Khamenei Reveals Iran’s Hypocrisy in Treatment of Women

TUESDAY, 24 MAY 2011

InsideIran – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with a group of Iranian women May 22 and asked them to defend what he called “Islamic values” against Western attacks. Ayatollah Khamenei praised the concept of the so-called “Islamic woman” and ordered Iranian and Islamic thinkers and intellectuals to “critique” the West’s notion of the role of women in society.

In a clear order to his followers, Khamenei commanded: “The Islamic Republic must clearly, seriously, and relentlessly attack the wrong Western view of women. The Islamic Republic should fulfill its duty of defending the genuine position of women.”

During this meeting that took place at the Leader’s fortified compound in Tehran commemorating the birthday of Fatemeh, Mohammad’s daughter, Khamenei criticized the West’s record in regards to women’s rights and said, “Westerners claim that hijab is a religious issue and that it should not appear in secular communities, but the real reason behind the opposition of the West to the hijab is that hijab challenges and thwarts the fundamental policy of the West regarding women – namely, exploiting women and promoting moral corruption among them.”

Ayatollah Khamenei called the West’s view of women “oppressive” and added, “The West has been promoting the idea that human beings are divided into men and women with women being exploited, and men being the beneficiary.” The Iranian Supreme Leader continued, “On the basis of this wrong view, if women in Western communities want to have an identity, they must definitely act the way men want them to act. And this insult is the biggest kind of oppression to women.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei praised Islam’s view of women and asserted, “Unlike the West, the Islamic view of the family and women’s position is absolutely clear, and the Holy Prophet of Islam and the infallible Imams have stressed the high position of women.”

Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the Iranian government has adopted an organized policy to implement Islamic laws that isolate and subjugate women. For instance, married women cannot work outside the home without their husbands’ explicit permission. Married women are also barred from traveling if their husbands refuse to grant them permission. Women enjoy far fewer privileges in society and in marriage and could only seek divorce under certain, well-specified conditions, such as harsh, physical spousal abuse or a husband’s addiction to narcotics. But men can divorce their wife or wives – polygamy is legal in Iran — under almost any pretense without much difficulty.

A woman’s value in court, according to Islamic laws, is half that of a man. For instance, a woman’s testimony in court is counted as “half a witness.” And if a woman is murdered by a man and the man is convicted of the crime, the woman’s family must pay the murderer’s family half his blood money in order for the state to execute him.

Recently, a new campaign to marginalize women in society has started. High ranking officials, including the cabinet minister responsible for Iran’s universities, said last month that Islamic rules regarding hijab must be enforced on campuses and that students of different genders shall not occupy the same physical space. It seems that social conservatives would like to segregate Iran’s university campuses as they have done to elementary and high school classes.

 

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