Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - September 18, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 09/17/2004 11:47:17 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. As a result, most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
Posted Friday, September 17, 2004
VIENNA, 17 Sept. (IPS) The Islamic Republic of Iran warned the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday that if its Board of Governors passes a resolution imposing on Iran to terminate its uranium enrichment, Iran might opt for lodging a complaint with the International Court of Justice.
If any such resolution is issued, the Islamic Republic of Iran will have the option of lodging a complaint with the International Court of Justice in The Hague which can proceed against the IAEA for having exceeded its powers under the Non Proliferation Treaty which guarantees member states the right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the former Iranian president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said.
Analysts said that this is the first time that a senior Iranian official is threatening the United Nations nuclear watchdog of such an action.
The Governors call on Iran to suspend all its uranium enriching and related activities and ratify the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty.
Any such resolution which calls on Iran to permanently suspend its uranium enrichment activities would be against the IAEA mandate and will make it subject to an international litigation, Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani added, quoted by the official Iranian news agency IRNA.
Analysts said as the debate of the Governors continue in Vienna over the controversial Iranian nuclear activities, Irans impatience with the Agency and the European big troika looks like reaching an end.
In the draft resolution, the Governors call on Iran to suspend all its uranium enriching and related activities and ratify the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty.
The issuance of a new IAEA resolution is considered as a significant test for members of the IAEA Board of Governors, the powerful and influential Chairman of the Expediency Council said, adding that if they do come up to their responsibilities as the international community's nuclear watchdog, then they should not expect Iran to yield to their demands.
If they wish to impose their hegemony and the law of the jungle, the Islamic Republic of Iran will prove once again that it will not yield to any power and will defend its rights anywhere in the world, he observed.
For Iran, the draft resolution to be approved by the Board of Directors of the probably on Saturday is not that important, because it is more political than legal and factual.
There is almost nothing new (in the resolution). Most of the items are a repeat of past resolutions, like suspension of enriching uranium and related activities, Mr. Mohammad Hoseyn Mousavian, the spokesman of the Iranian delegation at the IAEA told Iran Press Service.
He expressed his dissatisfaction at the fact that the resolution, a copy of it was obtained by IPS, do not make any mention to the positive elements of the Agencys General Director report concerning Irans cooperation with IAEA.
In his view, questions of laser enriching and conversion are already solved. Good progress has been achieved concerning P1 and P2 as well as sources of contamination and HEU. Unfortunately, the resolution has closed its eyes on these positive aspects of (IAEAs Egyptian boss Mohammad) ElBaradei, he observed.
Iran hoped that its controversial case with the United Nations international watchdog on nuclear issues would end by this time, but according to the draft, that Mr. ElBaradei described as balanced, the 35 members Board decides that at its November session it will decide whether or not further steps are appropriate in relation to Irans obligations under its NPT safeguards.
We separate the issues of Irans engagements concerning NPTs Safeguards and measures taken for confidence building, decisions taken by Iran voluntarily and independently, like suspending enriching uranium or signing the Additional Protocol, he went on, adding that his conclusion was that Iran would succeed at the end.
Asked if he thinks that Irans case at the IAEA would be closed on the Boards next meting in November, Mr. ElBaradeI said this is not a correct word, for inspections are an ongoing procedure.
The important issue is for us to be sure and certain that Irans nuclear projects are absolutely for civilian uses, Mr. ElBaradei told correspondents on Friday after noon, at the end of the Boards debates.
For Iran, the draft resolution to be approved by the Board of Directors of the probably on Saturday is not that important, because it is more political than legal and factual.
On this, Mr. Mousavian was positive: We have given the IAEA all assurances. Agencys inspectors have visited all the sites they wanted and beyond. We cooperated with the Agency beyond its responsibilities, authority, rules and regulations and the General Director is aware and has praised our cooperation and confidence building, he explained, saying that Iran would take a political decision concerning NPTs Safeguard Agreement.
For Iran, the essential issue is recognition of its right for full cycle, receiving advanced nuclear technologies as part of its legal and legitimate rights and we would emphasizes on that, warned Mr. Mousavian, who is the Secretary of Irans Supreme Council on National Securitys Foreign Policy Committee.
However, he expressed satisfaction that once again, the United States was isolated at the IAEA over its pressure-building over Iran.
On both issues of fixing a deadline (31 October) and including a trigger mechanism, Washington was defeated, he pointed out.
But Mr. ElBaradei repeated that stopping completely and definitely its enriching activities and continuing confidence building is in Irans best interests.
Mousavian stressed that Iran will continue its cooperation with the IAEA until all remaining issues are resolved to both sides satisfaction.
He repeated charges against the European Unions big trio, namely Britain, France and Germany, saying they failed to respect their part of past agreements with Iran while they presses Iran to comply with its commitments.
Since October we actively cooperated and fulfilled all our commitments, in return, we expected that the European countries would reciprocate, but they failed in this regard, he observed, adding, "I believe that they have shown weakness in fulfilling their commitments".
However, he opened the doors for more comprehensive and broader scope of cooperation with the so-called Big 3, including regional security, fight against international terrorism and trade, issues that, in his view, from now will take the centre stage in negotiations with them. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 17904
Ping to a good cause!
Iranian talk of an attack on America
By Steven Stalinsky
There are growing indications that Iran may be planning an attack on American soil. These indicators are not secret they appear in speeches, newspaper articles, TV programs, and sermons in Iran by figures linked to the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other government officials, all discussing potential Iranian attacks on America, which will subsequently lead to its destruction.
A report on May 28 in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that an Iranian intelligence unit has established a center called "The Brigades of the Shahids of the Global Islamic Awakening."The paper claimed that it had obtained a tape with a speech by Hassan Abbassi, a Revolutionary Guards intelligence theoretician who teaches at Al-Hussein University. In the tape, Mr. Abbassi spoke of Tehran's secret plans, which include "a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization." In order to accomplish this, he explained, "There are 29 sensitive sites in the U.S. and in the West. We have already spied on these sites and we know how we are going to attack them."
It was reported that America expelled two Iranian security guards employed by Tehran's U.N. offices on June 29, after the mission was repeatedly warned against allowing its guards to videotape bridges, the Statue of Liberty, and New York's subway system.This was the third time the Iranians have been caught in such activities, which could be connected to the sites mentioned in potential plans to attack America.
Mr. Abbassi's speech further detailed that "[Iran's] missiles are now ready to strike at their civilization, and as soon as the instructions arrive from Leader [Ali Khamenei], we will launch our missiles at their cities and installations." In fact over the past few months, Mr. Khamenei has been vocal about the impending "destruction of the U.S." In May, he was quoted in the Iranian paper Jomhouri-Ye Eslami as saying that "the world will witness the annihilation of this arrogant regime." On July 5, in front of a crowd chanting, "Woe to the enemy if Khamenei commands me to wage jihad," Mr. Khamenei said, "If someone harms our people and invades our country, we will endanger his interests anywhere in the world."
Other Iranian religious leaders have also called for the destruction of America. The secretary general of the Guardian Council, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, appeared on Iran's Channel 1 TV on June 4 and said, "Every Muslim and every honorable man who is not a Muslim must stand against the Americans, English, and Israelis, and endanger their interests wherever they may be." When he added "They must not have security," thousands in the audience repeated chants of "Islam is victorious, America will be annihilated." On June 25,Mr.Jannati also led prayers and promised, "Anyone who confronted the revolution, the Imam [Khomeini], and our dedicated people eventually collapsed. America is the last one, and Allah willing it will collapse..."The following week Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani delivered the Friday sermon live on Channel 1, saying America will collapse like Genghis Khan's empire, "I say to you the American people
you will collapse, America will collapse."
"Time bombs within America" is how Iranian lawmaker Hamid-Reza Katoziyan described Muslims within America, who could be behind future terrorist attacks here. Speaking on Iranian TV channel Jaam-E-Jam 2 on July 27, Mr. Katoziyan warned: "The whole group of people belonging to the Arab community and
Muslims living in the U.S. are currently, in my opinion, in a special situation. Perhaps they do not walk the streets with weapons in their hands or attach bombs to themselves in order to carry out a suicide operation, but the thought is there."
Just as statements from Iranian religious and political leaders, as well as TV programs, have focused on attacking America, so has the print press. An editorial in the July 6 edition of the Iranian daily Kayhan, the conservative paper affiliated with Mr. Khamenei, issued another warning for the future: "
the White House's 80 years of exclusive rule are likely to become 80 seconds of hell that will burn to ashes
That very day, those who resist [Iran] will be struck from directions they never expected. The heartbeat of the crisis is undoubtedly [dictated by] the hand of Iran."
The report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States asks: "September 11 was a day of unprecedented shock The nation was unprepared How can we avoid such tragedy again? "Taking seriously Iran's threatening words and actions is an important first step.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute (www.memri.org).
Argentina keeps Jewish center issue alive
Saturday, September 18, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
LONDON, Sep 18 (IranMania) - According to Agence France Press (AFP), Argentine investigators will follow an alleged Iranian connection to the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, keeping the case alive two weeks after a court acquitted 22 suspects in the attack that killed 85 people, judicial sources said.
No one has been brought to justice for the bombing that levelled the Jewish Argentine Mutual Association in downtown Buenos Aires, injuring 300 people.
On September 2, a court acquitted 21 former police officers and a trafficker of stolen cars who were charged with aiding the attackers.
"The case is not going back to the beginning because it will continue through various avenues," prosecutor Alberto Nissman said. "International arrest warrants are pending (against former Iranian officials)."
Iran's former ambassador to Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpur, and the cultural attache, Moshe Rabbani, are suspects in the case.
The court that acquitted the 22 suspects also ordered former top government officials investigated for botching the 10-year investigation.
The court found that key evidence against the men had been "irregularly" obtained, and ordered an investigation of Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who presided over the case for nine years, as well as two prosecutors.
Galeano was accused of having paid $400,000 to a key witness to testify against four police officers accused of having provided logistical support in the plot.
The court also sought an investigation of former president Carlos Menem's interior minister, Carlos Corach, and Hugo Anzorregui, former head of the state intelligence service.
Investigation of the bombing has been a festering issue in Argentina for 10 years, as Argentine Jews and international rights groups have criticized Argentine leaders, going back to Menem's 1989-1999 presidency, for their inability or lack of willingness to find the guilty.
TEHERAN - Iran will carry out a test firing of a long-range missile on Saturday during military manoeuvres being watched by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, state television said.
The most important part of todays programme consists of the firing of a long-range missile on fictitious enemy positions, the television said.
Irans development of ballistic missiles has added to international concerns over the Islamic republics nuclear activities.
| September 18, 2004 -- EVER since the U.S.-led coa lition liberated Iraq last year, a debate has raged over the legality of the war. The United States and the 33 other nations that form the coalition in Iraq have always insisted that the war was legal. In almost all of them, the legality of the war was endorsed by national parliaments that debated the issue and voted on it.
Opponents of the war, however, have always used the possible illegality of the war as a rhetorical rather than judicial device. Even France, which campaigned hard to keep Saddam Hussein in power, has never made an official claim that the U.S. and its allies broke any laws by liberating Iraq.
The reason for France's reluctance to do so is not hard to guess. Any formal charge that the US and its allies violated international law would require moves to stop and, in time, reverse, the action taken against Saddam Hussein. In 1991 the United Nations moved to reverse regime change imposed on Kuwait by Iraq through a war that was recognized as illegal. Within seven months, the Kuwaiti regime was restored to power and Iraq was punished for having broken international law by invading its neighbor.
On two other occasions in recent years, the United Nations has taken measures to reverse actions that led to illegal regime changes (in Haiti and Sierra Leone). In both cases, presidents who had been overthrown through illegal action were restored to power under U.N. auspices. Thus, if intervention in Iraq was illegal, it is incumbent on the U.N. to take action to reverse regime change and put Saddam Hussein back in power.
As far as Iraq is concerned, the U.N. position has been to grumble about the U.S.-led action without making a formal charge of illegality.
That position has now changed. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has publicly described the removal of Saddam Hussein from power as "illegal."
In an interview with the BBC Thursday, Annan abandoned all "ifs" and "buts" to accuse the United States, Britain and their allies of the most serious crime in the U.N. book, that is to say the violation of its charter.
This is a very serious charge, which must either be pursued to its logical consequences or withdrawn with an apology from Annan.
What Annan is saying, in fact, is that the United States and 33 other members of the United Nations have acted as rogue states, trampling under foot its Charter to change the regime of another U.N. member.
There is a well-established procedure for dealing with those who violate the U.N. Charter. Any U.N. member could seek a special session of the Security Council in which to produce evidence of the alleged illegal acts and demand redress. So far, not a single member has chosen to take that route in connection with the Iraq war.
If no member nation makes the necessary move, the U.N. Secretary-General has both the power and the duty to ask the Security Council to convene and deal with charges of illegal action.
Thus the logical next step for Annan now is to seek an emergency session of the council to consider charges against the U.S., Britain and 32 other member states in connection with the Iraq war.
All that Annan can do is to level the charges. It is up to the council to decide whether or not those thus charged are guilty. It is also up to the council to decide how to punish the states that have acted illegally and how to bring Saddam Hussein back to power.
There is, of course, little chance that Annan would make any such move. He knows that even if he did bring a suit against the U.S. and its allies, it would be vetoed either by Washington or London.
Some may claim that Annan is not acting in accordance with his claims because he wants U.S. and British support for a renewal of his mandate as secretary-general. That, however, is wide of the mark: Annan knows he has no chance of a new term if only because, by trying to sit between two stools, he has ended up with his bum on the hard floor.
So, why is he making these wild accusations?
May be he wants to please the anti-war coalition, which is certainly strong throughout the world. Maybe he wants to enter history as a man who opposed war. May be he is hoping for one of those things they distribute at the Nobel academy in Stockholm every October.
Whatever Annan's private reasons, he has acted most dishonorably. If he really believes that international law has been violated, he should do something, even if he knows that whatever he does will get nowhere.
If, on the other hand, he is making these accusations just to look good, he must know that he is destroying the little that is left of the U.N.'s credibility. How can an organization, whose chief executive accuses the principal members of its board of violating its charter with impunity, be taken seriously?
Why didn't Annan resign when he clearly saw that the U.N. Charter was being violated by a group of "rogue states" led by America? And why, if the toppling of Saddam was illegal, is the U.N. helping consolidate regime change in Iraq by supervising elections for a new government?
Annan knows damn well that the toppling of Saddam was perfectly legal. The action taken by the United States and its allies was backed by no fewer than 12 mandatory Security Council resolutions. In any case, Saddam's Iraq had been at war against the U.N., the only state ever to be in that position, since 1990.
U.S., European Negotiators Agree on Draft Resolution to Deprive Iran of Weapons Technology
The Associated Press
Sept. 17, 2004 U.S. and European negotiators at a key meeting of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency agreed Friday on a draft resolution meant to deprive Iran of technology that could be used to make nuclear weapons and setting an indirect deadline on Tehran to meet their conditions.
A text made available to The Associated Press says the next meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency will decide "whether or not further steps are required." Diplomats familiar with the text defined that phrase as shorthand for possible referral of Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it defies the conditions set in the resolution.
The text appeared to be a compromise between the Americans and the Europeans. Washington had pushed until late yesterday for an Oct. 31 deadline, with the understanding that if Iran failed to comply with the resolution's demands, the board would then automatically begin deliberations on Security Council referral.
A European diplomat familiar with the negotiations leading to the draft said, however, that Washington had to give in to united European opposition to a direct Oct. 31 deadline.
"I have seldom heard as many 'no's' as when Oct. 31 was mentioned," said the diplomat, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
The United States has for months sought to have Iran hauled before the Security Council, alleging that it continues to hide a secret nuclear weapons program. While European nations also share concerns about Iran's activities, the draft reflected their efforts to give Tehran more wiggle room before turning to the Security Council, which has the power to impose economic and political sanctions.
The draft demands a new Iranian freeze on uranium enrichment by late fall and expresses "serious concern" that Iran "has not heeded repeated calls from the board to suspend ... all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities."
It also expressed alarm at Iranian plans to process more than 40 tons of raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride, the feed stock for enrichment.
A senior diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the text still needed "a final go round" Friday among delegations to the board of governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency before being formally submitted to the meeting.
"But it looks like we're all on the same page," said the diplomat, suggesting that the Americans and Europeans had laid aside differences that had delayed agreement and led to days of back-room negotiations. He said the resolution will likely be submitted later in the day.
The draft also called on IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to submit a report by November reviewing the past two years of his Iran probe, and demanded Iran "resolve all outstanding issues and inconsistencies" feeding fears it may have a weapons program.
Iran is not prohibited from enrichment under its obligations to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty but faces growing international pressure to suspend such activities which can be used to generate power or make nuclear weapons as a good-faith gesture.
Amid the back-room negotiations, a row erupted between Washington and the agency, as a U.S. official expressed alarm about a possible nuclear weapons-related test site in Iran and accused the IAEA of keeping silent on its own concerns about the issue.
The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the United States believed that Iran's Parchin complex, southeast of Tehran, is being used by the Islamic Republic to test high explosives, possibly for use with nuclear weapons.
Both Iran and the IAEA denied the accusations.
A report ElBaradei wrote for the board on the status of a probe into Iran's nuclear activities did not specifically mention Parchin.
"This is a serious omission," the U.S. official said.
IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky said suggestions that the agency willfully omitted sensitive information were "totally baseless ... (and) not worthy of further comment."
Former U.N. nuclear inspector David Albright said Iran ignored IAEA requests to visit Parchin but did not turn down those requests outright. Albright, now the head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, described the site as hypothetically having "the capacities that could be used to make high explosives for nuclear weapons."
VIENNA -- UN nuclear inspectors are negotiating with Iran for access to as many as four military sites that have programs or equipment that could be diverted to development of nuclear weapons, diplomats at the International Atomic Energy Agency said yesterday.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the diplomats said the negotiations were sensitive because visits could compromise the secrecy of Iran's conventional military programs. The talks have been underway since June.
The request for expanded inspections comes as the Islamic republic says its patience with the IAEA is running out and it wants an end to intrusive visits. Still, the diplomats said they were confident of striking a deal for access, noting that the Iranians earlier agreed to let inspectors into other military facilities.
Mark Gwozdecky, IAEA spokesman, said in a statement that the agency had been ''discussing with the Iranian authorities open-source information relating to dual-use equipment and materials which have applications in both the military and in the civilian spheres."
MOSCOW. Sept 17 (Interfax) - Russia opposes the idea of referring the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council, Deputy Foreign Minister Yury Fedotov said at a news conference on Friday.
A better way to proceed would be to clarify certain details of that issue in the framework of the IAEA whose board of governors discusses Iran's nuclear programs in Vienna.
Fedotov again called for holding an international conference on Iraq.
"We feel it would be more desirable to move the Iraqi settlement to a broader basis with all the major groups of Iraqi society, including the opposition, being involved," he said.
Symposium: Why the Mullahs Murdered Atefeh Rajabi
Tehrans despots recently hanged a 16-year-old girl. What is it in the Arab-Islamic culture that breeds the demonization and dehumanization of the female? To discuss this issue with us today, Frontpage Symposium has assembled a distinguished panel: Dr. Donna M. Hughes,
Tehrans despots recently hanged a 16-year-old girl. What is it in the Arab-Islamic culture that breeds the demonization and dehumanization of the female?
To discuss this issue with us today, Frontpage Symposium has assembled a distinguished panel:
Dr. Donna M. Hughes,an expert on womens human rights issues who holds the Carlson Endowed Chair in Womens Studies at the University of Rhode Island. Her fields include: violence, slavery, sexual exploitation, Islamic fundamentalism, and women's organized resistance to violence and exploitation. She is frequently consulted by governments and non-governmental organizations on policy related to women's human rights, particularly on trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation;
Dr. Nancy Kobrin, a psychoanalyst and Arabist who is the author of the upcoming book, The Sheikh's New Clothes: Islamic Suicide Terror and What It's Really All About.
Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, a native of Iran who is an activist and writer based in New York.
FP: Donna Hughes, Nancy Kobrin, and Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.
This discussion is dedicated to Atafeh Rajabi and to her family. Lets take a moment of silence to reflect on the tragedy that befell Atefeh -- and on the suffering it represents of millions of persecuted peoples behind the Mullahs Curtain.
[Moment of silence]
FP: Ms. Zand-Bonazzi let me begin with you. Tell us a bit about the circumstances behind Atefehs execution.
Zand-Bonazzi: Well, sadly this young woman was hung in public charged with adultery. The man with whom she had allegedly had sexual relations with was also arrested but he only received 75 lashes apparently and then freed!
However, in spite of the fact that her entire family pleaded, was condemned to death. Her parents had even specifically produced her birth certificate proving that she was 16 (proving that she's not an adult) and the ruling clergy of the town of NEKA (the town where she was hung) forged papers and insisted that in fact she was 22 and that that was enough reason to hang her.
NOT EVEN her parents' word for their daughter's age was acceptable to them because when these characters put their mind to it, they will falsify anything they want in order to justify heinous acts...just like all the "stories" they've woven around the death of the brave Ziba Kazemi!
FP: Ms. Zand-Bonazzi, why does the male get lashes and the girl gets executed? What is the psychology here?
Zand-Bonazzi: Well, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran's interpretation of the Shari'a (I don't know how it's interpreted or done in Arab countries) a woman is automatically the seductress, however young and innocent. According to them, a man, no matter how old and promiscuous, is considered to be a "victim."
Now, quite a few facts about this poor young girl has come to light. First of all she was visibly mentally unwell (I guess bi-polar because by all accounts she wasn't retarded or dysfunctional; she defended herself at the so-called trial ) She told the religious judge, Haji Rezaii, that he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption not the victims. I've also heard charges (which I had suspected would be the story) that the Mullah judge, Hadji Rezai, who was also the proud executioner, had in fact wanted her for himself as a "temporary wife" and because either she or her parents had refused him, he had become enraged and had turned against her and falsified her age as 22, so that he could execute her.
I should add that this Mullah was not only the Judge but also the executioner and he proudly hung the noose around her neck himself. After her execution, he said publicly that her punishment was not execution but he taught her a "lesson" because of her sharp tongue.
I do want to mention one thing about these "temporary marriages" if I may...this allows men and women to get married for one hour or stay married for the rest of their lives. It's basically for the most part, a form of "legitimizing" prostitution and by the way, the woman has no rights to any income or assets of the man AND cannot be married to another man though the man is allowed to have his main wife and as many temporary wives he wants.
FP: Dr. Kobrin, this is obviously a very pathological and dysfunctional culture where men clearly viciously oppress women in the most crudest and despotic sense. It is no surprise, of course, that a God is involved that religious tyrants exploit to wage their sexual exploitation and subjugation of women. What are some of the roots to this misogynistic terror?
Kobrin: Let me begin by extending my condolences to the family of this young girl. It is a profound tragedy. I regret that I do not know her name as I wish that she does not remain anonymous. Her murder is classic paranoid behavior on the part of the Mullah, the perpetrator, Sharia and the Ummah (the Arab Muslim world) -- the killing is not named for what it really is -- murder. This is the same for honor killing and, in my opinion, suicide bombing -- in that the real victims are murdered but the violent act of murder is never admitted to by all those involved. The perpetrator also claims that "she or the Other made him do it. When murder is denied, it is also terrifying for the witnesses because they live under a death threat with the message that you could be the next to be murdered if you dare to speak out.
While misogyny is the hatred of women in general, the misogynist actually harbors an even older and very specific unconscious hatred of the first woman in his life -- his mother. How do we know this? How a man treats a woman or young girl, reveals how he feels about his own mother as it is his first relationship in life with a woman.
But let's step back for a moment to think about where all this misogynistic rage comes from. A baby is completely dependent upon his mother for everything. This is the origin of the "terror" of dependency and its attendant "fears of abandonment, shame and humiliation" to be so dependent. At first a baby does not recognize his mother as being separate from himself not only physically but also psychologically. It is only slowly over time that a baby growing into the toddler years begins to develop a sense of mother as Other, apart from his/herself. So in the first months of life, the mother and baby are a unit of one. Two but "fused" together psychologically. The baby can not be "independent."
These initial months in the life of a baby are also the beginnings of sensuality and Eros through breast feeding, touching, bathing, playing etc. for the baby. It sets the template for later "erotic" relationships. Why? Because having sex recreates a "temporary" fusion of two becoming one, reminiscent of the maternal fusion. The early attachment to the mother becomes displaced, so to speak, into sexual relationship. Temporary marriage under Islamic law shows the tenuousness of being in a relationship with a woman. It is essentially a throw away relationship and highly disrespectful to women.
By the way, this is the origin for domestic violence and it can be encountered across all cultures since everyone has a mother. However, there is a higher rate of frequency in Arab Muslim culture for a series of reasons, one being that it is not permissible to "separate" from the mother. The mother is highly venerated, perhaps too much so as she is too idealized and unrealistic. Indeed, the word Ummah comes from the same root for mother in Arabic. The bond between mother and child even into adulthood is not to be severed. This is very similar to Asian cultures as well such as in Hindu culture and Japanese culture. There also tends to be many child rearing practices that involve shaming.
The sex act is important here because in the case of this 16-year-old young girl she was really raped. It can't be consensual sex; she has no power. Rape, murder and suicide are all indicators that misogynistic rage is very primitive, by which I mean that it arises early in the life of the perpetrator by age three if not earlier. We know that in domestic violence where conjoint murder and suicide occur routinely, that the perpetrator manifests a traumatic bond with his victim partner which links back to his early childhood experience with his own mother. His rage is then projected outward and displaced on to his victim partner whom he subsequently murders .He is terrified of abandonment and hates his feelings of helplessness.
Another point which fosters such misogynistic rage in Arab Muslim culture is that the male baby is more valued than the female. The little girl is the most devalued person in the entire Arab Muslim family. Growing into adulthood, she is the most traumatized and hence the most compromised for meeting the demands of motherhood too often at too young an age. Yet ironically, the mother is "allegedly" venerated when in fact as a little girl has been completely devalued and abused -- the trauma of all that can not be put behind so easily. As a mother she bears the emotion scars and can not be as effective as she needs to be.
The case of the 16-year-old girl demonstrates that reality is twisted around; what is true is denied. Not even her parents, her own mother, could assert authority concerning her age. And since the Mullah felt threatened by her being "sexual" and hence out of his control, the Sharia solution is simple: deny reality and kill her off. It is all projection of the Mullah's murderous rage meant for his own mother. Instead of murdering his mother off in fantasy, the Mullah quite literally acted out his murderous rage against his mother in real time and space, on to this poor 16-year-old girl.
FP: Dr. Hughes, what do you make of this case and Dr. Kobrins theories?
Hughes: Shocking though Atefehs execution may be, it is consistent with the ideology and practice of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.
Iran, a land of Persian culture and Shia Islam, has been controlled by religious leaders since the revolution that ousted the Shah in 1979. Iran is a unique theocracy crafted from Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeinis interpretation of the Koran.
Islamic fundamentalism is not just a conservative form of Islam, the way we in the United States have conservative (and moderate and liberal) forms of Christianity. Islamic fundamentalism is fascistic, totalitarian, and expansionist in its dedication to export its revolution to the entire Muslim world and eventually to destroy the western world and in particular the Great Satan - the United States.
Islamic fascism is hostile to modernity, democracy, and freedom and rights for women. Misogyny hatred of women is at its core, just as hatred of the Jews was at the core of Nazism. The Nazis gauged their success on whether they had eliminated the Jewish population in each town; Islamic fascists gauge their success by how deeply they suppress women.
The ideology of Islamic fundamentalism contends that women and men are very different beings. Women are said to be intellectually inferior and emotionally unstable, and consequently have to be excluded from decision making positions in society. Women are said to be the embodiment of sexual temptation and sin. That is why their bodies and hair must be covered at all times in public so as not to distract or tempt men. Rules and punishments in society are based on controlling women, through segregation, restrictions on travel, and most importantly, forcing them to conform to the restrictive dress code.
The Rajabi case is quite emblematic of Iranian Islamic fundamentalism. Her supposed crime was sexual in nature; the girl was more severely punished than the man involved; the judge and the judicial system were arbitrary and corrupt; the girl was executed for resisting male authority, and the execution was carried out in public to terrify the population.
Rajabi was accused of acts incompatible with chastity. A man was charged as well. He received 100 lashes and afterwards released (100 lashes are nothing to take too lightly, but it certainly is less than being hanged.) A woman told Radio Farda, a U.S. funded Farsi radio station, that the judge accused the girl of prostitution. Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi says that the judge Haji Rezaii wanted Rajabi for a temporary marriage, but was rejected. Shes correct that temporary marriage can be an official form of prostitution or keeping a mistress. Whatever the exact nature of her activity, the most severe punishment of women in Iran is for perceived sexual misconduct and women are always held responsible for not keeping themselves chaste. She could have been stoned to death.
Rajabi talked back to the judge, reportedly insulted him and said that the real perpetrators of moral corruption should be punished not the victims. That sounds like an accusation to me and possibly a threat. Does the judge know who these real perpetrators are that she referred to? We know that judges and other officials have been caught running prostitution rings. In her outrage at the unfairness of the charges against her, one account said she undressed in court, although according to Alasdair Palmer in The Sunday Telegraph (August 29, 2004), she only took off her headscarf.
To us in the West, that seems like such a small act of defiance, but to the Islamic fascists, it is a threat to their entire ideology and system of social control. A woman or girl pulling off a headscarf is a challenge to the whole theocratic terrorist state. If a girl is allowed to get away with it, the whole system will start to crumble.
Some news stories have said that Rajabi was mentally ill. She doesnt sound mentally ill to me. She sounds furious and tragically sane and intelligent enough to see through the corruption and injustice of the insane mullahs system. She was foolishly courageous enough to confront a perpetrator of the misogynous system.
Haji Rezaii, the sadistic judge, chose to personally take part in snuffing out her life. He personally put the noose around Rajabis neck and gave the signal for the crane to hoist her body into the air.
Afterwards, Rezaii said that his real reason for executing her was her sharp tongue. In truth, her real crime was speaking truth to power.
In Iran, people are hanged in public to terrorize the rest of the population. It is a message to everyone that this can happen to you too. The mullahs regime is extremely corrupt. We know that many pro-democracy activists are hanged in public. The officials claim they committed a serious crime, but everyone in the town knows the real reason they have been executed is because the person stood up to the regime. Im sure all the teenage girls in Neka got a lesson.
Rajabi was buried after she has hanged, but that night someone stole her body from the grave. Her family has filed a complaint, but no one knows who did it. Perhaps the sadists in the court and prison system needed to disappear the body to conceal evidence of abuse that could be found if her body was disinterred and examined. Just last year the mullahs refused to release the body of murdered Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi to her son, and insisted it be buried under their control in Iran. The world knows now that they did this to prevent a full autopsy that would reveal the extent to which they tortured Kazemi before she died. After the revolution in 1979, the prison guards were known to rape women and girls before they executed them. They rationalized these atrocities with their fascist ideology: virgins go to heaven; if they raped them before they died, they would go to hell instead. I wonder what they did to Rajabi in the three months between her trial and her execution.
I believe Nancy Kobrins explanation provides some insights into the misogynous mullahs, but doesnt explain everything. I believe shes correct in saying that the judge is exhibiting paranoid behavior. As I said above, I suspect he has something to hide; otherwise, he wouldnt have made it such a personal vendetta to murder Rajabi. I also agree that the misogynous mullahs project their feelings and guilt as perpetrators onto the victim. They make women and girls responsible for all their own feelings and behaviors, particularly sexual ones.
Possibly a good psychoanalysis would explain why Khomeini designed a theocratic dictatorship based on the hatred and suppression of women. Certainly, Islamic fundamentalism is a pathological ideology and system. But I dont think you can explain the whole Islamic fascist regime with one type of analysis. We need other sciences and analyses, such as political science, sociology, theology, and feminism to fully understand the mullahs misogynous system.
FP: Ms. Zan-Bonazzi feel free to respond to our two guests, but I would also like to raise what just happened in Chechnya. We know now that the terrorists blew up their own female accomplices. This outrage is all connected to our theme isn't it?
Zand-Bonazzi: I really cannot speak about the Chechens. I know nothing about that part of the story. All I am able to comment on is what happens in Iran in Sharia interpretations of the Iranian Mullahs. You must know that each country has its own customs. Iran is a country with a strong sense of identity; our Persian"ness" is very very important to us and that is one of the main reasons why we´ve never lost our soul, per se to Islam, like Pakistanis for example who have given up thousands of years of their identity and culture in order to wrap themselves in Islam.
We received more information about Atefeh Rajabi last week that was extremely sad. It turns out that due to her mental imbalance (it has been suggest that she may have been bi-polar) and her family´s improvised conditions, two army guys stationed in Neka paid her family to have sex with her. Then it turned out that after the other man (with whom she was caught - which has also been suggested was framing her at the behest of Rezai) had relations with her, Hadji Rezai blackmailed the two army guys to go around the streets of Neka to threaten people into signing a document bearing false witness claiming they knew her as nothing more than a common local whore. This of course was done in order to satisfy the Tehran courts; after all they need to provide some kind of proof to the "supreme court," however fake it is...as long as it looks official, the so-called judiciary doesn´t really care OR check for that matter.
The other thing that I read last week in the latest news coming out of Iran that is infuriating (the Iran I grew up in was not like this) is that the Mullahs have now taken to designing specific underwear for women, they are clamping down on the color of the overcoats and scarves women are wearing and they do check, if they feel like it, to see whether you´re properly dressed. Also they are designing men´s robes for comfortable stone throwing during stoning of women! This is not a new phenomenon though because frankly this has been happening since the beginning of the revolution and Dr. Hughes is absolutely correct in saying that it IS in fact due to Khomeini´s psychotic rulings that all this has come about.
I remember back in ´79 when Khomeini first arrived, I was in Iran demonstrating against these Mullahs and in their first waves of executions Dr. Farrokhroo Parsa, a magnificent Lady, in her late ´60´s who in the ´60´s and part of the ´70´s, was the minister of Education was without a trial, dragged out of her house and brutally executed. Charges? Among other trumped up lies, they said that she degraded school girls by permitting them to wear shorts in Phys Ed!!!!!!! Till this day, that execution has every thinking Iranian boiling mad...and then a wave of executions of women teachers who were progressive and educated people occurred where some of our best educators were stoned to death.
Right now we have thousands of women sitting in prisons in Iran. Women and children have put up with THE worst of this regime. The story of Masoomeh S. is one of the saddest though. She´s been in prison now for 22 years and when she went in she was 62! She was arrested in 1982 because she had lost 2 sons in the Iran-Iraq war, early on and when they came to drag her third and last son away to war, she got mad and went to Tehran (from her village) to plead with someone in the ministry of war. They told her off and sent her on her way but refusing to leave, she sat for days on end in front of the building. Finally some high up pencil pusher got mad enough to have her arrested and they hauled her off, never to be freed. We have been screaming about her case for years...to no avail.
I was once told confidentially by someone close to the Khomeini family, who is actually sane, that the one person who was put through pure hell and was essentially a prisoner was Khomeini´s own wife, Batool. I also understand that Khomeini´s granddaughter who is married to Khatami´s brother, (another promoter of the flimflam Reformists) is terribly angry about the state of women but she is muzzled up by her overbearing husband...this came out in an article that Elaine Schiolino (not that her "tall tales" or the paper it´s published in, are worth citing) wrote a while back, where she had interviewed Khomeini´s granddaughter and had quoted her stating her concerns and frustrations and the day after the piece came out in the NY Times, Mohammad Reza Khatami, I´m told, had shot off a very confrontational and accusatory letter to Schiolino stating that she had in fact fabricated the story and that it must be retracted immediately! This was probably the only article Schiolino didn´t exaggerate and romanticize where Iran and the revolution are concerned and strangely this was the one piece she was wrote where she was called a liar by the very people SHE helped promote!
The worst offender of this situation, as far as (I can easily, without exaggeration) 90% of Iranians inside and outside Iran are concerned is Shirin Ebadi (people in Iran loathe her with a passion for turning out to be the consiglieri to these Moslem Mafiosi) who undeniably got her education during the time of the Shah and became THE first female judge in Iran as well...then these Mullahs show up and force her to step down because according to the Sharia, no woman is permitted to judge a man. This woman then happily agrees to live and abide by the rules of a bunch of old men (with all kinds of wild sexual proclivities & drug habits of their own) who think that life in 2004 is the very same as it was 1500 years ago! If nothing else, Ms. Ebadi´s betrayal of her womanhood is hugely distressing. The fact that the West accepts her as window-dressing for a regime that otherwise snuffs out women is even more disgusting and reprehensible.
FP: Ms. Zand-Bonazzi, thank you. It is excruciating to hear these realities and to contemplate the suffering of the Iranian people under this barbaric and insane regime. Sexual repression and the demonization of the female -- and of her sexuality -- clearly always lead to all kinds of pathologies and you have illustrated for us, in part of your answer, the demented perversion that has grown on the part of the morality police. Sorry to center in on this but: laws about new womens underwear?? And the right of the religious police to check to make sure? I dont mean to degrade this dialogue down to this level, but I am actually quite curious: what kind of specific womens underwear are, exactly, moral? What are the clerics now actually designing and demanding women to wear? This is simply beyond my comprehension. Do the underwear, like, have images of the Ayatollah Khomeini on them or what?
Zand-Bonazzi: That´s a funny image...! Frankly I havent a clue as to how these underwear will look; Im sure itll be something of a chastity belt and believe me, they do check. As of a few months ago, if the revolutionary guards in the streets saw, lets say a car with a couple of girls or women in it, theyd pull them over, get them out of the car to check to make sure theyre wearing socks even! Its a random thing. If they feel like it or they dont like the way you look (its based on a whim on how much they think they can upset you and get your goad) theyll haul you off for their women guards to strip you down and make sure youre dressed according to the law. And now any form of make-up is also being forbidden...colorful headscarves are banned And if the scarf youre wearing is sitting too far back on your head, you can be charged with BAD HEJABI (strangely BAD means bad in Farsi too...so your first interpretation would be correct!) and dragged off to receive at least 35 lashes!
But this of course is nothing more than posturing and scaring women who are not poor. You see, because theres such a huge rate of unemployment in Iran, poor women who have no education have had to turn to prostitution, which is now hugely rampant all over Iran...back in the old days prostitutes had their own part of town and prostitution was sort of regulated. Anyhow, a year or so ago, I heard a 26 year old woman who was calling [from Tehran] into one of the radio shows of our wonderful Los Angeles based radio KRSI; she was calling to tell the story of her junky husband whom she had paid to put through dozens of recovery programs and had finally overdosed, leaving her with two kids that she had to support. All she could do to support herself and her family was prostitution. She then described an incident of having one day been picked up off the street in a stretch limo by a Mullah who had taken her to his mansion and had had his way with her for almost 24 hours, the whole time getting stoned out of his mind on Opium (90% of the Mullahs are major drug addicts - Khameinis Opium habit is a very well known fact). When time came for her to leave hed paid her half of what theyd originally negotiated; when she complained, he pulled a 9 millimeter out of his abaaya and put it in her mouth and told her that if she complained hed personally bury her in his garden. These stories are everywhere in Iran...we hear them all the time. For us, its become normal...sadly.
I can go on and on to tell you about how they auction off our little kids in sex slave auctions in the gulf countries, how they have turned a huge part of the population into hardcore drug addicts (in Iran, its mostly Opium and Heroin)...but that would be going off the subject.
Kobrin: Obviously Atefeh Rajabi was a very brave young woman to have spoken out against the oppression and lack of freedom of the Shiite regime of terror. Her brutal execution exposes the weak underpinnings of such delusional thinking right down to a fetish for womens underwear! It is important to understand the link between the pathological control of the female and Islamic suicide terrorism. Such terrorism begins in the home. It is learned behavior the need to hate and the need to have an enemy embodied in the female is in place by age three. For Shiite Islam it is even more extreme because it lost the battle with the Sunnis over who was the rightful heir to Islam. The Shiites wallow in their self-pity for being the losers as they felt that Ali and Husayn should have been the recipients of Muhammads mantel not Abu Bakr who was not a blood relative. So for the Shiites blood plays a very specific role in its obsessive quest for a pseudo-honor which really masks huge shame and humiliation for having lost this initial war within Islam. Hence blood vengeance continues to be sought.
Least we forget, modern suicide terrorism begins with Hizbollah, the Party of God, the premier Shiite terrorist organization in the early 1980s in Lebanon. They borrowed heavily from their Iranian co-religionists such as hostage taking and then the alleged martyrdom, and the scapegoating of children as bomb sweepers at the front for the Iran-Iraq War. The Shiites harbor a special confusion concerning blood and contamination.
Blood is confused with water as in some way being able to cleanse family honor. This is a common primitive misperception about the scary nature of blood. However, most peoples and their cultures outgrow such infantile thinking. Honor is a code word for sexual purity of the women clearly another obsession. The men harbor a fear of the mothers body because she gave birth to them, that is, that they literally issued from her body. The early mother is either hated or revered extreme splitting into good or evil. The non-male is viewed as female. There is even a hidden wish to return to a kind of prelapsarian womb of the early mother, pre-birth, that is to remain in utero forever completely taken care of.
You see, this is the life fusion which is transformed into a death fusion along with the mixing of bloods in the suicide bombings where they must target, take hostage and murder the innocent by fusing with them in death as they can not die alone nor can they live alone. The making of body parts in the suicide bombing also is an indicator of how primitive the carnage and thinking is one finds this in serial killing. Suicide bombings are a form of political serial killing on the part of the bomb makers and the other terrorist operatives who keep on killing even after they have killed off their own suicide bomber. One bombing is never enough because it is a bottomless pit of hatred and thirst for blood vengeance a kind of addiction.
Even the Jew is seen as a female. Now there are virtually no Jews left in Iran but we find huge anti-Semitism. This is often the case anti-Semitism without Jews as in parts of Europe. The need to hate remains and it is like a bottomless pit the ongoing scapegoating of woman or the Jews. Again in Iran, there was even the law that a Jew could not go outside when it was raining or snowing because the Iranians actually feared that the Jews would contaminate the water which the Muslims might use for ritual ablutions!
In addition, there is also a historical link between Iranian fascism as Professor Hughes describes and Nazism. We see this most especially in the terrorist groups in Lebanon who embraced the deployment of the female suicide bombers in the mid-1980s such as the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (SSNP) also called the Partie Populaire Syrienne (PPS) who under the influence of Hizbollah were the first to use women as female suicide bombers against the Israelis in southern Lebanon.
This terrorist group was founded by Antoun Saadeh who loved Hitler. Often it is argued that these female suicide bombers were Christian, therefore this proves that suicide terrorism is not about Islam. This is surely a specious argument because in ever instance where there has been suicide bombings, the region has been drenched in Islamic violence and its Jihad in theory and practice. This goes for the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka where the Muslims were thrown out of the terrorist organization in the early 1990s because they could not be trusted. Even though they are a secular nationalist separatist terrorist organization, Hindu-Muslim violence has gone on for centuries in the Indian subcontinent. Lebanon, too, has been saturated in blood politics of Islam including sectarian violence.
Bat Yeor, the leading authority on the status of Christians and Jews (the Dhimma whose root means to blame) in Islam, has underscored how Arab Christians have been co-opted by Islamic terrorist organizations, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But, returning to the theme of the Mullahs Misogyny, domestic violence and Islamic suicide terrorism, the behaviors are primitive in nature, they are imitative. Just like toddlers who dont know how to really be, the Mullah as terrorist merely imitates the violent behavior which he learned at home. He learned that it is acceptable to murder a woman and to call it honorable.
There is a long tradition in Shiite Islam of suicide terrorism. After all the Ismaili was a sect of Shiite Islam which terrorized this part of the world during the Middle Ages. They created the Hashishiyun (lit. Ar. the Hashish Eaters) also known as the Assassins from whence comes the English word assassination. They fought fil sabil Allah, literally fighting in the path of Allah until death. Even if one where to put aside, its terrorist organization Hizbollah for the moment, Shiite Islam has religious practices which use blood in order to terrify and to bind the child into a fused group identification. One example is the controversial practice of Tatbir, where the parent cuts the forehead of the young child during the alleged mourning and commemoration of the massacre of Husayn on the plains of Karbala.
We have Tatbir on t.v. and in the magazines -- the blood letting. This is traumatizing to the child and it is meant to control the child through fear all the more so for the little girl. The parents are seen whipping themselves causing blood to flow down their backs through a group hysteria which causes an incitement to direct murderous rage outwards. A child never learns to contain his rage or to learn how to self-sooth and to be calm just act out rage and kill. These kinds of cultural practices with their accompanying and reinforcing ideologies do not bode well for finding peaceful solutions or promoting negotiations for peace. Instead these practices MAKE and MAINTAIN the female as the most vulnerable such as Atefeh Rajabi who is executed for speaking truth to power because she was a female who the regime could not control. Bottom line terrorism be it domestic violence or Islamic suicide terrorism is about the pathological control of the female because IRONICALLY, it is the men who can not control their own sexual urges and desires.
Thus it fits that the Ayatollah Khomeini abused his wife Batool and that she was held captive by him. The thinking is like this if a Muslim man were to see a woman, he would not be able to control himself, so he merely dictates that a sheet that is a hejab be thrown over her so that she can be literally erased from the landscape of reality --out of sight, out of mind. This is in place of the male learning to control himself or even assuming responsibility for his actions.
Similarly, headgear is always important because culturally it signals ones communal affiliation but also at a deeper level for women, headgear the scarf is a classic example of concretely attempting to control what is inside her head, namely her thoughts with the male fear that she could become an independent thinker like Atefeh Rajabi. This is very threatening to an authoritarian regime. What we see happening in France too over the headscarf, the foulard, allows the Muslim men, to be supremely passive aggressive, letting the Muslim women be the carriers of their rage just like the female suicide bomber. These Muslim women appear as if they have a voice in Islam when in fact they are being used and abused by their own men it is a smoke screen. The Muslim men merely let their women do their dirty work under the guise of modesty and pseudo-independence.
As for drug addiction mentioned above, this fits perfectly with the craving for pleasure and the inability of the males to control themselves joined with feeling impotent and incompetent. It is a skewed thinking. You know, even the Quran has been written with blood instead of regular ink. This shows the same obsession and confusion concerning the nature of blood, the human body and the profound denial of death which nonetheless, borders on necrophilia. Furthermore there is the ongoing receding horizon so to speak of splitting hairs with regard to rules and regulations hence the institution of a new kind of womens underwear. They must control everything obviously, it is impossible to engineer such control.
Professor Hughes asks a great question -- how could psychoanalysis explain why Khomeini designed a theocratic dictatorship based on the hatred and suppression of women? First, I agree with Professor Hughes that I do not mean to appear to be so reductive as to think that only a psychoanalytic understanding can explain all. I have studied many languages and cultures, including Arabic and especially Old Spanish in Arabic script of that alleged golden age of medieval Spain where the myth is that everyone got along with each other Christian, Jew and Muslim. Terror is always culture specific. Nonetheless, psychoanalysis does have a lot to offer because it remains to be the only viable theory for explaining paranoia. Moreover, psychoanalysis is no longer limited to the West. There are many Muslims who are psychoanalysts who live in the region as well as in Europe, and North America. We rarely hear from them though. One of the best books on the subject is written by a French trained Tunisian Muslim psychoanalyst, Abdelwahab Bouhdiba called Sexuality in Islam. All of my work on Islamic suicide terrorism has been done by working from within the cultures and using Arab Muslim psychoanalysts or mental health professionals as much as possible.
To answer Professor Hughes question and as Ms. Zand-Bonazzi has noted -- the Ayatollah Khomeini engaged in domestic violence in his own home. It follows then, that he would create a theocratic dictatorship based on the hatred and suppression of women. He suppressed them at home hence, he would also do so outside of his home -- it is a concrete extension of his own daily practices and quite revealing about how much he must have hated his own mother and feared that he was himself a female not a male as he had the pervasive need to pathologically control all women.
Before I turn over the discussion permit me to address the subject of the Chechens as it was raised earlier and what happened in Beslan and the dual simultaneous airplane crashes over Russia by the Chechens. It is a supreme tragedy. The taking of Middle School #1 and the murder of all those hostages, especially the children. I just completed a comprehensive study of the cultural contexts in which the female suicide bomber has been deployed or is threatening to be deployed in twelve cultures to date. I called this study Fueling the Flames of the Female Suicide Bomber. This took me several years and a lot of research. I read extensively on the Chechens. While Islam came relatively late to Chechnya in the 18th century, its ideologies which as I have repeatedly stressed are predicated on splitting between good vs. bad with no middle ground or balance, had uncanny fit with the pre-existing Chechen culture of the adat, the clan system, child rearing practices which are shame-based, honor and blood vengeance. This is a culture where bride stealing, a kind of primitive hostage taking, and where and where cleansing family honor by blood, merely masks the same kind of obsession for female sexual purity and its fears. Again, the pathological control of the female. It is patriarchy at its worst. There is no question too that the Chechens are being influenced by Afghan alumnae as my colleague Yoram Schweitzer has dubbed them, and that Chechnya was ripe for this kind of Islamic suicide terrorism. It is only a matter of time before it will happen more frequently in Uzbekistan and Pakistan.
While there is no question too, that the Russians have behaved atrociously in Chechnya, such behavior can never justify the murder of innocent children through Islamic suicide terrorism or what I call the you do it too syndrome where the Chechens or the Palestinians or the Shiites bemoan their alleged victimhood claiming that they have no other means to fight back save for suicide terrorism. This is the same kind of argument and thinking of those who blame the true victim as in the honor killing's she made me do it. Such thinking demonstrates and reveals the profound impairment of the murderer who controls through murder. The Mullahs Misogyny is merely the Mullah as Murderer. This is why nothing will change and Islamic suicide terrorism will be with us until and when the world begins to understand the profound ramifications of misogyny and hatred of women which leads down this particularly perverse and violent path fi sabil Allah.
While there are those who scream that Islam is peaceful, this is only one half of the story the other half is the ideology of Jihad which can not be so easily expunged from the Quran and the Sira, the biography of Muhammad. Nothing will change until the discussion about this tactical tool of suicide terrorism, the suicide bomber, moves to this deeper level -- where Islam in general and Shiite Islam in particular, are understood to all too conveniently reinforce preexisting cultural practices, customs and ideologies which exacerbate a peoples paranoid splitting with its need to hate and the need to have enemies, focused on the female. This kind of hatred is like a malignant super-glue that keeps a fused unhealthy group together by a charismatic leader such as the Mullah, Osama bin Laden or the Ayatollah Khomeini -- all for destructive purposes. And above all, its enemy is always perceived as female in fantasy, if not in reality.
Hughes: As we can see from the many examples provided by Ms. Zand-Bonazzi and Dr. Kobrin, a discussion of the misogyny of fundamentalist mullahs is not superficial or ancillary to understanding global Islamic terrorism. Many academic and diplomatic professionals consider the experiences and social status of women and girls of secondary importance compared to terrorism, nuclear weapons programs, and the expansionism of Islamic fascism, but in this political movement, terrorism begins at home. To understand the nature of Islamic fundamentalism, there is no better place to start than the analysis of the murder of a 16 year old girl for acts incompatible with chastity.
The details of the short life of Atefeh Rajabi that have emerged describe the corruption of government officials and their complicity in the crimes they accuse and punish girls for committing. Atefeh had been arrested before and whipped with 100 lashes for sexual misconduct. According to one of her friends, Ateqeh talked about what the Islamic moral policemen did to her while she was in jail. Ateqeh had nightmares about it and said that Behshahr Prison was Hell itself (Iran Focus, August 31, 2004).
The executions the Iranian regime carries out in public on a weekly basis reek with the stench of political murder and cover-ups. The mullahs keep the population too terrified to rebel. According to an eyewitness of Atefehs hanging: When agents of the State Security Forces brought her to the gallows, I felt cold sweat running down my back. She looked so young and innocent, standing there in the middle of all these bearded men in military fatigues. Judge Rezai must have felt a personal grudge against her. He put the rope around her neck and left her dangling on the gallows for 45 minutes. I looked around and everyone in the crowd was sobbing and damning the mullahs for doing this to our young people (Iran Focus, August 31, 2004).
Since 1979, there has been endless talk about headscarves, proper coverings, and even socks and undergarments. Such discussions seem so trivial, yet the covering of women and girls bodies is central to mullahs fundamentalist ideology, and the constant harassment, arrest, whipping, and even murder of non-compliant females is the way the mullahs maintain control over females and threaten the entire Iranian population.
Consider the recent incident where Islamic terrorists kidnapped two French journalists in Iraq and threatened to kill them if France prohibited schoolgirls from wearing headscarves. The power to force schoolgirls to wear headscarves is that important to the fundamentalists!
In conclusion, misogyny is central to Islamic fascist ideology, just as anti-Semitism was central to Nazism. It is the mullahs obsession. Suppression of women and girls is the measure of their political success and control of society. If women and girls could throw off the hejab, the mullahs theocracy would crumble because the most basic tenet to their ideology and means of control will be defeated. I hope that some day soon Atefehs death will be avenged by the defeat of the mullahs regime.
FP: Our time in this symposium has run out. Lets get a brief statement from each of you. What hope is there? What can we do to help liberate women from behind the Mullahs Curtain? What are some small and large steps we can take?
Zand-Bonazzi: The only way is for the Islamist fascist rule of the Iranian Mullahs to be completely unseated and replaced with a completely secular government in Iran, one which has separated the "church" from the state, as various righteous Ayatollahs, such as Montazeri, Taheri and Haéri advocate and bravely fight for.
Iranians have been contending with these brutal issues for 25 years and now this "virus" is spreading. We have fought on our own and we have had not only no help but weve been actively ignored when we complained; however now it is clear that Iran was just the launching pad for the spread of this murderous ideology and I hope that that is clear.
A good example is the on-going saga of the two French hostages; the French are refusing to lift the ban on the Hijab because in a sense, they wish to enforce or I should say, protect their national identity, as a secular country. The French government has been negotiating the release of these two French journalists who are in custody of the terrorists; after having paid out a huge sum of money to the terrorists, brought French Moslem Imams to the negotiation table, etc. nothing has worked and in the end the ultimate demand is very clear: lift the ban on the Hijab or else. Even the old and poor women who the Mullahs pay (they receive $10 as well as some food) to come and demonstrate for them were brought out in droves in Tehran demonstrating this in order to prove a point to the French...The buck stops in Tehran! The hostages are collateral against the French.
Further, the ruling Mullahs in Iran have even made their usual roguish insincere offer to French Moslem women who wish to wear the Hijab and get an education, to go to Iran and study there at the expense of the Mullahs! What the Mullahs dont reveal however is that there isnt enough money to go around for the best Iranian students to get into schools and universities, let alone some "guest."
I was in Paris back in April and I was taken by a relative to meet a rather large group of Moslem French girls who openly admitted to me that most of them are not virgins (they were all in their late teens and most were from various Arab countries) and that they only date French boys behind their families´ backs. They explained that men from their own community are hot-headed and take out their frustrations on their (young and Westernized) women relatives mostly; these men have become very French in certain ways but at the same time in order to "distinguish" themselves in French society, they have wrapped themselves up in this Islamist cloak in order to intimidate their French "invaders."
Islamism has become their weapon and frankly that is very sad. So North Africans (Tunisian and Algerians) have essentially abandoned their Carthaginian and Phoenician heritage in favor of some random zealots erroneous Islamist harangue. Iranians on the other hand have held on tight to their Persian identity, which is why Islamism is now completely and actively denied. Iranians embrace the spiritual aspects of Islam like Sufism, mysticism and ecstatic awareness. But I digress...
At this juncture, we Iranians are hoping that Westerners understand the very real threat that these people pose to their societies and join us in our struggle against the further spread of this madness (through well organized and continuous acts of civil disobedience and factual and unbiased education). This is not a situation that the left can or should co-opt in order to beat the right with either; its everybodys problem.
Very early on in the revolution, Khomeini demonstrated his loathe for the left by killing off a huge number of leftists who had supported him. The very active heart of the Iranian left, the Fadayeen Khalgh do not support the Mullacracy; I seriously dont understand why the Western leftists attempt to do so! The fact is that the so-called Reformist camp is made up of Islamo-leftists who nonetheless advocate imposing the Supreme Leaders interpretation of the Shariá on society. This is still bad news for women. Proof: when it was announced that Shirin Ebadi had won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003, she was in Paris, not wearing the mandatory headscarf at her press conference and for the first few days she made great statements such as: "instead of telling Muslim women to cover their heads, we should tell them to use their heads. We must not accept anything that is rejected by our reason." A couple of days later Khatami gave Ebadi a very stern public warning, saying, Ebadi should not abuse her new status!" After that Ebadi capitulated and began to tow "Gods" party line!
I would like to thank you for inviting me to participate in your Symposium. I hope my comments have been helpful in illuminating a small part of what Iranian women and female children have had to endure for a quarter of a century. It is important that the West really comprehends that no one is immune anymore and that Christian, Jew, Moslem or Buddhist...the function of religion really needs to be a persons relationship with ones own God and not a weapon that one can utilize to threaten humanity.
FP: So my question, what can we do to liberate Iranian women in Iran and all women who suffer under Islamism? You say to bring down the Iranian regime. Ok. So how do we work toward that goal? What is the best way to make a revolution possible?
Zand-Bonazzi: We must make EU understand that time for dialogue is over and that they must stop doing business with the Mullahs. The firm decision must be made, once and for all to bring the case of the Mullahs to the Security Council for sanctions (that Iranian people INSIDE Iran have been desperately seeking for the last 3 years). There is simply no other way. Bombing Iran or invasion is simply not an option...but when the entire world gets together and blocks these characters, the Iranian people inside Iran will feel empowered and well supported and will happily do the rest!
Kobrin: The first thing which must be done is to begin to make the link between violence behind closed doors of the home and violence in public spaces. A serious discussion concerning the centrality of the hatred of women in political violence must occur. It is not tangential -- it is key. Political leaders worldwide are capable to take this step and to connect the dots. Zero will change if this is not done. The Mullahs' terrorism needs to be exposed for what it really is -- that it is nothing more than learned behavior in the home by age three -- the need to hate and the need to have an enemy. The first person to be hated is the early mother of childhood. Hatred of the mother gets translated into the hatred of women and little girls but it goes unrecognized. So if you were to tell the late Ayatollah Khomeini that he hated his mother and therefore he abused his wife Batool, he probably would have sung his mother's praises in complete and total denial.
Yet, we are all in denial so long as we refuse to see that the problem is right under our nose -- the hatred of the mother and how that takes shape in fantasy and reality. We all harbor the potential to murder. In cultures where shame, honor and blood vengeance is the norm, women and little girls most especially will continue to be completely devalued and their lives expendable. In the end violence is violence -- it does not care if you call it political violence or domestic violence.
Second, education is key to debunking what these charlatans are all about and how they manipulate others by terrorizing them. The Mullahs use the executions as a tactical tool to achieve a political end just as Hizbollah initiated suicide terror attacks as a tactical tool to achieve its political end.
Finally, freedom is very scary because it means assuming responsibility and making change. What is familiar, even if it is terrifying and abusive, is felt to be better than nothing. Yet even the smallest gesture of support holds the potential for effecting change. In the end a regime which executes a young sixteen year old girl for "acts incompatible with chastity," has sown its own demise. The Mullahs do not know how revealing their murderous behavior really is.
FP: Thank you Ms. Kobrin, but can you please specify your answer to my question? What can we do in the West to free women who are enslaved by Islamic fundamentalism? Give a few concrete suggestions. I take it you are saying in general that we ourselves must work on our own misogyny and also proclaim moral support to those persecuted behind the Mullahs Curtain. Can you just briefly crystallize a few suggestions?
Kobrin: At a grass roots level it is imperative that we maintain contact with our local, state and federal government representatives and advocate for women's rights, most especially within Iran and the larger Arab Muslim world.
Misogyny is NEVER acceptable. Much can be done locally too as there are now large Muslim immigrant communities throughout the United States, Europe and even Latin America. Helping these communities and their women integrate into American society for example, gives them a new experience which they relate to those back home. Meeting with other women in an interfaith setting on an ongoing basis can also provide support to those Muslim women who are attempting to promote change within their communities. I do not pretend that there are a series of concrete things that can be done - often the most important is the one that is done the least -- namely to listen carefully to the other in order to offer perhaps, a new perspective, a new possibility.
FP: Dr. Hughes, last word goes to you. What can we do to liberate the persecuted under this Islamist Evil Empire?
Hughes: Women and girls cannot be liberated from the grip of the misogynous mullahs without overthrowing the entire theocracy and freeing all the people of Iran. The only acceptable form of government which will give women full citizenship and equal opportunity for full participation in all areas of society is a democracy with separation between mosque and state.
The Iranian theocracy cannot be reformed. Iran is a dictatorship based on the ruling principle of velayat-e fahiq which means rule by the supreme religious leader who has guardianship over the entire country. Ayatollah Khomeini was the first supreme leader, and after his death he was replaced by Ayatollah Khamenei, who still rules. The supreme religious leader holds decision making power over all major departments, most importantly the police, military, and intelligence services. He heads the Council of Guardians that decides who can run for office and can veto any laws passed by the parliament. The velayat-e-fahiq is not a system that can be reformed. That is why western leaders 25 year search for moderate mullahs and reformists has failed.
There is no doubt the people, particularly the women, of Iran are past ready to kick out the mullahs. For years there have been local and national demonstrations against the regime by workers, teachers, and students. (I recommend the following three news sites that report resistance activities: The Student Movement Coordinating Committee http://www.daneshjoo.org/, Iran Focus http://www.iranfocus.com/, and Iran va Jahan http://iranvajahan.net/english/). The regime brutally suppressed all opposition. One exile group estimates that the Iranian regime has murdered 120,000 people for political activities against the regime. It is hard for us on the outside of Iran to know much about organized resistance inside Iran because all efforts must be kept secret.
We know the opposition inside Iran, which includes women, is pro-democracy, pro-Western, and even pro-American. They want to rid themselves of all the trappings of theocracy and construct a secular government. Most of President Khatamis supporters who believed he would support reform now realize that he will not or cannot bring about liberalization. They too have turned to supporting a democratic revolution.
Outside Iran, there are a number of exile groups that campaign for the overthrow of the Iranian regime. All of these groups claim they have wide support inside Iran. How much communication and cooperation there is between exile groups and opposition inside Iran is hard to know.
A number of individuals and groups advocate non-violent resistance. One non-violent strategy is a call for an internationally supervised referendum in which Iranian citizens could vote for the type of government they want. (See Committee in Support of Referendum http://www.referendum-iran.org/) The former Shah of Irans son, Reza Pahlavi (http://www.rezapahlavi.org), also supports non-violent resistance. The biggest drawback to his campaign, in my mind, is that he wants a constitutional monarchy where he will be installed as the King (Shah) of Iran. The days of setting up or reviving monarchies are gone. This past summer I spoke at a rally in Toronto to commemorate the student uprising in Iran several years ago. The older generation is loyal to the Shah and now his son Reza Pahlavi, but I found the younger generation supported a western-style democracy. Shahs belong to their parents generation and memories.
Non-violent resistance can succeed only if there is a limit to the violence and murder that the Iranian regime will use to suppress citizens. For the past 25 years, the regime has freely arrested and executed activists. They are tyrants who will not give up power willingly.
There was one armed opposition group, the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalq or MEK) which has existed since the days of the Shah. The PMOI opposed Islamic fundamentalism immediately after the revolution when Khomeini seized power and engaged in low level combat with the Iranian regime until recently. In the late 1990s, during the Clinton administration when there were efforts to normalize relations with Iran, this group was placed on the U.S. State Departments terrorist list, although their last known act of aggression against the U.S. was 25 years ago during their opposition to the Shah. In Spring 2003, the U.S. bombed their camps along the Iranian border in Iraq and disarmed them. This summer, after a review process, the U.S. announced that none of the personnel could be linked to acts of terrorism and the people in the camp were given protected status. PMOI now says it is a political organization. In recent weeks, as Irans nuclear program looks increasingly threatening, there have been calls for the U.S. to rearm the PMOI and let them serve in the way the Northern Alliance did in Afghanistan.
There is one aspect of this group that is of special interest to our discussion of misogynous mullahs: Advancement of womens rights is one of their primary objectives. In fact, most of the leaders of the organization, including military commanders, are women. They believe the best way to defeat Islamic fundamentalism is to prove in practice that fundamentalists claims about the physical, emotional, and intellectual inferiority of women are lies.
If one can measure the strength of fundamentalists by the depth to which they suppress women, then maybe one can also measure the strength of a resistance movement by how much the fundamentalists hate it. A quick Google search reveals that there are few groups in the world that are as demonized as this one. I have met women from the PMOI and their politics and characters do not match how they are portrayed in these articles. (This opposition group is also the one that is revealing the Iranian regimes nuclear secrets.)
Our symposium has focused on why 16-year old Atefeh was hanged, why an unchaste teenage girl was so threatening to a judge and the mullahs system. I often wonder if the mullahs dont have a similar need to vilify an opposition movement that claims that women themselves will strike the blow that overthrows the fundamentalists.
I agree with Ms. Zand-Bonazzi, the western world needs to get beyond its denial about the Iranian regime. The European Union and Russia must stop doing business with them. Without trade and scientific resources the Iranian regime would become vulnerable to internal pressure quite quickly. We need to support the opposition groups, inside and outside Iran, morally and financially. The U.S. needs to remove the PMOI from the terrorist list. There are many individuals and groups that are eager to push the mullahs out of power, and all of them are committed democracy. These are educated, talented and experienced individuals, many of whom are women, who understand and support the rule of law, and place freedom and rights for women at the top of their agenda for a future Iran.
I dont know the exact path that should be taken to oust the mullahs, but a crisis over nuclear weapons is clearly developing. I think that engagement with and support for opposition groups is the best way forward.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this important forum.
Id like to direct your attention to the following web sites for more information on Islamic fundamentalism in Iran:
Womens Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran http://www.wfafi.org/.
See Publications section for texts on religious fascism and misogyny in Iran http://www.iranncrfac.org/.
FP: Donna Hughes, Nancy Kobrin, and Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, thank you for joining Frontpage Symposium. We cherish your work and commitment to this subject and heart-shattering reality. Once again, we dedicate the time and energy we have spent here today to Atefeh and her family. Let us hope that perhaps through the darkness that was perpetrated against her, there may have been a flicker of light ignited that will one day free all the persecuted peoples who suffer under the despotism and terror of Islamism.
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Atomic Ayatollahs: Jed Babbin, Jon Loftus and Reza Bayegan.
Feminist Anti-Semitism: Phyllis Chesler, Elinor Burkett and Tricia Roth.
The Islamic Reformation: Kamal Nawash, Walid Shoebat and Khaleel Mohammed.
The War on Terror: How Are We Doing? Robert Leiken, Daniel Pipes and Michael Ledeen.
KGB Resurrection: Mihai Pacepa, James Woolsey and Vladimir Bukovsky.
The Koran and Anti-Semitism: Bat Ye'or, Khaleel Mohammed and Robert Spencer.
A Tale of Two Wars: David Kaiser, Stephen J. Morris and Michael Rubin.
The Muslim Convert: Thomas Haidon, Nonie Darwish and Walid Shoebat.