Date: Sep 13, 2011
A Veil of Disrespect
Anne Applebaum’s "Veiled Insult" first appeared in the Washington Post in 2006. In this essay, Applebaum aims to convince her readers that it is disrespectful for Muslim women to wear their headscarves or niqabs (full bodied cloak) in our western society, just as it is disrespectful for our women to go to their society uncloaked. In delivering her message she also brings to attention the political issue of whether or not it is religious discrimination to allow, or not allow muslim women to wear their cloaks, and in the end she gives us her opinion, “it isn’t religious discrimination or anti-Muslim bias to tell her that she must be polite to the natives, respect the local customs, try to speak some of the local patois -- and uncover her face.” Applebaum uses her personal experiences combined with her American worldview to convince her readers (the American public) that for Muslim women to wear their cloaks in American culture is disrespectful and insensitive. Although those techniques may have worked, her strongest argument is perhaps playing on the emotions of the still sensitive and emotionally scarred, post 9/11 American public.
Applebaum begins her essay with a personal experience describing the “Herd of 20-something backpackers” that she traveled across Southeast Asia with. Applebaum speaks of the respect that she and her colleagues had for the natives by wearing a sarong in the balinese temples so that they wouldn't offend anyone. By using this appeal to ethos, Applebaum immediately informs us of her experiences and credibility on this topic and also captures the attention of her intended audience. Also, this personal experience that Appebaum shared with us was used throughout her essay to make her point that “if we can be respectful to the natives of other countries by wearing what they wear and joining in on their customs than why cant they...