Cover your damn eyes

Did you hear the report about the mullah who told a girl to  cover herself properly whilst on his way to the mosque in a VILLAGE(!) in Iran?

Veiling is compulsory there and ‘bad-hejabi’ a form of dissent and resistance.

The girl told him  to cover his eyes, insulted him and beat him so bad he had to be hospitalised.

This in the anti-Islamic backlash I often speak of in my talks.

It reminds me of the mullah who arrived late to a session of the ‘Islamic Assembly’ and said it was because he could not get a cab in his clerical garbs. He had to go home and wear street clothes before anyone picked him up.

As the late Marxist Mansoor Hekmat said:

Clearly, with the rise of the power of political Islam, pressure to revive religious appearances in society intensifies. This, however, is a political pressure. The people sometimes yield to these pressures. This Islamic ‘renaissance’ is backed by violence and terror, which takes one form in Algeria and another in Iran. In Iran, quite the reverse, the reality is that the rise of political Islam and religious rule has caused a staggering anti-Islamic backlash, in both ideological and personal spheres. The emergence of political Islam in Iran has become the prelude to an anti-Islamic and anti-religious cultural revolution in people’s minds, particularly amongst the young generation, which will stun the world with an immense explosion and will proclaim of the practical end of political Islam in the whole of Middle East.



  1. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    I can only hope that the girls aren’t made examples by patriarchal religion-blinded thugs. If I knew where they lived, and thought they would receive them, I would send each of these brave young women a hundred dollars worth of feminist and science books for good behaviour.

      • McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

        Aww, look at that, unabashed privilege…how cute. Apparently you haven’t had to live your entire life being told what to wear and how to act and treated like a second class citizen because of the assortment of sexual apparatus contained (or not contained) in your underpants. It’s going to come out sometime, and if the ones perpetuating the treatment get off with mild beatings (considering that the women can be legally murdered for much less), then the Imam should consider himself lucky.

        This wasn’t a case of a couple of over-indulged Western youths roughing up a random member of non-meddling clergy. Your acting like there’s a parallel is a major part of the problem. Back up women in theocratic cultures willing to stand up for themselves, or bugger the hell off.

          • ibbica says

            I’m pretty sure your use of ‘your’ was OK:

            Your action [“acting like there’s a parallel”] is a major part of the problem.


            You are acting [“are acting” as a verb] like there’s a parallel, and that is a major part of the problem.


      • me says

        I have to agree with you, although it is difficult to judge based on the little bit of information we have about what actually happened. Refusing to comply would have been perfectly acceptable. If he insisted and got physical, she would have had every right to defend herself. Continuing until he has to be hospitalized? Unless she was in similar shape, I can’t see where that is an appropriate response to a verbal reprimand, no matter how stupid the verbal reprimand might be.

        • Tige Gibson says

          People fail to realize that Islamic society tolerates the reverse and under such circumstances a person who feels threatened is apt to respond in kind.

          • me says

            You’re right, I don’t know very much about Islamic society- if there is such a thing (it seems highly unlikely that all Islamic groups condone the exact same behavior). If there is some greater cultural context for this, such as what the consequences might have been for the women if they had simply declined to cover themselves, or how they had been treated in the past, that would be very good information to share with the audience.

            Even in American culture, when an abused wife kills her husband while he sleeps, she just looks like a murderer until you know the details about the abuse. It’s only then that you have the context you need to place her actions appropriately on the moral spectrum. This story is no different. And if I have to be an expert in Iranian culture to have the appropriate reaction to this story, perhaps THAT would be good information to share with the audience. From my sheltered, ignorant (but here trying to learn) American perspective, this man was beaten until he had to be hospitalized, simply because he verbally reprimanded them. In the context provided, what he did doesn’t warrant being beaten. It just doesn’t. And I’m a bit appalled at how many people seem to think it does.

  2. ibbica says

    Is the CNN story accurate? Because I can’t read the original (and Google translate’s not much help), but as usual I’m left a bit confused over details.

    Were these people “girls” or “women”?

    Has anyone reported their side of the story? No, such violence is not appropriate; the girls/women *could* have ignored the man and walked away. (Right?)

    It certainly doesn’t sound to me like this individual was being ‘respectful’ (as he claimed) at all, so much as ‘harassing’ – he told them once to cover up, they responded by telling him to cover his eyes, he took offense at that and told them to cover up a second time.

    Now, my first reaction is to see this setup as a threatening situation for the girls/women. The man’s comment that he wouldn’t press charges but is fine with prosecutors investigating “as long as the case helps the cause of Islmaic hijab” just creeps me right out.

    How much of that is ‘real’, and how much is just my own bias talking? How often are ‘dissenting’ or ‘rebellious’ women physically assaulted there, or punished legally, for not obeying someone’s assessment of whether they’re abiding by the “legal” dress code?

    I’m asking that sincerely – yeah, we all hear horror stories, but there are also plenty of accounts suggesting that Iran’s ‘dress code’ laws are never really enforced, so I don’t really know what to think here.

    • steve84 says

      Women are harassed like that in public all the time. It may not happen every day for each one, but it does happen.

      This also isn’t the first time someone fought back. What’s more remarkable is that the media is reporting it.

    • says

      No, such violence is not appropriate; the girls/women *could* have ignored the man and walked away.

      That’s an easy statement to make when you’re not the one being oppressed.
      At what point is it appropriate for oppressed people to react with violence?

      • me says

        When a peaceable reaction isn’t enough to preserve your rights. Unless he was physically going to make her cover herself, there is no need to get that violent in return. What is wrong with just saying “no” without also putting someone in a hospital? Assuming that was an option. Hard to tell from the story.

      • ibbica says

        Hence the “(Right?)” that I included right after that comment…

        I don’t know exactly what happened. I don’t know whether there was a perception of threat of physical violence from the man in question.

        If you take the man’s word for what happened – which right now is all we have been offered – then no, the violence described was certainly, emphatically, absolutely not justified. Regardless of what other violence has been suffered at the hands of others, and regardless of what is “expected” from others, by others.

        The problem with saying otherwise is, from my perspective: we simply don’t have the whole story. Now I haven’t seen any reference to the girls’/women’s description of what happened, nor that of any other witnesses, so yes, we may be missing information. We have a translation of a description of the events told by a single man (to be fair, some are able to read his original description). But to condone the violence described based only on the information at hand is irresponsible in the extreme.

  3. Brad says

    That’s bloody brilliant. I’m genuinely surprised Hojatoleslam admitted publicly he was beaten up by two women. Makes me wonder if he’s not filing a complaint because the local prosecutor is investigating anyway and this way he gets to look all chill?

  4. Stevenr2012 says

    I hope they’re charged with assault if this was really just some guy heckling them. I also hope that’ll be the end of it, I certainly wouldn’t want a punishment that doesn’t fit the crime.

      • Stevenr2012 says

        You’re right, justice in a place like Iran is probably impossible. My initial post was a gut reaction, I don’t know what really happened but I can’t support the harm of another human being if other options (like walking away) were open. I’m just having problems justifying this.

  5. davidmc says

    I hope they get away with it and the iman realises he isnt worth two women, and in future thinks twice before he tries to oppress anyone else. I wouldnt be suprised if it was only one woman and he exagerated to make himself look less like an oppressor.

  6. says

    I suspect that Mansoor Hekmat may have been dong a bit of wishful thinking there. Iranians may be a bit more secularist than, say, Saudi Arabians, but “an anti-Islamic and anti-religious cultural revolution” is probably still a long way off.

  7. Tumbledown Survivor says

    In any oppressive society there will eventually be a backlash against the oppressors. I hope that the girls or women in this case are not persecuted by the regime.
    I am surprised that the people of Iran have been able to tolerate the pseudo religious regime for so long. However, I am basing that comment on my experience of living in a democracy where freedom of speech and expression is largely acceptable. I assume that it will be difficult to determine the real level of support for the regime and how that support differs between men and women.
    As an atheist, obviously, I have no religion but I can accept that many people do find comfort in their religious beliefs. I find it difficult to understand how a religion based upon the edicts and actions of a mass murderer, thief, rapist and paedophile can attract a following of 1.4 billion. Considering that women generally suffer greatly under Islam, I am amazed that the religion apparently has so many devout female followers.

  8. Kevin Alexander says

    I assume that Iran has some version of Sharia law but I’m not up to date on what value the testimony of a woman is in the eyes of Iranian law. If a woman’s word is worth only half that of a man then this looks like a case of ‘he said, they said’ so it balances.

  9. logicthoughts says

    The girl in Iran beat mullah very bad…but what about millions of girls of the following?

    Americans trafficked by Americans. But I want you to think about young women and even girls that you have seen late at night when you come home from work or a social event. Maybe you have seen them in the streets in short dresses and spike heels. You turn your heads to look away. We do not look at the faces of these young women and girls who are forced to be out in the street. Maybe we think this is what they want to do or they wouldn’t be out there. Maybe it is easier to believe that it is an empowering choice they have than face the harsh reality of child sexual abuse, physical and mental abuse, and the pimps that prey on the young women and girls.
    To understand all aspects of sex trafficking in the United States, you have to open your mind and let go of what you have seen or heard on television. You need to let go of the media’s portrayal of the “joys” of street prostitution, and open your eyes to the violence and control the pimps and sex traffickers exercise over their victims, who are mostly girls and young women.
    ECPAT USA (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes)’, an Anti-Trafficking agency, states that the average age of entry into street prostitution is between 12 and 14 years old, though there have been cases of girls as young as 9 years old.
    I was 14 years old when I was forced into prostitution. Like many teens at that age, finding my own identity and defying my parents were top on my list. So when a man came into my life and showered me with attention and listened to me when I complained about my parents, I did not think twice that he was ten years my senior. After all, he said I was mature for my age and told me I understood him better than anyone his own age. Little did I know, he was laying down the seeds of manipulation. It did not matter what my parents said, to me they did not understand me and he was the only one that “got me”. After six months, I thought I loved him, at least that is what he told me, so I did what I thought my heart was telling me and ran away to be with him. We ended up in Cleveland, Ohio. He told me we were going to meet the rest of the family.
    I had no idea the “family” meant myself and three other girls. After I was introduced to the “family,” I was told what my role would be. I would go out to “work” that night and bring him back the money. How else would we build our dream home? He assured me he would always love me no matter what, but he needed to know how much I loved him by making sure I would do anything for him.
    Later that evening, his friends came by the motel. At first, he told me to have sex with someone. I did not want to so his friends raped me. Afterwards, he said “that wouldn’t have happened if I would have just listened to him at first.” I blamed myself instead of being angry at him for being raped. I was angry at myself for not listening to him in the first place. After that, he picked my clothes out, told me what to wear, what to say, how to walk, what to say to “Johns” and how much money I was to bring back to him. He then forced me to go out into the streets.
    When I first went out into the streets, when I met my first John, I felt like this was something I did not want to do. I walked around the streets back and forth for hours. Finally, I got into a car because we were always being watched and I knew I had to get into a car sooner or later. Our quota was $500 and I had only made $50 that night to give back to the pimp. As a result, he beat me in front of the other girls to make an example out of me and then he made me go back out until I had made the money. This is the same man that took me out to eat, listened to me when I wanted to complain about my parents, gave me words of advice. I was now seeing a side of him that I never saw before — a brutal side where he repeatedly hit me in front of the other girls to teach us all a lesson.
    Not only was I shocked, I was scared. What would happen to me if I did try to leave and who would believe me if I told them what was going on? I worked from 6 until 10 p.m. the next night without eating or sleeping. I came back with the $500, but in his mind I still had not learned my lesson. He sent me back outside until 5 a.m. the next morning. After the second day, he finally bought me something to eat, but as a punishment to learn never to defy him again, he locked me in the closet. Since that night, I was locked in the closet on numerous occasions and had my finger broken which never set right. None of us were ever allowed to see a doctor so we endured our pain by pushing it deep down inside and trying to forget it ever happened.
    I can’t count the number of times people have asked me “why didn’t you just leave?” “Couldn’t you escape?” To that, I simply say “do you ask a child that is kidnapped why they didn’t try to leave?” No, we automatically say they are a victim; it wasn’t their fault. Now I know it was not my fault that a pimp manipulated a child. Under federal law, a child under 18 years who is commercially sexually abused is a victim of trafficking. However under local law a child is charged with child prostitution.
    The pimps who are trafficking young women and girls on the street have a great marketing tool: the media. You can turn on the TV now and see pimps glamorized in TV shows, music videos, and movies. Young people use “pimp” in everyday conversation: “my ride is pimped out,” “your clothes are pimping.” They do not understand the reality behind the term.
    Pimps prey on young women and girls by finding their weakness and then exploiting it. It is easier to manipulate children, and by the time children become adults, they are broken down and dependent on a pimp. After the pimp gets into your mind, it’s easy for him to maintain control, much like a domestic abuser. From then now on you have to call him “daddy” and he will punish you if he feels like you have stepped out of line. You are required to bring him $500-$2,000 every night. You are not a woman, you are always a “bitch” or a “ho” and are reminded of that daily. You are part of his “stable.” If you do not want to follow the rules, then he may sell you at anytime to another pimp.
    Polaris Project, a non-profit anti-trafficking organization in Washington, DC, reported that a pimp who had three young women and girls in his “stable” were each were bringing back $500 every day. Do the math — the pimp was making about $24,000 a month or $642,000 a year tax free by selling sex with girls and young women he controlled and then keeping all the money.
    In the dictionary, the definition of slavery is the “state of one bound in servitude.” If someone sells you to someone else, is that not slavery? If someone forces you to do things against your will and you are not allowed to leave, is that not slavery? Then I ask you why, when pimps traffic young women and girls on the streets of America, isn’t this a form of modern-day slavery?
    What happened to me 15 years ago is still going on today. I now work as a Street Outreach Coordinator for Polaris Project, and I can see that it is not getting any better — it is only getting worse. We see girls and young women every night being forced onto the streets, beaten, and raped to make money for the pimps.
    There are organizations all over the world that work with young women and girls helping them escape from trafficking situations, I urge you to learn how you can stop sex trafficking, in the United States and oversees. To stop the problem we have to understand and help make stronger laws to get these traffickers.
    I hope that next time you see the young women and girls on the street; you will have more understanding of the reality of their situation. Now that you have the knowledge, what will you do with it?

    May God show mercy and bless on Maryam Namzie (let mullah go to hell)

    • says

      Human trafficking is an epidemic so I don’t want to minimize it by singling this out, but…

      You need to let go of the media’s portrayal of the “joys” of street prostitution…

      Huh? Perhaps we have access to different media, but I’ve never seen anything portraying street prostitution as a “joy”. The worst offender I can think of off-hand for whitewashing the realities of prostitution is Pretty Woman and even that didn’t show it as being a “joy”.

    • Duncan-O says

      Aaaaaand what does that have to do with this altercation in Iran? Are you implying that these women are prostitutes since they refused to veil?

      Please realize I am in no way sweeping the issue of human trafficking under the rug…I find it hard to imagine a more profound example of human cruelty. But “logical thinking” would tell us that your post is the classic logical fallacy known as a “red herring.”

  10. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Doesn’t the Koran tell men to avert their eyes rather then see something that might cause them to have impure thoughts?

    A vaguely remember seeing it mentioned, somewhere on the webs.

  11. Thorne says

    I find it difficult to understand how a religion based upon the edicts and actions of a mass murderer, thief, rapist and paedophile can attract a following of 1.4 billion.

    I would be interested to see just what would happen if there were no longer a penalty for apostasy within Islam. It’s easy to maintain a high membership when the alternative is death. How many people would really support the Mullahs and Sharia Courts if they could voluntarily withdraw from the faith?


Leave a Reply