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Jeff Goldblum’s Legitimate Question about Islam

An Iranian woman wears a face mask following the coronavirus outbreak, Tehran, Iran, March 5, 2020. (WANA/Nazanin Tabatabaee/Reuters)

In a recent episode of Drag Race, the panelist, and fantastic actor, Jeff Goldblum asked a contestant who was dressed in a red, white, and blue hijab: “Is there something in this religion that is anti-homosexuality and anti-woman? Does that complicate the issue? I’m just raising it and thinking out loud and maybe being stupid.”

Even as Goldblum was getting the question out, he must have realized that he’d likely waded into politically incorrect waters. The blowback was immediate.

The questions weren’t stupid. Goldblum asked if Islam complicated the performance, he didn’t ask if it defined the performer. You don’t have to be a religious scholar to note that drag shows, popular among gay men and others, might run afoul of Islamic law. One could probably ask the same question about other orthodox faiths.

No thinking person, however, can ignore that nations governed by Sharia law are among the most illiberal in the world. It’s not happenstance.

It was only three years ago that Saudi women gained the right to drive. It was only a few days ago that the Saudis announced that they would stop executing minors. No word yet if women can still be beheaded in the street for religious crimes. Homosexuality is illegal in every majority-Islamic nation in the world. In stricter countries like Yemen, gay men can be punished with 100 whip lashes (if they are unmarried) or stoned to death (if married.) In more liberal Islamic nations like Qatar, home of al Jazeera, homosexuality is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

When Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Columbia University, he famously said that in Iran “we don’t have homosexuals, like in your country.” Which is only true because if the religious police find out you’re gay, they tend to execute you. Iran has probably hanged around 4,000 and 6,000 gay men and lesbians since the 1979 Revolution.

Yet, for some reason, “progressives” are mad at Jeff Goldblum for bringing it up.

I’m sorry, there is no “bravery” in political virtue signaling. If you want to see genuine courage, look to the women who defy the Iranian hardliners and walk Tehran’s streets without a hijab.

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

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