Lorie Byrd

Recently pop singer Gwen Stefani made news by making what she referred to as a “major sacrifice” by performing her concert in Malaysia with shoulders, legs and belly completely covered. The reason for ditching her usual attire, which often consists of short skirts and midriff-revealing halter tops, was in reaction to protests from the 10,000-member National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students who said such clothing would clash with Islamic culture and values and provide a poor role model for Malaysian youth. The revealing costumes routinely worn by Stefani and other performers are not only found offensive by Muslims. There are many Jewish, Christian and other religions and cultures that discourage immodest clothing, too. Some groups representing those religions have even complained in the past about the bad example being set for girls and young women by so many in the entertainment industry.

So why would Stefani respond to the protests from a Muslim group, while ignoring similar complaints from Christian and other groups? About 60 percent of Malaysia's population is Muslim, while those in the United States identifying themselves as Christian is over 75 percent. The reason Stefani would bow to Muslims protesting her dress therefore could not be about numbers.

Maybe it is an example of the squeaky wheel getting the oil and Christian and other groups have just not complained as loudly as some Muslim groups have. Perhaps no other groups have ever directed their pleas for decency in the entertainment industry specifically at Stefani. Speaking of the protests from the Malaysian Muslim group, Stefani said, “I’ve been in the music industry for 20 years and this is the first time that I’m facing opposition from people who have misunderstood me…I’m not a bad girl.”

Michelle Malkin said Stefani is not a bad girl, “just a dhimmi.” “Dhimmi” is a term used to refer to a non-Muslim living in a country ruled by sharia law who entered a contract to pay respect to and acknowledge Muslim supremacy in return for a guarantee of safety. In other words, maybe it is not a matter of Stefani respecting Muslims more than Christians, but rather a matter of fearing them more. Only she knows whether her decision was made more out of respect for another religion and a foreign culture or out of fear for her safety, or simply if this is the only time anyone specifically asked her to cover up her bare parts. It could just be that simple.

Lorie Byrd

Lorie Byrd is a Townhall.com columnist and blogs at Wizbang and at LorieByrd.com.

Be the first to read Lorie Byrd's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.