The Star is outraged that only men can attend a concert in Saudi Arabia. What happened to celebrating diversity?

The idea that Toby Keith would perform at an all male concert in Saudi Arabia has the Kansas City Star forgetting everything it has ever published about “respecting diversity” let alone “celebrating” it.

The editorial by Lisa Gutierrez in Thursday’s Star seems to be disguised as a news item, but the hate is palpable from the get-go. She leads thusly, “Toby Keith was one of the few in all of entertainment who would perform for President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.” The inference here is that Keith was somehow at fault for doing something that, in a less hysterical age, any patriotic performer would have been honored to do.

Gutierrez extends the hate to Saudi Arabia. In a wonderfully silly exculpatory bit, she tries to absolve herself of Islamophobia by implying the nation is something of an anomaly in the Muslim world. “Saudi Arabia,” she writes, “adheres to an ultraconservative interpretation of Islamic law,” which means alcohol is banned, and men and women who aren’t related are segregated in public.”

Forgive us if we are wrong, Lisa, but isn’t Mecca in Saudi Arabia? Is not alcohol routinely banned throughout the Muslim world? Do not men and women segregate themselves at many, if not most, public functions in countries across the globe.

In 2016, the Star led one of its many happy, virtue-signaling articles on Islam with this sentence, “Dozens of men kneel to pray in the church gymnasium off Vivion Road.” Where were the women, Lisa?

The numbers from Pew Research Foundation, a liberal but generally reliable source, tell the tale. On the question of whether a woman should always obey her husband, 87 percent of Muslims approved. When asked about gay rights, 87 percent of Germans approved but no more than 9 percent of Muslims in any country surveyed and as little as 2 percent in some.  On the question of whether apostates should be executed, 56 percent of Muslims who approved of Sharia law said yes. Asked whether they held “highly unfavorable” views of Jews, 99 percent of Jordanians and 100 percent of Lebanese sad yes.

Far from being an outlier, the Saudi variety of Islam dominates the western world. “Firm figures are elusive,” Ralph Peters writes in the New York Post, “but estimates are that the Saudis fund up to 80% of American mosques, at least in part. And their goal is the same here as it is elsewhere in the world where Islam must compete with other religions: to prevent Muslims from integrating into the host society.”

The biggest slacker in Logic 101 can sense the dust-up coming when the enemies of sexism and homophobia and the friends of Islam try to hammer out a multicultural Ten Commandments. If nothing else, Gutierrez showed the absurdity of even trying.

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