Cultish Khomeinism

Mullahs are clawing back gains Iranian women have achieved


Cultish Khomeinism
by Iqbal Latif

Another gender war is brewing and, fascinatingly, firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad emerges as the voice of liberal dissent! President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said plans to segregate male and female students at Iranian universities must be halted, drawing another battle line in his ongoing tussle with traditionalist rivals. Even a diehard zealot like the President has realised that any prudent person would be unable to work within the limitations of the Iranian clergy subjugated constitution. Mr Ahmadinejad said the policy must be stopped. 'It has been heard that in some universities, classes and disciplines are being segregated without considering the coincidences,' he said on the website

What is happening today with gender separation is the 'finale' of what is an affirmed posture of the Islamists. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the mullahs’ "supreme leader," has declared that "women’s first job is to be a wife and mother." Khamenei dismissed the notion of women’s equal participation in social life in July 1997 as "negative, primitive and childish." Islamic theologians are profoundly influenced in their belief on the lowliness of women. Their hypotheses of female inadequacy are based on archaic beliefs: "Women mature too fast. The breathing power of men's lungs is greater and women's heartbeats are faster... Men heed reasoning and logic, whereas most women tend to be emotional... courage and daring are stronger in men (Moghadam 172)." Khamenei and his cohorts evidently are utterly distanced from the world of knowledge, wisdom and science.

More than half of Iran's 3.7 million students are women, studying alongside their male classmates. Education has become a focus for conservatives who want to head off what they consider corrosive western values among the youth born long after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Beyond these so-called 'deviancy issues', this archaic rooted law not only helps with the strict moral code of the Islamic law, but allows the shackle of 'mental occupation' to prolong. The segregated campuses will have divided intellectual and freedom resources. Students are the citadel of the possible Iranian fresh tone; a divided and weakened 'body' of reason and logic is the ultimate aim of the Mullahs. This should be opposed.

From the fundamentalist mullahs’ perspective, sexual vice and virtue are the principal criteria to evaluate women. The most dishonourable and unpardonable of all sins is sexual offence. Faithfulness and chastity are measured by sex-related yardsticks. This strategy is akin to murder of hope and imaginative resourcefulness. Universities are the fountain of anticipation and hope of freedom in Iran one day. Mullahs are precise in their demonic policies of a divided student body. They have rightly concluded that a segregated student base will be toothless in designing joint actions to defend their basic rights to dissent.

Segregation is also an attempt to brainwash the mothers of future generations with ideas of a social system that would create a public world of men and a private one for women. Mullahs tend to promote gender boundary. When was the last time you saw a female Ayatollah in the highest ruling body of Iran?

The top officials of the fundamentalist regime in Iran emphasize that it is the "sacred" responsibility of a woman to serve her husband and take care of the household. A parliamentarian in Iran is on record as saying, "Women must accept the reality of men dominating them, and the world must recognize the fact that men are superior." One of the Iranian regime’s key ideologues says: "Women and men are equal in their humane essence, but they are two different forms of humans, with two different sets of attributes and two different psyches..." Ahmadinejad is now momentarily in the reformists' camp by rejecting plans to separate male and female students at Iranian universities. Gender-based restrictions and campus divide would mark one of the most important turnabout and regressive policies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

One needs to take his statements with a pinch of salt. Although I endorse it fully, but deplorably Mullahs’ "moderation" is zilch, a mere illusion. The new convert to moderation is welcome in the camp but Ahmadinejad, Khatami and all the other moderates have to reject medieval system of Velayat-Faqih to see true progress in Iran for emancipation of its brave courageous people from the manacles of bigots and mullahs.

A diehard, sadistic and brutal force called 'cultish Khomeinism' has now fully grown and is extending its tentacles to obstruct any say of reason. Misogynous in temperament, an explosive mix of dogma and fanaticism, represented by the Iran clergy, is menacing the freedom and advancement of women."Women’s rights are human rights"; they are the foremost rights and denial of equality of women and men is a basic violation of principles enshrined in the 'Universal Declaration of Human Rights,' according to which women are the masters of their own bodies and feelings. In all candour, today women’s activism is the most effectual means of combating religious dogma and extremism. Khatami and Ahmadinejad are unfortunately committed and standard holders of an obsolete system that Khomeini founded. One can argue that these overtures of Ahmadinejad may just be a political tool to make inroads amongst the youth and universities of Iran.

As part of a wider drive to assert Islamic values at Iran's colleges, the minister in charge of higher education has said male and female students must be taught separately when classes begin again in September. It is necessary to swiftly prevent these backward, shallow-minded actions," Ahmadinejad wrote in an order earlier this week addressed to members of his Cabinet. Science Research and Technology Minister Kamran Daneshjou has said Iran will separate sexes at universities from the start of term on 23 September. 'Following the implementation of the Hijab (Islamic dress) and Chastity Plan, university classes will be separated. If there is not the facility to separate the classes, students will sit in separate rows,' he said, according to IRAN daily.

Segregation and freedom in stadiums are a very diminutive fraction of the demands of an enslaved society; the system as a whole needs to be rewritten on a new slate. 'Freedom' cannot be selective in a society, the parts which Ahmadinejad likes and the others he does not. The situation of a woman in Islamic society is clear by the Quranic verses. Law of Islam is the fountainhead of Iranian constitution and Ayatollahs’ jurisprudence encourages domination of men over women. A man can marry up to four wives at one time, but if a woman takes more than one husband at a time, she commits adultery.

The clergy have interpreted and legalized the injunctions of the scriptures and the present mindset blindly follows the antiquated approach: “She actually cannot travel without her husband's written permission. She cannot serve on juries, nor can she serve as witness, her testimony does not earn any weight. They can go to law school but cannot become judges or lawyers. For her to be eligible for government scholarships to study abroad, she must be married and accompanied by her husband (Moghadam 171-206).” Segregation and gender separation are deeply seated evils within these norms dictated by Holy Scriptures.

This is the latest twirl in the face-off between Ahmadinejad and Iran's ruling clerics. Ahmadinejad, loathed by the opponents as a mullahs’ puppet, finally shows dissent by opposing gender segregation. Looks like he has realised that his political survival lies in supporting the liberal spectrum of the Iranian political landscape. Reports also suggest Ahmadinejad has renewed his push for women to attend soccer games at stadiums. In 2006, Ahmadinejad surprised his conservative backers by deciding that women could attend the matches, saying a female presence would "improve soccer-watching manners and promote a healthy atmosphere." Ahmadinejad was overruled by Khamenei.

Appalling, unpardonable and unforgivable behaviour of the 'moderates' when they were part of the ruling cabal leaves any veneer or iota of a change as unattainable. Khatami in power is on record declaring: "One of the West’s biggest mistakes was the emancipation of women, which destroyed the family... Staying at home does not mean being pushed to the sidelines... We must not think that social activity means working outside the home. Housekeeping is among the most important of tasks." Khatami as head of the Revolutionary Cultural Council, officially refused to commit the regime to the international convention banning discrimination against women – the United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another 'in attendance' level-headed leader and Khatami’s predecessor, declared unequivocally when in power that women are inferior and must be treated differently under the law: “Justice does not mean that all laws must be the same for men and women... The difference in the stature, vitality, voice, development, muscular quality, and physical strength of men and women shows that men are stronger and more capable in all fields... Men’s brains are larger... Men incline toward reasoning and rationalism while women basically tend to be emotional. These differences affect the delegation of responsibilities, duties and rights.”

Mullah Mohammad Yazdi, accentuates the subservience of women: “If kneeling before God were not obligatory, wives should have knelt before their husbands.” He also said: “A woman is wholly the possession of her husband, and her public life is conditional upon her husband’s consent.” These unashamedly intolerant views shed light on how prejudiced legislation against women has been planned, adopted, and imposed in Iran since 1979.

Iran has also imposed restrictions on 12 university programs, mainly humanities and social sciences, deemed too Western and incompatible with Islamic teachings. On the instruction of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran is already reviewing the curricula of certain subjects deemed too western, including law, philosophy, psychology and political sciences, to ensure they do not run counter to Islamic teachings.

Does Ahmadinejad realise that the basic problem of this segregation lies in the nature of the theological state? It is the nature of the state that has to be abrogated. Article 105 of the Civil Code stipulates: “In the relationship between husband and wife, heading the family is characteristic of the husband.” The Islamic Council of Guardians decreed that “a woman does not have the right to leave her home without her husband’s permission, even to attend her father’s funeral.” The exploitation of divine law to promote abuse is one of the dichotomies of Iranian society.

Human rights and human dignity is lost if the law of contemporary state is construed from the essence of scriptures from medievalism. A man may marry a non-Muslim without demanding her conversion, but a woman may only marry a Muslim. A man may seek a divorce unilaterally, but a woman may do so only for limited reasons, before courts. The man's share of an inheritance is twice that of a woman, and his testimony in court has twice the value of hers. Article 115 of the Constitution specifically excludes women from the presidency. The law also excludes them from appointment to judgeships. All these laws help devise further draconian measures; one cannot avoid segregation if one does not talk of rollback of the entire system. Segregation is an issue that creeps up from the ashes of what has become ‘tolerable discrimination’ within a society.

Mr Ahmadinejad's opposition to sex segregation will further alienate his conservative and religious critics. Hard-liners insist Ahmadinejad cannot stand in the way of the ruling clerics. Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, one of the leading conservative scholars in Iran's seminary city of Qom, said he "deplored" Ahmadinejad's opposition and called it harmful to Islam. Ayatollah Reza Ostadi, Qom's Friday prayer leader, suggested that Ahmadinejad is contributing to "corruption" by trying to block the gender separation on campuses. "After studies were carried out, it was decided to segregate male and female students at universities to reduce corruption, but the president has opposed it," Ostadi said. "This is not fair."

The battles have shown clearly that Iran's clerical rulers, headed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have no intention of giving up any controls and will dictate the direction of the next presidential election in mid-2013 — which Ahmadinejad cannot join because of term limits.

Gender equality is an alien concept in Islamic jurisprudence; segregation is rooted in by nurturing the impression that women come from another set of humans and is naturally inclined to encourage moral deviation. Fundamentalism conceives a woman as threatening and satanic; she is the personification of misdeed and seduction. She must stay at home, serving her husband’s carnal desires; if she fails to comply, she is compelling her man to commit sin outside the home.

Ahmad Khatami, an influential conservative cleric who regularly leads Friday prayers in Tehran, came out in favour of segregation, 'With what logic should a head of a Tehran university be reprimanded for separating the classes of women and men? We should give him a medal.’

Yazdi, the Head of the Judiciary, commented on December 15, 1986: "No matter at what stage of knowledge, virtue, perfection, and prudence a woman is, she does not have the right to rule... Even if a righteous accredited woman possesses all qualifications, she cannot assume a leadership position nor can she pass judgment, because she is a woman." In the words of another Iranian official, women are "immature" and need "guardians."

The Iranian mullahs are clawing back the gains Iranian women have achieved so far in pursuing their rights of parity; they champion the slogan of 'domesticity is the women's holy war.' The Mullahs fail to make any progress in the field of gender relations; a ghost haunts the Iranian society - the phantom of modernity. Segregation stems from the desire to dictate; the wrong is within the social structure and the whole social structure needs a rethink.

Waft of freedom is the destiny of the people of Iran and whatever the clergy does, freedom will appear. It is a 5,000-year-old civilisation, many a Khomeini and many an Ahmadinejad will come and go as a mere footnote to that rich culture.


more from Iqbal Latif
Iqbal Latif

The roots of 'Imams' denial of humanities and metaphysics!!

by Iqbal Latif on

Khamenei backtracks on: On the instruction of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran is already reviewing the curricula of certain subjects deemed too western, including law, philosophy, psychology and political sciences, to ensure they do not run counter to Islamic teachings.

Khamenei led discrimination against humanities and metaphysics actually originally set in the decline when the puritan Al-Ghazali began to undermine the rationalistic tradition and instead push for dogma over thought, obedience over free will and the primacy of doctrine.

After Prophet Muhammad in terms of epistemological course, divided into 2 (two) schools of thought, namely: Mu’tazili and Asy’ari. Mu’tazili was the rationalists relied on reason and human intellectual power, free will and embrace of Greek legacy of science, in contrast Asy’ari embraced religious source of Al Quran and hadith, no-natural-law principle and occasionalism.

It was the beginning of the end as Al-Ghazali strove to put a stop to the tradition that had cultivated the greatest of the Islamic thinkers and instead stifle the unbridled creativity of the Islamic world. In Ghazali's opinion metaphysics or in other words humanities was a useless subject.

In the height of Mu’tazili’s sway on Abbasid caliphate (750-1258) was huge , Muslim interpreted and learned knowledge from all sources, particularly from Hellenism. They developed math, chemistry, physics, medicine, and even epistemology. all their scientific achievement, transpired in this era. Al-Ghazali a.k.a Algazel (1058 – 1111) was the star of Asy’ari. Asy’ari. were afraid with eclectism in Muslim way of life they believed that Muslims should only embrace Quran and Hadith. Al-Ghazali exerted his immense authority to ward off Mu’tazili’s progressive thought.

Al-Ghazali poured cold water to Muslim great passion of science. Al-Ghazali was responsible for the diversion of the course of Muslim society from rational society to irrational one, from dynamic community to static one, from world-class scientists to, at last, fiercest terrorists. Imam was one to blame for the backward of Islam among other civilizations.

This is exactly the mind set 1000 years ago that promulgated Avicenna, Al-Raazi, Al Ma'ari and Omar Khayyam as heretics! Ghazzali bitterly denounced Aristotle, Socrates and other Greek writers as non-believers and labeled those who employed their methods and ideas as corrupters of the Islamic faith.
Nothing has changed for a 1000 year, Are we intellectually frozen? Yes and Imams continues to do that to us without remorse.

The Incoherence of the Philosophers is famous for proposing and defending the Asharite theory of occasionalism. Ghazzali famously claimed that when fire and cotton are placed in contact, the cotton is burned directly by God rather than by the fire, a claim which he defended using logic! Imam Ghazali argued that its compulsory upon the Muslims to believe Ibn Sina as a non-Muslim.

In the first introduction of the Tahufut the Imam makes reference to refuting Avicenna and Al- Farabi since they are more or less representatives of the Aristotelian philosophy. The contemporary Averroes who tried to defend the views of his predecessors namely Avicenna and Al-Farabi in stating that the world is eternal in his book: Fasal al- Maqaal. was excommunicated as well.

In 1000-1100 the Mutazilites carefully cultivated an 'enlightened moderation' and allowed for the growth of knowledge and in their active promulgation and acceptance of Science as a part of the religion doctrine they brought to the Islamic world her Golden Age. This guidance to coexist was advanced by the renowned thinkers such as Avicenna, Al-Raazi, Al Ma'ari and Omar Khayyam; each of whom would later be remembered for the striking global contribution to the field of art, science and logic. Great ideas are born in the milieu of freedom and environment of self-determination, free from the intercession of deities and providence.

The Muslims used the numbering system developed by the Hindus, but they believed that men's worldly destiny is always determined by Allah. For Arabs, science remained limited to the 'direction of Mecca' for prayers and 'will of God.' The 'insurance' required by any trader to go beyond known shorelines remained dutifully an infidel scheme. Hence Muslims remained limited to Mediterranean, no Ocean going voyages were ever possible as Insurance and banking was considered as Haram. It was 'science of risk management' in medieval ages that sent Columbus and Vas Code Gama to discover the world.

Unfortunately the battle of enlightenment that Averroes lost to Ghazali was won by the philosophers of the west in Italy and the continent. Result was that Europe marched into R'enaissance' as Middle East drowned in the sea dark ages that continues until today.

The Incoherence of the Philosophers marked a turning point in Islamic philosophy in its vehement rejections of Aristotle and Plato. The book took aim at the falsafa, a loosely defined group of Islamic philosophers from the 8th through the 11th centuries (most notable among them Avicenna and Al-Farabi) who drew intellectually upon the Ancient Greeks.

Imams of Iran today are exactly following course; silence like sheep is no good, let's stop them from this intellectual 'Qom led gang rape' of 5000 years old civilisation.

Iqbal Latif

I have my own blog!

by Iqbal Latif on

"Our whole idea about ourselves is borrowed--borrowed from those who have no idea of who they are themselves." I have my own blog, thanks for your generosity..


 Dear Mr. Latif: Your

by vildemose on

 Dear Mr. Latif: Your comments are extremely valuable and on target. Please make a separate blog of your excellent insights so everyone can enjoy your extremely thoughful and valuable analyses. We need more analysts of your caliber on this site.


"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

Iqbal Latif

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of the triumvirate!!

by Iqbal Latif on

Disappointingly Rafsanjani cannot provide a clean slate. The slide of Iran cannot be arrested by half measures of 'lesser dose of religion' rather an eradication campaign aimed at revolution to be democratic and freedom based.

Religious fervour of any state will lead to more complication, man affairs with God are his private matters, the states that sponsor link with man and god through enterprise of state ensure discrimination of attitudes to those who fail to ascribe to the version of God the mullah or clergy prefer. It is these conditions where clergy wants Allah or Khuda in but Yazdan or Parverdigar out.

Global openness has unleashed a pursuit for freedom among enslaved peoples. This is a new phenomenon.

'The failed Green revolution or the Twitter revolution' - It is paradoxical that Iranian revolution within 32 years of its inception was challenged by its own sons Khatami , Rafsanjani, Mir-Hossein Mousavi the hallowed mantle holder of Khomeini led protests following the 2009 Iranian presidential election against the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The demonstration had a pedigree of an onset of a new revolution. The protests were given several titles by their proponents including Green Revolution, Green Wave or Sea of Green, reflecting presidential candidate Mousavi's campaign color, and also Persian Awakening.

The events have also been nicknamed the "Twitter Revolution" because of the protesters' reliance on Twitter and other social-networking Internet sites to communicate with each other.

Islamic politician Ata'ollah Mohajerani blasted the election as "the end of the Islamic Republic".

The basic reason twitter revolution failed was that a revolution cannot be led by wolves wearing sheep's clothes, the twitter revolution owes its whimper fizzling out to inability of Rafsanjani/ Musavi/Khatami axis to detach their strong ideological underpinnings with radical Khomeinite political thoughts where clergy determines the role of the governance, they need to detach from the temporal affairs of the governance for a sturdy Iran to materialize.

A counter revolution that maintains 'Blow Hot Blow Cold' relationship with Qom and links with the recent past yet dole out some concessions will only make the matters worst; wiping out activism of the 'ideology' and opting for 'quietist' approach of Shiite traditional thought from 'Marja of Najaf' is not an option that Rafsanjani is prepared to accept.I concede that may be Musavi, Rafsanjani, Khatami are 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the triumvirate of change!!' The high point of this 'revolution' will be that the 'cabal of change is replaced' by more liberal minded ideologues i.e. all good not a single badass.

Anahid Hojjati

Dear Iqbal, thanks for your blog

by Anahid Hojjati on

Not to be a Rafsanjani defender but he was better for women's participation in universities and work place than Khamenei. He always insisted that women should be engineers too. During his time, women's attendence in universities increased. Any way, I don't care enough for the guy to go on and on, but I believe that in this area, they are different.


 Excellent post. Too

by vildemose on

 Excellent post. Too true.

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

Iqbal Latif


by Iqbal Latif on

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