Women vs. God

Women's rights under Islamic Republic


Women vs. God
by Jahanshah Rashidian

In 1936, Reza Shah ordered the public unveiling of women in Iran. The clergy vigorously protested; women of the mercantile middle class stayed home, refusing to appear „naked” in public. Lower middle class and rural women began to work outside the home, most of them in small textile shops. It is the labour of women and children, with their small fingers, which forms the backbone of the carpet industry in Iran.

Any benefits relating to housing or childcare which they receive are given not to them but to their husbands. Their working conditions are harsh, with long hours, low pay and inadequate maternity provisions.

In 1964, Mohammad Reza Shah gave women the right to vote. Family planning was introduced, with free contraceptives and legalised abortion. Clerical jobs in government ministries, banks and commercial offices were filled with women. Women from the middle class entered the professions.

In 1975, the Family Protection Act was passed. It gave women the right to divorce their husbands, required the husband to obtain the first wife’s consent before taking a second, and fixed the legal age of marriage at 16. It placed some restrictions on “sigheh” (temporary marriage), the custom where the husband enjoys all the privileges of marriage for a fixed period of time, usually a few days or hours. After being discarded, the woman generally becomes a prostitute. The Act was a genuine reform; but its impact was limited to those women who could afford to defy their husbands and fathers.

Also in 1975, the Shah spent $50 million to finance the Women’s Organisation of Iran, headed by his sister, Ashraf Pahlavi, a woman with a bad reputation. The Organisation sent students into the countryside in a literacy campaign modelled after the US Peace Corps.

Shah's reforms of women's right actually brought women into public life in Iran. For the upper and middle class, women’s partial emancipation was part of their adaptation to western behaviour. For the Shah, it was a way of challenging the authority of clergy, who repeatedly called for a return to Islamic values.

Ayatollah Khomeini, upon arriving in Paris in October, 1979, was asked by a reporter what the position of women would be in an Islamic society. He replied, “Women are free in the realm of education and in the professions, just as men are. Islam does not exclude women from social life but elevates them to a platform where they are not objectified, where they can assume responsibility in the structure of the Islamic government in accordance with their development”. Immediately upon coming to power, Khomeini declared the Family Protection Act null and void and announced a ban on abortion and contraceptives.

On March 7, 1979, on the eve of International Women’s Day, Khomeini decreed that all women employed by the government must wear the “chador” (an all-enveloping black veil), an extension of four walls of the home.

Thousands of women filled the streets in protest. For three days they marched and rallied; on the third day staged a sit-in at the Palace of Justice, demanding a legal guarantee for their right to choose what to wear and where to work, at home and in society at large.

Women’s demonstrations erupted in Kurdistan, Azarbijan and Isfahan as well. They chanted “At the dawn of freedom, there is no freedom.” The women were attacked by Khomeini’s supporters, armed with knives, who cursed them, yelling “Wear a head or get your head rapped.” They stood at windows along the parade route and exposed their genitals: “This is what you want, you whores!” The women’s male supporters linked arms and formed a protective barrier around them.

The demonstrations forced Khomeini to retreat; he claimed to have said only that women should be modestly dressed. Nevertheless, thousands of women were fired from their jobs in the beginning of 1079, accused of looking like “western dolls”.

On June 29, 1980, mandatory veiling was imposed. No exceptions are made for women of religions other than Islam.

March, 1979. On the eve of the referendum for the Islamic Republic, Khomeini reiterated his promises in order to lure voters to the polls. “Islam has considered women’s right to be higher than those of men. Women have the right to vote which is denied them in the West. Our women can vote and be elected. They are free in all aspects of their lives and can freely choose from most areas of employment. We promise you that in the Islamic government, every person will be free to achieve his or her rights.”

But what does freedom mean to the Islamic Republic? The first women to lose their jobs were the radio and television announcers, whose presence on the airwaves was considered immodest. Then women lawyers were forbidden to practice and dismissed from their jobs at the Justice Department. Their efforts to retain their positions met with failure. Thousands of workers were laid off in the industrial slowdown which followed the revolution, among them a disproportionate number of women. Children centres were closed down and the new labour laws did nothing to relieve their right.

October 2, 1979. A bill is passed, establishing a special civil court to handle matrimonial cases. It legalised polygamy and sigheh and lowers the marriage age for girls to 13 years. In fact, girls can be married at age of 9 with their father’s consent. Women can divorce their husbands only if they stipulate that possibility in a contract made prior to the marriage.

The school have been segregated by sexes, thus barring women from religious seminaries and technical colleges and halting the education of girls in villages.

The school books have been revised, showing veiled women in the home, raising children and cooking; Darwin’s theory of evolution has been expunged. The schools are used to hunt down critics of the regime; attempts are made to trick children into releasing incriminating information about their parents.

Women’s participation in sports has been crippled; they are forbidden to enter international contests and are required to wear voluminous clothing, even while swimming. Men and women are segregated at all times, at public stadiums, at the beach and etc.

Islamic morality demands an end to pleasure: wine, music, dancing, chess (for a few years) and backgammon, have been all banned. Women’s part in theatre and cinema stipulates that female actors wear Islamic veil.

Soon after the revolution, Mr. Bani Sadr, who has lived 15 years in France, was asked by a television interviewer if it was true that women’s hair emits sexually enticing rays and if this is why Islam requires the veil. “Yes, it is true,” was his reply.

In November 1079, a conference drew 2,500 women, who met by candlelight when the Tehran authorities cut off the electricity at their meeting place. A rally on International Women’s Day, 1980, drew a crowd of 7,000-8,000.

The regime has responded by forming its own women’s group, which produced a newspaper, “The Moslem Women,” which the main task was to inculcate misogynistic norms into mind of women.

The Constitution was announced on December 1, 1979. It regards motherhood as women’s reason for being. “Since the family is the unit of Islamic society, all relevant rules and regulations and planning should be done to facilitate its formation and to guard its continuity on the basis of Islamic laws.” (Article 10).

The Bill of Retribution, a criminal law passed in 1981, stipulated that women have half the value of men in the eyes of the law. In this Bill, a murderer may pay a sum of money, called blood money, to his victim's family in order to escape punishment by death. If the murderer is a man and the victim is a woman, the woman's family is required to pay half the man's blood money if he is to receive the death sentence; this is because her life is equal to only half of his, so the family is required to pay for the other half. If they do not pay, the man can pay them the women's blood money and be set free.

The Bill of Retribution was the platform to which Khomeini has elevated Iranian women.


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Jahanshah Rashidian

Ms. Sara Hejazi / Mr.Farhad Kashani

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Thanks for supporting the articles and the right of women that is trampled under the misogynistic Islamic regime in Iran, and it was for a long time ignored by our "secular" intellectuals.


Thank you for this article

by Sara Hegazi (not verified) on

Thank you for this article Mr.Rashidian.


Jamshiad and Mr. Rashidian,

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Jamshiad and Mr. Rashidian, you guys are totally right. Women under this regime get stoned, Iran is one of, maybe the only, countries in the world that imposes dress code on women, and women can't hold Rahbar or presidental office, they get arrested in hundreds of thousand because simply they didn't have "hijab" (Only few our of thousands of examples how woemn have next to zero rights in Iran),,,,and there are still Iranians who claim women have rights in this regime. Incredible!

Rosie T.

Dear Anon3, I have read your link to the article

by Rosie T. on


 and it has provided the missing link I've been searching for.  It is as I suspected.  There WERE people who investigated Khomeini's past and questioned him on it, and he did not renege, and they went back and reported to the United Front but the United Front wouldn't listen because they were living in a land of wish fulfillment.  Jamshid once wrote that there were four generations at the time of the Revolution, the children, the youth, the leaders in their prime and the elderly, and that the leaders in their prime betrayed the youth.  I believe he is right.

I also believe that there is a collective sense of guilt and shame because of it.  Everyone blames Khomeini with "We didn't know" when they SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. They should have been told. The information was suppressed. The leaders were dreaming. They knew about the leopard and they dreamed he could change his spots. It is shameful.

Until it is scrutinized, there can be no inner peace. And if there is no inner peace, there can be no outer peace.

 Thank you so much for the link. When are you going to register?


Re: Rosie

by jamshid on

If all moslems behaved without resorting to labeling and in a calm self-controlled manner, like this Ali guy in this thread has done, then I too could start being the same way. The thing is that the majority would immediately attack you, and if the envrioment permits, they would physically persecute you as well.

My attitude is a natural reaction to violent persecution in Iran. The only way I can engage in the type of dialogue you are suggesting, is with none-violent moslems who oppose the IRI. Both conditions, none-violent, opposed to IRI, must be met. I know there are many of them. In fact, they are the majority of Iranians. I have had many good constructive discussions with them in the past.

Rosie T.

Jamshid, it is a question of languaging and tone, as with most

by Rosie T. on

issues.  Your points are valid. The Iranian masses don't visit this site, and I certainly support the kinds of articles on Islam which JR writes. But it isn't only a question of not polarizing the Iranian masses, it's a question of not polarizing the discussion on the website, which makes people forget the common ground tmost people share in wishing to see the IRI go. Here is an analogy regarding language and tone: I always say as a non-Zionist that criticsm of the state of Israel should scrupulously acknowledge the historical antecedents, otherwise again it polarizes the discussion.

Wouldn't it be better to inject into the critique of Islam an acknowledgement of other possible Islams? Historically they have there must bemullahs against Shariah (?). Maybe what I'm saying here isn't relevant to you. You're pretty die-hard in your conviction that Islam itself is at the root of the problems. I see it more as how Islam has been interpreted and used.

Any religion can be interpreted and used in any number of ways. Islam is no exception. It's just that in modern history it has usually been a certain way. But it doesn't have to be. I just think acknowledging that would help move the discussion toward common ground. Why NOT a Sharia-less Islam? Old Testament law is no longer observed in Judaism. Reform Judaism has almsot nothing to do with any  literal interpretation of the Bible. 

That's all I can really say about it, except that whatever the argument is, tone is always very important, it is as important as content.


To Jamshid

by Ali (not verified) on

You said: "And what about prohibiting "bot parasti"? That would change the "social structure" of their society FAR more than marring six years olds. Nevertheless, mohamad prohibited it bot parasti, but not marriage with children.

Answer why? "

Of course he made some big reforms. He even changed the entire role of the "tribe" within the society, the role of women, and their entire perspective of life, humanity...etc(see Karen Armstrong book about Mohammad). But the role of a Prophet is not to build the perfect society right away for people to live in, but to set them on the right track for their evolution. Otherwise, humanity would have needed only ONE Prophet to bring for them, once and for all, a perfect system with the best technology and ultimate knowledge and science.

Since the beginning of time, humanity has been in a constant evolution. Its consciousness has evolved through different stages, and the greatest scientists, philosophers, Artists, political leaders, Saints an Prophets were all people who appeared at the most crucial points of this evolution and acted as both reformers and catalysts to put humanity back on track and speed its evolution.

If something was wrong, they encourage and sometimes even scared or forced people to change it. For example; in the case of slavery, Islam did not ask people to abolish it but promised the greatest rewardss for those who freed slaves. And they are many many verses in the Quran encouraging people to free their slaves. But some other things were just forbidden right away.

And as for marrying young girls, I repeat again, this was NOT something wrong at that time. It did not need to be changed. The life expectancy was much shorter than now, the physiological development was much more rapid, and tribes needed to create family bonds with each other to guaranty more stability and peace. So, once again you keep asking why Mohammad changed this but not that. Why he changed people's beliefs but did not stop them from marrying young girls. Well, again because marrying young girls was not wrong at that time.


Re: Rahnoma

by jamshid on

That does it!

You hypocrite ignorants lost souls have the audacity to say, ba poor rooyieh va bi sharmieh har cheh tamaamtar, that drinking a glass of wine was worst than marrying a six years old girl? SIX YEARS OLD FOR CRYING OUTLOUD!

In what tavileh were you raised to think this way? What brainwashing mechanism has brought your humanity to these low levels as to defend a pedophile? To what degree are you willing to sell your very humanity? Is this Islam? Then thanks god I am not a moslem. Thanks god I am not one of you.

Islam's rigidness and lack of reformabiltiy is, thanks god, the nail in its own coffin. Islam is its own worst enemy.



What makes us to accept

by rahnoma (not verified) on

What makes us to accept marital age for a woman to be 9 or 29? I like every person who has made comments in this side to respond to this.
Basically we make these rules as we go on and do it based on how easy can we live. The social structures for human are made by human. Some of these human made structures are not good, some are ugly and some are perfect. There is a tendency in every moral and religious order to come and make changes that have immediate effects on the society. Therefore, one might argue that alcohol was percieved to be more destructive at he time of Mohammad to the society than marrying muture 9 years old arab girls. There is ample evidence of Mohammad's call for treating woman and wives fair and with Ensaaf.
Was Mohammad doing this based on a divine or personal moral values really doesn't make a difference. What is important is that he was doing what was good for the human race at that time. He was teaching humanity to humans. Our believes in god and his messengers is a personal experience and each individual will find an answer to this question in their own way and their own pace. It is wrong for us to jugde believers or non believers. It is also wrong for us to judge divine Mohammad by our own made up moral values of 21 century. Because marrying at age 29 may not be divine either.
At last Divine is what human can go to bed (not as an act of sex) and have a clear conscience to say that I really, to the best of my knowledge and capaciy, did everything I could to show true love to another human being or another existance.(even if it was 9 years old arab wife 1500 years ago). How often can we say that about our divinity and our 29 years old wives now?


Re: Ali

by jamshid on

Take a look at your fallacy:

Quote: "Prohibiting the consumption of alcohol can not be compared to changing the entire social structure of a society..."

And what about prohibiting "bot parasti"? That would change the "social structure" of their society FAR more than marring six years olds. Nevertheless, mohamad prohibited it bot parasti, but not marriage with children.

Answer why?


To jamshid

by Ali (not verified) on

Prohibiting the consumption of alcohol (which is just a habit) can not at all be compared to changing the entire social structure of a society. In the U.S today, the government might prohibit "drinking and driving" or smoking marijuana, but it can not force people to suddenly become polygamous and marry multiple wives!!

And I repeat, if people married 9 year olds at that time, it was because it suited the needs and realities of their societies. It wasn't something "wrong" that needed to be fixed.


Re: Ali

by jamshid on

I am discussing only the case where we are asssuming Mohamad was the prophet of god.

You did not answer why did Mohamad banned alcohol which was "customary", but not marriage with children which was also "customary" in those times?

The only argument you repeat is that something that may be wrong in today's standards, could have been fine in the distant past.

I agree with you. Human beings evolve with time. But we are not talking about ordinary people. We are talking about God and his prophet. Therefore we have to raise the standards. We are talking about a god that commands mohamad to ban alcohol, but he does not command him to ban sex with children. At the very least, mohamad himself should have refrained from this behaviour. Remember we are talking about God.

You argue that God did not command it because it was "ok" in those days to have sex with children. Why did he ban alcohol then? What kind of a @#$ god is that?

You can beat this to death, but you won't be able to resolve this contradiction.


To Jamshid

by Ali (not verified) on

You said: "...or he was the prophet of god, a god that does not meet today's moral standards"

We should not confuse the "norms" (orf) with "morals". The norms of the society are constantly changing and a behavior that might be considered "acceptable" (moral) at one time, might not be at other times. But what defines the norm is just the balance and stability of the society and what is considered "immoral" is what disturbs this balance.

For example, marrying several wives might at one time be considered as a very noble act and at another time as a violation of human rights. Or again, having many children might be considered as a noble act at one time, and as an immoral act at other times. It all depends on the specific needs of the society at a particular time.

So, when it comes to social arrangements (rules of marriage, age of adulthood...) it is impossible to point at one particular behavior (usually the Western one!!) at a particular time in history, and consider it as the ultimate and universal "right way" to behave. It is impossible, because the societies are constantly evolving and hence the norms are changing. So, you can not complain about God not meeting the "norms" of Western industrial societies at the 21th century. God's morals are NOT the social norms of Saudi Arabia of 14 centuries ago, but universal values that can apply in every society at any time.


Re: Ali and Tahirih

by jamshid on

Ali, interesting response, but I still have to ask, why did he ban alcohol (arabs loved drinking), and cetain marriages, but not marrying with children?

My whole point is that there are only two possiblities. Either Mohamad was not the prophet of god, or he was the prophet of god, a god that does not meet today's moral standards, which by definition is an impossiblity. So I prefer to believe that Mohamad was just a man, not a prophet. As such, you are correct, it was within the boundaries of customs and traditions to marry a child. This easily excuses mohamad's behaviour in many other areas as well. We can then consider him an above average man since he accomplished a lot. BUT, it also means Islam was not sent by god!

Tahiri: I am absolutely fine with your belief in god, as long at is not imposed on me, and as long as I am allowed to preach my religion which states that we cannot prove the existence of god.

Also, just so that in the future someone does not use your sun and moon analogy against you, I thought you should know this: The sun and the moon are composed for the most part of the same particles. It is the immense forces of gravity that make the sun behave differently than the moon, not the type of particles. Every atom in your body, at some point in time, belonged to a distant star that died somewhere far away. sun, moon, our body, mind, are all composed of the same "stuff"!

Come to think of it, I have always wondered why there are no sport and science blogs in this site?


Dear Mr Rashidian:

by Tahirih (not verified) on

While ago there was an article in the Times magazine,concluding that there is a thing as" God gene" in some people,which implies some people are born to be spiritual,I am not sure about it, but if it is true ,I am one of those!
My Dear,it is a hard argument, to be able to answer the one trillion $ question of proving God!or the essence of soul.
I have a short answer and it stisfies me,because I already believe in him.But it may not be appealing to you,anyway here it goes:

"the mind is the power of the human spirit. Spirit is the lamp; mind is the light which shines from the lamp. Spirit is the tree, and the mind is the fruit. Mind is the perfection of the spirit and is its essential quality, as the sun’s rays are the essential necessity of the sun".

This explanation, though short, is complete(to Me).


To Jamshid and Ali:

by Tahirih (not verified) on

I Have so many things to do in my life that I may not be able to respond as fast as I want.So please excuse my delays!
I think Ali is trying to say the following to Jamshid,which I am sure by now has a good knowledge of religions:

Manifestations have three planes. First, the physical reality, which depends upon the body; second, the individual reality, that is to say, the rational soul; third, the divine appearance, which is the divine perfections, the cause of the life of existence, of the education of souls, of the guidance of people, and of the enlightenment of the contingent world.
The physical state is the human state which perishes because it is composed of elements, and all that is composed of elements will necessarily be decomposed and dispersed.
But the individual reality of the Manifestations of God is a holy reality, and for that reason it is sanctified and, in that which concerns its nature and quality, is distinguished from all other things. It is like the sun, which by its essential nature produces light and cannot be compared to the moon, just as the particles that compose the globe of the sun cannot be compared with those which compose the moon. The particles and organization of the former produce rays, but the particles of which the moon is composed do not produce rays but need to borrow light. So other human realities are those souls who, like the moon, take light from the sun; but that Holy Reality is luminous in Himself.

So I think Jamshid and most of non religious friends are confusing the different aspects of the Manifestations.They all had to go to washroom,eat and sleep,and as humans they had the desires of flesh.But this does not negate the spiritual and divine side of them.
Rasole Akram,also experienced the same .
We have to compare him to a man from his time,he was a manifestation of God ,not GOD!


To Jamshid

by Ali (not verified) on

First; You didn't get my point at all. The point of my last post was not to prove to you whether or not Mohammad was a Prophet of God, but to point out at fallacy in your reasoning according to YOUR OWN arguments. That does mean that I agreed with your "historical facts" or your "theological" interpretations. I was just showing you, with pure logical reasoning, that you can not judge Mohammad as perfect human being (Prophet of God) whenever it suits you and as an average man the rest of the time.

Let me give you a simpler example to better illustrate my point: Let's say that you tell me and everyone else that you are "Superman" and you start helping people to the limit of your ability. And I absolutely do not believe that you are Superman. But I STILL criticize you, insult you and call you all kinds of names for NOT having flown to the air to save a person who was falling for a tall building!!

Do you get what I mean?! You have to be CONSISTENT in the premises of your original statement. You can not change the original premise to make a more "dramatic" point or anytime it suits you.

Again, I am using YOUR OWN views regarding Mohammad marrying a girl at a young age.

But as for the "historical facts", then again you are completely offside. It was NOT morally wrong at all to marry 9 years old at that time the tribal society of Arabia. It was not "statutory rape" nor "pedophilia", but just a NATURAL process; The average life expectancy of a women at that time should not have been more that 30-35 and they were physiologically and psychologically developed and mature enough to get married. 1500 years from now, the legal age for marriage might become 50, and they can not look back and call us "pervert" for marrying young. Moral standards are DIFFERENT in different eras and different times.

Plus, even marriage did not have the same function back then in their society as it does today in ours. Marriage essentially meant creating a strong family bond with other tribes in order to decrease the chances of war. That's one of the main reasons for polygamy. And this is EXACTLY why Mohammad married Aisha, and it was her FATHER "Abubakr" who insisted for the marriage to take place in oder to decrease the tensions of war between their tribes.

Now, why did I say that your comments about Islam were your own interpret ions, while you pretend that the verse are "clear" in their command?!

Again you have to have a basic knowledge of Islam and its history to answer this question. The Quran itself says some verses have been sent just for particular circumstances in particular context and some others are to be followed to the end of time. They are called (ayeh naasekh and mansoor or again ayeh Mohkam va Moshabeh). For example, there is a verse in the Quran asking Muslims to face "masjedol-agha" in their prayer. But Muslims do NOT follow that verse anymore do they?!

And so many "violent" verses (like the ones in sureh tobeh) were sent in the middle of a WAR (badr). Now to know which verses are temporary and which ones are eternal, is the job of Marja's and other authorities (at least in Shia Islam) NOT you and I.

That why I said that your comments were your OWN interpretations.

Hope you are satisfied now.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Rosie / Tahirih

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Following your exchange of comments, I know that both of you have a touch for a kind of spirituality.

I think you have right to follow a habit of human species, which idealistically binds everything with metaphysics, which is not aberrant at all, but on the contrary, human explains nature and creates religions. What is the reality beyond our three dimensional ability of perception, is a mysterious puzzle our true essence. Religion speaks of the soul, a non physical substance, therefore rarely does anyone attempt to say what it is. And so soul remains a vague but profound question mark at the centre of our curosity. Despite the confusion, we tend that our soul is who we really are, undeniably important even if always hidden.

To begin to make sense of this, we can look to the major spiritual traditions for guidance on questions of the soul. All religions propound notions of soul, of levels of soul, and of corresponding levels of experience. Soul serves as the bridge between Heaven and Earth, and is thus central to all spirituality. Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, and the ancient Greeks view the soul as a composite, incorporating various levels or parts. The lower level exhibits similarities to our physical body. Higher levels are progressively more refined, with the highest approaching God.

And how religion can join some modern  sciences to prove soul and all these stages of spiritual evolution is another expectation of non-religious people.


Re: Ali

by jamshid on

What I wrote is clear and free of fallacy. There were historical facts. Others were questions about mohamad. It is you who is using fallacy to dodge answering the questions.

Your fallacy is in using the fact that I don't believe in Mohamad as a prophet. You then say that it was ok for mohamad to have sex with a nine years old child because he was just a man. Let's analyze your fallacy. It is not a type of fallacy that is difficult to expose.

1. If mohamad was NOT the prophet of god then what is all this discussion? We are then in agreement. Mohamad was an imperfect sex hungry average but smart arab who reformed his people. He did an excellent job too. But then this implies that Islam is not the religion of god. It is not a religion, period. If you profess to this then we are done and this discussion is over.

2. If mohamad WAS indeed the prophet of god and was sent to us to guide human beings, then we have a conflict. Why did he married a six years old? And had sex with her when she was nine? You answer that it was "customary" in those days. But wait a mintue, wasn't mohamad (remember we are assuming he WAS a prophet) supposed to ban "bad" customs? Didn't he ban, for example, alcohol? Why didn't he ban marriage with children? If it was "customary" to marry children in those days, it was "customary" to drink too. Why ban alcohol and not sex with children?

What part of this question is fallacy?

Quote from your post: "If you want to conduct a proper analysis of Islam, you do need to have some academic training and a good overall knowledge in several fields of social sciences..."

It is funny that in the past we were told that if we want to know about Islam, we have to be able to read Koran. That pretty much shut everyone up because if iliteracy or not knowing arabic. Today we can all read Koran, in farsi, english, any language. Now that this cannot be used as an excuse, you are resorting to "you have to have academic training in not one but several field of social sciences..." One more way to keep religion out of the reach of ordinary people. However, nobody buys your claim today. One does not need to have "acadamic training" in order to decide for himself if mohamad was the prophet of god or not.

You are sounding more and more like the mullahs.


To Jamshid

by Ali (not verified) on

You said: "I think we have no choice about being selective. For example if an Evin "torture specialist" comes to this site and express his opinion, he should be ready to take whatever is thrown at him"

We are not talking about extreme cases such a "torturer specialist" but mostly average people interested in politics with different views and opinions. Otherwise, a former SAVAKI agent or a member of the MKO...etc should also be ready to take whatever is thrown at them, if they are not deeply regretful for the past actions.

And regarding your views about the Prophet of Islam; your judgment is very superficial and your analysis is full of fallacies. And I am not speaking as a Muslim but as an object observer with some academic background.

For example you say (and I am not speaking as a Muslim, just as an objective a: "Even if it was ok to marry with a nine years old girl in those days, why at least didn't HE, the prophet of God himself, refrain from engaging in this behavior?"

The huge fallacy is that you consider Mohammad as an average person (not a prophet of God) but you ALSO judge him as a "Prophet of God" whenever it suits you. If Mohammad was not a Prophet of God, then he can not be judged (and I am using your own reasoning) for living according to the rules and marital customs of his time and society. And, as a matter of fact, you should even give him lots of credit as a great and intelligent reformist who successfully changed many inhuman and barbaric behaviors of his society (like the ones you yourself mentioned)

So, if you do not consider Mohammad a messenger of God, then you can only judge him as average person, a politician and a reformer.

Many Iranians (maybe including you) consider Reza Shah as a great leader, and they often argue that whatever "undemocratic" move that the made or whatever act of "violence" that he committed, should not be judged according to standards of today's modern societies but should rather be seen as acts of reform within the time and context in which he lived. But when it comes to Mohammad (who lived MUCH longer a ego and in a MUCH different society) you do not hesitate to judge him not only as an average man but also a Prophet of God (which you don't believe he was), and according to the standards of 21th century modern societies, and not just for what he did during his life time, but also for whatever happened for decades and centuries after his passing!!

The rest of your arguments are also filled with such fallacies and lack of proper analysis. If you want to conduct a proper analysis of Islam, you do need to have some academic training and a good overall knowledge in several fields of social sciences.

Jahanshah Rashidian


by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Human species has an old tendency to explain or tie everything with metaphorical forces. The tendency is as old as Neanderthal and ,in my views, has an inevitable base in psychology of human, a starting point of our abstract intelligence, looking for early discovery of nature. Only through this tendency, probably a gift of evolution, idealism gave birth to religions.

What Tahirih, in a literal manner, described about the necessary  adaptability of religions to our today’s needs, seems to me a part of this idealism, of course his writings are more moral than religious. He seems to present a certain“ modern” moral- based faith as a moral balance for human. However, the missing issue remains the convincing part, the authenticity of religion in general and his moral-based faith epecifically itself, the question remains if it really represents a divine mission?

I personally have no religion-- I do not rule out a source of universal intelligence-- but I do not believe in any religious God. I  respect any religion as long as is not a social and political order.

Muslims are still a majority in Iran and their religion must be respected, though fairly analysed. Political Islam as an engaged political system can be criticised like any other.

Islamists and pro-IRI, who have no blood of innocent people on the hands and are not corrupt or in leading position, are partly unconsciously pulled in the early organs of the regime.  In my view, let us give them a chance to recognise the facts, they may change the camp.

Jahanshah Rashidian


by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Thanks for your informative comments. In one of your comments to Ali, you correctly mentioned about Koranic orders to hijab.

I want to add that hijab, like many other Islamic orders, depended on very specific and individual circumstances. In other words, it has no universal value.

Hijab appears in Media’s suhrahs, when Muhammad was a powerful man. Contrary to his previous prophecy in Mecca, living with a wealthy and respectable older wife, Khadijah, Muhammad, in Medina, exaggeratedly adopted the traditional polygamy  by marrying many young women.

In this light, hijab in Islam is not separated from Prophet's bothers with his harem. As described by Ali Dashti in his book "Bisto-Seh Saal" (23 Years), the Prophet used accordingly many verses of the Koran (Surah Ahzaab) to consolidate his position against his very younger wives and to force them into absolute obedience and chastity. In his demand for chastity no standard of Islamic dress has been mentioned. Muhammad’s preoccupations seem to be his personal obsession, especially when banning his wives to remarry after his death, the idea of segregation between his own harem and non-mahrams seems to be Muhammad’s human reaction, but not a divine importance.

Although, Muhammad banned female infanticide in  Arabia, kept a part of misogynistic traditions and incorporated into Islam.


Re: Ali

by jamshid on

Yes, I think we have no choice about being selective. For example if an Evin "torture specialist" comes to this site and express his opinion, he should be ready to take whatever is thrown at him. Also someone like Rafsanjani, or the head of a comite who is abusing people. This can be extended to all those who support the inhuman IRI. 

Sorry, Ali, but what I said about Islam and Mohamad is not subject to interpretation. For example if the Koran says that Allah has COMMANDED you to cut off the limb of a thief, you cannot interpret this in any way except cutting that limb.

And the fact that Mohamad Married a six years old girl is a historical fact that cannot be interpreted. You can't interpret a fact and a number.

Sorry Ali, I know how it feels. Long ago, I have been there too, trying to force a justification for these flaws in order to hang on to my belief in Islam and continue feeling secure and comfortable.

P.S. Hossein and Hassan And Ali were all involved in the killing of your ancestoral Iranians 1400 years ago. So I care less for what he might have said in the past. 


To jamshid

by Ali (not verified) on

You can not be selective about who you can label and call names in a debate and who you can't. If you believe in certain rules of civility, they should be applied for everyone. Otherwise, other people can say say that they won't show any respect for monarchists for all the crimes that were committed during the Pahlavis, other people can say that they won't show any respect for Marxists for all the crimes that were committed by communists....etc And we will never get out of it.

As for your arguments regarding Islam, these are your personal interpretations. They are serious differences of opinion even between the top clerics about these issues. It is a very wrong thing to say (or imply) that the only true interpretation of Islam is that of the hardliners and extremists, and any Muslim who wants to practice his/her religion in a different way is a fake Muslim. Especially coming from a secular person.


To Tahirih

by Ali (not verified) on

You asked which values I liked;

I think that the idea that the human consciousness is continuously evolving towards unity and all the progress of humanity (material and spiritual) should be channeled towards that aim, is very a positive concept that cultivates values such as compassion, tolerance, pluralism...etc and heals sicknesses such as racism, dogmatism, sectarianism..etc

If everyone agreed on those basic values, people could believe in any religion, ideology or none at all and still live in peace together.

Unfortunately this simple concept, is something that nowadays neither the religious nor the secular people understand.

As Emam Hossein said: If you do not believe in religion at least be free-spirited.


Re: Ali

by jamshid on

Ali, you complained about being labeled with different things. I agree. We shoud all refrain from doing this unless....

... unless you are a pro-IRI, including its reformist brand. Then your rights to complain is automatically forfeited. Pro-IRI individuals have no right to complain about anything at all, since they are contributing to the IRI's butchering of Iranians by ways of supporting the IRI.

But I hope you are not a supporter of IRI. If you are not, let me know, because I have seen someone else with the same unregistered id (Ali) supporting the IRI often in this site. One more reason for you to register.

I'd like to respond to some of your answers:

1. "why a woman should be half of a man??" Your answer: "Who says that a woman is half a man?!!"

My answer: Allah says it. He says it in Koran, repeatitively. Have you read Koran? If not, you should. Are you going to oppose Allah?

2. You also said that "I am sure that the great majority of Iranians do not believe that a woman is half a man..."

What the majority of even the entire world thinks is irrelevant. What Allah commands is the only thing that counts. And he says that a woman is half of a man in many important areas. It is in Koran.

3. Regarding blood money you said you agree the laws should change and you said: "so it is only logical adapt the law (Islamic law) to this new condition."

There is a severe problem with "adapting" in Islam. I had said many times that there are many verses in Koran that states:

a. The laws brought forth in Koran are the will of Allah.

b. They are not subject to change by anyone.

c. They are not subject to be questioned either.

d. Mohamad is the last prophet.

Therefore, these laws are permanent. They are not subject to "adapting". For example, Koran clearly states that the limbs of a thief should be cut off. It also clearly states that Allah's commands are not subject to change. Same with blood money. Who gives you the right to challenge Allah and change his law against his will?

3. "Why a woman should cover her hair?" You answered: "No one has the right to force women to wear or to take out their Hejab."

You are false. According to Islam, there is one that has the right to force hejab. His name is Allah. He commanded women to wear hejab. It is in Koran. You have not read Koran with the intention of analyzing it, have you?

4. "Why the age of marriage is 9 years old?" To justify this, you answered: "Every society... had their own social arrangements that suited them better for survival...."

Your answer is unsatisfactory for several reasons:

a. Mohamad claimed that he is sent by Allah to "cleanse" the habits of his people (tathire rosoom). For example, he banned drinking alcohol. He banned certain types of marriages, etc. Why couldn't he, being the last prophet of god, ban marriages with little girls? This would not have produced unbearable and disastrous consequences for his people.

b. Even if it was ok to marry with a nine years old girl in those days, why at least didn't HE, the prophet of God himself, refrain from engaging in this behavior? Would it be too much to expect of him not to marry with a nine years old when he already had several wives? Wouldn't that leave a better example for the futue generations? Am I asking too much from a prophet of god?

c. What kind of god would allow his 52 years old prophet to marry a girl at age six and consumate (read: have sex) the marriage at age nine? Did six years old Ayesheh had any say or maturity to decide for herself? Or was she at least given the chance to reach the age of semi-maturity to decide and even welcome this marriage on her own? Again, we are not talking about an average arab here, we are talking about the last prophet of god on earth.

5. Quote from your post: "The ignorant Iranian opposition that does not understand these things..." First, what does any of these have to do with the "opposition"? We are talking about Islam here, not the IRI. Second, what part of what I just wrote in this post shows my ignorance?

What part of it shows yours?



Thank you Ali for your respectfull reply.

by Tahirih (not verified) on

I really enjoyed it ,and it is fine with me that you like the values but do not agree with my belifes.
This is the model for a perfect democracy,learning to agree to disagree.
This is the essence of unity in diversity(another value of mine).
I am just curious which value you liked?It would be great if you could answer me.
Thanks again,respectfully,


"in the loom of reality"

by Seagull (not verified) on

It is an obligation for any soul to investigate the truth.
Religious truth is no exception, it must be examined in all aspects, relevance, practicality, results...So that it can be justified as a viable belief, one that contributes in meaningful ways to the body of its believers both materially and spiritually.

"Among these teachings was the independent investigation of reality so that the world of humanity may be saved from the darkness of imitation and attain to the truth; may tear off and cast away this ragged and outgrown garment of 1,000 years ago and may put on the robe woven in the utmost purity and holiness in the loom of reality".


Re: Rosie

by jamshid on

Rosie: I understand your view that today, for the sake of union against the IRI and not scaring away the masses, one must refrain from attacking Islam. But that is confined to the activities of politicians and the active opposition both in Iran and elsewhere.

This site is not visited by the masses in Iran, only by those who live outside and a few in Iran who know how to overcome filters. This site's target audience MUST hear the flaws associated with Islam. The more the better.

One group among this target audience consists of those that would be educated and influenced by our voices. That is wonderful. Another group consists of devout moslems who are willing to listen and deep inside would accept the flaws of Islam. That is good enough. Another group consists of fanatic moslems who would get offended and angry without the ability to logically respond to these flaws (hence their anger). The majority of them are pro-IRI, therefore who cares if they get offended. And for those who are not pro-IRI, at least we make them think. Nothing wrong with that. The last group consists of none-Iranians who would hear the plight of Iranians who oppose Islam. That is good too.

So overall, at least in this site, reading about the flaws of Islam would generate a positive overall results.


Thank you Rosie, this is

by Seagull (not verified) on

Thank you Rosie, this is actually a question open to all who may have a thought on the subject. The more the better!

I have to agree about polarizing statements, they do not help.
Investigating and examining the truth must be facillitated though but in a positive way, with good intent...