You might want to re-read that quote so you’re sure you got it right, because it’s not a typo.

Five months ago, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about 50 miles from where I sit, an Islamic woman was kicked off a city bus for wearing a veil that covered her face.

It really left an emotional scar, because here’s the cover of today’s Grand Rapids Press:

My question is this, and I don’t mean this in a flippant way — at least not intentionally — but how can you be humiliated if nobody can see who you are? I knew a guy once years ago whose job involved wearing the mouse outfit at Chuck E. Cheese. I said “it’s a little embarrassing, isn’t it?” He said, “How? Nobody knows it’s me.” That’s how I view this bit of faux bus humiliation from the Rosa Parks of the burka.

Wait, it gets better. Here’s the story about this incident, and here’s my favorite quote:

“I cannot express enough how this has devastated me. I was hurt. I was humiliated. I wanted to cry,” said Douglas, who broke down in tears while being interviewed. “I didn’t tell my family members. I didn’t tell anyone at first. But I have a daughter and I don’t want her to be ashamed to cover her face.”

Wow. I guess I just can’t understand this line of reasoning. Culture shock? Well, it’s more like culture electrocution.

Even still, she made an impact. Because of this, the bus system rescinded a policy that barred people with face coverings from boarding. Wow, I feel better already. Are you sitting next to a nice Islamic family, or bloodthirsty Mujahadeen on a virgin-quest who are about to jam an IED up your butt? You may never know. And if you never know, it probably wasn’t the latter.

When we travel to other countries, we’re often expected to “play ball” within the rules of their culture. If my religion involved eating bacon the first Saturday of every month, how accommodating do you think the bus system in, say, Indonesia would be to my “religious requirements”?

You probably guessed it, but yes, the ACLU is on the side of the masked avenger and is seeking compensation. They’ll probably get it. I’m expecting the Unknown Comic and anybody who wears a “Fire Millen” bag on the bus to join in as well.

I’m going to put on a ski mask and walk into a bank and see if I can get the same kind of understanding. Hey, it’s my religion. I’m a Picabo Street-ist.


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