Monday, January 05, 2004

Radical Chic

Two societies, one in Malaysia and the other in France, have started to regulate what people can wear for religious reasons. The BBC reports that the city government of Kuala Terengganu has banned non-Muslim women from "wearing short sleeved blouses, tight jeans, skirts with slits, or skirts cut above the knee" at all workplaces. In addition to observing these restrictions, Muslim women must also wear a "a headscarf drawn tightly about the face". On the other side of the world, the French government has banned the use Jewish skull caps, large crosses and headscarves at publicly funded schools.

In a tangentially related fashion development, the New York Post is reporting that the Al Qaeda has developed an explosive tampon, which may have been the reason for the thorough search of a BA flight focusing on a woman of Middle Eastern appearance.

A she-bomber planned to blow up British Airways Flight 223 over Washington with plastic explosives hidden inside her body, a chilling new report says. U.S. security services told Scotland Yard that the woman — almost certainly linked to al Qaeda — planned to hide 8 to 12 ounces of the material tucked inside her reproductive region, London's Mirror newspaper reported. When the flight was over the nation's capital, the bomber would go to the bathroom, remove the explosives and detonate a blast that would blow the aircraft out of the skies. ...The Scotland Yard source said intelligence information indicated the womb-bomb attack was planned for "sometime over the holiday period." A specific British Airways flight was mentioned.

The Al Qaeda have also introduced explosive footwear for the discriminating Jihadi. "More flights from British airports are expected to be cancelled this week as MI5 and Special Branch hunt two al-Qa'eda terrorists thought to be planning a shoe-bomb attack on an airliner." Whether any of these fashion accessories were worn aboard the ill fated Flash Airways flight out of Sharm El-Sheikh is yet to be determined.

"It was like someone had put people and their luggage together in a grinder," said Sherif Kazim, who spent the morning fishing out debris from Saturday's air crash that killed 148 passengers and crew. A postcard written in French by a passenger but never sent was floating in the carpet of clothes, cracked suitcases, body parts and wreckage from the plane. The postscript read "I think this card will arrive after me."

The United States Army's own entry into the fashion world of the twenty-first century is led by the dickflap. Talk about being dressed to kill. With apologies to Noel Coward, you say she-bomber and I say shoe-bomber. You say skull-cap and I say dickflap. Neither, neither. Either, either. Let's call the whole flight off.