Thursday, August 30, 2007


Iranian feminists to be flogged for protesting

How many of us would continue to protest?

Oh, and some of the protesters were given 6 months to 5 years in prison - for protesting polygamy and demanding equal rights.

But should we mention this development lest we're accused of slandering Islam to support the "Zionist war?"

Incidentally, I see events like these as evidence against Andy's pessimism about progress. These women are precisely among the individuals who make change possible - perhaps even more profoundly than these women.

The photo is from the above-linked article.

Believe me, i do not doubt these womens' sincereity and tremendous courage. I hope they do prove me wrong Eric. This is one time I do not want to be right.
Are they courageous or just stupid and masochistic?
In the US, protesters can be arrested and held with no bail, no lawyer, no writ of habeus corpus, and without notification to relatives.
In the US, war protesters can be arrested and held with no bail, no lawyer, no writ of habeus corpus, and without notification to relatives, and the government can seize your wealth and property with no trial or mechanism for appeal.
7:38 and 7:39 are obviously the same person and just as obviously an idiot, a moron, and a jackass that is either lying or just has no clue.
What we need to do is to surgically bomb Iran so that we only hit the floggers while avoiding the floggees.
That ought to appease everyone including Stunich don't you think?
11:13 asked ... Are they courageous or just stupid and masochistic?

They are courageous. Think of the courage it takes to go against that regime. Think of the courage it took for Rosa Parks to protest, or any number of non violent warriors for peace and justice. Maybe their actions will help illuminate their cause to the world and things will start to change.
7:39 wrote

**In the US, war protesters can be arrested and held with no bail, no lawyer, no writ of habeus corpus, and without notification to relatives, and the government can seize your wealth and property with no trial or mechanism for appeal.**

While many aspects of habeus corpus have been diluted by Bush and Co, war protestors still have to right to bail, trial etc.. it's those folks accused of terrorism that are held forever and are denied their rights. Guantanamo is full of them.
It would not only appease me, it would be a justified defense of others even under western law.
An interesting factoid. In some places in the Islamic world it is customary when flogging for some offenses to place and hold a Koran under the armpit so as to not flog too hard. Whether that small bit of mitigation is utilized in Iran is unknown to me.
8:35 - Their cause does not suffer from lack of illumination. We all have some understanding of how they are mistreated. What their cause lacks is the outside support they hoped would stir in people who claimed to care about women's issues. The people who demanded equal rights for American women have largely remained silent when the topic is raised in Muslim societies. Shame on them and their hypocrisy!
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Nonsense Steve. Smoke a few more buds and go back to sleep.
Women in Patriarchal Iran
Between Skepticism, Pragmatism, and Gentle Protest

Although the women's movement in Iran is one of the most progressive and active in the Islamic world, it remains to be seen whether it will truly be able to assert itself in the sclerotic patriarchal system of the Islamic Republic. By Arian Fariborz

A young Iranian woman, dressed as a boy, tries to sneak into the Azadi Stadium in Teheran so she can watch Iran play Bahrain in a Soccer World Cup qualifying game. But her camouflage is detected. She is taken from the stands and banned from the stadium. In front of the entrance gates she encounters other unhappy female fans being kept at bay by male guardians of virtue.

In his film "Offside", which was recently awarded a "Silver Bear" at the Berlinale, renowned Iranian director Jaffar Panahi could hardly have more aptly described the social dilemma of modern women in Iran today. According to official estimates, 60 percent of soccer fans in Iran are women, and the names of their shooting stars are Mehdi Mahdavikia and Wahid Hashemian.

Many of them are better informed about the latest scores of international soccer clubs than their husbands. And yet they are regularly denied the right to watch major live sports events if men are among the spectators or are playing on the field.

Despite a women's sports movement offsides

At the same time sports in the Islamic Republic have long ceased to be an exclusively male sphere. On the contrary, Iran today boasts an official women's sports movement without parallel in the Islamic world. As early as the mid-1980s the mullahs were promoting sports for women and building special sport centers for women in the larger cities.

Fazeh Hashemi, daughter of former president Hashemi Rafsanjani, even regards feminine competitive sports as a milestone for the emancipation of women. The conservative reformer created quite a stir when she founded the first Islamic women's Olympics in 1993, which has since been held in Iran on a regular basis.

But although the younger generation of Iranian women today – unlike the revolutionary mothers of the Khomeini era – highly value sports, from karate to Nordic walking, the restrictions placed on them in the public sphere have scarcely changed over the last three decades.

Women can still only pursue sports only when men are excluded, no matter whether in closed fitness studios, in gyms, or outdoors – and when wearing headscarves. And since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 women have been prohibited from attending male sport competitions and events.

Soccer and politics

But after decades of prohibitions and decrees by Islam's guardians of virtue, Iran's women know best how to circumvent them. Therefore in 1997 radio appeals before the World Cup qualifying game between Iran and Bahrain calling for women to stay away from the game between the two teams fell on deaf ears.

After the 1:0 victory of the Persian national team thousands of Iranian women poured into the Azadi Stadium in Teheran and transformed the close victory over the Arabs into a real celebration together with the men. And in doing so, they probably gave Jaffar Panahi the idea for his profound soccer comedy "Offside".

Events like these highlight the changing self-awareness and self-image of women in Iran today. Contrary to popular Western perceptions, separation of the sexes and the obligation to wear a headscarf do not automatically mean that women are excluded from society.

As a rule the opposite is true, says Iranian feminist Mahsa Shekarloo: "The image of Iranian women is often distorted in Western media and portrayed in the form of two extremes: either as a repressed, passive victim compelled to live a dependent life as a housewife, or as a young, modern rebel who superficially breaks with social and religious taboos".

Strong presence at universities and in professions

In reality, a larger portion of Iranian women are more actively involved in economic and social life today than during the era of the Shah. Nowadays more than the half of the students at Iran's institutes of higher education and universities are female. Also in their choice of professions Iranian women today are in no way inferior to men: They work as physicians, engineers, teachers, and university professors.

And as actresses and film directors they are making a significant contribution to the film and theater culture in their country. They even exert their influence at a political level by running as candidates for the parliament or by letting themselves be elected mayors.

This development derives from the gradual dissolution of the heavy-handed patriarchal family structure of the Khomeini era. The image of women has changed from the Muslim revolutionary and the sacrificing mother during the Iran-Iraq war to the self-empowered, emancipated woman of today, who works to reconcile family and profession.

In addition, the general trend toward modernization in Iran and the rise in economic constraints have further equalized living conditions between women and men. Nowadays, it is often the case, especially in urban centers like Teheran, that both husband and wife have to work in order to make ends meet for their family.

Paradoxically the Islamic dress code appears to have helped women in their education and emancipation. The dress code allows women especially from conservative families to participate in a professional life without having to turn their backs on their culture, writes Iranian publicist Nasrin Alavi. The veil has in part given women in male society more opportunities to participate in and shape society than under the Shah regime.

Cultural instead of structural change

Many women hoped the election of reform-oriented Mohammed Khatami to president in 1998 would bring about a strengthening of their political and above all civil rights as well as the dissolution of the rigid moral laws in the public sphere. But that a president acting within the constitutional constraints of the theocratic system of the "Rule of the Jurists" ("velayat-e faqih") could effect a notable improvement in the legal status of women proved to be an illusion.

"At the beginning women had great hopes in Khatami, but he adhered to the religious state", reports Iranian feminist Hamila Nasgilli. "This meant that he actually could not or did not want to change much. But the women fought really hard. When they then saw that nothing changed under him, they were very disappointed!"

During his eight-year reign Khatami promoted at the most the development of civil society. He thus changed less the political structure than the political culture in Iran. Women activists such as the editor of the magazine "Zanan", Shahla Scherkat, also stress that the Iranian women's movement has always fought tooth and nail for their rights independent of the government.

The fact that women were able to obtain a few freedoms in the male-dominated society is not least of all the result of the efforts of the Muslim emancipation movement.

Today many women place their hopes in Iran's courageous women rights' activists such as lawyer Mehrangiz Kar and Nobel Peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi, especially after the reform Islamists under Khatami gambled away their political credit by neglecting to abolish the massive discrimination against women, particularly in family and inheritance laws, despite the growing professional and family demands placed on them.

Iranian sociologist Farhad Khosrokhavar, who resides in Paris, remarks in this respect that "this discrepancy – subjective similarity between young men and women with a concurrent disparity in legal status – has given women a strong feeling of injustice. Herein lies the roots for a new women's movement which demands equality between men and women in Iran – also in family law."

Tenacious sex segregation

In the eyes of Islamic human rights activists it is not so much the Koran that ignores women's rights but much more the patriarchal customary laws adhered to by Iranian men. They therefore call for a contemporary reading and reinterpretation of the Koran as well as for a reform of the Islamic penal law that would have greater respect for women's civil rights.

In fact, the ambitious women's rights activists have already won a few, albeit modest successes in their fight for equality, for instance in divorce law, in legal regulations for maternal leave, and in labor laws.

Nonetheless very little has changed in sex segregation – no matter whether in public buses, in university lectures, at concerts, or at sports events. Against the backdrop of a patriarchal social order cemented within the framework of the ruling doctrine of the "velayat-e faqih" it hardly seems realistic to imagine that the legal equality of women could be anchored in the constitution in the near future.

Monitoring the women's rights movement

Even twenty-six years after the Islamic "revolution" the judiciary and the Guardian Council watch like hawks over the women's rights movement, whose advances they regularly try to block and label as "un-Islamic" or "Westernized" innovations.

Since now even the last bastion of the so-called reformers, the office of the president, has fallen since the elections last June, and the entire political power is now concentrated in the hands of the conservatives, the women's movement is on more difficult terrain than ever.

Despite Ahmadinejad's radical proclamations to return to the early social revolutionary days of the Khomeini era, Iran's women's rights activists are showing no signs of backing down. They doubt that the government can really succeed in turning back the wheel of history and send Iranian women back to their kitchens. But there is a deep-seated fear and skepticism that the few rights that women have been able to wrest from the male society during the Khatami era could again be nullified.

Arian Fariborz

© 2006

go to for more articles on this subject
Stephen, I've had it. This is not a thread about Israel. Israel is not making the Iranian regime whip these women. You've got a thread about Israel to post in.
Eric said" Israel is not making the Iranian regime whip these women."

Not directly,but the threats coming from the U.S. and Israel do have an impact,inadvertent or not.
That's a stretch Mark. Many countries have been under military threats from the US. The governments don't flog their own women in response. Have you heard of that happening in Cuba? Venezuela?
Where are the rabid American feminists? You'd think they'd be ENRAGED over this issue.

Oh that's right...We have to respect the barbarians cultural right to rape and beat their women.
Here are some.

and more

and more

Womens groups have been fairly consistent on this issue, even where some aspect of the peace and "anti-imperialist" movements have been silent so as to not "feed into the war propaganda." Womens groups are fortunately less willing to sacrifice women for the cause.
Eric V. Kirk said...

"That's a stretch Mark. Many countries have been under military threats from the US. The governments don't flog their own women in response. Have you heard of that happening in Cuba? Venezuela?"

Perhaps not flogging, but have you been following what Chavez has pretty well solidified for himself in Venezuela more than likely as a direct result of our Bush government trying to assure his doom after the last attempted coup?
Of course, we have the Monroe Doctrine to justify it all.
So a loud mouthed obnoxious dictator is OK as long as he is anti- United States? Did your mother drop you on your head?
Let's all thank Eric for once again protecting the Zionist fold but we can do without Eric's lies rationalizing his support of anti-Arab Muslim bigot Andy Stunich.
I don't bother reading Stephen's entries anymore. It's just the same thing over and over.

I might have done the same thing with Andy Stinuch's entries, but I've never been able to get through any but the shortest of them. My mind always wanders to something interesting instead.

Eric, thank you for providing a public forum for the ongoing disagreement between them.
Let's thank Eric for keeping the thread on topic.
As I said, Stephen or anyone else can post anti-Israeli comments in the thread below. But I'm tired of agendas taking conversations away from the topic at hand.
Here's Eric the hypocrite "tired of taking conversations away from the topic at hand" on this thread-- "PALCO asks for another bankruptcy extension"

Eric posted this off-topic comment: How about them Giants?

And this one:
I'm plugging the Giants

And this one:
I don't like the A's.

Off-topic comments are not ok in Eric's opinion unless Eric is posting them..
Steve go take some more drugs and sleep it off.
"This is one time I do not want to be right."

Mr. Stunich need not worry about being right.
What good does it do CPR to just say "you are not right?" How or why is anyone to be persuaded by a simple conclusion with no facts or analysis to support the conclusion. At least I give you the facts and analysis. Find one fact that is wrong or challenge my conclusions with reasoning, but to simply say "you are wrong" is worthless.
Andy Stunich is absolutely right.
Eric V. Kirk said...
"That's a stretch Mark."

If ever a sentence cried out for a comma, it is that sentence.
Thanks for the laugh, 11:12. I'm working late and feeling loopy, but that woke me right back up.
Okay, here's one of Mr. Stunich's statements taken randomly:

"Only complete domination and control of Islamic society by Western culture and the slow dampening and reduction of the influence of Islam over time could ever result in a real, lasting peace in the Middle East."

He states as fact what is merely fatuous conjecture. I admit that it's taken out of context, but it's hard for me to imagine a context in which the statement would not sound ignorant, bigoted and arrogant.

I could find other examples, but I am loath to read more of such awful prose.
CPR - that one stuck out for me as well. Obviously we don't have the right to "dominated and control" any culture (certainly runs against the liberal "prime directive" view of our role internationally), but even if we could set the ethics aside - I don't believe such a thing is possible. If anything the attempt strengthens the fanaticism of the opposition, as we've learned over and over again. In fact, the closest thing we've had to western domination of one of those countries was Iran itself under the Shah, who introduced western values as well as strong arm policies and torture as tools of the very social engineering Andy seems to propose.

But even if he's wrong on that point, Andy does raise some other points that are difficult to argue.
That he raises points "that are difficult to argue," would be no surprise.
Is the preposition necessary in this context?

Argue. Argue against.

Guess so.
"Only complete domination and control of Islamic society by Western culture and the slow dampening and reduction of the influence of Islam over time could ever result in a real, lasting peace in the Middle East."

I do not know why there is a focus on the foregoing paragraph. It is followed in my essay by a statement that it is not within the parameters of what is acceptable to Western democracies. As for whether it could work, the jury is still out. Mustafa Kamal instituted much of what I suggest in Turkey and Turkey has come a long way. The Islamic party in Turkey is making a come back and what the future holds remains to be seen, but the example shows that what I suggest is possible. It is a whole lot more palatable of an option than mixing Western technology and education with a seventh century mind set. We will all come to deeply regret that mix some day. In fact, we already have to a small degree. We call it 9/11. 9/11 was nothing compared to what is coming if we do not wake up.

Some of my points are debatable, but the crux of my essay is that the reason the Arab-Israeli conflict is so difficult to resolve is because it is driven by Islamic doctrine and historical experience. As to that issue, I am absolutely certain that I am correct. I am, to my knowledge, the first one I am aware of that has made that connection and argument. Yet, it seems so obvious to me. Someday someone well known will reach the same conclusion and the obvious truth of my essay will slowly over time come to be the conventional wisdom as to the root cause of the conflict. I am aware that I am a nobody and so I understand that readers are loath to simply accept what I say. I can tell you, however, that if you study Islam and the Middle East on your own long enough and objectively, you will reach the same conclusion I have.
"Someday someone well known will reach the same conclusion and the obvious truth of my essay will slowly over time come to be the conventional wisdom as to the root cause of the conflict."

I'd expect to read that from an essay written by Hitler.
"Some of my points are debatable..."

How very generous of Mr. Stunich.
Mark- it's also a comment that could be made by Gandhi. Or for that matter proponents of the steady state theory in opposition to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
in other words, on Eric's blog as long as it is bashing Islam and Muslims anything goes.
The quote posted by Mark sounds much like the pathetic claims of the Bush Administration. "Someday you'll see that we were right all along. History will bear this out."

What could possibly happen which would someday make the disaster in Iraq look like far-sighted foreign policy?
(insert crickets chirping here.)
So , speak out against our ruthless dictator - George Bush and they'll imprison you under Bush's terrorist act . We ain't no different here , either !
Well, we don't flog women for protesting.
Um,The Ragin' Grannies are considered terrorists under provisions within the Patriot Act.Yes,The Ragin' freakin' Grannies are considered terrorists.Enough said.
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Can you link me to such a statement of Andy's?
Eric you should delete the comment accusing me me of calling local women protesters terrorists. I have never said any such thing nor do I believe it.
Done, although I don't think anybody took it seriously.
To be clear, Stunich argues local protesters are a "quite literally, a criminal gang" whose actions are akin to "Islamic homicide bombers."
SoHum Parlance, Humboldt County's Zionist-Neo-Con Propaganda Central.

Yessir, ladies and gentlemen, see the liberal Left Progressive community infiltrated and effectively neutralized so that no public protest is organized against Israel or Israel's agenda for U.S. war with Israel's enemies.

Bush, desperate now for Neo-Cons to stay in power, is pushing war with Iran so now pushing war with Iran is at the forefront of the Zionist-Neo-Con controlled SoHum Parlance blog. Maybe Progs will wake up to how they are being manipulated, maybe not..
Israel's government isn't particularly threatened by Iran Stephen. Don't blame Jews for our foreign policy. Christians make war pretty well on their own.
Oh, anon, Israel isn't particularly threatened by Iran? Oh, really..

I guess that's because they already took out one Iranian nuclear reactor facility they were paranoid about (while keeping Israeli nukes secretly pointed at all their Arab enemy neighbors)

Imagine, you come into a land not your own and you take the land away from the native peoples there, you kill any of them who resist you that you can get your hands on, you buddy up with the most powerful nation on earth to receive weapons and money to do this genocidal work and then when the natives don't like it and do something to show their intense dislike, you protest to high heaven about "terrorists"..

The religion that teaches its cult members to hate its neighbors and finds itself hated in its own neighborhood has only itself to blame.
Steve I think you have confused the Arabs for the Jews and that the cult you speak of is called Islam.
Once again Eric, I ask that you delete anon 10:32's nonsense. I have never said anything about protesters in general being criminals or anything else.
"While the (Pacific Lumber protesters) claimed to have simply been involved in civil disobedience, the reality will show that they are, quite literally, a criminal gang. That they undertake their actions under the influence of strong political and environmental beliefs does not make their actions privileged or legal. Islamic homicide bombers make the same claim."

Andy Stunich, March 3, 2006
What a weasely lawyerly statement, Andy. No one accused you of saying it 'in general.'
No, anon 11:45, it is you who have no real knowledge of the history of Palestine and modern Israel otherwise you would know that European Jewish converts, Ashkenazis, were the ones who lobbied for and finally got, their wish for an Israel homeland where European Jewish converts can pose as "Semitic Jews" with ancestral ties to a land none of their ancestors ever saw until 1948.

But your lack of knowledge follows the norm with the Cult being the world's best public relations and fiction writers there to misdirect information away from historical accuracy. No wonder you don't know that "Arabs" are the Jewish code word for all those who speak Arabic in the way of the Zionist fantasy of Greater Israel. With the Zionist definition ringing in your ears you don't even know that Palestinians are indigenous to Palestine. Westerners are taught by Zionists to overlook the fact that the Holy Land is comparable to California vs. Nevada and Arizona. The majority population has always been in the more favorable climate of Canaan vs. the desert. Use common sense.
So Anon 1;57 what is it you want? To start rehashing the tree sitter dispute? The tree sitters lost for a good reason - what they did was illegal. My point was that what happens if we all start declaring our own beliefs to be so valid that we get to impose them on others? That is in fact exactly how suicide bombers rationalize their conduct. No, I am not equating tree sitters to suicide bombers. There is a great deal of difference. I found most of the tree sitters to be pleasant and likeable, but they did attract Rodney Coronado who did make threats against my client. The tree sitters cost the county a great deal of money and they did not save one tree. a few tree sitters fell to their death, but not here in Humboldt County.
"...what happens if we all start declaring our own beliefs to be so valid that we get to impose them on others?"

Is he referring to the US occupation of Iraq?
That,and his unnerving desire to see civilians killed in a war and his hopeful occupation of Iran,and the destruction of Islam.
"The tree sitters cost the county a great deal of money and they did not save one tree."

Actually they did. I drive by them every day.

There is a difference between civil disobedience, which is often illegal activity, and being a criminal gang. Maybe Andy Stunich now understands the difference.

As for tree-sitters losing, at least one of them hung the jury. That's not a loss. The civil suit was settled. That's not a loss either.

Rod Corronado and other tree-sitters falling out of trees has no bearing on this situation. Grasp at straws much?
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