The freedom bus

They are using women to appease Islamic extremists. Why?


The freedom bus
by Azar Majedi

Couple of weeks ago I saw two short films, one news report, the other a documentary. They have apparently no relevance to each other. But for me they exposed latent truths about the so-called "Moslem world."

The first one was about the return of Binazir Bhutto to Pakistan. She is the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was introduced both by the reporter and herself as the first Moslem leader of a "Moslem country." The international media tried hard to turn this into an important piece of news. We were even shown live the landing of the airplane which took her and her entourage from Dubai into Karachi. We were made to feel emotional by her broken voice talking about her beloved country. The first Moslem woman leader who was elected and toppled twice, tried for embezzlement and money laundering. By the words of the same reporter, in exile, in Dubai she has made millions of dollars, amassed in international banks.

She has made a deal with President Musharraf, to help him, as an ousted opposition leader, out of the political crisis he is in, in return for her money be unblocked in Pakistani's banks. They have negotiated behind closed doors for a while. Finally they reached an agreement. Musharraf is in deep political crisis. Since September 11 terrorist attack, Musharraf has become increasingly close to the US. The United States has paid him dearly for his services. This has put him in odds with the Islamists, who enjoy a great power in Pakistan. Musharraf was previously a great ally of Taliban. Taliban leaders escaped to Pakistan after the western military attack led by the US. Islamic Madrasses, where suicide bombers are trained and Islamists recruit their victims, are an important feature of Pakistani society. The raw between Musharraf's government and the Islamists came to a height after the siege of the Red mosque.

The scenario of Ms Bhutto's return is classic or better described a cliché. The military dictator is in trouble, the milder opposition leader, whose main job when in power, had been to plunder the country and the people, is portrayed as the hero of democracy. The international media knows this job only too well, to sell her as the angel of freedom to the frustrated people, stuck between two evils, one military dictatorship and the other an Islamic one. This game of political and media engineering is too transparent to miss. However, what struck me was, the way she was described repeatedly, as the first "Moslem woman leader in the Moslem world." Why did they have to mention this repeatedly? What purpose does this serve?

In the world under the Islamic terrorism, and gaining power by political Islam, finding "moderate Moslem figures" has become a strategy. The problem has been defined by the politicians, strategists and academia as Moslem extremists, so, to their mind, the panacea is Moderate Moslems. Particularly if they are female they are more appealing. This is why we keep being reminded of her being the first Moslem woman leader. This is to say she is a good alternative vis a vis the extremists.

However, one cannot help but to ask some pertinent questions. Did Ms Bhutto make any changes in the lot of Pakistani women, when she was leading the country? Did her reign make any significant change in Islamic laws concerning women's rights and male priviledges? Did she even try to challenge the Islamists grip on power? Did she even attempt to close down the notorious Madrasses? The answer to all above questions is a clear NO.

We should leave Ms. Bhutto and move to the second story.

During the same days that Ms. Bhutto was constantly in the news, I was sent several emails inviting me to see a short is also a woman. I felt excited, clicked on the link to see this first woman bus driver under the Islamic regime in Iran. As the film progressed I felt more excited and a deep feeling of joy overtook me. To watch this brave, determined and confident woman in an Islam stricken country was thrilling.

The first woman bus driver I saw was in 1974 in Paris. I remember when I got on the bus and realized the driver was a woman, I felt so excited and it was even more exciting than seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. I did not think that 33 years later I would feel the same way about another woman bus driver.

To me, this woman symbolizes women's resistance movement under the Islamic rule. This woman with her natural confidence, her words, her "as a matter of fact" behaviour, her comfort in front of the camera, the way she described her mission, exposes the deep roots and mass scale of women's liberation movement in Iran. She reigns in her bus, she dictates her own laws. In this bus men get on from the back door and women from the front, contrary to the Islamic laws of the land. Some of the men who are told to get on from the back door, are puzzled, but dare not question her, when they hear her determined and confident voice. She even gets into arguments with several men bus drivers, who she says harass her while driving. She admits that she slapped one of them. She is asked why? She responds in a calm and natural tone of voice, "We are the bulldozer, flattening the grounds for other women."

The discussions among the passengers are interesting. Women seem so approving of their driver. They hope that a case like this would have positive effect on the gender roles in the society. Some men look puzzled, but the atmosphere is so charged for women's rights, that they try to be cautious in their statements. You can definitely discern the women's offensive in this bus. This 10 minute documentary is more revealing about women's liberation movement in Iran that a 500 page book.

I must admit when I read the film's title, I was expecting a big, heavy woman behind the wheels. But this woman had a rather fragile built, with her sun glasses she looked more like a fashion model than a bus driver in a country ruled by Islamist misogynists.

When the film was finished, almost by way of a natural reflex, I compared these two first women in the world called "Moslem." One from the ruling classes, privileged, rich, with vast resources accessible to her, twice the prime minister. Has she done any thing to challenge the Islamic values, the misogynism that has absolute power in Pakistan? Has the lot of women improved a tiny bit under her rule? Has she tried to appear as a bulldozer for women's freedom in Pakistan, even for one day? No. In power and out of power, she has tried to appease the Islamists.

What about the first woman bus driver in Iran? Just by mere choice of occupation she has challenged the whole value system governing the society. She has been giving electrical shocks to thousands men and women every day. Everyone getting on that bus, after the first shock, would think about gender roles in the society. When they arrive home safely, they would definitely think twice before calling a woman "the weak" (a common term by which traditional men address women.)

I believe we should call this bus, the freedom bus. A half hour journey in this bus gives everyone more food for thought than hours of meeting on women's liberation. Her existence is a statement against traditional male chauvinist values and Islam. She is in essence a leader of the women's liberation movement, a bulldozer that flattens the grounds for women to dare new challenges, break walls, cross new borders.



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Jahanshah Javid, Hezbollah in Disguise!

by Justice (not verified) on

Jahanshah Javid, Hezbollah in Disguise!
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Part one
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MEI, you’re absolutely

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

MEI, you’re absolutely right. This ultra-leftist mentality has destroyed our country and our brains. It’s like cancer. I mean what other evidence do we need to see to prove to people what these backward leftist fanatics and their allies, backward Islamic fanatics, have done to our beautiful country? Didn’t they unite in 1979 to bring destruction to our mother land? And now the religious government in Iran is committing atrocities on daily basis and their ultra leftist supporters (Ironically most of whom live in the West, and bash U.S and the West!!) keep justifying their actions because they don’t want to admit their mistake in 1979. Iranian believes if the U.S gives green lights to somebody or something, it means that all the blame should be put on U.S. Shah didn’t have any hands in 1953 coup???!!!!. Khomeini didn’t have any role in igniting the animosities between Iran and Iraq by conducting the official policy of exporting the revolution staring from Iraq, Shiite’s holy land???!!!!! I guess those don’t matter. Let’s bash America. We’re helpless. We’re dummies. We don’t have control over our own destiny. !!!!!!!??? Facts and figures show that France was the biggest military supporter of Iraq during the 1980s war. The chemical weapons program established under Saddam Hussein was developed by German companies. Its time for Iranians to take back their country from the ultra leftist and the religious fanatics. Both guilty in destroying our country


Cliche Communist Commentry

by Zeinol Abedin Eslaminia (not verified) on

Surprised? I am not. After all this has been an on going communist angle on women liberation since the day one. What Majedi and her comrades in CPI can't, or fear to accept is that the same woman driver who is now their heroine wouldn't have driven that bus if the ruling system was non-Islamic. In other words, it is only under an Islamic system that such women find courage to step out of their shell and get involved in public service. The fact is that in the same way that Majedi reveals her stereotype views of women driver as being fat and bulky (based on a typical female driver in the former eastern bloc countries that were Majedi's and Hekmatists paradise)she cant imagibe that this woman driver is also a practising moslem.

CPI and Hekmatists are still frozen in 1974.


Still alive, eh?

by MEl (not verified) on

hey Javat,

listen. It was the Mujahedin who fought the Taliban and who got the help of the US to overthrow the Taliban. So when an idiot like you mixes the two, he has to go to such lengths to cover up his shit afterwards.

Millions got killed? Yep. That is the price you pay for following a dajjal like Khomeini or living under a beast like Saddam. It's sad but that doesn't change the fact that the US policy throughout the war was an absolutely correct one. Containing two beasts to weaken each other. Those who dies payed the price for filth like you who followed that shit Khomeini and brought him to power in your shitty islamic, anti-imperialist revolution. Now you have the nerve to act as the victim and demand an explanation for those dead and many others who fell victim to the crimes of those who came to power due to your shit head revolution.
Go fuck your self javat.



by caspianseamermaid on



Blood money . . .

by Javad agha (not verified) on

Hi budy, you keep proving yourself that you are a fool and did not answer my question about Mrs. April Glaspy (the Strong American Woman).

I was teasing you about Mojahedin. Where did the Afghan mojahedin go? Did they go to Russia? or Pakistan? Talk with them, the US trained them, now the U.S. complains about them that they do not let the Tajik pipeline to go through so that more money will come your way.

You referred to Kissinger's policy of both sides killing each other, forgetting over a million were killed while the Western countries made tons of money. Is that WHY you and others like you have chosen to live in the West? You folks are prospering because of the blood money coming there. No wonder many Ey-iranians do not want to return to Iran.

How about Bloodwater (Blackwater)? Its net profit was about $200K in 2003 before INVASION (was this also the right policy)? in 2006 Bloodwater's net profit was over $17,000,000,000. Do you see the zeros? You are benefiting from it too while innocent people are getting killed, arm dealers and oil companies bringing money home, your newly found home.

Get lost, you fool.


Hey Javad...!

by (X ^1/2 + Y^ 1/2) = Z^Cos (Alpha) (not verified) on

Khayam too Labat...!


Javad, you are still breathing?!

by MEl (not verified) on

hey, didn't you hear my last request.
Wat's the matter with you. Trying to get high with your anti-amrerican drug over dose tonight?
America did not support saddam. America stood by and gave Saddam the green light to attack and fight with Iran, and the US helped both sides in the war so that none of them could win a war because, since both were its enemies, and that they should continue the war as long as possible to frustrate their war power. This was an absolutely reasonable and absolutely correct policy.
That's how the rational setion of humanity should treats its lunatic part, comprised of shit like you. When I speak of Mujahedin, I am not talking about Mojahedin Khlag looneys (MKO), but the Afghan Mujahedin. har gerdi gerdoo nist ablah jaan!
Maybe you should use the moments your fossilized neurons start to fire and you get high to become literate in some history, instead of rnting your nonsens crap here and there.
Now, when will you die, you old fossil?


MEI is a fool

by Javad agha (not verified) on

MEI is a fool.

America did not support Saddam? You must be out of your f mind. Did you every hear about April Glaspy? Mabye this is the right place to talk about her, she was the American Embassador to Eye-raq.

What happened to Mojhadeen in Afghanestan, did they go to Ashraf Camp in Iraq?

You sound like a fool and talk like a fool. So you must be a fool.


Sick old idiots are gonna bullshit till your last breath, huh?

by MEl (not verified) on

Hey Javad ol a'emeh,

Why should I have mentioned Saddam or American support for Musharraf here?
Youre lot are seriously sick, psychopathic. Your entire worthless life has been wasted on rubbish like anti-imperialism anti-americanism pro-palestinianism tiermondism and crap like that, so that kind of shit seem to be the only thing that kick your shit filled neurons to fire anymore, That's why you are seeking your stimuli any where like a poor addict in search of his shireh. (fortunately your miserable lives are coming slowly to an end your old fossil farts!)

But since you mentioned it, asshole. Americans did not support Saddam. They gve him green light to curb the madness that your rotten lot had perpetrated inside Iran, to prevent the poison of shit like you to infiltrate elsewhere. The supported the Mujahedin in Afghanistan to prevent your shit head soviet masters to fuck the world further. The Taliban came later from a mixture of Saudi shit, paki shit and the hitty part of the mujahedin and used what was left of the old American helps during teh soviet era. Without the soviet shit heads non of these need had happened anyway. They had a king and a slowly progressing country cming gradually out of ignorace and poverty before shit head filthy asshole anti-imperialist commi garbage like you fucked up their country in the fist place.
They are backing Musharraf now because he is the only one standing between islamist filth and the nuclear bomb.
This was all logical and defendable positions. But it is not something an ancient fossilized lefty fart like you can comprehend. So keep on ranting your bullshit.
...and die alrady.


Us e of women in the Islamic Republic...!?

by Woman (not verified) on

Here they are alive and kicking... serving the ill-thought ideology of a bunch of "rebels without a cause, then, old fart without a cause now" such as the author of this post...

See for yourself, how Muslim women are serving Iran today:


To those who sheepishly followed Ayatollah Khomeini 29 years ago, I say all shit in the world, past, present, future upon your graves when you die!?


MEI you are full of it too

by Javad Agha (not verified) on

MEI you are full of it too. Bunch of ghobli goo... You did not mention American and British support of butcher Parviz Musharaf or their support of Taleban or their support of Saddam Hussein.
Please read the other posts.


What a pile of

by MEl (not verified) on

What a pile of bullshit!
This piece is typical of the rubbish leftist crap that has poisoned Iranian culture and brought all this tragedies to our people.
Why do the media call her the first mulsim leader? Well, maybe because it's true?! Why repeat it so much? Well because mulsim lands are patriarchal hell hoes where women are second class entities must obey their fathers and husbands, get stoned to death.. you know all this stuff. Much more than other lands, much more than European and American lands.
Why do the news coverage focus on this event? Well, maybe, MAYBE because it is important news. Pakistan, its nuclear weapons, its radical islamists within it, its ties to the Taliban and the Al Qaed... what happens to it is aconcern to all mankind today.

BUT NO! for our idiot leftist here, all this is just the cover! It's all some weired conspiracy of brainwasing. Only she and other assholes like her are the ones wise and genius enough to see through it.
My god, so much inferiority complex, so much need to prove you are smarter than others, to see weired stuff in normal events to prove your intelligence.
Hey! These are all signs of lack of inteligence and shitty leftist half mind retardedness.
Why don't you get fed up with this shit, already!?
We are.


excellent point

by expat (not verified) on

Excellent and insightful!

May this heroic woman's symbolic act
be the equivalent of Martin Luther's
nailing his Theses on the church door!


the brave bus driver

by Nazanin (not verified) on

Such women are reported on seldomly in the West because it is does not serve the popular "Iranian women must prostitute themselves" (Rob Sobhani) or "Iranian women are starving and beaten" camp. You're right. This driver is part of a determination for change within Iranian society. I'm glad David ET posted the video! And thank you for your article!


Okay, I calmed down....

by Javad agha (not verified) on

Okay, I am now calmed down. I had a large tea.

I agree with Payande Iran except that he/she forgot to mention that your damn countries supported ALL the Islamist governments (Pakistan, KSA, Kuwait, etc.) Speak up to your own governments, you fools.

It seems that you only have big mouths against poor/weak men.


To Payandeh Iran

by Ari (not verified) on

Your comments are well taken.

Thank you.


You forgot . . . .

by Payandeh Iran (not verified) on

You forgot to mention Mrs. Anoosh Ansari who spent $20,000,000 (US dollars) to spin the earth in a big charkho falak. She is a Muslim and has a lot of power (money, not to mention a big mouth).

You made assumptions about Mrs. Bhotto whose father was killed by coward men. So not all the men are powerful and courageous.

Look at Iranian men and women in the U.S. and Canada who have become cheap and mooftkhor.

Iran will change by Iranians who care about it and spend their resources (not only time) to make a difference.

Payandeh Iran

Nazy Kaviani

Binazir is "binazir" only in ignorance and greed

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your interesting piece. I believe Binazir Bhutto to be responsible for the rise of Taliban in Afghanistan and for so much of the moslem fundamentalism which has plagued the region and the world. I am disgusted to see people like her receive so much attention for their gender, and not nearly enough for their appalling performance as leaders and decision-makers. You are right. There is nothing in her and her background which might remotely make me proud as a woman. A bus driver, a physician, an engineer, a journalist, or a mother, I believe Iranian women's value system and expectations of themselves, even under the Islamic Republic's discriminatory laws, are light years ahead of the likes of Binazir Bhutto and those whose interests are continually served whenever she emerges, burning the world in flames of hatred, ignorance, and perpetual misery.


Excellent analysis, thank you

by Ari (not verified) on

Dear Ms. Majedi:

You analyzed the situation between Benazir Butto and the Iranian woman bus driver perfectly well. As you said, what has Ms. Butto done for women in Pakistan? Another opportunist who is now joining the camp of the military dictatorship of President Musharaff.

While in the same light the Iranian woman bus driver went forward and created her own rules and is executing it based on her principles and beliefs. In this way she is an excellent example for all Iranian women, and puts the men in their place!!

Iranian women are strong willed, know who they are, what they want, and will never give up their struggle to fight for their rights. I too enjoyed the video very much, and the way when in a very matter of fact, she told the men to go and sit in the back!! I am confident that if they continue in the manner that they have been proceeding forward, no one can stop them!!


Women In Iran are better than the rest

by XerXes (not verified) on

The region is really behind comparing to the Iranians women. Check all parts of society and you see women ruling. Go Iranian Women


I am glad

by MRX (not verified) on

a woman bus driver brings up so much enthusiasim for folks like you. let see when thirty years go we had women in all phazes of life from education to health, to arm forces and even legistator all that was not an achievment! (well you know all that was done under bad bad shah so we should ignore it) but a bus driver get's your blood boiling! how sad and pittyfull we people have become in Iran.