Advancing a Free Society

Khamenei’s Assault on Iran

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In Tehran these days, the heat is on. It has become something of a customary summer spectacle that with the rise in temperature and the onset of summer regime thugs begin to more rigorously enforce compulsory laws on women’s cover. In the words of one of the regime’s most powerful and reactionary clerics, blood must be shed to force women to wear their Islamic head covers. A shocking hike in the number of violent rapes against women in Iran, with a few cases of gang rape, is slowly turning into an embarrassing national issue. Members of the Majlis have begun an investigation. While some clerics blame the women, claiming that the victims’ “loose” demeanor and “open” dress brought this violence upon them, Iranian women’s groups increasingly try to bring international attention to their plight. When, in the future, the history of the rise and fall of Iran’s clerical regime is written, the women’s fight for their rights will emerge as one of the most critical components of the democratic movement. It will be recognized that women were at the vanguard as the most persistent advocates of individual freedom. Though to a casual outside observer, a woman’s fight for the right to show an inch or two of her hair might seem frivolous, it is a fact of history that sartorial freedom is invariably organically linked to the political liberties of a society.

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