Tuesday, June 13, 2006

And in a place no one would confuse with Paradise...

A Daily Briefing on Iran reports the June 12 march for Women's Rights in Iraq. Also posted are photos of the event and inevitable attacks on the participants by police including the female unit affectionately known as the "Black Crows" (why nobody thought of 'Sharia's Angels' as a monniker I don't know.) The subsequent citations are from several articles posted of linked by Daily Briefing:

It is estimated that approximately 5000 women and supporting men showed up to the General Women's March at Haft'eh Teer Square in Tehran today. The march which was meant to be a peaceful protest against the misogynist rule of the Islamic Republic was slated for 5 to 6 pm Tehran time (9 to 10 am eastern standard time in the U.S.). The participants carried placards, signs and banners protesting the medieval regulations imposed on women and continued to chant slogans supporting women's, children's and human rights.

Among those present at the march were academics, well-known human and women's rights activists, student leaders, members of the greater Tehran bus drivers union etc. who showed up and were arrested. Among those arrested are: beloved poetess and suffragette, 80-year old Ms. Simin Behbahani who is always front and center...

That does it. Ms. Behbahani goes straight to the top of my prayer list! Should I live to 80 I hope I have half her spirit.

Many of the regime's guards and agents were dressed in plain-clothes and passed themselves off as demonstrators until they began to attack and beat the protestors. They had batons, tear and pepper gases as well as all kinds of other chemical agents...

Oddly a group of the activists who were known as the members of the central committee of organizers of the march, both women AND men, were arrested before they even left their houses...

The viciousness of the police attack caused men who were passing by in the street to protest, our correspondent says.
"These are our sisters, how can you do this?" passers-by shouted at police...As the police started making arrests members of the public who had nothing to do with the protest repeatedly shouted: "Leave them alone."

(from Rooz Online)
Last year too on the eve of a similar women’s rally on June 12th, some prominent women activists were summoned to the ministry of the interior (which is responsible for domestic security) and asked to dissuade other women from participating...
The current summons comes at a time when a number of student activists too have been summoned to courts and security agencies, indicating an overall policy of intimidating and controlling protests or gatherings of any nature with political overtones.
This year’s June 12th gathering has so far gained a larger international and domestic support. One example of this is the support of 5 women Nobel Peace Prize winners who have endorsed the rally and called on women of all walks to join in. Since hardliners have taken over all government and political agencies in the Iranian government, including the social and cultural ones, they interpret any public social activity by women to be pressure on the government.

Iranians are living in interesting times. June 12th's roundup also cited a story on Khomeni's grandson's opposition to the current regime. Today's posts just get 'curioser and curioser:'

(From The New York Sun:)
Two scions of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran are emerging as emboldened opponents of the regime in Tehran, reviving the prospect that the son of the former shah may collaborate with the grandson of the ayatollah who deposed him.

In a reversal of historical roles, it was Reza Pahlavi, heir to the Peacock Throne, who was last week in Paris - the safe haven of Ayatollah Khomeini immediately before the 1979 revolution - drumming up support from French legislators for his plan of nonviolent regime change.

Meanwhile, at the spiritual center of Iran's Shiite theocracy, Qom, the grandson of Khomeini, broke a near three-year silence in the press, and publicly gave his support for a Western armed intervention in his country.

And finally, a quote from the Ayatollah Khomeni's will, also posted today at the above site:
..if you think, as some misguided laymen do, that for the Mahdi (AS) to appear, the world must be entirely overwhelmed with cruelty and injustice therefore, to have him appear sooner, cruelty should be promoted, then let us all chime our own death knells. (From God we are and unto Him we return.)
The author of the piece in which it is quoted remarks,
I find it news worthy that the current regime appears to be doing exactly what Khomeni warned against.

Indeed. I never thought I'd be saying this, but bless the old zealot's black-turbaned cranium. On this matter he was positively prescient.



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