ISLAM IS AGAINST WOMENS RIGHTS
TEHRAN 4 Aug. (IPS) Islam, in at least 90 points, is against granting women normal and equal conditions with men and removing discriminations against them, according to senior Iranian clerics.
Denouncing sharply the reformists-dominated Majles for having approved a bill authorising the Iranian government to join the International Convention for Fighting all Forms of Discriminations Against Women, Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi said by doing so, the Majles "has proved what we knew, that it was acting against Islam".
"By approving the scandalous Convention, the deputies have insulted the sources of imitation", Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi told a gathering of orthodox students and clerics controlled by the conservatives, hoping that those who have voted the bill would take it back.
The subject has created a new tension between the ruling conservatives and the reformers, already in confrontation over several issues, including the crackdown on students, journalists and dissidents, the death of the Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi at the hands of Iranian security services and government bills aiming at curtailing the abusive powers of the Council of the Guardians.
Joining other senior clerics on the payroll of Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi, the leader of the Islamic Republic, Mr. Mesbah-Yazdi, nicknamed "Temsah (crocodile)-Yazdi" for his hawkish positions against reforms and reformists, urged the Council of the Guardians to reject the motion.
The leader-controlled Council has the duty to check that laws passed by the Majles are in strict conformity with the Sharia, or Islamic laws, as well as vetting all candidates for any elections.
"This Convention is a product of the imperialism aimed at imposing Western corrupt culture on that of Islam", continued Ayatollah Noori Hamedani, another orthodox cleric, speaking for worshippers in the city of Qom, the "cradle" of Shia militantism.
Mr. Hamedani strongly criticised the minority fraction of the Majles for its silence, describing the Convention as a "plot" by the west to undermine Islam.
"This (Majles approval of joining the Convention) is a betrayal against Islam, the Revolution and our women who, hopefully, are awakened to enemies plots", he added, as hundred of paid theological students marched in the streets, chanting slogans against the lawmakers, Israel, the United States and Britain.
In an editorial, the daily "Jomhoori Eslami" (Islamic Republic) that belongs to Mr. Khamenehi said on Sunday that bets are that by approving the motion authorizing the government to sign the Convention, reformists lawmakers wants to portrait themselves as defenders of womens rights and the conservatives as against.
"Accepting the terms of the Convention of Fighting all Forms of Discriminations Against Women means ignoring laws of Islam concerning women, her social status, obligations towards men, religion, dress, rights with husband and other social issues", the paper noted.
Other hard liners like Mr. Habibollah Asgar Auladi, the General Secretary of the League of Islamic Associations said what the Convention brings for women is much less than what Islam guarantee them in regard of their rights.
But experts on Islam said the faith effectively considers women to be inferior to men and as far as the clerics are concerned, they divide the mankind in two unequal categories of women and men, a situation that is fought by the Convention, they pointed out.
"If the Convention is applied in Iran, many of the present Islam-based laws against women must be removed, giving them equal rights with men in cases of marriages, divorces, travels, guards of the children and many other issues", observed Dr Nayyereh Tohidi during an interview with the Prague-based Radio Farda. http://www.iran-press-service.com