Iran's Berlin Wall is Scarf of Women
Nobel Peace Prize went to an Iranian woman this year. On one hand, President Khatami of Iran says Nobel Peace Prize is not that important and on the other hand, his colleagues are speaking that he deserved the Nobel Prize. I would like to ask Mr. Khatami a simple question. Does the woman, who has won the prize, have the right not to wear a scarf on her head in Iran, the same way Mr. Khatami is free to wear mollah's robe as he wishes?
Would President Khatami stop forcing scarf on Iranian women?
It is close to the end of the second term of President Khatami in Iran and he has pretended to be working for reforms in Iran and not only political prisoners are still in Evin prison or on the gallows, in the bigger prison, Iran itself, people have to self-censor themselves when talking about the atrocities of IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran), whether writing in the Iranian press or speaking to the foreign press abroad.
And the most obvious discrimination in Iran is against the women, which is in front of the eyes of any visitor, where anyone can see the Iranian women are forced to wear a veil or a scarf to walk on the streets. The Iranian women had won the right of what to wear almost a century ago and IRI has turned back the wheel of history for 24 years, forcing them to wear veils and scarves again.
This fascist practice has become so "normalized" that even the peace prize winner who did not wear the scarf when outside Iran, said that it is the law in Iran and this is why she wears it when in Iran, and stopped short of saying it is a fascist law, because the judgment by the people is curtailed in Iran to discard this and other similar laws, thus IRI *legally* stones, amputates and does other cruelties against the Iranian people.
Once Ronald Reagan challenged President Gorbachev of Soviet Union to bring down the Berlin Wall. Iran's Berlin Wall is the scarf of Women. I would like to challenge President Khatami to stop forcing scarf on Iranian women. This is the most obvious symbol of IRI Islamist coercion interfering in every aspect of private life of the Iranian people. The second degree citizen status of women is ritualized by the forced scarf symbol and is continued by murdering Iranian women for self-defense.
Of course if any woman wants to wear a veil or a scarf out of choice, that is their right and is not what I am discussing here. The same way that people could have built many walls in Berlin. But the point here is the *forcing* of veil and scarf on the women who otherwise have no desire to wear such clothing.
Hoping for a Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
Oct 19, 2003