Nevertheless, there are other factors, and one of them is the context of reckless mass immigration promoted by globalists and self-vandalising multiculturalists, while another is the plain fact that Mahometan women are under repressive strictures and enforced compulsion in matters of attire as well as in other aspects of life. Heejab may be elegant but there is no gainsaying the fact that Mahometan social codes are oppressive. They need not be in theory, but they are in practice. The present writer might find the veil attractive in the right context, and certainly has no sympathies for feminism, but he is not about to apologise for the stoning of adulteresses in Saudi Arabia.
In the meantime, pertinent to this, the leader of the French National, Madame Marine Le Pen, on a visit to the Lebanon, cordially declined to wear the heejab as a requirement for an audience with the Grand Mufti of the Sooni sect. As she says in the video of the encounter (below) there was no such requirement from the Grand Mufti of Al-Azaar University in Cairo who is the notional head of the Soonis worldwide. Quite properly, given that, Madame Le Pen resisted this gesture of humiliation in Beirut. Her stance underlines yet further the acute polarisations between Islaam and the West at this present time.
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In his study of the cult and mythos of the goddess Athena, the German mythographer Karl Karenyi makes the observation that there are two great feminine archetypes active in the European soul: one is the Virgin Mary, maternal and compassionate, and the other is Athena, combative, intellectual, heroic, wise, severe. In general, he surmises, the former is more deeply rooted in southern Europe and the latter in the north. These are two contrasting modes of the female typical of the Western tradition.
There can be no doubt that Marine Le Pen - her Marian first name notwithstanding - is a manifestation of the second of these types. Indeed, she is one of the most strongly Athenan women to emerge in European politics in recent times. There were certain Athenan qualities one might identify in Mrs Thatcher - the appellation 'Iron Lady' distinctly alludes to Athena, the warrior goddess, clad in her armour - but in other respects Mrs Thatcher falls short of the type and was probably more Nordic or at least Wagnerian. Frau Merkel, who has opened her arms to countless refugees and engineered the immigration crisis that now besets Europe, is, it seems, some beastly perversion of the Marian archetype: Europeans will be gagging on the bitter milk of her teats of succour for decades to come.
The true Athena type is both attractive and formidable. The male gods of Olympos are attracted to her beauty, but she can beat any of them in battle if she is ever assailed. Mrs Thatcher was formidable, but no one could ever accuse her of being beautiful. Marine Le Pen is a very attractive woman, but one knows that, true to type, it is not a beauty to be messed with. She is not maternal, by any means, and is, in fact, somewhat masculine - exactly the characteristics of the goddess Athena. Athena represents a certain potentiality in the European soul. More than any other female politician of recent times, Madama Le Pen is the warrior maiden. It is a type with deep roots in the French psyche, of course. Joan of Arc is the pure type, but it is not an accident that the French erected temples to the goddess Athena after the Revolution. It is a strongly Gallic archetype deliberately counteracting the Marian archetype in French Catholicism.
The following pictures offer views of the many faces of Madame Le Pen. Given the structure of the French electoral system, it is unlikely that she will succeed in her quest to become President of the Republic. No doubt she will excel in the first round of ballots, but in the second round the unholy alliance of the Left and the Centre-Right will collude to defeat her. It would be very surprising - the result of extraordinary events - for there to be any other outcome. C'est la vie.
Harper McAlpine Black