Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind

Given modern distractions, the need to understand Islam better has never been more urgent. Through this forum we can share ideas and hopefully promote the true spirit of Islam which calls for peace, justice, tolerance, inclusiveness and diversity.
ghulam muhammed
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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:28 pm

Iranian poets face lashes for shaking hands with opposite sex

Tehran : Two Iranian poets are facing 99 lashes each for shaking hands with people of the opposite sex in one of the latest examples of harsh punishments meted out to writers and artists by Iran’s judiciary, the media reported onWednesday.

The poets, Fatemeh Ekhtesari, a woman, and Mehdi Musavi, have also both been sentenced to jail terms for “insulting the sacred” in their writings, a decision slammed by freedom of expression activists, reports CNN.

“Ekhtesari and Musavi’s arrests and convictions are a travesty of justice, and send a chill over the already beleaguered creative community in Iran,” Karin Deutsch Karlekar, director of Free Expression Programs at PEN American Centre, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Ekhtesari and Musavi, who touched on social issues in their work, received prison sentences of 11-and-a-half and nine years respectively for convictions based on confessions extracted under duress, according to PEN.

The flogging sentences came after Ekhtesari admitted to shaking hands with male participants at a poetry event in Sweden, PEN said. Shaking hands with a member of the opposite sex who is not an immediate relation is considered an “illegitimate sexual relationship short of adultery” in Iran, it said

A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary has declined to comment on the poets’ cases, which have not been covered in the country’s state media.

http://www.freepressjournal.in/iranian- ... osite-sex/

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by qutub_mamajiwala » Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:26 am

a iranian lady mandana karim at present is staying in bigg boss house.
wonder what she has to say about this or what fatwa they issue against her?

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To all Shia-Sunni BASHERS on this Forum


Unread post by SBM » Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:46 pm

To all those Shia-Sunni BASHERS on this forum LISTEN to this

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:38 pm

Executions in Saudi Arabia and Iran – the numbers

Only China carries out more executions a year than Iran, according to human rights groups

On Saturday Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including the Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

The move prompted outrage in predominantly Shia Iran. The ensuing war of words and protests resulted in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan cutting diplomatic ties with Tehran.

According to data collected by Amnesty International, at least 151 people were executed in Saudi Arabia between January and November 2015, while Human Rights Watch recorded 158in total during the year.

The figures mark the highest number of recorded executions in one year since 1995, when 192 people were killed. It also marks a 67% increase on the 90 in 2014. Saudi Arabia does not release its own figures on the number of people it executes.

Despite its protestations against the execution of Nimr, Iran is the only country in the Middle East and North Africa that carries out more executions than Saudi Arabia each year – globally, it is second only to China.

Iranian statistics reported 289 executions in 2014 (278 men and 11 women), but Amnesty International says reliable sources put the figure far higher. It claims that at least 743 executions were carried out in 2014.

It is worth noting, however, that Iran’s population of almost 80 million is more than twice that of Saudi Arabia. Of the executions publicly recognised by Iranian authorities, 122 (42%) were people convicted of drug offences.

Iran’s figures for 2015 are set to be even larger. Between January and 1 November last year Amnesty recorded 830 executions, with the majority being related to narcotics.

Similarly, nearly half of 2015 executions in Saudi Arabia were drug-related. However, the 47 executed in Saudi Arabia last Saturday were convicted of alleged terrorism-related offences.

According to Amnesty, the methods of execution used in Saudi Arabia in 2014 were beheading and via firing squad, while in Iran those sentenced to death are hanged. Some public executions are carried out in both countries.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablo ... bers-china

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:07 pm

Can Iran Change?

THE world is watching Iran for signs of change, hoping it will evolve from a rogue revolutionary state into a respectable member of the international community. But Iran, rather than confronting the isolation it has created for itself, opts to obscure its dangerous sectarian and expansionist policies, as well as its support for terrorism, by leveling unsubstantiated charges against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

It is important to understand why Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are committed to resisting Iranian expansion and responding forcefully to Iran’s acts of aggression.

Superficially, Iran may appear to have changed. We acknowledge Iran’s initial actions regarding the agreement to suspend its program to develop a nuclear weapon. Certainly, we know that a large segment of the Iranian population wants greater openness internally and better relations with neighboring countries and the world. But the government does not.

The Iranian government’s behavior has been consistent since the 1979 revolution. The constitution that Iran adopted states the objective of exporting the revolution. As a consequence, Iran has supported violent extremist groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and sectarian militias in Iraq. Iran or its proxies have been blamed for terrorist attacks around the world, including the bombings of the United States Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and the assassinations in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in 1992. And by some estimates Iranian-backed forces have killed over 1,100 American troops in Iraq since 2003.

Iran uses attacks on diplomatic sites as an instrument of its foreign policy. The 1979 takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran was only the beginning. Since then, embassies of Britain, Denmark, Kuwait, France, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been attacked in Iran or abroad by Iranian proxies. Foreign diplomats and domestic political opponents have been assassinated around the world.

Hezbollah, Iran’s surrogate, tries to control Lebanon and wages war against the Syrian opposition — and in the process helps the Islamic State flourish. It is clear why Iran wants Bashar al-Assad of Syria to remain in power: In its 2014 report on terrorism, the State Department wrote that Iran views Syria “as a crucial causeway to its weapons supply route to Hezbollah.” The report also noted, citing United Nations data, that Iran provided arms, financing and training “to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people.” The same report for 2012 noted that there was “a marked resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism,” with Iranian and Hezbollah’s terrorist activity “reaching a tempo unseen since the 1990s.”

In Yemen, Iran’s support for the takeover of the country by the Houthi militia helped cause the war that has killed thousands.

While Iran claims its top foreign policy priority is friendship, its behavior shows the opposite is true. Iran is the single-most-belligerent-actor in the region, and its actions display both a commitment to regional hegemony and a deeply held view that conciliatory gestures signal weakness either on Iran’s part or on the part of its adversaries.

In that vein, Iran tested a ballistic missile on Oct. 10, just months after reaching an agreement on its nuclear program, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. In December, an Iranian military ship fired a missile near American and French vessels in international waters. Even since signing the nuclear accord, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has defended the country’s ubiquitous slogan “Death to America.”

Saudi Arabia will not allow Iran to undermine our security or the security of our allies. We will push back against attempts to do so.

In an outlandish lie, Iran maligns and offends all Saudis by saying that my nation, home of the two holy mosques, brainwashes people to spread extremism. We are not the country designated a state sponsor of terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation under international sanctions for supporting terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation whose officials are on terrorism lists; Iran is. We don’t have an agent sentenced to jail for 25 years by a New York federal court for plotting to assassinate an ambassador in Washington in 2011; Iran does.

Saudi Arabia has been a victim of terrorism, often at the hands of Iran’s allies. Our country is on the front line of fighting terrorism, working closely with our allies. Saudi Arabia has arrested thousands of terrorism suspects and prosecuted hundreds. Our fight against terrorism is continuing as we lead multinational efforts to pursue those who participate in terrorist activities, those who fund them and those who foment the mind-set that promotes extremism.

The real question is whether Iran wants to live by the rules of the international system, or remain a revolutionary state committed to expansion and to defiance of international law. In the end, we want an Iran that works to solve problems in a way that allows people to live in peace. But that will require major changes in Iran’s policy and behavior. We have yet to see that.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/19/opini ... egion&_r=1

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:28 pm

The Artist Making Dolls of the Women Executed in Iran

Women living in Iran have been executed for "crimes" like not wearing their hijab correctly or defending themselves from rape. While the country's government uses the death penalty as a silencing tactic, Iranian-American artist Sheida Soleimani is bringing attention to the women who were supposed to disappear.

According to Iran Human Rights, 3,344 people have been executed in Iran since 2011 for minor offenses. The total number of women executed in the country per year is unknown; the government will report a certain amount of executions—sometimes adding false charges—but many go completely unacknowledged. Even without this context, it's clear that the women resurrected in Soleimani's surreal photographs—bloated and pixelated—have gone through something grotesque.

When I was five, my mom would put me to bed and tell me stories about when she was in prison and what the prison guards did to her. [She was arrested and tortured by members of the Iranian government.] My dad, over dinner discussion, would talk about how his friends were executed and hanged and how he had to witness public hangings.

There were a lot of things that weren't talked about on Western TV when the Green Revolution started happening in 2008, for example. Family members were telling me, "It's bad here. There's sweepers cleaning up blood from the streets at night."

I realized it was important for me, having a mother who went through what she did, to highlight the women who have been executed. No one is representing them or protecting them in the country of Iran, and they are killed if they try to have a voice. I started thinking about what would happen if I started forcing [people to look at] these images of these women on trial. And this just after I had learned about Reyhaneh Jabbari, a woman who was executed for killing her rapist. I was just thinking, "Wow, a woman can't even protect herself from someone who is trying to rape her. He walks free, and she gets killed. How can I start a conversation about this?"

I'm on Iran Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International—which doesn't even cover a quarter of the executions—and on the dark web, where there are forums that people can confirm casualties in Iran. If one of your family members has been jailed, no one in the government will tell you if they have been executed or what has happened to them. That's where these forums come in. The Humans Rights Watch put out a report in 2013 that said that over 200 executions were not even claimed, and last year saw the highest number of executions in 15 years. There are public executions as well, and that's how the government tries to instill fear in its citizens. They execute women in this way to send a message: don't do this or you'll be killed, too. Reyhaneh Jabbari was one of those women.

Very rarely are women even allowed to have trials—it's really just a matter of formality—but when they do have trials, sometimes images will be posted online. Most recently, I had an image of a woman who was handcuffed and led to her death.

In a lot of villages in Iran, you are forced to go to the city square and witness a woman get killed. People take their kids—it's so normalized that it's like taking your kids to the circus.

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ ... ed-in-iran

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:41 pm

Iran executed all adult men in one village for drug offences, official reveals

UN anti-drug agency urged to stop funding Iran’s war on narcotics until Tehran ends use of death penalty for drug offences

The entire adult male population of a village in southern Iran has been executed for drug offences, according to Iran’s vice-president for women and family affairs.

“We have a village in Sistan and Baluchestan province where every single man has been executed,” she said, without naming the place or clarifying whether the executions took place at the same time or over a longer period. “Their children are potential drug traffickers as they would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families. There is no support for these people.”

According to Amnesty International, Iran remains a prolific executioner, second only to China. In 2014, at least 753 people were hanged in Iran, of whom more than half were drug offenders. In 2015, Amnesty said it had recorded “a staggering execution rate” in the Islamic republic, “with nearly 700 people put to death in the first half of the year alone”.

“The apparent hanging of every man in one Iranian village demonstrates the astonishing scale of Iran’s execution spree. These executions – often based on juvenile arrests, torture, and unfair or nonexistent trials – show total contempt for the rule of law, and it is shameful that the UN and its funders are supporting the police forces responsible.”

Amnesty is particularly concerned about Iran’s execution of juveniles. In a report published in January, the group said Iran had carried out 73 executions of juvenile offenders between 2005 and 2015.

Sistan and Baluchestan, where the unnamed village is situated, “is arguably the most underdeveloped region in Iran, with the highest poverty, infant and child mortality rates, and lowest life expectancy and literacy rates in the country,” according to Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran. “The province … experiences a high rate of executions for drug-related offences or crimes deemed to constitute ‘enmity against God’ in the absence of fair trials.”


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/f ... icial-says

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by Conscíous » Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:03 am

Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind

Br GM,,
I respect you and Im not going to ridicule you..
But are you really serious about this?? Its like comparing apples with oranges..

When was last time Iran started a war with its neighbour? 126 years ago!!

When was the last time this wahabis rodents started a war with its neighbours??
They at war in Yemen, where they are getting owned by the sandel wearing houthi and list is so long.. one can just google it..

wahhabis are the primarily supporter of terrorists like al qaida , isis and other extremist groups ALL OVER THE WORLD
And they follow the same rotten ideology of Wahhabism..
An ideology of intolerant and medieval..

Look at what this barbarians rodents have done to there neighbours and around the world (Syria, Yemen and the list goes on and on).
blowing up mosques, churches, hospitals, schools, massacre innocent women's, children in there thousands, destroying historic citys, art, eradicating everything in their path and you are comparing this savages with the mullas ??

wahhabi ideology is the scums of the earth who won't leave any stone unturned and never bring peace wherever they go.. They are against humanity..
Even primitive people living in the jungles have more humanity than this savage wahhabi pigs!!

They have already destroyed 90% of Islamic history in Mecca and other places.. They have build the worlds biggest shopping malls 300 meters form the holy Kaaba and you have the guts to compare this rodents with Iran?

This barbarians still practice slavery, just in a different form. They dont let any other beliefs to practice there faith and you think they are the same like Iranians??

Iran has over 25 thousands jews, whom are very happy to live in Iran and are free to practice there faith and so are the Sunnis and Christians.. and you still think they are the same as those scums of the earth rodent wahhabis??

Iran supports hezbollah and hezbollah/SAA are the only group protecting the christians in Syria and Lebanon.. and you still think they are the same??
If its wasn't for Hezbollah, Lebanon would have been another Palestinian and Iran is the foremost to supporter of the Palestine people..
And you know to well that, If its wasn't for Hezbollah, SAA and other shia groups, we would have had a massacre in Syria..

For gods sakes please remove your love for this backwards savage society and stop comparing them to Iranians..

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by SBM » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:06 pm

Just like blind Abdes/Amtes of SMS who find nothing wrong in him and his goons and at their urging say Laanat on SKQ and his flock, Conscious can find nothing wrong with Iranian Regime despite the fact that Aytollah Khomeini has blood of about 10 million Iranians on his hand during Iran/Iraq war. He was responsible for hanging people who fought along side with him for revolution like Ghutubzadeh, Bani Sadr and others,
Iranian do not even consider Dawoodi Bohras as SHIAS since they do not believe in 12 Imams like Iranian does
So whether it is Aytullah or Saudi King they are all responsible for dividing Islam.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by Conscíous » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:49 am

SBM wrote:^
Just like blind Abdes/Amtes of SMS who find nothing wrong in him and his goons and at their urging say Laanat on SKQ and his flock,
Hehe. :mrgreen: . Your assessment about me is totally false and Im not even going to bother commenting 8)
SBM wrote:Conscious can find nothing wrong with Iranian Regime despite the fact that Aytollah Khomeini has blood of about 10 million Iranians on his hand during Iran/Iraq war. He was responsible for hanging people who fought along side with him for revolution like Ghutubzadeh, Bani Sadr and others,
Iranian do not even consider Dawoodi Bohras as SHIAS since they do not believe in 12 Imams like Iranian does
So whether it is Aytullah or Saudi King they are all responsible for dividing Islam.
Have you seen any posts from me, where I'm praising the Iranian regime?? Nope, not even one..
The comparison with the wahabbis rodents and the Iranian doesn't hold water and I've reasoned it quiet well with my post above :wink:

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:34 pm

Br Conscious,

I appreciate your views especially with regard to Wahabis as I too condemn many of their acts in the harshest manner possible, in fact I have been more vocal about their atrocities then any other member on this forum. I believe that they have crossed all the limits when they started demolishing holy sites in Saudi. However, my title to this thread is befitting the Iranian Shias too because their illegal/unislamic and inhuman acts have never hogged the limelight of mainstream media due to which many are not aware of what goes on in their circles in the garb of Islam which is very similar to what happens in Saudi and other wahabi ruled countries. I request you to please go through all the articles on this thread and then decide with an unbiased mindset as to whether the title is appropriate or not. I can very well reply to all the queries you mentioned on piece by piece basis but that would be a time consuming process as I will have to support them with concrete evidences which itself is time consuming.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by Conscíous » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:26 am

deleted double copy..
Last edited by Conscíous on Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by Conscíous » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:27 am

Br GM,,

There is nothing similar between those two countries apart from they have same name of the lord almighty (Allah). otherwise everything is completely different. There are many other counties that have even worse human rights records, but comparing Iranians with the wahabbis rodents is completely wrong.

[bThose who do this kind of comparison are those whom are trying to cover for this backwards savage society of wahabbis.. [/b]

I've read a lot of bullshit in western news papirs about Iran, but you rarely hear about this scums rodents wahabbis and I´ll tell you why..
The saudis are the biggest clientele of ussa and england.
The wahabbis and the zionist are bed mates and they are set out to destroy Islam and the middle east..

Ayatollah did a lot of horrible things, just like Mao, or Lenin.. But that doesn't white wash what this wahabbis are doing today.
Im speaking up for whats happening today..
Im a shia by heart and Im not blind to what this rodents wahabbis are trying to do to us and the world in general..
I see how the christians in Syira and in Lebanon are thankful to the Shias..

Shias dont export terrorist around the world..Trying to enforce shiism on others or starting to chop heads, blowing up themselves and others around and using the quran to justify there actions..
Shias dont have mosques for the sake of creating extremist so they can go to other places to massacre innocent people..

We the shias, let others enjoy there faith and freedom and we are tolerant to other peoples faith and let them practice it..

This mentality to compare Iran with the saudis is western propaganda and you have fallen prey for it!! there is nothing to compare..

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by SBM » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:25 pm

Seems like Conscious has no Conscious and is totally close minded like Abdes.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by Conscíous » Sat Mar 05, 2016 6:53 pm

Haha :mrgreen:

Your going to fail trying aggravate me,,
That behaviour your showing is your defence mechanism thats playing out and that how you handle adversity..
I guess, thats your pathetic character, :roll: ..

You have my full permission to follow me around just like my dog does..
I officially adopt you as my pet on this site :wink:

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by qutub_mamajiwala » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:09 am

in savagery both saudis and iran are same, iran especially after revolution. before it was very gud and liberal.
but the main difference is that they dont try to enforce their ideology on others saying ours is the only and only true and rest all are kafirs who dont deserve to live

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:33 pm

Iranian Women Want Hijab to Be a Choice, Not Law

For women living or just temporarily staying in Iran, regardless of nationality, citizenship or religion, wearing a hijab is obligatory as it is stated by the Iranian law. Iranian women have always protested against such strict rules, but in recent days this campaign is seeing renewed protests.

The reason for the new wave of protest came after an incident with the crew members of Air France airline, which after eight years resumed flights to Tehran.

Several of the female flight attendants asked to be removed from flying this route as a protest against the company's administration which was making it compulsory for them to wear hijab upon arrival to Tehran.

The flight attendants won the legal battle with Air France announcing that it will allow its employees to fly to other routes if they do not want to fly to Iran.

This incident though has propelled the anti-hijab campaign to new light. Iranian women for over two years now have been campaigning on Facebook under the slogan “My Stealthy Freedom” The organizers of this campaign have asked foreign women who visit Iran to take photos of themselves without a hijab and upload it to the campaign’s page.

The campaign has nearly half a million of followers fighting against wearing a hijab compulsory. All the protesters share a common goal — to ensure that Iranian women can choose their own clothes. They believe that wearing the hijab is a tribute to culture and religion is a private matter. Women should not be punished just like in other countries as there is no punishment for choosing a style of clothing or makeup.

Since the beginning of the Islamic revolution in Iran all women are required to wear a hijab, which covers the head and body. However, gradually Iranian women began to change their views on wearing hijab.

Around the mid-1990s, many women began to wear just scarfs covering their head. Nowadays, many urban women in protest have stopped wearing the hijab, while driving.

Some have been arrested and sentenced to heavy fines. During 10 months of 2015, over 40,000 women had their cars seized by the traffic police during their raids. In 2014, about three million people received official warnings from the Ershad police, which is the official Iranian police responsible for controlling “morality” in the country.

In recent years, the hijab has increasingly acquired a political coloring. Although, the situation has in fact always been polarizing according to US-Iranian writer Azadeh Moavenisaid. “For the Iranian officials, the hijab is of great symbolic importance…. Loosen the hijab, they think, and hell will break loose; people will want to drink beer on the street and read uncensored novels. They believe the hijab is a gateway to freedom.”

Therefore, the “hijab issue” is a matter of concern to Iran's conservative establishment. Thus, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei said that women wearing the hijab “save our society from sinking into corruption and confusion.”

Hence, Ayatollah Khamenei rejects any discussion on the hijab, which is considered one of the cornerstones of the Islamic Republic.

But the reformists have a different opinion about the matter. Elected at the last parliamentary elections to the Majlis, Parvaneh Salahshori said, “Iranian women want a change. We want to have a voice in society on an equal basis with men and are willing to do anything to stop the practice of discrimination. We ourselves must decide whether to go to the polls or not, or even whether to wear the hijab.”

According to Elena Dunaeva from the Institute of Oriental Studies RAN, “Currently, the mass innovation in all spheres of Iranian society, including on the issue of the hijab, has reached a critical point and is ready to change the balance of modern and traditional in favor of the former. The youth, intellectuals, the urban middle classes, albeit some reservations, have a positive perception regarding these innovations.”

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/art_living/20160 ... z46JXyVOSm

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by anajmi » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:19 pm

Damn these Iranians and their ibn taimiyyah ideology. What will they do next? Ask people to pray 5 times a day?

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by JC » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Saudi Arabia and Iran are two sides of one coin ........... :(

And the Kothari Kingdom of Muffalabad is also the same...!!!! When it serves their own interests they will be willing to sleep with any one.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Wed May 04, 2016 7:07 pm

Why the US Government Rejected an American Judge’s Finding of an Iranian Role in the 9/11 Attacks

A lead attorney for the plaintiffs “We’re preparing our motions for final judgment against Iran and hope to have those submitted within a couple of weeks”.

As shown by Asharq Al-Awsat in a series of reports, exclusive interviews, and U.S. federal court and government documents, an elaborate case brought to trial by September 11 victims and insurance companies against the Islamic Republic of Iran has concluded in a default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs: Judge George Daniels of New York’s Southern District has found Iran to have provided material support to Al-Qaeda prior to and after the September 11 attacks. In his detailed ruling, he validated witness testimony that the Iranian government and Hezbollah had provided training, funding, and logistical support to Al-Qaeda that was essential in enabling the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Washington DC (Shanksville, Pennsylvania) — as well as other attacks, including the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the suicide boat bombing of the U.S.S. Cole near Yemen in 2000, and the Khobar Towers bombing in Riyadh. In addition to his overall finding against the Tehran regime and its Hezbollah proxy, Judge Daniels also held that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself — among other senior Iranian and Hezbollah officials — bore direct responsibility for the September 11 operation.

The monetary fine, which had been estimated in excess of $22 billion, is continuously expanding as the plaintiffs’ attorneys calculate their motions for a final judgment. Yesterday, James Kreindler, a lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We’re preparing our motions for final judgment against Iran and hope to have those submitted within a couple of weeks. We’re going to do them in batches of 50 or 100 at a time, as there is information needed from each family. I expect the total will be over $300 billion.”

These stunning determinations are based on court proceedings dating back over a decade, which in turn relied on evidence that had been accessed by researchers as early as the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. As such, the trial raises even more questions than it answers: If there has long been a body of information credible enough to persuade a federal judge to place responsibility for the most devastating terror attack in American history on the Iranian government, then what has been the response of the U.S. government, intelligence community, and successive White Houses to the same set of facts? What is the relationship between these findings on the one hand, and the set of accommodationist policies toward Iran that culminated in the establishment of the Iranian nuclear deal last October on the other? Will the staggering sums demanded by the judge actually be paid by the Iranian government? And between the Obama White House’s conciliatory policies toward Iran on the one hand and a federal judge’s uncompromising stance on the other, what future directions in Iran policy may be expected from Washington?

To answer these questions, Asharq Al-Awsat conducted an extensive investigation, including interviews with senior White House, Defense Department, and State Department officials; lawyers for the September 11 victims; and some of the most trusted experts on Iran policy in Washington.

A federal judge determined that the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Ministry of Information and Security should pay $2.6 billion to family members of the victims of the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing that killed 241 American military personnel. But a variety of legal obstacles made it impossible for the victims to attach and execute against Iranian assets in the U.S. In response, in 2008, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which greatly expanded the legal tools which plaintiffs could use to recover damages from Iran or any other state sponsor of terrorism.

In December 2011, ten years after the September 11 tragedy — in the landmark case “Havlish, et al. v. Bin Laden et al.” That case, based on the deaths of 45 of the September 11 victims, ended in a $7 billion default judgment against Iran. The more expansive, March 2016 “Ashton” ruling was the result of the extension of the same factual determinations about Iran to 850 more September 11 victims and the claims of two insurance companies. These, in turn, are but two cases among several dozen that have now been brought to trial in American courts by victims of terrorism against the Iranian government. In all of them, Iran refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the proceedings.

Iranian culpability in the 9-11 attacks was argued before the Daniels court largely on the basis of ten individuals who were accepted by the judge as “expert witnesses.” Three were former staff members of the “National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” (also known as the “9-11 Commission”), an independent, bipartisan commission created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002 to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In addition to the Americans who testified, three Iranians, described as “defectors who had been operatives of the Iranian intelligence services and IRGC,” also presented affidavits. Though their testimony was entered under seal and is therefore inaccessible, it was possible to identify one of the witnesses as Abolghasem Mesbahi. Judge Daniels accepted the attorneys’ representation of Mesbahi as a former Iranian intelligence operative who had testified credibly in other prosecutions of Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists, including the case of the assassination of Iranian Kurdish dissidents at the Mykonos restaurant in Germany in 1992 and the Jewish community center bombing in Argentina in 1994.

Documented base-line Iranian and Hezbollah support for Al-Qaeda, dating back to the 1990s and continuing for years after the September 2001 tragedy, which amounted to logistical assistance, training, facilitation of transit, and providing shelter to Al-Qaeda operatives. — alleged direct and explicit Iranian operational support for the September 11 attacks, as well as other attacks.

According to witnesses in the Havlish case, the initial years following September 11 were also a period in which evidence of a potential connection between Iran and Al-Qaeda had become available to the U.S. Government but was not being adequately examined. “After 9-11, Iran and Hezbollah wished to conceal any past evidence of cooperation with Sunni terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda … We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. Government.”

A former Bush Administration official told Asharq Al-Awsat that to his knowledge, no follow-up investigation of Iran-Al-Qaeda links based on the 9-11 Commission recommendations was ever conducted. Another official added his recollection that the CIA had examined allegations of direct Iranian involvement in 9-11 and determined that the evidence was inconclusive.

But over the course of the Iraq war, several Bush Administration officials were raising questions about Iran-Al-Qaeda connections, at times posing them to the CIA. One former official told us that following conflicting reports on the Iranian government’s holding Al-Qaeda operatives under “house arrest,” he queried the CIA as to what the true nature of this ‘house arrest’ was. “The CIA was not able to explain what it was,” he said, “or what the Al-Qaeda-Iran relationship was.”

As of now, among the dockets of American terrorism cases against the Tehran regime, there are a total of roughly $49 billion in outstanding American judgments — with hundreds of billions more likely in coming months, according to the attorney James Kreindler. Victims have received, to date, several hundred million dollars which were released from a fund that had been controlled by the U.S. government, as well as some additional funds from Iran. A current case before the Supreme Court is likely to enable the confiscation of a 36-story Manhattan office tower — 650 Fifth Avenue — which is owned by the Government of Iran and likely worth more than $800 million. A lawsuit against the Central Bank of Iran appears promising which would lead to the recovery of an additional $1.8 billion. But of course, these settlements together are only the beginning of what will be required for the victims’ families to receive their due compensation.


http://english.aawsat.com/2016/04/artic ... 11-attacks

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu May 19, 2016 4:03 pm

An Ayatollah’s Daughter Prompts a Debate on Religious Persecution in Iran

TEHRAN — A house visit by a daughter of a prominent ayatollah to a female leader of the persecuted Bahai religious minority touched off a debate this week in Iran about the harsh treatment of a group deemed pagans and impure by the country’s dominant clerics.

The issue was raised last week when the Iranian news media reported that Faezeh Hashemi, 54, a daughter of the former president, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, had sat down for tea with Fariba Kamalabadi, 52, a Bahai leader.

Ms. Kamalabadi, was on temporary leave from a 20-year prison sentence imposed on her and six other Bahai leaders for spying for Israel. The United States State Department has condemned their imprisonment and called for their release along with other “prisoners of conscience.”

An official with Iran’s conservative judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei, called the meeting “obscene and despicable,” and told reporters on Wednesday that he was planning to take Ms. Hashemi to court.

Ms. Hashemi and Ms. Kamalabadi became acquainted in 2013, when they shared a prison cell after Ms. Hashemi was given a six-month sentence for “spreading propaganda against the system.”

Before then, “I had no information about these people,” Ms. Hashemi said of the Bahais. “But with the Islamic Republic imprisoning me, I became familiar with them, and this opened another window in my life.”

Ms. Hashemi, one of Iran’s most prominent activists, is often shielded from punishment by her powerful family connections. Once an outspoken lawmaker, she started Iran’s first newspaper for women in 2000 and was the first female member of the establishment to publicly ride a bicycle, long deemed religiously unfit for women.

Meeting a member of the Bahai faith, however, was one provocation too many. Even her father criticized her for having tea with a member of the Bahais, whom he called “heretics,” the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Monday. “She has committed a wrong deed and should be ashamed of herself,” he said.

Other clerics were outraged, saying that meeting with Ms. Kamalabadi, a psychologist, was “criminal.” One expert in religious ethics, Mahdi Tabataei, demanded an “apology to the nation” from Ms. Hashemi.

The head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, said that Ms. Hashemi faced prosecution on national security grounds. “Socializing with them, especially relatives of senior clerics and high-ranking officials, is damaging the norms,” he said on Tuesday, the semiofficial Tasnim News Agency reported.

But Ms. Hashemi told Euronews that she was “not sorry at all.” Discrimination in name of religion and the oppression of the Bahais are wrong, she said. “We are oppressive in Iran not only toward these but toward many,” she said to the agency. “We should correct our behavior.”

Some people, even among the clergy, have risen to her defense. “They met in prison, of course they can be friends,” said Fazel Meybodi, a reformist cleric from the Shiite holy city of Qum. Noting that not all Islamic scholars agree that the Bahais are spiritually impure, he added: “These are just two humans meeting. What is the problem?”

In contrast to Iranian Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians, tolerated minorities who even have representatives in Parliament, the Bahais have been persecuted in Iran ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Their belief in another prophet after Muhammad is anathema to Shiite Muslim clerics, who consider Muhammad the final messenger of God.

There are about 300,000 Bahais worldwide. Their headquarters is in Haifa, Israel, another reason Iranians distrust them. “The leader of their cult is Zionism,” the head of Iran’s paramilitary Basij organization, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, said on Monday. “Supporting them means being a lackey of the Zionists.”

Because they are considered impure, Bahais are not allowed to pursue higher education or to become civil servants. However, with the rising influence of the urban middle class, dogmatic religious edicts of the sort used to marginalize the Bahais have come under pressure.

“It is not clear why Bahais in Iran do not have the right to work or an education, and should be imprisoned,” Sadegh Zibakalam, a Tehran University professor and outspoken activist told a news website on Tuesday. “Did Prophet Muhammad order to imprison anyone who is not a Muslim yet or a nonbeliever?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/19/world ... eting.html

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Fri May 27, 2016 4:00 pm

The Documentary Film ''In the Bazaar of Sexes''
Temporary Marriage in Iran

The phenomenon of temporary marriage in the Islamic Republic of Iran is explored in the documentary In the Bazaar of Sexes. The film's female director, Sudabeh Morterzai, gives viewers a rare insight into a very complex society. Marian Brehmer watched the film

It is said that Muhammad once advised his followers to enter into temporary marriages while travelling. According to tradition, the Prophet approved of such short-term alliances under certain circumstances, such as during wartime or while on pilgrimage. In Arabic, this practice of temporary marriage is called mut'a (pleasure); in Farsi it is known as sighe.

A quick panning shot to Tehran. A middle-aged mullah in a black turban and cloak sits behind a desk. He seems to be extremely well versed in the matters he's being questioned on. The man leans back and launches into his explanation: "A virgin may only enter into a non-sexual type of temporary union, and there mustn't be any penetration, either front or back." Slightly embarrassed, he scratches his ear and laughs, revealing some missing teeth. "All of this is provided for by the holy law of Islam."

Authentic encounters such as this one in a cleric's office are the hallmark of the film In the Bazaar of Sexes. For this documentary, which probes the phenomenon of the sighe in contemporary Iran, the Austrian-Iranian filmmaker Sudabeh Mortezai met with members of the clergy and the middle class as well as young people and interviewed them on a topic with which all of them are very familiar.

From the Shia point of view, temporary marriage was already practised before the advent of Islam, and then also during the Prophet's lifetime. The Sunni orthodoxy, however, quickly abolished the mut'a. It was the third caliph, Umar, who regarded temporary marriage as condoning fornication and declared it banned. In the eyes of the Shia, this was an intentional intervention in a tradition endorsed by Muhammad. For their part, the Sunnis accuse the Shia of encouraging prostitution under the pretence of sighe.

A little legal loophole

Temporary marriage is hence practised today only in Shia communities, mainly in Iran and occasionally also in Iraq. Originally, sighe in Iran was geared toward widows. Although frowned upon by society, it today constitutes a loophole in the often rigid law, which young people often take advantage of. Theoretically, a young couple with a sighe can pursue their love life even without conventional marriage vows.

For every temporary marriage, the man has to pay a pre-determined sum to his short-term wife. The duration of a sighe is set out in the marriage contract. From just a few hours to several years; anything is possible. There is only one restriction: after each sighe, a woman must wait two menstrual periods before marrying again.

An aged mullah in the film finds this rule sensible: "If a woman is constantly getting married, then what is the difference from prostitution?"

Whenever clergymen speak in the film, they seem to be speaking from their own private universe. Their statements stand alone, without commentary. The viewer also rarely gets to hear the questions asked by the director, which lends the film greater immediacy.

With great subtlety, Sudabeh Mortezai manages to capture a number of different situations that reveal the alienation of society from the clergy. There is, for example, the young mullah on a taxi ride from Tehran to Qom, the city known as a training ground for clerics in the Islamic Republic. When the driver puts on a pop music CD ("move your hips"), his passenger requests silence. "That is problematic," the mullah says hesitantly, unable to suppress a grin as he points out the moral issue at stake.

The problems facing middle-aged men like the taxi driver from Isfahan are the focus of another scene. He must be over forty, but is unmarried and childless. As an older single, he has difficulty renting an apartment. This is why his ex-sighe wife advises him to enter into another temporary marriage.

Dismal state of mind

Later, we meet the bachelor again, this time with another man. They are standing in an empty apartment and talking about women. The friend is already divorced. Next time, he says, he wants an uneducated woman, "a housewife type". Says the taxi driver: "I know someone. My aunt. She is 70 and unattached. Totally uneducated!" Cigarettes are lit and a love song wails out from a mobile phone. The two men gaze at the barren apartment, which looks just as dismal as the current state of mind of many Iranians.

It is important to note that In the Bazaar of Sexes was shot over three years ago, at a time of crippling sanctions and tremendous inflation that further increased the already enormous pressure on Iran's population. The film makes palpable how Iranians are torn between the conflicting demands of the law, private life and social conventions.

At the same time, however, it sheds a more nuanced light on the Iranian clergy, introducing us to a wide range of different characters: from the young cleric who is often unsure of himself, to the smug mullah in the robe, to the bearded ayatollah in Qom. In the course of practising their tradition-steeped profession, they are all confronted with a reality that increasingly challenges their leadership.

The final scene demonstrates this all too clearly: a clutch of giggling women in a restaurant – made up like Barbie dolls, smoking a hookah, their headscarves pushed as far back as possible – loudly pokes fun at a young mullah at the next table. The poor cleric is obviously at a loss. With difficulty, he focuses his eyes on his plate, mustering a tormented smile.

Is this a victory of modernity over the medieval clergy? Even if Western commentators would sometimes like to think so: Iran is just not that simple.

Sighe could be regarded as the peg on which the director has hung her image of Iran. It is a cheerless but honest picture. We must remain aware, though, that even this picture is ultimately nothing more than a single part of what can be called the "reality" of such a complex country.

http://en.qantara.de/content/the-docume ... ge-in-iran

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by sugguma » Sat May 28, 2016 6:38 pm

As an aside, another great movie worth watching on Netflix is "The Stoning of Soreye M."

A very heart-wrenching, sad story of how religion is used to cower down and silence women.

Stranded in the remote Iranian village of Kuhpayeh by car trouble, a journalist (Freidoune Sahebjam) is approached by Zahra, a woman with a harrowing tale to tell about her niece, Soraya, and the bloody circumstances of Soraya's death, by stoning, the previous day. The two sit down as Zahra recounts the story to Freidoune, who records the conversation with his tape recorder. The journalist must escape with his life to tell the story to the rest of the world.

Ali is the abusive husband of Soraya who tries to get the village's mullah to convince Soraya to grant him a divorce so that he can marry a 14-year-old. Ali's marriage to the teenager is conditional on Ali's ability to save the girl's father, who has been sentenced to death for an unspecified crime. The mullah proposes that Soraya becomes his lover in exchange for protection and monetary support for Soraya and her two daughters. Soraya refuses. Soraya has two sons whom Ali wants, and who have both turned against her. In a scene where Ali comes home to confront Soraya, a violent argument breaks out, she breaks a dish and Ali beats her, all the while saying things displaying his sexist attitude. Some days following the incident, a woman dies. The mullah, the village's mayor, and Ali ask Zahra to persuade Soraya to care for the widower. Zahra suggests that Soraya may do the job if she is paid.

Soraya starts working for the widower, and Ali plans to use the unusual circumstance to spread lies that Soraya is being unfaithful to him so that she will be stoned and he can remarry. Ali also knows if Soraya were dead, he would not have to pay child support. Ali and the mullah start a rumor about Soraya's infidelity so they can charge her with adultery. One day while Zahra is walking in town, she realizes that a rumor has spread that her niece is being unfaithful to her husband.

Ali and the mullah need one more "witness" to Soraya's "infidelity" to be able to formally charge her, so they visit the widower at home and using threats manipulate the widower into agreeing to backup their story. Soon after, Ali drags Soraya through the streets, beating her and publicly declaring that she has been unfaithful. Zahra intervenes and takes her niece, Ali, the Mullah and the Mayor of the village to her house to talk privately. They bring the widower to the house and after he lies and says that they had engaged in adultery, a trial is pursued. Only men are allowed while Soraya is confined with some women in her house. She is quickly convicted. Zahra tries to flee with her and after realizing she cannot, goes to plead with the mayor for Soraya's life, even offering to switch places with Soraya. The conviction is upheld though, and as they are preparing for the stoning, the Mayor prays to Allah for a sign if they are not doing the right thing.

Before the actual stoning can begin, a traveling carnival van comes through and tries to perform their act. They are shooed away, where they wait by the sidelines as the stoning begins. Soraya's father disowns her as he is given the first stone to throw but he misses her repeatedly. A woman in the crowd pleads to the mayor that the stones missing are a sign Soraya is innocent, but none of the men listen. Ali takes up stones and throws them himself. Her two sons are also forced to throw stones. The widower is given two stones to throw but instead walks away. The crowd finally joins in. The stoning stops when she is believed to be dead, but after Ali sees that she is not and the stoning resumes. Soraya finally dies.

Zahra is heard narrating the story to the journalist about her niece. Around this time, the mullah and the widower are informed by Ali that his marriage to the teenaged girl is off, implying that he could not spare her father from execution. As the journalist attempts to leave with his belongings and collect his vehicle after it has been repaired by the widower, the mullah orders a Revolutionary Guard to stop him at gunpoint. They seize his tape recorder and destroy all of the tapes but as the journalist is leaving in his car, Zahra appears out of an alley with the true tape in her hand. As the journalist drives away he stops and grabs the true tape from Zahra and speeds away. Zahra screams that the God that she loves is great and now whole world will know of the injustice that has happened. The movie ends by showing the only known picture of Soraya Manutchehri, taken when she was nine years old.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iraunian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by anajmi » Sun May 29, 2016 7:24 am

Seems like a bogus story. Have these guys never heard of the triple talaq? Of course that is another issue people love as a reason for hating muslims and Islam.

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Mon May 30, 2016 6:14 pm

Iranian Students Lashed 99 Times Over Coed Party

TEHRAN — More than 30 college students were arrested, interrogated and within 24 hours were each given 99 lashes for attending a graduation party that included men and women, Iran’s judiciary has announced.

The punishments, which were believed to be part of a wider crackdown by a judiciary dominated by hard-liners, were meted out in Qazvin, about 90 miles northwest of the capital, and were carried out in record time, Mizan, a news agency affiliated with the judiciary, reported on Thursday, citing the city’s prosecutor.

The Qazvin prosecutor, Esmail Sadeghi Niaraki, said that more than 30 female and male students — the women were described as “half naked,” meaning they were not wearing Islamic coverings, scarves and long coats — were arrested while “dancing and jubilating” after the authorities received a report that a party attended both by men and women was being held in a villa on the outskirts of Qazvin.

An arrest warrant was issued, he said, and the defendants were sentenced to 99 lashes after being questioned. “We hope this will be a lesson for those who break Islamic norms in private places,” Mr. Niaraki said.

Mixed-gender parties, dancing and the consumption of alcohol are illegal in Iran, although they have become common over the past decade, especially in cities.

Lashings have been used regularly as a punishment since the Islamic revolution of 1979, but in recent years the practice has been used more as a threat than an actual punishment.

The arrests came a day after state news media reported raids on parties in Kerman and at a “singles home” in Semnan, both provincial capitals.

In Kerman, 23 people were arrested, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Wednesday, although it did not provide details about whether anyone had been punished.

In Semnan, several “polluted singles houses were cleaned” and 97 people, including 10 women, were detained.

Col. Mojtaba Ashrafi of the Semnan police told the news agency that the raids were carried out over a 48-hour period, after the authorities monitored for several weeks 58 homes in which single people were believed to be living.

Living alone is not a crime in Iran, but Colonel Ashrafi told the agency that apartments occupied by single Iranians are more likely to be the site of criminal conduct, and he added that narcotics, alcohol and satellite receivers were found in some of the homes.

Iran’s hard-line judiciary began a crackdown on such behavior after the sweeping victory of a reformist and moderate coalition in the Tehran constituency in parliamentary elections in February.

President Hassan Rouhani has expressed hope that the presence of more allies in Parliament will allow his government to push for at least modest social changes and more personal freedoms.

The judiciary has responded by stepping up its own activities, and last week it announced the arrest of several so-called Instagram models. A blogger was arrested, and prominent actors and actresses, who have huge social media followings in Iran, were given warnings about adhering to Islamic dress code and “Islamic behavior.”

Judges in Iran have broad freedoms to interpret Islamic law, and according to the Constitution, the government and other institutions have no right to interfere with their decisions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/world ... il0=y&_r=0

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by qutub_mamajiwala » Tue May 31, 2016 2:27 am

ghulam muhammed wrote:Iranian Students Lashed 99 Times Over Coed Party

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/world ... il0=y&_r=0

bro gm
according to ur resident wahabi friend, this is a bogus story--havent they heard of chopping necks instead of lashes?

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Re: Why Blame Only the Wahabis? Iranian Shias are Not Far Behind


Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:24 pm

Iranian women dressing Western are 'causing rivers to run dry' - senior cleric

Iran’s senior cleric criticized what he perceived as women’s overly liberal choices of clothing “as if they were in Europe,” and accused the trend of being behind one of Iran’s rivers drying up.

“My office has received photos of women next to the dry Zayandeh-rud River [the largest river in central Iran] pictured as if they are in Europe. It is these sorts of acts that cause the river to dry up even further,” ISNA News Agency cited cleric Seyyed Youssef Tabatabi-nejad as saying.

He then called on the Communications Ministry to ramp up its tactics on bringing to justice the “networks” that encourage immodesty in Iran’s women. “If you don’t do so, then you will have failed to carry out your duty. The Communications Ministry can discover and suffocate these individuals,” he went on.

“If we see a sin it’s useless that we only bicker about it. The police force can use the [paramilitary] Hezbollahi forces to carry out operations to root out vice,” the cleric said.

Dress code issues are normally dealt with by the morality police, whose activity has been on the rise, particularly with regards to failure by women to veil themselves properly – but not just that: listening to music too loudly in cars is also perceived as crossing the lines of decency.

Tabatabi-nejad is a senior official on the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body of 88 senior clerics who appoint Iran’s Supreme Leader. He’s not the only cleric who claimed natural disasters can be caused by dressing immorally.

When President Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad warned in 2010 that an earthquake was coming, 12 million people were advised to relocate, another Iranian Mullah, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, then said: “Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes."

Despite religious practice informing a large part of society’s life in Iran, the Shiite country has long been discussed as a place where religious conduct and dress codes are observed strictly only by a portion of the population, while the rest continues to do so largely for the benefit of the morality police. Iranian dress custom is quite liberal compared to some of its neighbors.

Iran also goes a step further than some of its Islamic peers in terms of things like female representation in politics. According to the official voting results for parliamentary elections issued on Saturday, 17 women will become members of the 290-seat parliament – as compared to clerics, who only won 16 seats. That is an all-time low for clerics, according to AFP.