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Iran's War on Women By: Manda Zand Ervin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, October 10, 2007

When the women of Iran risk their own lives and that of their children and husbands to commit an illegal act of assembly for a peaceful demonstration against the unjust laws of the Islamist regime, they hope that the world is listening and supports them in their struggle for freedom and emancipation. But the world seems to be turning a blind eye to their pleas and when they get beaten, arrested and thrown in prisons, not a single government or NGO make an attempt to speak out in defense of their human rights.

Sean Penn went to Iran to see things for himself; he met with the some of the highest authorities and members of the Islamic regime, only to come back to the U.S. and proclaim that the regime of Iran may not look good to the west but they are the choice of the people of Iran and that must be respected. He did not go to Iran with an open mind or with the intention of really grasping the real issues facing the average Iranian, and to consider their pain. Actually when asked, he said they were like Iraqis. It just so happened that during his few days in Iran he showed up for one of the more noteworthy demonstrations organized by women’s rights groups who assembled in front of the Tehran University to protest the Islamic regime’s misogynist rule. Mr. Penn who can pass for an Iranian was assaulted and had his camera taken away from him by the Basijis who were mobilized to confront the demonstrators.

When the paramilitary forces attacked the demonstrators he was knocked down along with the Iranian women; the women helped him up and when they recognized him they begged him to tell the truth about the life of Iranian women under the Mullahs, to the American people. Mr. Penn came home and wrote a couple of articles for the San Francisco Chronicle but did not bother to speak of the brutal reality of the Iranian people’s on-going oppression; he went as easy on the Islamist regime of Iran as he possibly could. He did mention that he felt sorry for the Iranian women on the plane when he was flying to Iran because they were dressed like Europeans at first but when they arrived to Iran they were wrapped in the dark Islamic robes and head covers. He forgot that they had asked him for the help and support of the free world.

A large majority of America’s left pretends to be humanitarian but in fact they continue to demonstrate their refusal to acknowledge the inhumanity of the laws of today’s Iran. They never seem to take any notice of 48 million Iranian women who are forced to live in a country whose laws consider the value of a woman’s life as one half of that of a man or that the judgment of women, minors and the insane are equal and unacceptable. Nor do they really care that the testimony of two Iranian women is equal to the testimony of one man or that daughters are forced to accept half of the inheritance that their brothers receive. These are just some of the lesser harsh laws that women in Iran have to face.

How would American women feel if their husbands were legally permitted to divorce them anytime and anywhere, without their knowledge and or signature? How would they feel, if the laws of the land denied them the custody of their children - no mater how unworthy the father - or worse yet, what would they feel like if their husbands were permitted to marry 3 more wives?

Wanting freedom and equality is human nature; it’s like thirst and Iranian women do become as thirsty as free women in the U.S. or the rest of the free world. No woman in Iran has the right to travel, work, go to school or even leave the house, without the permission of the husband. What would any member of Code Pink do if their husband dies and the community clergy takes over the control of her children, finances and life?

Islamic regime’s so-called “civil code” specifies that the age of criminal responsibility for females is 9. Meaning that a little 9 year old girl will be tried as an adult, in case of a crime, convicted to death and before killing her they will rape her in order to prevent her from entering heaven.

The following statement is from Ayatollah Rohollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s Islamic regime: "It is required that the girls must be at their husbands home before they reach puberty." Under the Islamic criminal law, article 300, the life of a Muslim woman is worth 50 camels. Article 435 of the same criminal law says that the left testicle of a man is worth 75 camels! Why is the left testicle is so important? According to Imom Jafar Sadegh, children come from the left testicle of men!

Iranian women have hoped for the support of the American women. We know you oppose war. You say that war is an inhumane act and we respect your belief. Then you must know how the women of Iran feel, living in a constant war. We ask you to be brave enough to do something constructive by supporting the women of Iran who want to live in peace also. Support them to make the changes in a peaceful way. Stand with the women of Iran and be the force that will demand Islamist patriarchy to step aside or change their inhumane constitution. The women of Iran can not raise their voice under the present Islamic regime. But you can.

Manda Zand Ervin is the founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women.

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