Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Guys On One Bus, Gals On The Other

According to Reuters, South Africa, segregated transportation for Muslims is soon to take place in the city of Kano in Nigeria:

Thousands converged on the Pillars soccer stadium to see the vehicles, which include 100 ten-seater minibuses for women only, 100 motorcycle-taxis for men, and 500 three-wheeler microbuses that can carry only men or only women at any given time.

The motorcycles circled the pitch in a jubilant parade as thousands cheered and chanted "God is greater".

"It's a good development for the ease of the transportation problem. It will also reduce social vices," said Umaru Suleiman, who was among the crowd.

Yeah, you go, Umaru. Anyway, Nigeria is that happy-go-lucky country, which, as you may well remember, erupted in violence in 2002 during a hosted Miss World pageant when a commentator made the grave mistake of joking that the contestants were so beautiful that even the Prophet Mohammed might take a wife from among them. As usual, fundamentalist Muslims took this joke about as well as they take anything, Nigeria exploded in riots, people died, and the Miss World contestants absconded for safety in London, England. London being really safe and all these days, you know.

Nigeria is a grab-bag of problems: social, religious, and economic. Somehow, I don't think keeping old Umaru from sneaking a peek at a chick's bare ankle while riding the bus is going to solve much of anything.