End Ban on Female Fans in Iran; Stadiums for All

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Today, over 130 distinguished signatories are calling for “Stadiums for All” and an end to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 34-year ban on female fans in the run-up to the June 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Signatories to the open letter include Alda Facio, Founder and First Director of the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court; Amel Grami, Professor at the Tunisian University of Manouba; Amina Sboui, Tunisian Activist; Åsa Dahlström Heuser, President of the Secular Humanist League of Brazil; Fatou Sow, International Director of Women Living Under Muslim Laws; Fereydoon Farahi, Singer and Musician; Harold Walter Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Hassan Zerehi, Journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Shahrvand Newspaper; Jean-Claude Pecker, Astronomer and Former Director of the Nice Observatory; Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physicist and Cosmologist; Marieme Helie Lucas, Founder of Secularism is a Women’s Issue; Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of One Law for All and Fitnah; Mina Ahadi, Spokesperson of the International Committee against Stoning and Execution; Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Human Rights Activist; Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan; Richard Dawkins, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science; Shadi Sadr, Human Rights Lawyer; Shahyar Ghanbari, Iranian Lyricist, Songwriter and Singer of Persian Pop Music; Siba Shakib, Author and Steven Weinberg, Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physic.

The ban on women in stadiums is yet another example of gender segregation and discrimination against women. For many years now, women in Iran have opposed the ban, including by issuing petitions, organising meetings and protests at stadiums and even risking arrest by dressing as men in order to circumvent the prohibition. This open letter aims to gather further support for women and men in Iran opposing gender segregation and for stadiums for all.

The full list of signatories to the open letter can be found below.

To support Stadiums for All, please sign the petition here and Tweet: #IRWomenStadium.

The ban on female fans in Iran must end. And it must end now. [Read more...]

100 lashes for buttock squeeze or for not dying laughing?

The Islamophobia watch police have been busy criticising French weekly Charlie Hebdo for poking fun at Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, rather than condemning the firebombing of its offices for daring to speak about Islam. The ‘offending’ cover had Mohammad saying ’100 lashes if you don’t die laughing’. This they found completely inappropriate. However, around the same time, two Iranian footballers, face actual lashings for a buttock squeeze (see video below) and the Islamophobia watch police are predictably silent. [Read more...]