Friday, August 31, 2007

Lack of Mutual Respect

A photo in today’s paper shows the female members of a German orchestra wearing head scarves and shawls while performing in Tehran. I’m quite sure that if female members of an Iranian orchestra were performing in Germany, they would be allowed to wear their Muslim, traditional clothes if they so desired. Why the lack of mutual respect? I can’t imagine that German female performers in an orchestra would wear anything offensive to anyone. This kind of narrow-mindedness verges on racism as far as I’m concerned and is a scary and unattractive side to official Iran.

I remember Easter 1968 when Jerusalem had been occupied by Israel for less than one year. We saw Christian pilgrims return to our hotel for the Easter holidays and felt delighted to have some normalcy return to our business and our lives. As usual, Easter week coincided with the Jewish Passover week, so we also had some Jewish guests in the hotel as well. My husband had bought boxes of Matzah, unleavened cracker-like bread, to serve to his Jewish customers since we were told that Jews do not eat bread during Passover. However, when we served regular bread to our Christian customers, complaints rained down on us from the Jewish clients and their Israeli travel agents. It seems that no one is allowed to eat bread! This reaction to our serving all of our customers in the best way we knew, was our introduction to Israeli intolerance toward others who are different. I disliked the intolerance I witnessed then and will continue to abhor it whenever I see it.



Blogger joladies said...

I so agree. I think so many in the west are bending backwards to accommodate other peoples beliefs and customs (too much sometimes in my opinion). I always try to dress respectably and respectfully whilst in Jordan (age now dictates this!). When I came to Jordan in the sixties the hijab was a rarity but it is now the norm. We seem to have gone to extremes, with the un dressing of many in west Amman and the covering of very young girls and women in other parts of the country. T

Friday, August 31, 2007  

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