Posted tagged ‘Iran and women’

Why Iran’s supreme leader fears gender equality

April 1, 2017

Why Iran’s supreme leader fears gender equality, American ThinkerHassan Mahmoudi, April 1, 2017

(Many Western “feminists” complain about their abject misery and don “pussy hats” to make their points. They ignore the far worse situations of their sisters in Islamist regimes such as the Islamist Republic of Iran, while proclaiming the benefits of Islamist fundamentalism. — DM) 

The mullahs of Iran and their fundamentalist disciples are not only the enemy of the people of Iran, but also the enemies of all Middle East nations and the entire world.

In particular, in so far as it concerns women, fundamentalism targets and jeopardizes all the achievements that women have made to date.

Therefore, confronting the Iranian regime should be the immediate goal of women’s struggle all over the world. Women’s international sisterhood and solidarity demands that they support the fight against the fundamentalist regime of Iran.

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For the ayatollahs, women’s rights are a matter of puppetry, with yes-women parroting whatever the mullahs’ line for the day is. For Iran’s real women’s rights champions, the picture is very different. They can demonstrate why the ayatollahs are terrified of equality.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in his address to the nation on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, claimed that gender equality is a “Zionist plot” aiming to corrupt the role of women in society. He told a meeting of religious speakers in Tehran that Iranians should resist feminist ideas last March 20.

Khamenei claimed that men and women are equal in the “ascendance of spiritual positions, the power of leadership, and the capability to lead humankind.”

For Khamenei, the occasion of Nowruz, or any national celebration or religious holiday, is nothing but a cynical means of safeguarding his dictatorship. So of course he can make preposterous claims as he did above. In ayatollah-ruled Iran, women’s rights are not about empowering women but just another way to lie to society about state policies. Nothing explains it better than to use the maxim of Adolf Hitler, who said: Make the lie big. Make it simple. Keep saying it, and eventually people will believe it. The ayatollahs use this maxim. But the people in Iran and especially women have never believed his words.

In other contexts, the ayatollah has sung a different tune.

Khamenei said: “the effort to establish equality between men and women was “one of the biggest intellectual mistakes” of the Western world.”

Grotesquely enough, Khamenei has quislings in state women’s groups who echo his sentiment, expressing approval.

One is Minou Aslani, head of the Women’s Basij organization in Iran, affiliated with the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which cracks down on women for any sign of independence. It has called the promotion of gender equality illegal and demanded that the country’s powerful judiciary take action against people who speak out against such state-sponsored discrimination, according to the semiofficial Mehr news agency. On Dec. 06, 2016, she condemned efforts to increase the number of women in parliament. Pushing for greater female participation threatens to “distort” the identity of Iran’s women, she said.

Her ‘thinking’ couldn’t be less like those of normal women’s rights activists operating under great pressure in Iran. In a roundtable discussion called Women in Leadership, the Experience of the Iranian Resistance, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of National Council of Resistance of Iran expressed the authentic reality. I have permission to reprint her thinking in full and share it now:

The Iranian women’s struggle for freedom and equality has lasted one-and-a-half centuries. Iranian and Western historians who have studied the developments of the past 150 years in Iran have clearly attested to this reality.

Over this span of time, we have seen vanguard women who rose up and proved their competence in various arenas despite the reigning culture and policies of tyranny and misogyny. This phenomenon was most significantly demonstrated in women’s courageous participation in the anti-dictatorial struggles over this period.

Women’s struggle is essentially the best and most comprehensive indicator of progress in a given society. How can we measure the advances of a society towards real progress and development? The answer is to the extent it endeavors to achieve freedom and equality.

In the absence of gender equality, any political, economic or social progress would be ineffective, fleeting, or reversible.

From this vantage point, the uprisings which led to the 1979 overthrow of the Shah in Iran marked a major leap forward through women’s remarkable and extensive participation in street demonstrations. This new phenomenon unveiled the Iranian people’s widespread desire for progress. At the same time, it revealed a shocking contradiction:

One the one hand, the ruling regime quickly adopted regressive and despotic policies and caused appalling backwardness. On the other hand, the Iranian society was broadly seeking freedom and democracy, and sought to make social progress and advancements.

Such contradiction led in the first step to a major clash. The barbarity and savagery of the new regime drenched the Iranian revolution in blood.

The Role of Women in the Iranian Resistance

Women’s active participation in confrontation with the mullahs’ religious fascism formed the corner stone and foundation of resistance against the regime.

Quantitatively, women’s participation in this struggle was extensive since the outset. Qualitatively, they were brave, efficient and selfless.

Tens of thousands of women were tortured or executed in the struggle against the ruling fundamentalist regime. These events were particularly transpiring in the 1980s.

If women did not have powerful motivations, and if they had not set their sights on a bright and magnificent horizon, they would have definitely been intimidated by the merciless tortures and massacres that were unprecedented in our contemporary history. But, instead, the clampdown made them even more determined and resolute.

Women’s role rapidly became more pronounced in the post-revolution developments in Iran. They became the pivotal force of the movement.

Today, women hold key and leadership positions in the resistance movement. They make up more than 50 percent of the members of the Resistance’s parliament-in-exile.

The guiding principles of women’s role in the Iranian Resistance can be summarized as the following:

First, the struggle of the women of this movement for equality has been deeply intertwined and connected to the broader struggle for freedom in Iran. Therefore, it has targeted the ruling dictatorship, which is a religious tyranny, while combating its forced religious edicts, misogyny and inhumane discriminations.

Second, they have waged a foundational struggle against objectification of women while defying the gender-based ideology that forms the central tenet of inequality.

Third, women have recognized their mission and mandate in leading this movement while discovering and subsequently implementing in practice the fact that the hegemonic role of women in this perseverance provides a liberating force and propeller.

Fourth, the pioneering women have linked their struggle to the efforts and struggle of the resistant and equality-seeking men of the movement. They see it as an important part of their responsibilities to support the men of the movement in the struggle against inequality and against patriarchal thinking and culture.

The Emergence of Islamic Fundamentalism

Iranian women have gained many valuable experiences in their struggle against the ruling religious tyranny, which is the source of Islamic fundamentalism.

A cursory review of the history of the origins of fundamentalism and its essence will aid us in explaining this point more clearly.

Since the late 18th century and early 19th century, in the geographical region that hosts most of the Islamic countries – extending from North Africa to the Caucuses, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean – under the shadow of major political, social and technological developments in the world, the people engaged in struggles to change their destiny. They sought to gain freedom, independence, rule of the law, as well as economic and social progress. Why did this wave wash over Islamic countries?

In such a setting, several destructive factors set the groundwork for the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism. Ignorance, lack of education and backwardness are, of course, some of the contributing factors. Additionally, however, one can mention the interventions and mistakes committed by western governments in these countries, whose catastrophic effects, including invasions and the displacement of peoples and destruction of national social institutions of the countries of the region produced deep antipathy and a sense of resentment toward western countries. This fact has been verified today by quite a few western thinkers and even politicians.

Western governments gave support to dictatorial regimes and thus destroyed the middle class, produced an uneven economic and social growth, and eliminated nationalist parties and freedom-loving movements in these countries.

The Defining Impact of the Iranian Regime

The ascendance to power of Khomeini and his allies in exceptional and unique historical circumstances marked the exact moment when Islamic fundamentalism as we know it entered the global stage. This was a horrendous power-thirsty and profoundly misogynous force founded on religious discrimination. It instituted its backward sharia laws as a mechanism to establish a religious tyranny, and became a model of governance for fundamentalist groups.

In reality, dictatorships like the previous regime of Iran were too weak and corrupt to be able to stand against the waves of people who demanded freedom and particularly against the power of women and youths.

So, instead, religious fundamentalists undertook the mission to crack down on and suppress them.

The Essence of Fundamentalism

At its core, what does Islamic fundamentalism want to oppose or stand against? Is it the world of Islam lining up against the West or in particular against Christianity and Judaism?

The answer is NO. The truth is that the real dispute is not between Islam and Christianity, Islam and the West, or Shiites and Sunnis. It is, rather, a confrontation between freedom and subjugation, and between equality and injustice.

Islamic fundamentalism, in essence, represents a backlash against the overwhelming tendency of the peoples of the region, especially women and youth, towards freedom, democracy and equality.

Enmity against Women

It should now be clear why fundamentalism focuses its wrath and violence against women more than anyone else. It is because women’s emancipation was the central theme of the demands of the enormous tide of people who sought a new order, freedom and equality.

Women emerged as a new force in the 1979 revolution in Iran and played a remarkable role.

For this reason, the role of women rapidly evolved and became more prominent in the course of the developments after the revolution, turning into the pivotal force of movement and struggle.
They were in the frontlines of resistance in torture chambers; they were in the front lines of demonstrations during the 2009 uprising; and they were in the front lines of the command structure in the National Liberation Army of Iran.

In contrast to this, enmity to women lies at the heart of Islamic fundamentalism and suppression of women is the central component for the suppression of the entire society.

Why did the mullahs need to revive the laws of past millennia in the final years of the 20th Century?

Why did they commit such inconceivable crimes under the name of Islam?

The answer is because they faced a widespread and general desire that could only be confronted and contained by naked oppression.

The Iranian regime innovated most of the cruelties and evil crimes that were later

The Iranian Resistance and its vanguard women launched their fight against a regime which not only was the enemy of the people of Iran but the main threat to the entire Middle East.

We have been warning since three decades ago that Islamic fundamentalism is a global threat.

Over the past 15 years, this threat has emerged in the form of terrorism and conflicts in the Middle East.

Today, we can see that European capitals have not remained immune from terrorist crimes carried out by fundamentalists. Wherever fundamentalists guided by the mullahs enter the scene, their terrorism and destruction quickly begins.

In conclusion, I would like to underscore the imperative and necessity for the entire world to confront this ominous phenomenon.

The mullahs of Iran and their fundamentalist disciples are not only the enemy of the people of Iran, but also the enemies of all Middle East nations and the entire world.

In particular, in so far as it concerns women, fundamentalism targets and jeopardizes all the achievements that women have made to date.

Therefore, confronting the Iranian regime should be the immediate goal of women’s struggle all over the world. Women’s international sisterhood and solidarity demands that they support the fight against the fundamentalist regime of Iran.

In Iran’s Women’s Prisons, Injustice and Atrocity

March 23, 2017

In Iran’s Women’s Prisons, Injustice and Atrocity, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, March 23, 2017

(Please see also, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh: Why the Islamist State of Iran is So Dangerous. What are we going to do about Iran? Where are the “feminists?” Can’t we at least support the resistance movement? — DM)

On a warm day last April, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe dressed her toddler Gabrielle, kissed her parents goodbye, and set off to catch her flight back home to London.

She never made it.

Instead, Islamic Revolutionary Guards apprehended the then-37-year-old at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport and transported her to Iran’s infamous Evin prison, where prisoners are routinely tortured and women subjected regularly to sexual abuse and rape.

In September, the dual British-Iranian citizen, who had been visiting her parents in Tehran before being apprehended, was sentenced to five years imprisonment on vague “national security charges.”

To date, no evidence has been produced to substantiate the charge. Her family believes it stems largely from her work as an executive with the Thomson-Reuters Foundation, whose mission, to “stand for free independent journalism, human rights, and the rule of law,” is not wholly compatible with the Iranian regime. Employees of charitable organizations are also a frequent target of Iranian officials, who often accuse them of being spies.

In the meantime, her daughter, who has British but not Iranian citizenship, remains with her grandparents, while Zaghari-Radcliffe’s British husband, Richard Ratcliffe, continues to fight from the UK for her release.

Iranian arrests of dual-nationals are not uncommon – the current government does not recognize the second nationality of its citizens – and arbitrary arrests on trumped-up charges of spying are a signature of the regime. In addition, women, both Iranian and dual-nationals, increasingly are being targeted as they speak out against the misogyny of their rulers. As the Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) observes, “Under the mullahs’ rule in Iran, women are supposed to stay home and therefore, having any kind of political or civil rights activity is considered a serious crime for women and evokes greater retaliation by the government.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has felt that retaliation. For nine months, she withstood agonizing conditions in solitary confinement: “Every day and every second I would submerge more and more in an ocean of doubt, fear, threat, loneliness and more than anything mistrust,” she wrote in a letter to her husband earlier this month. “… My wails would go unheard in that tiny, dingy, cold, grey cell … In solitary, there was a moment when I realised that there is a level of pain that I hadn’t experience before, a pain thousands of times longer, more overwhelming than child birth, without a happy ending.”

But prison conditions for women, who endure the same forms and level of torture as male prisoners, can be even more horrific. They are raped, groped, and subjected to other forms of sexual abuse. Their genitals may be forcibly subjected to invasive “searches.”  Even their fellow female prisoners can pose a threat: except at Evin, where prisoners are segregated according to the nature of their crime, women prisoners are held together regardless of the charges against them. Consequently, political detainees can be housed “amongst ordinary and often dangerous inmates,” the NCRI reports.

But Evin, where most political detainees are incarcerated, is in every other way far worse than most other prisons. Women are thrown immediately into solitary confinement, where they will remain for months before being released into an overcrowded, vermin-infested women’s ward. And it is at Evin that some of the most horrifying torture takes place, particularly against political prisoners. The NCRI report describes women detainees hung by their hands and feet, subjected to repeated cigarette burns, and suffering beatings severe enough to cause internal bleeding. They may be threatened with rape or execution and, as at all Iranian prisons, denied communication with family or even an attorney.

Conditions are even worse at Qarchak Women’s Prison, where a single hall holds 600 beds for 2,000 prisoners, most of whom therefore sleep on the floor, according to Al-Arabiya. In addition, the NCRI notes, “there is no good drinking water. The prisoners who [can] not afford to buy mineral water have no option but to drink salty water.” And regular inspections of women’s genitals in the name of “security” can be violent, resulting in severe injury. Those who dare protest are subjected to physical torture, or placed in solitary confinement with a “psychologically disturbed prisoner,” reports Al-Arabiya.

Added to this are the abysmal physical conditions of women’s prisons overall, which receive a miniscule portion of the overall prison budget. Most are therefore situated in repurposed warehouses and other abandoned buildings. Some lack walls or roofs. At others, AIDS, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases are rampant, the possibility of contamination made worse by lack of ventilation in the wards.

Yet despite the disease, the abuse, and the injuries that result, political prisoners – male or female – are generally denied access to medical care. Some have gone blind as a result of their treatment. At Evin, Zaghari-Ratcliffe reportedly is having trouble walking, considered suicide, and recently collapsed when finally permitted to visit the prison clinic.

None of this is particularly new. Iran has a long history of abusive treatment of women prisoners, reaching back to the 1980s when virgins were routinely raped before being executed, a practice that became “systematic,” according to the British Foreign Policy Centre. Often, such rapes were justified on religious grounds, based on Quranic verses that describe virgins as inherently innocent. In other cases, female political prisoners were married off to their jailor rapists or even lawyers in exchange for avoiding execution. Such practices continued, according to several reports, well into the 1990s and later.

Moreover, the misogynistic nature of Iranian society makes women especially vulnerable to psychological torture. The Foreign Policy Centre report describes a history of women forced to choose between “confessing” to promiscuity, describing often invented details of their sex lives to their families or even on television, or serving sentences for political crimes they had not committed. Given the possible repercussions women can face for sexual promiscuity – honor killings among them – many have chosen prison. Those who do not, frequently now live, even after their release, in continued fear of the vengeance of family and community.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and family.

Yet even these kinds of choices do not seem to have been made available to Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whose husband provides continuing reports online on her condition. Moreover, because Iran does not recognize her British citizenship, she has had no access to UK consular services, and the British government can do little to help her. Diplomatic pressures may not matter anyway. In 2011, Iran executed a Dutch-Iranian woman despite assurances to the Dutch government that her life would be spared.

Nonetheless, in her March 14 letter to her husband, Zaghari-Ratcliffe described her determination to fight back, despite “my shattered dreams and their broken, empty promises….We shall overcome this pain. Today freedom has got one day closer.”

Iranian Fatwa: Women May Not Ride Bicycles

October 3, 2016

Iranian Fatwa: Women May Not Ride Bicycles, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, October 3, 2016

(When will Obama instruct us that such fatwas by The Islamic Republic’s Imam in Chief have nothing to do with Islam? When will Hillary tell us that Trump’s “fat shaming” of an obese beauty pageant contestant was worse than such fatwas? — DM)

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Iran’s Supreme Leader and autocrat, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has issued an Islamic fatwa regarding officially banning women from riding bicycles. This is only the latest in a growing multitude of activities that the Islamic Republic of Iran had declared haram (religiously forbidden).

A mullah from the Islamic Republic once described the reasoning behind this fatwa to me. He explained that if a male sees a woman in the act of riding a bicycle he would be exposed to her body physique, which will cause him to become aroused. In other words, Iran’s clerics believe that a man cannot control his sexual desires when he sees a woman on a bicycle even when she is fully covered.

Merely for engaging in an activity that millions of women around the world participate in, many women across Iran have recently been arrested. Signs declaring the new law have been installed on the streets reading, “Bicycle riding for women is prohibited.”

This is not the only absurd restriction that the women of Iran must endure. They are also prohibited from watching men’s volleyball games. A British-Iranian woman, Ghonche Ghavami, was detained and jailed in solitary confinement in Evin, notorious political prison, for attempting to watch a men’s volleyball game.

Iran’s President, the so-called moderate, has not raised any objection to this law or similar ones. In fact, under his presidency, the repressive and restrictive laws against women and their inalienable rights have increased.

What are the reasons behind the most recent fatwa and Islamic law? According to the Muslim clerics of Iran, if a man observes a woman riding a bicycle, it will lead to corruption in the society. They list all kinds of terrible consequences, including corruption that will lead to crime, sexual offenses, financial crimes, spiritual infidelity, religious disobedience, and numerous others.

Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out that “riding bicycles often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and thus contravenes women’s chastity, and it must be abandoned,” according to Iran’s state-run media.

So what can a woman do for fun or exercise if she can’t sing, listen to music, ride a bicycle, wear what she likes, etc.? According to the Islamic and sharia laws of Iran, she should focus all of her attention on being a good mother.

This is reflected in the societal belief that women should only stay at home, bear children, raise children, cook, wash clothes, and satisfy the husband’s sexual desires when he comes home after work. There are no pleasures or luxuries allowed for women, aside from the pleasure they are expected to take in serving others.

Ayatollah Khamenei defined women’s only “role and mission” as “motherhood and housekeeping.”

Aside from these ridiculous reasons for issuing the anti-bicycling fatwa, the underlying drive behind the restrictions and lies is the fact that the ruling Islamist clerics desire to exert control through their male-dominated system and religion.

In fact, there are other constitutional laws preventing women from working outside the house. Article 1117 of Civil Code states: “The husband can prevent his wife from an occupation or technical profession which is incompatible with the family’s interests or the dignity of him or his wife.”

In its latest report, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that women’s situation in Iran has worsened. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,

“Women do not enjoy the same rights and privileges as men in Iran. We expect that the next round of the UN Human Rights Council will be dominated by women’s rights issues, which will raise awareness of this issue; we hope to see progress as a result…Two proposed bills which were making their way through the Iranian parliament in 2015 caused outrage both inside and outside Iran. Human rights groups said the bills would set Iranian women back decades and reduce them to ‘baby-making machines’. The bills were drafted after the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, described family planning as an imitation of Western lifestyles, and requested that Iran’s population be doubled.”

Rather than praising Rouhani’s so-called moderate government, it is incumbent on the United Nations and human rights organizations to pay more attention to the increasing anti-woman Islamist laws of Iran that subjugate, dehumanize and oppress women.

Iran Ramps Up Crackdown on Women

May 18, 2016

Iran Ramps Up Crackdown on Women, Front Page MagazineAri Lieberman May 18, 2016

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On Sunday, the Islamic Republic announced the arrest of eight women whose photographs were featured on Instagram. The models reportedly failed to adhere to stifling Islamic style dress codes rigorously enforced by Iran’s oppressive mullahs. More specifically, they posed without wearing religiously sanctioned head scarves designed to cover exposed hair.

Following her arrest, one of the models was forced to appear on Iranian TV in the presence of two prosecutors. Wearing a black head scarf and matching black gloves, she was recorded – almost certainly under duress – sanctioning the government’s Orwellian-like actions, warning other Iranian women that they “can be certain that no man would want to marry a model whose fame has come by losing her honor.” As an aside, when Iranian navy pirates operating off Farsi Island kidnapped 10 U.S. Navy sailors in the Arabian Gulf in January, they forced a female sailor into Sharia compliance, requiring her to don a hijab.

The arrests come in the midst of a yet another government crackdown on social media and dissent. The anti-social media operation, ominously codenamed “Spider II” has thus far netted dozens of models, photographers, makeup artists and other dangerous enemies of the state. Also arrested was Iranian blogger Mahdi Boutorabi who reportedly covered Iran’s rigged 2009 elections. It appears that periodically, the mullahs get bored or insecure and conjure up ways to make the lives of their citizens more miserable.

But the Islamic Republic’s absurdity doesn’t end there. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard bizarrely accused reality star (and not much else) Kim Kardashian-West of being behind the nefarious plot to undermine or otherwise taint the morals of Iran’s young women.

Mostafa Alizadeh, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard’s Organized Cyberspace Crimes Unit stated that, “Ms. Kim Kardashian is a popular fashion model so Instagram’s CEO tells her, ‘make this native.’” He added that “There is no doubt that financial support is involved as well. We are taking this very seriously.”

In February, Iranian authorities engaged in a similar crackdown, targeting a benign rock group known as “Confess.” Authorities charged the group’s members with “blasphemy,” writing “satanic” lyrics and meeting with forbidden foreign radio stations. The charge of “blasphemy” carries a punishment of execution. Others in the Islamic Republic have been arrested and sentenced to lashings for merely appearing in a YouTube video while dancing and lip syncing to Pharrell’s hit song “Happy.”

Conspiracy theories and political and religious oppression are the norm in the Islamic Republic. Let us dispel with the notion that there are “moderate” forces within the Iranian government working to change things for the better. Power in that tyrannical regime vests with two entities – Iran’s “Supreme Leader,” the Holocaust-denying Ayatollah Khamenei and his thuggish henchmen of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij militia.

The Obama administration and its “echo chamber” (as Obama shill Ben Rhodes puts it) would like us to think that there are moderate elements and reformers with whom we can deal. That notion is an absolute farce but continues to gain credence in some leftist circles with vested interests in propagating this false narrative. For example, while the New York Times reported the arrest of the Iranian models, it made sure to qualify its reportage by informing its readers that the crackdown was the work of “hard liners.”

In the meantime, while Ben Rhodes is creating his spin and John Kerry is thanking the Iranians for kidnapping and mistreating U.S. Navy sailors, the mullahs of the Islamic republic continue to crack down on dissent and execute human rights activists, continue to advance their ballistic missile program (in defiance of UNSC resolutions) and continue to cut a path of misery and destruction in the Mideast, from Syria to Yemen.

The administration has done its best to convince the American public that Iran can be trusted to keep agreements. This rests on the false and dangerous narrative that there exists a power struggle in Iran between moderate reformers who have the support of the people and an assortment of hard line religious extremists and anti-Western zealots. Narratives running counter to this fantasy-like version of events are dismissed by the administration.

Even worse, it has now come to light that the Obama administration has asked the Iranians not to publicize their illicit ballistic missile activities for fear of unsettling opponents of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Meanwhile John Kerry is quietly attempting to encourage various European banking institutions to do business with the Iranians despite the fact that the IRGC controls vast swaths of Iran’s economy.

No matter how much spin the Obama administration attempts to place on the merits of the JCPOA and no matter how much it attempts to cover its tracks, it cannot hide the fact that the Islamic Republic is a pernicious regime that cannot be trusted and represents a malignancy that sooner or later will have to be confronted. The only question that remains is whether Iran will have nuclear bombs when that time arrives.

First Nude Protest Against Hijab in the Islamic Republic

April 21, 2016

First Nude Protest Against Hijab in the Islamic Republic, Front Page MagazineDr. Majid Rafizadeh, April 21, 2016

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As many Iranians have told me, and as I myself experienced in Iran from 2000-2009, there is always a way to protest Sharia and Islamic law, even if one lives under a theocratic, despotic, Islamist and authoritarian regime such as the Islamic Republic of Iran. Standing against the draconian laws of the Iranian regime and the ruling mullahs, a young Iranian woman has just demonstrated this in an usual way: by a nude protest.  The repercussions of such an action are very grave under the Islamic law of the Iran.

The Iranian woman in this video is marking the first nude protest in the Islamic Republic. This woman is standing against the barbarian Sharia laws present in the Islamic Republic by writing on her body “I’d Rather Be a Rebel, Not a Slave.”

Several women, whom I have interviewed, have created similar videos, but they are waiting to leave Iran to post the videos. If a women gets arrested by the Iranian police for such an act, she will be tortured, repeatedly raped, and then executed for charges such as “fessad on Ardth,” “corruption on earth,” violating Allah’s, the Quran’s, and the Islamic laws of the Islamic Republic. The crime is also referred to as “muharabeh” “ enmity against Allah.”

In my recently published book, the memoir “Allah, a God Who Hates Women,” I illustrate in detail how the religion of Islam has provided a powerful platform for men, the ruling authorities in Iran, other Muslim countries, and Western Muslim men to dehumanize women, suppress and oppress them, and treat them like slaves. This is all happening while many Muslim women believe that they should follow the rules. Having lived most of my life in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Syria, I came to have first-hand experience regarding the intersection of Islam, the Quran, Muhammad, Allah, Mullahs, Sheikhs, authorities, repression, and women.

The suppression, oppression, and domination of women can reach intolerable levels under Sharia and Islamic laws. Some women decide to protest, rebel and revolt, while others decide to remain silent either due to the imposed fear of Allah (the God created by Muslim men) or due to materialistic gains that they achieve by following Islamic laws.

The religion of Islam provides the language for men to dominate women by the Sharia law, which takes possession of women’s bodies. The domination begins once a girl is born.

We should also remember that Islam infiltrates a political establishment and social beliefs very meticulously and often covertly. For example, before Sharia law was imposed on the Iranian population, almost no one would have thought — and in fact people ridiculed the idea — that Islamic law might be instituted in Iran. No one would have thought that a modern secular and civilized country might, all of a sudden, go thousands of years back to an uncivilized legal system.

No one would have thought that compulsory hijab would be imposed, that the legal marriage age for girls would be dropped from 18 to 9 years old, that speaking your mind or criticizing Islam, Muhammad or Allah would lead to execution, that the weight of the testimony of women would be half of that of men.

No one would have thought that the religion of Islam would take over so fast. But that is exactly what happened repeatedly, not only in the Islamic Republic, but also in many other places. The Islamists look for the momentum, and before anyone notices, they spread their local Sharia laws to larger social, political, and economic establishments and then they establish their Islamist judicial system, an Islamist army, and Islamist executive and legislative branches to advance their ideological principles by force.

When many liberal politicians, leaders, or scholars laugh at the idea that Islam might penetrate Western society and that Sharia law might infiltrate the social and political establishments of Western democratic countries, they have to take another look at history and concrete examples.

Finally, we should remember that President Obama is releasing billions of dollars to the same Iranian regime that does not grant its citizens basic human rights, does not allow them to wear what they like, to dance, or to listen to the music they desire.  We are giving money to the same regime that is ranked number one in rate of executions. We are giving money to the same regime that will execute women for asking for their rights. But regardless of the appeasement policy of President Obama towards the ruling clerics, many people in Iran will continue to stand against and resist the despotic and barbarian Islamist laws of Iran until either the regime is overthrown or completely reformed.