According to Nasser, the very first demand of the Brotherhood leader was for the hijab to return to Egypt, “for every woman walking in the street to wear a headscarf.”
The audience erupted in laughter at this, then, ludicrous demand; one person hollered “Let him wear it!” eliciting more laughter and applause.
Nasser continued by saying he told the Brotherhood leader that if they enforced the hijab, people would say Egypt had returned to the dark ages (to more laughter), adding that Egyptians should uphold such matters in the privacy of their own homes.
But the Muslim Brotherhood leader informed him that, as Egypt’s president, Nasser himself must enforce the hijab, to which Nasser replied:
“Sir, I know you have a daughter in college—and she doesn’t wear a headscarf or anything! [laughter] Why don’t you make her wear the headscarf? [laughter] So you can’t make one girl, your own daughter, wear it, and yet you want me to go and make ten million women wear it?!” [burst of laughter and applause]
Nasser and wife Tahia, back in an era when the idea of institutionalizing the hijab provoked laughter and ridicule.
Half a century later and none of this is a laughing matter: the hijab, if not the full burqa, is commonplace in Egypt, even as the Muslim Brotherhood—who for decades were banned and imprisoned for trying to return Egypt to an Islamic dark age—are now poised to govern the nation, all under U.S. tutelage.
Whenever I give a speech on Islam, some or other complacenik always says, “Oh, but they haven’t had time to Westernize. Just you wait and see. Give it another 20 years, and the siren song of Westernization will work its magic.” This argument isn’t merely speculative, it’s already been proved wrong by what’s happened over the last 20 years. Compare the Cairo University class of 1959 with those of the 21st century, and then see if you can recite your inevitablist theories of social evolution with a straight face. The idea that social progress is like the wheel or the internal combustion engine — once invented, it can never be uninvented — is one of the laziest assumptions of the Western Left.