January 2, 2018

"White Wednesday" — the fight against compulsory hijab in Iran.

75 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Muslims oppressing women is “authentic” so shut up because reasons! Besides, I heard there were Christians who believed that a fucking fetus is an actual human being! Why can’t you talk about that!

Unknown said...

The women in Iran protest under the threat of death while feminists in the west buy Hijab Barbies.

It just goes to show that you can't fix stupid...

Fernandinande said...

Breasts are not a sin: Meet the brave Minoan women who dare to challenge law requiring every female wear an modesty shirt (shirt) in public.

whitney said...

And leftist pussy hat wearing women respond by saying...

Ann Althouse said...

Tim, after reading your comment, I'm interested to see that I didn't put an "Islam" tag on this post and it never crossed my mind to do so. This is political oppression. There should be religious tolerance and religious freedom. The fight is against compulsory hijab. There is room within all of the religions to oppress OR liberate women, and it is up to the believers to find their way to what I believe is better, women's liberation. But whatever religious believers think they need to do in pursuit of their religion, I want to go as far as I can to respect that, and where I draw the line is at compulsory religion, which is political oppression.

Michael K said...

Most of the stuff we object to in political Islam is not in the Quran. A lot of it is pre-Islamic Arab culture.

The Iranians know that but have been coerced for 30 years. Now, the mullahs have gone too far,

I hope they can bring it off.

Unknown said...

White Wednesday

How long before Black Lives Matter rails against those racist Iranian women.

.

Luke Lea said...

Ann writes: "The fight is against compulsory hijab."

As I understand it, a woman's family—her husband, brothers, father—can force her to wear hijab even if the government doesn't. I think it happens even here in the United States.

tim in vermont said...

I draw the line is at compulsory religion, which is political oppression.

There is a ton of hypocrisy by mainstream feminists going on here, full stop. It all has to do with identity politics and victim hierarchies. Any support for the women in Iran from US feminists is only due to the fact that they managed to get there somehow through the minefield of US politics and the labarynthine maze of Democratic Party priorities.

AllenS said...

Luke Lea said...
As I understand it, a woman's family—her husband, brothers, father—can force her to wear hijab even if the government doesn't. I think it happens even here in the United States.

A drive through Barron WI where there is a huge turkey processing plant, you'll see the full hijab on numerous black women. I know they are black because I can see their hands.

Kate said...

Beautiful video. Very brave women. And she gives credit to supportive men, who have no hijab to remove. The men's bravery is outside of the limelight.

That's what's sad about American feminism. Women have so much strength to express, and it's directed here into wearing pussy hats, which is one of the least brave ways to grab the limelight.

Unknown said...

"I didn't put an "Islam" tag on this post and it never crossed my mind to do so. This is political oppression."

Sorry, this is an Islamic issue based on an interpretation of the religion and imposed by a theocracy. There are Christian religious sects that require specific dress, and criticism of those would not be a political issue because the U.S. does not have a theocracy (regardless of such - goofy - complaints).

Ann Althouse said...

"As I understand it, a woman's family—her husband, brothers, father—can force her to wear hijab even if the government doesn't. I think it happens even here in the United States."

Obviously, I am opposed to the oppression that occurs within families and other groups. There are also Christian and Jewish families that force things on women too. The subordination of women pervades human life. It's not from any particular religion. It's from before we were even human. It's an immense challenge to get beyond it. Try to help people. Impugning their religious tradition is not likely to work.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
Tim, after reading your comment, I'm interested to see that I didn't put an "Islam" tag on this post and it never crossed my mind to do so. This is political oppression. There should be religious tolerance and religious freedom. The fight is against compulsory hijab. There is room within all of the religions to oppress OR liberate women, and it is up to the believers to find their way to what I believe is better, women's liberation. But whatever religious believers think they need to do in pursuit of their religion, I want to go as far as I can to respect that, and where I draw the line is at compulsory religion, which is political oppression."

There also should be magic flying unicorns. But in these Muslim countries politics is religion.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sorry, this is an Islamic issue based on an interpretation of the religion and imposed by a theocracy. There are Christian religious sects that require specific dress, and criticism of those would not be a political issue because the U.S. does not have a theocracy (regardless of such - goofy - complaints)."

Islam does not have to be interpreted to require an oppressive centralized government. And before you say it does, become an expert on the religion to which you are not an insider.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I'm pretty sure that there is no nationwide law that requires any kind of dress whatsoever in the United States, and any woman [or man] who chooses to leave a family or religious setting that pressures her to dress in a particular way will have the full support of the rest of society.

But yeah those Iranians are just like the Amish.

@@

Ann Althouse said...

Please move beyond ignorant Islamophobia. Make intelligent points here.

buwaya said...

Mike K is right.

Islamic law in whatever flavor (with only minor exceptions) is based on the Koran, the Hadiths (collections of attested saying and acts of Mohammed, by various witnesses), and the Sunnah, or collected Arab traditions of the prophets time. This has been massaged and congealed by centuries of textual analysis and jurisprudence into a series of standardized bodies of law, where much of what is worst in Islam comes from.

People who complain about "the Koran" misunderstand a lot. The Koran is just one component, the problem is with the whole deal.

The modern problem with Islam is not with some Koran-absolutists akin to Christian Biblical literalists, but with those who take the whole scholarly tradition seriously.

Curious George said...

"There are also Christian and Jewish families that force things on women too."

Sure. Let's compare...

Jewish families ENCOURAGE their daughters to marry Jewish doctors.

Muslim families stone their daughters to death if they've been raped.

About the same.

AllenS said...

All Amish women wear a bonnet. Which is not like a hijab.

buwaya said...

Sayyid Qutb, for instance, (Sunni, but the Shiites have analogous people), source of much inspiration for Al Qaeda, was not a religious radical at all, but a political-cultural extremist.

And this too is not new. In SouthEast Asia for instance there is a constant theme, over centuries, of Arab-South-Central Asian preachers stirring up the very unorthodox local Muslims into orthodox revivals. Its like a lot of Billy Grahams.

AllenS said...

Where I said hijab twice, I meant full burka. Where only the hands are allowed to be shown on women. Repressive.

buwaya said...

If you want to get into details of Islamic law, Sunni versions anyway, there is a tremendous amount of original material online, in English, though the textual analysis part is for specialists in that version of Arabic.

I recommend fiqhonline.com for an idea of what goes on inside Islamic teaching, Sunni version. It does not get political, but you can find that too of course.

Its a fascinating subject and a genuinely different world view.

Vance said...

I don't know.... I mean, Althouse, my faith strongly encourages modest dress for women and we have specific clothing that are required for women to wear. Is that oppressive? Some claim so. They ignore that the men also have specific clothing to wear sometimes too. And yes, modesty is generally required of men as well. So is my faith repressing women because we don't want to have a plunging down to the waist neckline that shows 80% of the breasts?

Islam is different, though: it's a political system with religious trappings. Christianity can be that, and it has been tried, but almost always fails. Why? Because of using force. Islam will kill you if you don't do what the cleric says. Christian economic societies almost always rely on voluntary compliance... which runs afoul of people's jealousy and envy and collapses.

The "Wear the Hijab or else!" bit is against true religion, which relies on people choosing to obey God. Not "Obey or be killed" like Islam does, and like many leftists want with their religions of Marxism and Gaiaism.

--Vance

Michael K said...

Sayyid Qutb, for instance, (Sunni, but the Shiites have analogous people), source of much inspiration for Al Qaeda, was not a religious radical at all, but a political-cultural extremist.

He was outraged at 1950 cultural norms in Greeley Colorado, for God's sake !

That is much more Arab culture than Islam as in the texts.

I think it is interesting that Ann thinks this discussion is "Islamophobic."

And before you say it does, become an expert on the religion to which you are not an insider.

I certainly am not but I have read about four books on Islam and am currently reading In the Shadow of the Sword, by Tom Holland a pretty respectable historian.

How many have you read ?

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants:
"I'm pretty sure that there is no nationwide law that requires any kind of dress whatsoever in the United States, and any woman [or man] who chooses to leave a family or religious setting that pressures her to dress in a particular way will have the full support of the rest of society."

This is an intelligent point, Althouse. It might be difficult and heart-rending for a young woman born into an Orthodox Jewish or Amish family to leave tradition and the community she was raised in behind and enter into the larger world. If she does so, she might be shunned by her own friends and relatives.

She is still free to do so in America, although it might be emotionally difficult. If she is a Muslim, leaving the community and faith she was raised in might be more than just emotionally difficult. It might cost her her life.

A Canadian girl was murdered by her father when she stopped wearing the veil and he found her talking to boys.

If you think distinguishing between Islam and other faiths is "Islamophobic," I am sure Ayaan Hirsi Ali would be happy to correct you on that score.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

I would consider Ayaan Hirsi Ali "an insider."

Ali draws distinctions between Islam and the other Abrahamic faiths:

" The problem is that those of us who were born into Islam and who don't want to live according to scripture - we don't have what the Jews have, which is a rabbinical tradition that allows you to ask questions. We also don't have the church tradition that the Christians have."

Henry said...

I watched the video with the sound off. From the title shot and all the way through, there's a strange fetishization of youth and beauty. It's like a pre-Raphaelite hymn to purity.

I think this may make the video more persuasive to some, since beauty is enticing, but the equation of female liberation with professional makeup and great hair costs it power, in my opinion. Some of the shots could be reused in Prell commercials.

Gahrie said...

where I draw the line is at compulsory religion, which is political oppression.

Althouse:

What you have apparently never understood about Islam is that it is compulsory worship...Islam demands your submission to Allah, either voluntary or as a slave, or death. Islam also is explicitly political and a political system that demands suppression and oppression of all those who do not obey.

Gahrie said...

If you think distinguishing between Islam and other faiths is "Islamophobic,"

The term "phobic" is often misused by the Left as a weapon. However being scared of Islam is a rational position. Islam openly proclaims its intentions to destroy our civilization, our culture and our way of life. It demands that we submit to Allah.

Islam does not believe in co-existence.

Gahrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

Please move beyond ignorant Islamophobia.

First of all. the one who appears to be ignorant of Islam is you.

Make intelligent points here.

Being scared of Islam is intelligent. You as an educated independent woman with a gay son should be more scared of Islam than most people.

What type of life do you think you and your son would have in the average Islamic nation?

Lyle Smith said...

Islam doesn’t have to be interpreted in way that leads to autocracy or theocracy, I agree. In 700 years or so, that interpretation has never met with success. Even in Indonesia there are blasphemy laws that get former Christian mayors imprisoned. Sure, it is political oppression, but is the politics of religion and faith. I wish Christopher Hitchens was around to chime in on this.

Gahrie said...

For those who seek to make this about Arab/Persian culture rather than Islam....go back and look at how the Iranian people, especially women, lived under the Shah and how they live today. All you need to do is compare photos of Iran pre and post 1979.

buwaya said...

Iran under the Shah had a distinctly secular elite bourgeois subculture. But that was a subculture, not the general case. Iran was changing fast but had not gotten too far in that direction. This is one of those cases where, if one was a foreigner, or of the ruling class, one had to emerge from the bubble and see beyond the capital and its elites.
Thats why the famous encounter between the Shah and Saudi King Faisal (also a reformer).
The Shah argued for some enlightened policy, saying that it was just the thing in Sweden.
The King replied "Ah, but you do not rule over Swedes".

Gahrie said...

Islam does not have to be interpreted to require an oppressive centralized government

Who told you that? Islam explicitly requires that he government be Islamic and enforce Islamic law.

There is no "render unto Caesar" in Islamic law or tradition. The one example of a "secular" Islamic nation, Turkey, is currently descending back to a theocratic state.

tim in vermont said...

Jesus: “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

Mohamed: “Do not question this book!”

Certain faiths are inimical to democracy, others are willing to give it its place. One need not look further than the mass sexual assaults and rapes, up to and including gang rapes that happened during a New Year’s Eve celebration in Cologne, Germany a few years back, and the way the press in Europe tried to suppress it, but you know, it’s hard to suppress the sexual assault of a thousand women in a “free” country like Germany, hard as Merkel tried, but the news was pretty effectively suppressed here in the US. Just like the mass grooming of young girls for sexual abuse at Rotherham, UK, was roundly ignored by the US press on account of the facts might further the “irrational” phobia of Islam.

Islam is the codification of Arab Male privilege. Why feminists have allied themselves with this group, other than, as Lena Dunham put it, “calculations were made” and principles were sold out, is a mystery. In other words, there is no other explanation but the sad fact that “feminism” has allied itself with leftism, and not just allied itself, but yielded its most fundamental principles to party politics. (cough cough, Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy. John F Kennedy... cough cough)

Feminists would do well to stay out of politics, to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and stick to cultural issues. Then maybe they could win their battles democratically and organically, rather than forcing judgements on unwilling populace and building resentment.

But that’s just me “concern trolling” I guess.

Seeing Red said...

First Iran, then KSA.

David said...

My first thought was "firing squad." A mixed message at the very least.

Hagar said...

Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote that it was her grandmother who had her and her sister mutilated while their parents were away, and that in open defiance of the parents' orders that it was not to be done.

tim in vermont said...

Before the Soviets overthrew their sovereign government, there was a reasonably secular government in Afghanistan.

I think that the empires of the British, the Russians, and the French, later supplanted by a United States that was utterly dependent on their oil and had the military and economic power to protect their interests, all of these factors led to an ascendancy of radical Islam. This is blowback from a history of interference that started with the division of the Ottoman Empire in the Treaty of Versatile, the “peace to end all peace.”

There is definitely a lot going on in the middle east, and Islam is the one ideology that seems to empower them to fight back. “Star Wars” is based on “Dune,” which is based on “The Sabres of Paradise” which is history of the battle of Islamic warlords against the Persian and Russian empires in the Caucuses. Which side do you think is analogous to “The Empire” and which side to the Islamic tribes? Who really has the more romantic story?

Read “Dune” for a pretty good summary of Islamic tactics of war, down to and including smuggling in fighters among refugees, and the statement: “He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing.”

So it’s one thing to decry the Islamic treatment of women, it’s another thing to come up with an alternative to the Arab World for an ideology that has been so successful in other areas that even people who don’t really like parts of it “make calculations.”

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Gahrie said"
The term "phobic" is often misused by the Left as a weapon. However being scared of Islam is a rational position."

True, but as you said whatever+"phobic" is used to dismiss legitimate criticism.

The problems with Islam readers here have pointed out will continue to exist whether we talk them about them or not. Althouse can insist that such critiques are "ignorant" all she likes, just as Obama could scold us about the Crusades. That will not prevent gays from being tossed off roofs, young women from being the victims of honor killings, or terrorists from mowing pedestrians down in the name of Islam.

David said...

" I have read about four books on Islam and am currently reading In the Shadow of the Sword, by Tom Holland a pretty respectable historian."

About two years ago I started an extensive read on Islam. There are some fantastic books out there and you could spend your life reading them. I learned a lot, some of it quite useful in understanding the current situation. I still do not trust my knowledge as even close to my sense of confidence in my knowledge of American and European history. It's a hard culture to grasp, and the parts I find graspable make me pessimistic about the future for Islamic Middle Eastern culture and its interaction with the west.

The large Islamic population in the Far East does not seem as burdened by the history. But time will tell.

David said...

"I think that the empires of the British, the Russians, and the French, later supplanted by a United States that was utterly dependent on their oil and had the military and economic power to protect their interests, all of these factors led to an ascendancy of radical Islam."

It seems to me that a materialistic analysis of Islam is by definition wrong or at least very incomplete. My daughter had a history professor at Brown who taught a wonderful course on the earlier European colonization efforts. He always despaired that his students were nearly incapable of understanding the religious-spiritual motivations of the Europeans, which were powerful influences. His students had great difficulty in seeing the world in other than materialistic terms, he said.

tim in vermont said...

t seems to me that a materialistic analysis of Islam is by definition wrong or at least very incomplete

Think of it more as a “natural selection” analysis. That the condition that were created in the Middle East favored the strengths of Islam as a war-fighting force. It doesn’t matter internally how Islam works, any more than it matters the how a cheetah’s digestion works, as long as it can run faster than its prey.

MacMacConnell said...

President Trump at the UN Sept. 19, 2017 concerning Iran.

"The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are, in fact, its own people.

Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors. This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war, and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.

We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. (Applause.) The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.

It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.

The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict Internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protestors, and imprison political reformers.

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror? Or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?"


FYI, it was recently reported that Trump six months ago ordered the formation of a CIA section for the undermining of the Iranian regime.

It's also been report that Israel either broke the code or bought the operating systems for Iran's air defense missile systems.

Hagar said...

I also have read that among the Han Chinese, it was the senior women in the families who enforced the foot-binding practice on girl babies.

buwaya said...

"He always despaired that his students were nearly incapable of understanding the religious-spiritual motivations of the Europeans"

Its not just the motivations that are missing in modern historical analysis - and this failure goes back to historians even the end of the 19th century. Through most of the period of European colonization the MEANS by which it was accomplished are, in material terms, mysterious. The Europeans conquered the world with what a bean-or-nose counting materialist would consider trivial forces, compared to their potential or actual opposition. The odds against their success were incredible. Napoleons maxim would require a multiplication.

buwaya said...

"I also have read that among the Han Chinese, it was the senior women in the families who enforced the foot-binding "

Chinese mothers-in-law are not explained by conventional social theories.

MacMacConnell said...

Chinese mothers-in-law or any mother-in-laws are not explained by conventional social theories.
Fixed it for you.

Hagar said...

Hush, Buwaya,
In most societies, it is the women who are in charge of enforcing the tribal mores; the men only think they are.

David Baker said...

"First of all. the one who appears to be ignorant of Islam is you."

Sad but true, imo.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

David wrote:

"It seems to me that a materialistic analysis of Islam is by definition wrong or at least very incomplete."

Incomplete it surely is, and I agree that those who see reality through a materialistic lens have difficulty grasping spiritual/religious motivations (indeed, I think one reason Western elites do not understand their enemies is because the elites are both secular and unimaginative. They can't believe anybody really takes this Allah Akbar stuff seriously - it must be about economics or colonialism or Israel.)

But Islam does strike me as being much more materialistic than either Christianity or Talmudic Judaism. Mohammed's kingdom was very much of this world. Jesus never led armies into battle; Judaism managed to survive for 2000 years unmoored to a state. Islam is triumphalist; its' followers are meant to rule over dhimmis. The fact that the Islamic world fell behind the West in every measure and was then colonized by Westerners must have been especially galling for religious Muslims. Instead of "if you are so smart, why aren't you rich?" Muslims must have had the question "if your religion is so great, why are your countries poor and backward?" in the back of their minds. There have always been poor and powerless Christians and Jews, but their poverty was never an affront to their faith. In the case of militant Muslims, I wonder if the rage they feel is partly fueled by the humiliation of having been the ruled not the rulers, which was not, in Mohammed's mind, how things were supposed to play out.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Islam does not have to be interpreted to require an oppressive centralized government. And before you say it does, become an expert on the religion to which you are not an insider.


1. Before you say it does not, become an expert on the religion to which you are not an insider.

2. If experts told you other than what you wanted to think, you would reject them anyway.

3. If our perceptions of Islam=Islamophobia, then feminism=androphobia.

Henry said...

There is no "render unto Caesar" in Islamic law or tradition. The one example of a "secular" Islamic nation, Turkey, is currently descending back to a theocratic state.

Render under Caeser was preached to a tiny minority group. Then along came Constantine and for 1500 years, Christian law and tradition meant nothing but "render unto Caeser."

As for secular Islamic nations there are quite a few:

Albania,
Azerbaijan (and other muslim-majority former Soviet states)
Bangladesh,
Indonesia,
Senegal

The flaw in the assertion that Islam is by definition inimical to democracy (as Tim at large puts it) is that it is both static and restrictive. The world is dynamic and multifaceted.

buwaya said...

". In the case of militant Muslims, I wonder if the rage they feel is partly fueled by the humiliation of having been the ruled not the rulers, which was not, in Mohammed's mind, how things were supposed to play out."

Bernard Lewis, The Roots of Muslim Rage

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1990/09/the-roots-of-muslim-rage/304643/

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Hagar said...
I also have read that among the Han Chinese, it was the senior women in the families who enforced the foot-binding practice on girl babies.

1/2/18, 12:17 PM

The senior women in families were always the ones who ensured that others in the tribe conformed to social mores. That was as true among Victorian mothers in London or Des Moines as it was among the Han Chinese, Sicilians, and Arabs.

That's what the whole "women oppressed by the patriarchy" version of history ignores or misses. Women have often been more ruthless and rigid in enforcing social mores than men.

Gahrie said...

The world is dynamic and multifaceted.

But Islam isn't. that's its major flaw. Islam requires its followers to attempt to live their lives as closely to the example of Mohammed as they can. It insists that Islam is the revealed perfect will of Allah that cannot be changed in any way.

Clyde said...

I wish these brave women success, and I wish the brave people in Iran protesting against the tyrannical regime success in changing it as well. They are putting their lives and their safety on the line in doing so.

narayanan said...

actually it is the rage against science and capitalism of the Marxist intellectuals disguised as anti-colonialism which fuels into the so called muslim rage - which is product of a self-stunting of intellect demanded by the religious doctrines - Muhammad as prophet of the omnipotent and omnisceient.

if god told jews to go forth and multiply; muhammad told muslims to go forth and conquer.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Please move beyond ignorant Islamophobia. Make intelligent points here."

Ignorant Islamophobia is when you jump off the top of a burning World Trade Tower because you foolishly believe it is better than burning to death, right? Silly Infidel!

n.n said...

It's too cold for a female chauvinist Slut Walk, but an opportunity for a "Hair" revival.

n.n said...

The problem for Muslims is three-fold. One, Islam has irreconcilable differences with Christianity and Judaism, and is intolerant of secular conflations. Two, it has a long and storied history of social justice adventures, redistributive change, and secular excess. Three, it is often married to a left-wing ideology that is divergent and oppressive in the extreme.

hombre said...

Althouse wrote: "Tim, after reading your comment, I'm interested to see that I didn't put an "Islam" tag on this post and it never crossed my mind to do so. This is political oppression. There should be religious tolerance and religious freedom."

Islam and Sharia Law are virtually inseparable. Islam is, and always has been, a movement seeking political dominance of races, nations and, most of all, women.

hombre said...

Michael K wrote: "Most of the stuff we object to in political Islam is not in the Quran. A lot of it is pre-Islamic Arab culture."

Iranians are not Arabs. The Quran is not the only Islamic holy book. The content of Islamic holy books, which focuses extensively on jihad, is largely objectionable.

Lydia said...

Interesting results of a 2015 poll -- Among Iranians, 42% Support Voluntary Hijab while 53% Oppose":

According to a poll conducted by IPOS, 42% of Iranians say that wearing an Islamic hijab should be optional for women, while 38% believe it to be obligatory for religious reasons and another 15% maintain that it should be mandatory on strictly legal grounds. Five percent register other responses such as “I don’t know”, “I have no idea” and “I am not interested in this topic.

More support for optional wearing and less for mandatory than I would have thought. And the government must be listening -- in the Tehran Times on December 28th, "Islamic Republic eases up on dress code":

Iran is taking a softer approach to those women who do not dress modestly, opting for education over punishment, Tehran’s police chief has said.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Iran is taking a softer approach to those women who do not dress modestly, opting for education over punishment, Tehran’s police chief has said.

How about, fuck off with either 'education' or punishment? Her head, her goddamn choice.

hombre said...

Althouse wrote: "Islam does not have to be interpreted to require an oppressive centralized government. And before you say it does, become an expert on the religion to which you are not an insider."

One need not be an "insider" to understand the nature of Islam. For example, Voice of the Martyrs and other sources point out that the vast majority of Islamic majority nations' governments tolerate or actively participate in persecution of kafirs or restrictions of their religious and other freedoms. Apparently it depends on what you mean by "oppressive."

Although I guess Christianity does not have to be interpreted to require a belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ either, unless, of course, you intend to actually practice the faith.

Hagar said...

Still with this "Muslim majority nations" BS?
If the people with the swords - now guns - are Muslim, the country is Muslim.

Big Mike said...

In the meantime, Neda Agha Soltan is still dead.

buwaya said...

"Iranians are not Arabs. The Quran is not the only Islamic holy book. The content of Islamic holy books, which focuses extensively on jihad, is largely objectionable."

Iranians and Pathans and Malaysians and Bengalis aren't Arabs, but they (even the Shiites, but with different authorities) still hold the Arab culture and customs of the prophets day as normative practices. Yes, this amounts to cultural replacement, which has been noted by many observers (Naipaul being one of the more current ones).

The cultural overlay required by Islam was not perfect, in practice. Part of the growth of the more-rigid modern forms of Islam is the result of modern technology making education in the religion more pervasive and standardized. Old holdover folk practices were usually due to lack of education.

virgil xenophon said...

People here who wish to learn more about the Arab "mind" should purchase a long out-of-print work by a retired British General/Historian Sir John Glubb Pasha entitled "A Short History of the Arab Speaking People" (1969) This 300 page book loses little for the fact that some 35 yrs have passed since its publication.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: I purchased the book when first published while stationed in the UK as a young AF Captain who spent a lot of time down in Tripoli for bomb and gunnery practice when old King Idris was still in power.

Henry said...

But Islam isn't. that's its major flaw. Islam requires its followers to attempt to live their lives as closely to the example of Mohammed as they can. It insists that Islam is the revealed perfect will of Allah that cannot be changed in any way.

This is exactly what every serious religion asks of its followers. Islam, Mohammed, and Allah can easily be substituted for Christianity, Jesus, and God.

Brigham Young set up a Christian Theocracy in Utah and asked his followers to cohere to exacting social and economic theories. My grandmother was born in Orderville.

John Adams went to the constitutional convention as a delegate from a state which had long hectored any religion other than its own Puritanism.

Both of those men were born in North America because they had ancestors who fled Christian religious wars in Europe.

The point is one of degree, but of dynanism. The prescriptions Brigham Young declared for Utah did not require torture, for example. The laws the Massachusetts Bay Colony levied against Quakers did not involve stake burnings. The fact that my Massachusetts town doesn't have a liquor store derives from blue laws which derived from the temperance movement, which derived from puritanism. Nevertheless, I'm willing to call it a democratic town.

Senegal is not Saudi Arabia. Sufis are not Wahhabis. People change faster than theology.

hombre said...

"This is exactly what every serious religion asks of its followers. Islam, Mohammed, and Allah can easily be substituted for Christianity, Jesus, and God."

Really? I am not familiar with the Christian equivalents to, say, jihad, taqiyya, dhimmitude, etc.