“Girls like you inspire me and impress me every single day,” said the first lady of the United States. “When I look out at all these young women, I see myself. In so many ways, your story is my story.”
As the International Business Times reports, that’s what Michelle Obama recently told students at London’s Mulberry School for Girls, an inner city institution where the vast majority of the attendees are Muslims who attend class in full Islamic dress.
While Mrs. Obama’s inspirational message on female empowerment was essentially a positive and uplifting one, the surroundings for her speech could easily be seen as clashing mightily with the content of her address. Breitbart News points out that the London neighborhood known as Tower Hamlets, where the Mulberry School for Girls is located, is not ethnically diverse, nor is the school what you would call inclusive.
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“Tower Hamlets, which only days ago managed to shake off its Islamist-linked Mayor, boasts a Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani, and otherwise Asian population. At the last census, in 2011, 39 percent of the population self-identified as Christian, while 36 percent identified as Muslim,” says Breitbart.
Writing for the website of the British newspaper Daily Mail, commentator Richard Littlejohn points out the startling irony of the address Mrs. Obama gave in a setting where more than 90% of the pupils are Muslim from a mainly Bangladeshi background. These female students, writes Littlejohn, “have no option other than to wear the restrictive clothes imposed upon them by their parents and their religious leaders.”
His piece for the Daily Mail goes on to say: “It was bizarre, to say the least, to watch the wife of the President of the United States preaching equality to a single-sex audience dressed from head to toe in what most of us would consider to be a symbol of separatism, female oppression and a rejection of Western democratic values.”
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Michelle Obama was in London as part of a European tour to promote her Let Girls Learn initiative — a tour on which both her daughters and her mother accompanied the first lady. As Western Journal has reported, critics of Mrs. Obama’s frequent overseas excursions point out that, for this European jaunt, she and her family members have flown on her taxpayer-funded plane, bound for a taxpayer-funded stay at an expensive hotel, where the first lady has enjoyed taxpayer-funded amenities and events.
And now, with Mrs. Obama’s sympathetic comparison of growing up black in America to growing up Muslim in Great Britain, a new level of criticism could be on tap for America’s “inclusive” first lady.
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