Here is the short version of a long story in following order:
April 5, 2008: Extremist threatens the Iranian human rights lawyer and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mrs. Shirin Ebadi. They threatened that she would be killed if she continued with human rights work and warned her specially against making speeches abroad.
May 14, 2008: Six Baha’i leader were arrested in Iran. This six men and women, all members of the Baha’i national coordinating group in Iran were taken to notorious Evin prison by government intelligence agents, early morning right from their homes. The seventh member of the national coordinating group was arrested in early March in Mashhad city.
Later, Mrs. Shirin Ebadi and her colleagues offered to defend seven Baha’is.
August 4, 2008: Shirin Ebadi slammed a government bill that ease polygamy laws for Muslim men, irony, Parliament members call it "Family Protection Bill"!
August 6, 2008: Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) [government official news agency] claimed that Shirin Ebadi's daughter has converted to Bahai faith and attacked Ebadi's true intention on defending seven Bahai leaders. Not only conversion from Islam is regarded as apostasy, an offence punishable by death but also Bahai faith outlawed and banned in Iran.
August 7, 2008: Shirin Ebadi denied the article that her daughter had converted from to Bahai faith. She said "These allegations prompted by my legal defense work from seven Bahais. I am proud to say that my family and I are Shiites. In court I will defend the Bahais. Two colleagues of mine and I have accepted their case, although they were not able to see their families."
August 12, 2008: Shirin Ebadi's daughter denied the article and discredited all claims by government news agency.
August 18, 2008: Shirin Ebadi lodged a complaint against Iran's official news agency over the article.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Here is the short version of a long story in following order:
Friday, August 29, 2008
Neil Katz and Jonathan Schienberg have produced this report from Tehran capital of Iran. In following I provide some tips for every reporter who decides to produce report from Iran:
1. Please shave your face. You can't have beard and expect to hear honest answer. Beard is a sign of Muslim fundamentalists, people who usually work in government, military, paramilitary, police force and something related to regime. That's a sign that people wouldn't trust you.
2. Don't ever take camera with yourself if you want honest answer about how people think about Iranian regime and what they want or even what they think of the US. You need know that people can't express their opinions freely in totalitarian atmosphere and there is a constant fear there.
3. Would you tell me, did you have obligation to contact a specific agency to use their guide for your interviews?! I don't know what is your answer but all foreign based reporters should use a guide from that specific agency in Tehran and to have this guide with themselves on their interviews.
This agency belongs to Islamic regime of Iran and people who work there have specific responsibilities. So you better off to use your interpreter and guide, if you can!
4. To get real voices, just take a taxi (we do share taxi rides from a source to a destination, I recommend you to get ride between major destinations which people tend to talk on the taxi like Enghelab Sq to Azadi Sq, Enghelab to Vanak St and so on but not in northern part of Tehran) pop your question or just wait and see how people start complain and criticise everything in Iran, from mullahs existence and their wrong brutal policies to economy, from Ahmadinejad to PMs and altogether...then there you could ask about how Iranian feel about the US.
I have a comment on their report (Iran: Views from the Streets of Tehran report) that Iranian people have been waiting to have good relationship with America for about 28 years. Because most Iranians know that the regime is an Islamic totalitarian regime so there is no connection between people and regime. People just waiting for some kind of force by Allah (as they say) or something else to come and get rid of mullahs. You could see for yourself if you would sit down and talk to them.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
For sure Islamic Iran is the problem for next US president but the question is, what are they gonna do about it? How will they convince Europe not to cooperate with Iran? Most Iranian business partners are European countries like Germany. what the US is gonna do about them? Just take nuclear negotiation process for example. Seriously it looks like a comic strip. Every time there is a session; European diplomats will come out and say Woooohooo, we have good news then two days later real news will come out that Iranian diplomats even didn't bother to type on letter what they want and at the end we will notice that Iranian diplomats stick to their first word and they don't change their nuclear enrichment policy.
Even most Iranians are not in favour of enrichment policy by this regime because they have first hand experience of terrible economy and it's consequences in daily lives. According to different media sources more than 60 percent of Iranians are living in poverty and under poverty threshold. Also they have first hand experience coping with Islamic totalitarian regime.So they don't want to see this regime put their hands on nuclear technology.
Take Islamic Iran's human rights records. Iran leads the world in executing juvenile offenders. Human rights activists, political dissidents, bloggers and anybody who has courage to speak out is facing severe repression, long term prsion and even death penalty.
If anybody doesn't care to see real problem here that's another story but for whom that care to see the problem and acknowledge it, I should say "if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk".
Monday, August 25, 2008
Where the religious values are dominant, gender - issues remain influential at all levels in society. Semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), not differently from the primitive or undeveloped cultures, adamantly conserve their gender-biases. In this article, I try to make clear that gender - inequalities in Islam go beyond the above characters of other Semitic religions.
As I described in a previous article (Non-Mahram), the main reason of gender-inequalities in Islam has roots in a traditional division of society into two groups of "mahram" and "non-mahram."—the maharam group contains the non-marriageable members of family, whereas non-mahram refers to the rest of society.
The two sources of Islam, namely the Koran and "Hadith" (sayings of the Prophet) have not fixed a dress code deeming an Islamic standard of clothing for women. Gender - related restrictions, by which many devout Muslims abide, have been largely exaggerated by influential Muslim fanatics and hence coerce women to abide by an Islamic dress to cover their body from the eyes of a non-mahram.
Beside of Islamic hijab, a series of social norms and attitudes has been emerged in relation to the dogma of non-mahram. For example, a Persian word like "Khirat", as routine as might be, has no real equivalence in modern languages. It defines a man's moral right to defend the taboo red lines around the body of his mahram circle (mother, sister, wife…)--this “moral right” may even lead to honour crimes in Islamic communities.
Non-mahram is a very influential dogma in the Islamic societies. It forms character formation at the level of a collective culture from which we can retrace the footsteps even in Islamic architecture-- palaces, mosques, madreseh (traditional school), all of which are based on a division of mahrams from non-mahrams or gender-segregation. Also, non-mahram’s taboo values have left red lines in the Iranian post-Islamic art, literature and especially in the gender-segregation of school system.
Since Shah Isma’il Safavid decided to impose Shiite sect on Iranian people at the beginning of 16th century, he had to import Shiite Mullahs from Arab countries to help the process of Shiitisation. Facing his rival of the Sunnite Ottoman Empire, the process was for the Shah existentially important. As a state religion, Shiism was violently established with the guidance of the imported Mullahs, who allegedly were the descendents of the Prophet Muhammad. Their Sharia-based teachings of Sharai affected directly urban women, not rural ones.
In general, rural and tribal life in Iran remained relatively intact from the invasion of non-mahram side-effects because influential Mullahs enjoyed living among the urban population and became an elite class under both the Safavids and Qajar dynasties.
As Nikki R. Keddi, author of Modern Iran, described, in Iran and the Middle East, nomadic tribeswomen do most of the tribe's physical labour. They are unveiled and are less segregated than urban women. Rural women also do hard physical work and "reports from the nineteen century indicate that they were mostly unveiled. Veiling has been mainly an urban (and hence minority) phenomenon."
Under the dynasties of Safavid and Qajar, Iran was as late to introduce modern and secular education as gender equality. Educational system was monopolised by clerical power. Teaching was Islamic, limited at lower levels on reading, writing, and learning the Koran and religion. At the end of Qajar dynasty, "madreseh" (a higher school for Arabic and Islamic theology) only received male Muslim children. Since then, madreseh became an educational institution of gender-segregation.
Nikki.R. Keddi wrote "Many functions that in modern states are governmental were carried out in Qajar Iran, as in most traditional Muslim societies, by the ulama (Islamic scholars). These included all levels of education, most forms of judicial and legal activity, and social and charitable services." A combination of social attitudes, values and cognitive behaviour system are made of this long period of religiosity which still influences today’s mind-set of most Iranians. Today, for the IRI, a return to this archaic educational gender- system is vital to prevent any secular and democratic understanding of world view.
Based on the morale of non-mahram, premarital love between a man and a woman passes the level of decency. Despite many love stories and romantic literature in Iranian history, love is considered as a non-compatible feeling with the Islamic culture. In this context, marriage is arranged by the families rather than be based on mutual love and harmony of the two partners. Love and harmony may appear after the marriage. Arranged marriage with no premarital love and harmony gave birth to "Sigheh" (temporary marriage). Sigheh flourishes in Shiite pilgrimage centres where mullahs could be intermediaries; the affair is often regarded as "legalised prostitution." It temporally removes the non-mahran barrier between two non-mahrams.
The idea of sin associated with love is not completely different from other established Semitic religions. The idea implies that women have by nature desire to be looked at, adored and cherished, while men are disposed to non-mahram women and hence a tool of gender-segregation like hijab is necessary.
Love in Semitic religions is rather associated with sin and lust than wisdom and emotion—a pious follower of Jesus--a priest or bishop--would not share his life and emotion with a woman. Legitimate love seems the one for the Truth and Devotion with a spiritual path. This is the level of lifetime love to God. This ambiguous love is often guided by a force greater than a feeling of letting go. Such a love is presented in the Iranian post-Islamic mystic and lyric poesy. Love for a non-mahram, especially a woman's love to a non-mahram, is regarded in orthodox Islam similar to an act of indecency.
Although, women’s right in Islamic societies are more limited, no other Semitic religion permits a woman to be ordained a religious higher rank as a " Mujthaid" (a qualified Shiite religious scholar to interpretation of scriptures), an "Alim" (an Islamic scholar, mainly in Sunni Islam), a Rabin for Jews, or a priest for Christians. These remain in the domain of men. The Catholic Church refuses to even talk about ordinary women as priests. Many Protestant traditions and denominations have done the same, believes Jim Seers in his book, The Religion Book.
For many Iranians and most foreign observers, especially the Western analysts, who know little about the concept and influence of non-mahram’s dogma, a vision of an Islamic society has been mechanically amalgamated with the Islamic hijab. They do not understand the deeper phenomenon beyond hijab which in my views must be classified a toll separating non-mahrams. Division of society based on mahram and non-mahram imposed restrict gender – segregation, whose Islamic hijab is simply a by-product.
In my opinion, non-mahram’s dogma is the moral-based philosophy of gender - segregation in any Islamic societies, whose symbolic emblem produces different forms of hijab according to the original culture and socio- economic conditions. Although, Islamic hijab is today a blockade to woman's freedom and gender-equality, as long as we cannot recognise its origin, we will not be in the right position to free women from this traditional yoke. If we tackle the problem correctly, then we will be able to influence the entire attitude structure of our society to remove all the inequalities from which our women suffer, including Islamic hijab.
Non-mahram’s dogma remains today the main barrier against woman's rights for freedom and equality. An identifiable change in peoples’ values with the criteria of non-mahram must start with recognition of this dogma, which is so complex that easily can go beyond any obvious understanding.
The long-term effects of reluctance and apathy of Iranian intelligentsia toward gender - issues deprived our women from any serious support. So, today the ruling Mullahs can invade people's minds with the norms, values, and criteria of their Gender-Apartheid.
- This artilce is written by Mr. Jahanshah Rashidian, enjoy reading it and share your opinion. I invite him to be part of Rotten Gods. Thanks again Jahanshah.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
On August 17, Islamic Iran celebrated Imam Mahdi's birthday. Besides that whole Mahdi thing is just a fake and foolish story but it seems they truly believe in it and push people to accept it too.
There is a frequent electrical outages these days in Iran but irony is Islamic government decorated streets with lights for Mahdi's birthday. When people were complaining about electrical outages, one of these ayatollahs said "Try to say electricity for Mahdi's decoration"...DUH?!!
These is no such thing as Mahdi, electricity should be used for alive people not fake Islamic imaginary leader!
Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Marashi Shoushtari (the guy that people carry his photo and coffin) died some days ago.
A friend of mine told me last night, "We are so sorry that he is dead but not soon enough. We wish all of them same thing very soon".
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Recently they hanged Mr. Reza Hejazi. He is convicted of a murder due to his confession under torture when he was just 15 years old. They imprisoned him for 5 years then executed him.
Even authorities deceived his family and his lawyer just day before his execution. According to his lawyer, authorities supposed to delay process but later on they hanged him in prison without any notice to his lawyer.
Doesn't it remind you of something? Isn't too barbaric and inhuman? where is decency, peace and human loving part of Islam that so-called moderate Muslims are yelling at world? Just I can't see anything good except evil through these inhuman executions. Where are those moderate Muslims that supposed to condemn these barbaric acts in Islamic countries?!
Now I can draw Allah as a butcher who doesn't have any mean but destroying love between people.
Hat tips Stop.Torturing.Us
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
A fellow blogger, here, wrote a piece over my post and nytimes news about Iranian swimmer who called in sick in Beijing Olympic because another competitor was an Israeli . At the end he asked "Doesn’t their common god forbid lying?"
Very nice question, so let me explain it. Although Islam forbids lying but under some situations it encourages Muslims to lie. There is a concept in Islam called al-Taqiyya which literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of eminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury." A one-word translation would be "Dissimulation."1
The best term to explain al-Taqiyya is diplomacy and as Isaac Goldberg said "Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest things in the nicest way."
Two major branches of Islam Sunnis and Shiites have different view on al-Taqiyya. Shiites practice al-Taqiyya but Sunnies reject the idea of al-Taqiyya and consider it hypocrisy but they practice it whenever there is a need to justify their actions. You can easily find the more recent example of using al-Taqiyya practice by Sunnis in 9/11 terrorist attack. In 9/11 all participant terrorists were Sunnis and they have provided all necessary lies to do what they meant to do. Even if you look at the videos of Wahhabi hatred teachings in UK schools, and their Imams denial after they got caught.
I found Sunnis practice al-Taqiyya but publicly reject it but Shiites just practice it. In my point of view, Shiites are hypocrites and Sunnis are double-hypocrites in this matter. I know Daniel Pipes has different opinion on Shiites and Sunnis point of view to al-Taqiyya but I respectably disagree because I see how they practice in reality rather than just listening to them.
So it's good to know that Allah encourage Muslims to lie if they are vis-a-vis of unbelievers in Allah.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Afghans' homes destroyed by Bulldozers in Shiraz, a central city in Fars province of Iran On August 13 2008 and afghans got arrested by authorities. Later Afghans will be escort back to the border to Afghanistan.
This is part of a new series of aggressive operation against Afghans in Iran. In this policy authorities will forcefully escort most of Afghans to Afghanistan.
If you look at the photos you would notice that in fact Afghans live in shacks, and they don't have access to clean water and basic health services. I should mention that most Iranians don't have access to basic health services too and also Iranian people are fed up with Afghans who do crimes and sell drugs. In fact Iranian people are rejecting illegal Afghans.
According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Iran hosts about 900,000 legally registered Afghan refugees and more than 1.5 million Afghans without a legal status. Most of these Afghans came to Iran in the early 80's during the war with the USSR and then later during Taliban government from 1996 until 2001.
Although International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) assisting the government of President Hamid Karzai in establishing the writ of law but Afghanistan is not an stable country yet specially economically. I should add Afghanistan law has many flaws and abusive due to practicing Islamic law and Sharia law.
Photos from Jame Jam
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ayatollahs are dancing these days in Iran and enjoying the war between Russia and Georgia which Iranian presumed that in fact it's a confrontation between Russia and USA.
So as much as world take times and effort on Russia and Georgia war, Islamic Iran would stay safe from more sanctions and possible air strikes from Israel and the US.
I am reluctant to say anything more at the meantime because it all depends on how Russia and west will play on issue at hand.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Iranian swimmer Mohammad Alirezaei refused to compete because an Israeli was competing. Although he told International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials he was sick but it was a lie. Iranian newspapers proudly reported Alirezaei didn't compete in presence of Israeli athlete. I hope they could examine him right away and find out the truth.
You should know that Iranian athletes have no say in this issue. Let me explain. First of all sport is not just sport in Islamic Iran it is a political element and Iranian fundamentalists use it everywhere and every time they need. e.g. U.S. - Iran soccer match - June 1998
Second, Iranian officials in charge of Iranian teams get their orders right from Islamic Iran's supreme leader office by intelligence services agents related to the office. These orders determine that Iranian athletes could attend or should refuse competition.
Third, Iranian athletes who obey orders and refuse to compete with Israeli athletes will be rewarded very much better than athletes who win medals.
So athletes have no other choice rather than refusing to compete or compete and get punishments by Iranian authorities and even disqualify from sport in Iran.
I never forget that during the Athens Olympics in 2004, Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami said "the Iranian athlete's actions will be recorded in the history of Iranian glories" when Iran's judo world champion, Arash Miresmaeili, refused to compete with an Israeli athlete. What a fool!
This is the whole mentality of Islamic extremist clerical regime and there is no way around it. So it is better that IOC practice very harsh rules against Iranian athletes who refuse to play with Israeli athletes. It's just not acceptable. All athletes should be disqualified and athletes from other countries that did not qualify should be substituted.
That's the way it should be.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Finally here is Iran's Olympic contingent of athletes in Beijing begins with a new controversy in Iran about attendance of female athletes in Olympic!
Today a religious leader speaker in Friday prayer in Mashhad city said to crowd "Our team in international scene shouldn't use a woman to carry Iran's flag because it's against our values and it's a war with preparation of people for upcoming of absent Imam, Mahdi". Ayatollah Alamolhoda continued "Do you (Olympic team officials) know what are you doing? To put a woman in front of team is against Islamic innocent Imams sayings. This is a bold move against our Islamic values. Participation of women in athletic environments are against Islamic values" and so on.
Among 53 Iranian athletes that came to Beijing, only 3 are female, based on Islamic law in Iran they are required to cover their head and body in public but Iranian officials permitted female athletes to take off their Islamic dress if they would be in female only areas. Because Iranian women outfit should cover their body from being seen in public by men so they have denied to attend most sports. They are limited to some sports such as archery, boating, chess, rowing and taekwondo.
Now if I want to answer to Tom Heneghan from Reuters that he asked in his article "Should men-only Muslim teams be barred from the Olympics?" Indeed we should stop them from attending to international scene like Olympics which everyone supposed to be in peace but unfortunately women athletes from these Islamic countries are not.
International community has responsibility towards everyone in this planet and has to use every chance to prove that we care to human rights and we are against any regime who abuses human rights.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
In 05 July, 2008 Islamic Iran regime carried out the first execution of an Iranian blogger, Yaghoob Mehrnehad (Mirnehad) while allegedly accused him of being a terrorist, enemy of God (Mohareb)1 and corrupt on earth (Mofsed fi al-Arz)2. You can read full detail in Stop Torturing Us and my past post, Journalist death sentence in Islamic Iran .
It seems Islamic Ayatollahs covered this crime by announcement of stoning suspension by the spokesperson for judiciary. Sadly, Amnesty International and Human Rights watch organizations didn't even bother to write about the issue. Thanks to Israel Matzav that brought this part of story to my attention. He wrote about unbelievable silence about execution of Yaghoob Mehrnehad and Abdolnasser Taheri in above organizations.
Unfortunately in Iranian blogosphere there are a couple of blogs that are trying to justify recent executions including execution of Yaghoob Mehrnehad and Abdolnasser Taheri and the necessity of practicing executions in society; of course with all their sick Islamic barbaric ideologies and lack of a little wisdom to open their eyes and see how many innocent dissidents have been executed by Islamic regime of Iran so far.
Outcome of those executions didn't do anything but have uprooted freedom in our society by instilling fear. The outcome of this country couldn't be anything better than what it is right now, an Islamic totalitarian chaos which doesn't have any good intention for Iranians except a possible greater damage by confronting with the US and Israel.
Our country Iran and our people deserve very much better leaders than bunch of extreme crazy Islamofacists.
1"Mohareb" means enemy of God and 2"Mofsed fi al-Arz" means corrupt on earth and both are capital punishments under Islamic law in Iran and unfortunately there is a vague definition about these two serious crimes in Islamic law. They can prosecute any dissidents by accusing them enemy of God and/or corrupt on earth. They have done it before, here are two examples:
a. Iran’s Hard-Liners Fight Back With Rally, Death Threats
b. 'Iran After the Elections' Conference