You are looking at the main reason why Syria was looking forward to Speaker Pelosi's Trip:
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wears a scarf inside Ommayad Mosque during her tour at a popular market in downtown Damascus, Syria, Tuesday April 3, 2007. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Syria on Tuesday, the highest-ranking American politician to visit the country since relations began to deteriorate four years ago. President George W. Bush criticized the trip, saying it sends mixed signals to President Bashar Assad. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
She could have taken a stand for women's rights and stood as an example for all women, but opted to sacrifice her own rights, as to not upset Islam or her guests. It should not have been a problem since Syria has signed the UN's "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women New York, 18 December 1979". Then again, 'All Forms of Discrimintation' does not always mean what the UN had intended:
..... subject to reservations to article 2; article 9, paragraph 2, concerning the grant of a woman's nationality to her children; article 15, paragraph 4, concerning freedom of movement and of residence and domicile; article 16, paragraph 1 (c), (d), (f) and (g), concerning equal rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution with regard to guardianship, the right to choose a family name, maintenance and adoption; article 16, paragraph 2, concerning the legal effect of the betrothal and the marriage of a child, inasmuch as this provision is incompatible with the provisions of the Islamic Shariah; and article 29, paragraph 1, concerning arbitration between States in the event of a dispute. - OHCHR
Pretty handy that Sharia Law. Equal Rights for women as long as it does not conflict with Islam, which essentially exempts the entire Muslim World from this UN Convention. Yet they get to sign it so that the UN can claim it a success.
Now I am advocating that Speaker Pelosi go into a Mosque uncovered if they object to that. More so that she should have explained upfront that she was not wearing a head-covering and that her tour around Damascus should be arranged with that in mind. Better yet, she should have refused to visit Syria as they fail to protect the equal rights of women. How about forcing Assad to visit her in Washington instead.
To tell you the truth, I am surprised that she did this. It all too easily opens her to attacks, like this one.
Update: 4 AprilPhotographer Jamal Saidi calls it as he sees it. Pelosi is wearing a veil.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wears a veil as she visits the tomb of John the Baptist inside the Umayyad mosque in Damascus April 3, 2007. Pelosi met President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday, against White House wishes, to urge Syria to help stabilize Iraq and stop supporting Washington's adversaries in the Middle East. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi - Yahoo News
This is how the rest of the Muslim world will see it. It would be useful for Speaker Pelosi to explain how this is going to help in the fight against terro.
One piece of advice, next time, skip the tour of the mosque, or leave it to the men to tour it.