Mr. Erdogan’s family has been the focus of media attention, in particular his daughter, Sumeyye, who became a symbol for Islamic orthodoxy when she chose to be educated in the U.S. and U.K. rather than remain in Turkey where headscarves are banned in schools. She may pursue a political career if (more likely, when) the ban on headscarves in Turkey’s parliament is lifted.
It may be politically “bro” to buddy up with your “close friend” around your commonalities in parenting daughters. But keep in mind that when it comes to girls, no religion is more hampering of the rights of females or more restrictive of their basic liberties then is Islam. Just visit any one of the 34 million sites that appears in a Google search for “raising Islamic daughters” for specifics on why girls should not, for example, groom their eyebrows, wear high-heeled shoes or pray while menstruating. Never mind the rules on navigating the world.
Even if Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Obama share some fatherly opinions about protecting and promoting their daughters, it’s impolitic, at best, to publicly praise a radical Islamist’s point of view on raising girls.
Because unfortunately, while Mr. Erdogan seems to allow his extremely bright and privileged daughters to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, most Muslim daughters are forced to accept their status as second-class citizens.
I guess today’s topic was double standards, after all.