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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Iranian human rights doesn't extend to women

Der Spiegel reports on the latest misogynist moves by Ahmedenijad:
Tehran's deputy attorney general, Mahmoud Salarkia, has begun a new drive against "immoral behavior in public" directed largely at the capital city's young female population. The relaxed appearance of many women in Tehran has long bothered archconservative politicians and the country's religious leaders. Headscarves have become shorter and more colorful and among the brave, bare feet in flip-flops are considered all the rage in summer.

But now Iran's feared moral police, founded by Islamic revolution leader Ayatollah Khomeini, are to be strengthened with 50 more patrol groups. They will be equipped with police cars from Germany that should allow the mullahs to monitor "un-Islamic behavior" spreading through the land more closely. Women that show too much hair peeking from their headscarf or wear figure-defining clothing face a fine of around €300 -- roughly a month's salary for a teacher -- or ten days in jail. Taxi drivers that pick up such fashion sinners also face punishment. The expanded patrols are also supposed to crack down on pop music in public and dog owners will be banned from walking their pets -- considered unclean in Islam -- in city parks.

The government's hard line is also feared by Iran's intellectuals, especially after Ramin Jahanbegloo, a prominent Iranian philosopher and writer who also has a Canadian passport, was arrested on charges of "spying and endangering domestic security" last week. The move was condemned by a leading liberal cleric, Mohsen Kadivar, as "completely arbitrary." But Jahanbegloo's detention is likely retribution for his publicly critical comments about Ahmadinejad's notorious anti-Israel rhetoric.

Ahmadinejad, who has been seen kicking around a ball with Iran's national soccer team, has also apparently decided not let his fondness for the sport cloud his conservative agenda. The president had in April surprisingly chosen to allow women fans to watch men's soccer games. But on Tuesday, the Iranian ISNA news agency reported that following intense criticism from clerics over lifting the decades-long ban, Ahmadinejad had reversed his decision.
Speaking of Ramin Jahanbegloo:
A mouthpiece of mullahs daily newspaper accuses detained Iranian intellectual Ramin Jahanbegloo, a prominent thinker and writer on democracy and non-violence, of having links to US and Israeli intelligence services.

"Ramin Jahanbegloo has been linked to the CIA and the Mossad for a while but he has been under surveillance," Jomhuri Eslami newspaper charged, without giving a source.
Yes, this is the country that lectures the US on human rights and morality. This is the country that intends to become a nuclear superpower. This is the country that has explicitly called not only for a world without Israel, but a world without America.