Tuesday, May 1, 2007

21st Century Iran is not Taliban’s Afghanistan

The campaign to enforce full hijab on women has entered into its tenth day and has certainly intensified. In Tehran, the police announced that it has issued warnings to 16,000 women so far for their “lax dress code.” More than 30 women have been arrested and presented to the judiciary for prosecution; while 700 more women have been booked and released after assurances that they would follow the dress code in future. Tehran Police has also issued warnings to some 500 men for lax dress code. No data were available from the provinces.

Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, Tehran prayer leader, asserted that women who do not practice hijab insult the values of the revolution. Khatami failed to say, or understand, that the practice of forcefully putting hijab on women is the biggest insult to women and youths of this country.

The campaign against bad hijab is officially called the campaign against “social disorder,” an Orwellian term created by the fundamentalists and conservatives to reign in the personal freedoms gained by women and the youths in the past decade. The attempts in Talibanization of Iranian society, however, might be the undoing of the country’s social order. 21st Century Iran is not Taliban's Afghanistan. Our women, our youths, our students will not march back to the Middle Ages.

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