I would also dare to say that Islam itself, is a war on women, and on humanity.
Iran’s war on women
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Photo: REUTERS
Converging crackdowns on Iranian women last week brought the Islamic Republic’s misogynistic policies into focus.
The theocrats who rule Iran are not happy about Facebook photographs of women tossing off their hijabs and public displays of affection between men and women.
The 1979 Islamic Revolution ushered in laws forcing women to cover themselves with a hijab or nikab and ended, among other harmless displays of affection, lovestruck kisses in public. The outrage over Iranian actress Leila Hatami pecking on the cheek Gilles Jacob, 83, president of the Cannes film festival, last week sent Iran’s clerical establishment and a radical student group into a frenzy.
The Iranian student group Hezbollah, which has ties to the Revolutionary Guards, demanded “the punishment of flogging for her [Hatami] as stipulated in law.” The student organization slammed Hatami for “kissing a strange man,” the Guards-controlled Tasnim news website wrote. The radical student group secured regime support from Hossein Nushabadi, deputy minister of culture. He said Hatami’s appearance in Cannes is “in violation of religious beliefs” and the “Iranian woman is the symbol of chastity and innocence.”
German-Syrian Middle East scholar Bassam Tibi has long argued that the advancement of Middle East democracy is contingent of women rights in the nondemocratic and authoritarian regimes.
All of this helps to explain why the surge of Iranian women seeking to shed theocratic shackles imposed on them by men might signify a slow-moving breakdown of the regime.
Iran’s female dress requirements could meet the West’s criteria for liberty if the aspect of compulsion was eliminated.