australian Vogue soon...)

Posted by: c at March 26, 2004 at 11:50 AM

Miranda Divide kindly asks that no man or woman on this blog should discuss the rights or the lack of rights of women at home or abroad. She sees us for the sexist, racist, ethnocentric, multiculturally insensitive and simply ignorant bloggers that we are.

Because she is one, she knows that only special people on other blogs have the moral genius and authority to condemn male chauvinism in the West, while "contextualizing" male supremacy in Muslim culture. We bloggers here would make the mistake of seeing one as rather mild and annoying, and the other as brutal and demeaning. Aren't we stupid and hateful to comment on the veil and oppression, when Western women STILL cannot join the Augusta National Golf Club?

Anyway, until we are Naomi-Wolf-serious and find her blogsite, it's none of our business. The importation of immigrant Muslim culture and an Islamist terror campaign being waged against us are obviously beside the point. Completely cretinous tut-tutters, we are

Posted by: charlotte at March 26, 2004 at 02:04 PM