Mrs. Bush in the UAE
I really don't know what to say about this. It is so very frustrating when people do things like this, especially when it is out of ignorance. I emailed the author, who, evidence here not withstanding, is not a hateful or stupid person, to explain that this was not a reason to be depressed at all, but happy and hopeful. Just look at how Mrs. Bush's trip was covered in the Gulf News, with three articles, all very positive. [Ed. Bad linking style Brn, it looks like one link try to break up separate links with unlinked text, however I reconstruct as is]
Quite a few conservative blogs commented on a similar line, how it was terrible Mrs. Bush was sitting next to women in abaya's. I think part of the reaction is rooted in the visit Nancy Pelosi made to Syria and covered her hair up. I did not think the fact Nancy covered up was a big deal but the main purpose of her visit was shear lunacy. Also, the Syrian government is secular Baathist and as such is not so concerned about such things. Perhaps it was all done for public consumption. So, when Mrs. Bush appears next to the covered women I think too many people believe it is an endorsement.
I was raised to respect a host's rules and standards. Is there anything wrong with Mrs. Bush doing that?
The main thing though, is such commentary shows no understanding of the United Arab Emirates. I taught on the UAE University's Women's campus for one year. I had students who covered up every bit as much as the women sitting next to Mrs. Bush and I had young women in tight jeans and t-shirts and everything in between.