i don't mean to make it sound like this post is at all about the veil.. because it isn't.. i don't think this has anything to do with religious custom - at least not in its purest form ie without the influence of politics and radicalism.. because we know that when you mix faith with extremism you don't get religion but rather a cult effect and that's a different story..
in event you needn't be a genius to see that Europe has changed.. like someone who neglected their own democratic diet for decades without any check ups it has suddenly woken up to discover that its freedom of speech has been botched.. its values constrained and its future dimmed..
i remember a different Europe.. when was a kid it was a continent associated with optimism.. with progress.. it was the humble alternative to the American inyourface-ism..
i remember once making a list of dozens of European towns - quite random ones - that i hoped to one day visit - either by cycling across the continent or maybe even hiking..
however the terrorist attacks in paris this past week certainly blew away the veil.. people all over the world stunned like mullets have been left to wonder what remains of Europe.. Germany awash with intense protests harnessed by heavy right wingers to revive old and terrifying agenda as French protesters wave pens in squares to declare their undying loyalty to their liberties.. neither strategies seem to be a genuine strategic response to the new threats that al Qaida and gang have instigated..
france now understands the limits of its freedom of speech one cleric said.. what a chilling notion..
anyway - with this in mind - we went up north this weekend to try and catch some snow time with the kids.. nearing their midday feed we pulled into an arab owned shopping strip and the hostess who seated us was very nice..
i asked her (donning her hijab) whether there was still much snow in the area and she said we should try tzfat (~20 minutes further north).. she said she studied there and that the college was shut due to the storm.. i was quite sure it was a medical college so i asked her if she was studying to become a doctor and she corrected me - it was Hebrew literature she was studying..
yeah - she said she really liked it - turned out she really liked lea Goldberg..
i wished her good luck as we left.. how wonderful.. how natural.. i was almost pissed off that i was surprised..