Oh... headscarf, I thought you said burka. Which would be totally fine too, I mean why stop at headscarves? For that matter, why not start with Turbans?
via Daily Caller In an effort to get closer to the local population, American female soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are being encouraged to wear a Muslim headscarf when interacting with civilians. But some question whether the practice constitutes cultural sensitivity or a form of appeasement that is degrading to U.S. soldiers.
Major Kyndra Rotunda, executive director of the Military Law and Policy Institute and AMVETS Legal Clinic at Chapman University, told The Daily Caller that while the women are not being ordered to wear the head scarf, encouragement is tantamount to a demand. “They say they are encouraging women to wear the headscarf when they are out and about and on patrol. But the problem is — and I think anyone who has been in the military understands that being encouraged to do something is about the same thing as being ordered — it really puts them in an uncomfortable position when their commander says, ‘We really want you to do this, technically you don’t have to, but we really want you to do this,’” she said.
Lt. Col. Michael Lawhorn, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, stressed to TheDC that while commanders are encouraging American women to wear headscarves while engaging with civilians, they are not having them wear the headscarf in lieu of their kevlar helmets.
“Nobody is saying, ‘Okay as we head out onto this dangerous street, you wear a hijab instead of your kevlar helmet,’” Lawhorn said. “As women are on some of these engagement teams and they are going to go into places where are going to predominantly be dealing with other women, like giving them medical information or finding out their concerns are in the local community. Local commanders are encouraging them — not demanding, but encouraging — if they feel more comfortable — ‘Feel free to wear a headscarf.’”
Rotunda remained unconvinced, telling TheDC that helmets are always the preferred head wear among soldiers. “Even if it is outreach, you never know what to expect. You really should be wearing your kevlar helmet, it is a safety issue,” she said.
Retired Col. Martha McSally, whose grievance about being forced to wear the Muslim abaya while stationed in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s resulted in 2002 legislation outlawing the practice of making female soldiers wear Muslim religious garb in Saudi Arabia, told The Daily Caller that the sanctity of the uniform should not be sullied with outside accessories like the hijab. “Another thing that makes this inappropriate is that they are wearing it with their uniform,” she said. “All the services have several-hundred-page regulations about what is appropriate and is not appropriate to wear with the uniform, and we have very strict guidelines … You are representing the United States government. You are wearing the U.S. military uniform, and it confuses what you are representing when you add this to the uniform.”
“It is clearly within Congress’s realm to pass another provision like what they passed in 2002,” she said. “If the military on its own doesn’t stop this nonsense.”
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