Does anyone remember the worldwide furore that was created when, in 1954, Pope Pius XII said: “How many young girls there are who see nothing wrong in following certain shameless styles like so many sheep. They would certainly blush with shame if they could know the impression they make, and the feelings they evoke, in those who see them.”
No? That’s because there wasn’t one.
And what about the outrage across the Western world that was caused by Mary Anne Moresco when she wrote in The Catholic Exchange: “The damage immodest dress does to the purity of a young girl’s soul is like the damage cigarettes do to a human lung: Very slowly, over time, it is left dark and malfunctioning.”
You don’t recall the outrage? Again, that’s because there wasn’t one.
So, one needs to ask, why has the Australian Islamic cleric Taj Din al-Hilali’s outburst about the way women dress hogged the headlines in Australia and, indeed, around much of the Western world for the last couple of days?
Could it have something to do with the fact that he is a Muslim? Could it have something to do with the fact that he is the most senior Muslim in a John Howard-dominated anti-Muslim Australia who has riled the West with his pro-Islamic comments, particularly with regards to the struggles of the Iraqi and Afghan peoples against the Western invaders?
Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, has very skilfully as good as personally promoted further persecution and discrimination against Islam when he said in response to al-Hilali’s remarks: “What should happen and I’ll say it again, is that the Islamic community has got to take this matter in hand themselves, and if they don’t then there is the risk that people will use their failure to do so against them, however unfairly, and I really am asking the Islamic community to come up to the crease and handle this matter themselves.” Otherwise – what, John Howard?
 Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, ‘Modesty in Dress’, CMRI, 21 June 1996. Available online: http://www.cmri.org/96prog6.html Accessed 30 October 2006.
 Mary Anne Moresco, ‘Where Has Modesty Gone?’, The Catholic Exchange, 7 December 2005. Available online: http://www.catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?vm_id=2&art_id=29166 Accessed 30 October 2006.
 John Howard, ‘Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP Doorstop interview, Finley RSL Club’, 27 October 2006. Available online: http://www.pm.gov.au/news/interviews/Interview2207.html Accessed 30 October 2006.