Is a Disney-brand Muslim headscarf on the way?

Disney-Princess-Jasmine3 Imane Boudlal has a problem: She is a member of two of the world’s largest religions — Islam and Disney. This became an issue in her life when, several months prior to Ramadan, the Disney World employee asked if she could wear a headscarf in observation of the month-long religious celebration. This was kicked up the chain of command and Disney corporate came back two months later and told her

told she could wear a head scarf, but it had to be designed by Disneyland’s costume department to comply with the Disney look, Qazi said. She was fitted for a Disney-supplied head scarf but was not given a date when the garment would be finished and was told she couldn’t wear her own hijab in the interim.

On Sunday – five days after Ramadan began, Ms. Boudlal showed up to work wearing her own hajib which was notably devoid of anything Mouse-ish. Ms. Boudlal’s job requires her to deal with the public and so her supervisors reportedly gave her the option of removing the hajib, going home or working in a behind the scenes position for the month.

As much as it pains me to do this, I have to side with Disney on this one. They are nothing if not consistent when it comes to employees wearing symbols of competing religions. My resident expert, Mrs. CollateralDamage, confirms that Mousers can’t wear crosses, yarmulkes, saffron robes, or pins saying “Scientology? YES!” on the job (or at least when their job involves working with the public). Above right: Disney’s standard way of depicting Arabic women.

Say it with me folks: “Thou shalt have no Mouse before me for I am a jealous Mouse.”

Still, I love the idea of Disney-designed religious clothing.

That said, allow me to make a few other points about Islamic issues in the news lately.

Wow. I defended Disney and slammed France in the same post. Clearly I am getting the flu that Mrs. CD & CDjr. already have.

White House hopes Muslims will take Sesame Street to U.S.

elmo camoThe Administration is sending Elmo & Ernie to Malaysia in an attempt to recover brand equity lost by the George Bush Desert Classic.

The local version of the children’s show, called “Jalan Sesama,” which translates directly as Everyone’s Street, is beginning production in Jakarta and expected to air later this year after contracts with Indonesian stations are secured. The U.S. Agency for International Development had earlier set aside $8.5 million for 156 episodes, part of $157 million pledged in 2003 by the Bush administration for education in Indonesia, which Washington regards as a key voice of moderation and democracy in the Muslim world.

In addition to Tantan, an orangutuan, and Jabrik, a baby rhino, the show features “Momon, a 5-year-old boy who likes math and drawing, and Putri, a 3-1/2-year-old girl with a healthy dose of curiosity — [who] bear a closer resemblance to Elmo and Ernie from the original show.” Wonder if the show features a version of Bert, Ernie’s “life partner”?

Herewith the show’s theme song (with apologies to Tom Lehrer):

When someone makes a move
Of which we don’t approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first send the Muppets!

We’ll send them all we’ve got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,

What do we do? We send the Muppets!
For might makes right,
And till they’ve seen the light,
They’ve got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
‘Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war,
They’d rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
O we hate that expression.
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Muppets!

Are Muslims the new Irish?

Penguins Employee of the monthThe wonderfully named Virgil Goode — a GOP state rep. in Virginia — has declined to retract a letter in which he warns that unless immigration is tightened, “many more Muslims will be elected” and use the Quran to take the oath of office.

They said the same thing about those damn Papists. And they were right. Democracy’s a bitch, aint it Virgil?

Goode also told Fox News he wants to limit legal immigration and do away with “diversity visas,” which he said let in people “not from European countries” and “some terrorist states.”

Goode’s concerns stem from the election of Keith Ellison to the US Congress from Minnessota. Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to that august group of unidicted co-conspirators, has said he will use the Quran when he is sworn in.

“I will not be putting my hand on the Quran,” Goode said at a news conference yesterday.

I’m sure I speak for many Muslims when I say, “Thank God.”

“It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.” — Mencken.

The Da Vinci news

To pretty much no one’s surprise, reviews for the “Code” are in and are tepid at best (OK, so this one is from the “Catholic News Service,” you don’t think they’d hold a grudge do you?). Imagine my surprise. That said there is some actual news relating to the book that makes Tom Clancy look like a good writer:

  1. “Da Vinci” unites Indian Muslims and Christians In India, “Islamic clerics promised to help Christian groups launch protests if the authorities did not ban the screening of the controversial film.” Let’s try to show it in Iraq and see if that does any good. Can’t really make things worse. I for one am willing to join any protest over the quality of the writing in the book. And Tom Hank’s hair.
  2. Reading “Da Vinci Code” does alter beliefs: surveyThe Da Vinci Code has undermined faith in the Roman Catholic Church and badly damaged its credibility, a survey of British readers of Dan Brown’s bestseller showed on Tuesday.” Reading a book will change your beliefs? Somewhere Martin Luther is laughing his anti-Semitic butt off.

People are now twice as likely to believe Jesus Christ fathered children after reading the Dan Brown blockbuster and four times as likely to think the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei is a murderous sect.

Well, it has certainly altered my faith. My faith in the fact that I had a rough idea of how credulous people are.