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Liberty Cannot be Wrapped in a Hijab

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Everything is a point of contention now that the two political parties have become so polarized on nearly every issue. The annual art contests hosted by Congressional representatives have turned into another contentious hot-bed of politicized controversy.

Earlier this year, Congressman William Clay’s art contest featured a police/riot/social upheaval scene, including police officers depicted as pigs. This painting was too much for two Congressmen—Dana Rohrabacher and Duncan Hunter Jr. of California—and they took down the offensive portrait and returned it to the Congressman’s office. The art contest feud spread throughout the Twitter-verse for a week. Finally, the Architect of the House ruled that the painting had to be taken down since it violated the submission rules.

Recently, another Congressional Art Contest entry has sparked outrage, but not within the corridors of power in Washington DC. In a district office nestled in the heart of reddish-blue Orange County--Santa Ana, California--Congressman Lou Correa has featured a controversial fourth-place finalist’s art work: the Statue of Liberty with bright eyes outlined in black, her head wrapped in a Muslim Hijab. Voters in the district, including members of the pro-immigration enforcement group We the People Rising, have demanded that the picture be taken down. Their argument? It violates separation of church and state. Their pressure on Correa’s office has gotten national attention. Even Pamela Geller and Sarah Palin have demanded that the painting be removed.

I don’t like this painting, either. Lady Liberty in a Hijab is un-American and antithetical to everything that the United States represents. I also believe that while the First Amendment permits all of us to speak out, publish, and present ideas that are controversial and confrontational, there is a certain propriety people should respect. Some statements just should not be made in certain places. Consider this example: In the early 2000’s, a Westminster, CA video rental store owner posted a picture of the bloodthirsty Vietnamese Communist dictator Ho Chi Minh in his front window. The portrait sparked massive outrage within the large Vietnamese community, many of whom had fled Communist Vietnam while millions more were slaughtered by the cruel regime. The owner had the right to post that portrait—but the outrage and disrespect he elicited was so unkind.

Beyond the opposition to “Lady Liberty Hijab” posed by We the People Rising, I see a larger problem. Constitutional liberty is completely incompatible with Islam, yet that picture put the two together. It’s like advertising Jason Voorhees as a fun camp counselor, or Freddy Krueger as the perfect babysitter: a laughable yet dangerous contradiction. A hijab represents the repression of women and immoral domination over them. Sharia law, the complete practice of Islam, mandates that a woman must provide four witnesses in order to establish herself as a victim of rape. Her testimony in court counts for only half of a man’s. Let’s not ignore the misogyny and pedophilia of the Islamic faith’s founder and focal personage, Mohammed.

Instead of a picture of a bright-eyed, made-up Lady Liberty, a more accurate picture would have a woman clad in a hijab with disfiguring wounds all over her face, the result of beatings and acid attacks. These occurrences against women in Islamic countries are all too common, and yet no one seems to care, least of all the Western left-wing feminists who call attacks on Islam “bigoted and anti-woman.”

Then a larger discussion emerges from this picture. To some agitators, our national heritage requires us to accept immigrants from all over the world, including countries with fundamentally different religious and cultural values. Shouldn’t we allow anyone into this country who is fleeing terror and destruction in their home countries? What right do we Americans have to oppose our country’s turning into the Battered Women’s Shelter of the World?

Pro-refugee, open-border fanatics argue from the poem on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.”

Yes, Islamic countries are replete with tired, poor, and huddled masses. The refugees from these want to be free, right? How many of them are Christians? Muslims? How many of them are just seeking a better life? Or are they waging cultural jihad under the guise of economic migrants? Europe’s open borders crises emphasize the dangers of predominantly Muslim refugees flooding another country.

Our leaders should ask: “Why are these Muslim countries such disastrous, third-world hell-holes? It’s all about the very religion which they adhere to. Theocratic, anti-American, anti-Western tyrannical ideologies dominate these countries, acting in full accord with the Koran, which propagates a bestial, repressive hell on earth. Don’t you think that a country which offers respite and relief from tyranny and oppression would want to discourage the very beliefs and values which dominate the refugees’ home countries? And yet we have a painting in Congressman Lou Correa’s office, which features a pre-eminent symbol of Islam—which means submission, by the way—on Lady Liberty, as if they are not only compatible, but complementary.

The painting is borne of the naïve, left-wing indoctrination sweeping our public education system, in which multiculturalism is the only value, and we must celebrate it. The painting sends the wrong message about fostering a country founded on religious pluralism— a value expressly forbidden in the Koran. This is more politics as usual, as Democratic Congressman Correa can foster more conflict and distraction from the other divisive, destructive actions from the Democrats in Congress, including their perverse demand for amnesty for illegal aliens, mass migration, and a secular society which caves to Islam.

Sure, I would like “Lady Liberty Hijab” taken down. More importantly, I would like our federal elected officials to promote an immigration policy which honors the Judeo-Christian, Western values on which our country is founded. How about an immigration policy which places the needs of freedom-loving Americans first, like those yearn to be free from oppression within their own country?

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