Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 30, 2018

U.S. Runs Headscarf Campaign Against Iran

A U.S. government funded public relation campaign tries to incite women in Iran to break the law. The reporting of the campaign in western media is unproportionate to its effects in Iran. The professional propagandist who runs the campaign on behalf of the U.S. government is introduced as ordinary "women’s rights activist". The larger propaganda scheme and the U.S. government influence in it are willfully ignored.

In June 2017 the CIA created a new "mission center" for attacking Iran:

The Iran Mission Center will bring together analysts, operations personnel and specialists from across the CIA to bring to bear the range of the agency’s capabilities, including covert action, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The first visible results of the new center's work was the hijacking of economic protests in Iran at the end of last year. The slogans and symbols used and the specific western media support lets one assume that exile MEK terrorists and monarchist organizations were involved in the affair. The demonstrations immediately turned violent and lost all public backing. They petered out, as predicted, within a few days.

On December 28, the very same day the demonstrations started, this picture made the rounds:


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A woman in Tehran defied the law by taking off her headscarf. The pictures and a video showed that people around mostly ignored the stunt. Only after the photo made the rounds in "western" media, was the woman taken in for questioning but later released. The picture and video was first posted by @masihpooyan:


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The start for the demonstrations and the posting of this campaign picture on the very same day was likely not just a coincidence. The campaign to induce women in Iran to take of their mandatory scarf has been an on-and-off western influence operations since at least 2014. It had been dormant for a while until the very same day regular demonstrations over legitimate economic issues were turned into anti-government riots.

The anti-scarf campaign is run by Masih Alinejad who works for Voice of America's (anti-)Iranian TV program and other U.S. "regime change" media outlets.

The woman is an interesting asset. Her real name is Masoumeh Alinejad but she uses Masih, the Persian language word for "anointed" or "Messiah", as her artist name. She is now 41 years old and lives in New York. She got first noticed as a rabble rousing journalist in Iran. According to a 2009 New Yorker portrait:

Alinejad was a known quantity; in 2005, she was expelled from covering the parliament after she disclosed the salaries of populist deputies who had falsely claimed to have taken pay cuts.

She worked for the Iranian newspaper Etemad-e Melli which was financed by Mehdi Karroubi. (In June 2009 Karroubi lost the Iranian  presidential election against Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Karroubi started the Green "color revolution" protests claiming election fraud even though all available pre- and post-election surveys confirmed Ahmedinejad's win. Mehdi Karroubi has since been under house arrest.)

According to Time magazine Alinejad "spent much of 2007 in London studying English". In 2008 Etemad-e Melli published a slander piece of hers against then President Ahmedinejad. She compared his voters to starving fish waiting for bread crumbs. It was soon retracted and Karroubi publicly apologized for it. By then "she had been invited to study English for a year at Oxford", according to the New Yorker. She used that time to make contact with U.S. officials. She wrote a letter requesting an interview with U.S. President Obama:

An official at the U.S. Embassy in London agreed to forward the letter to Washington, and invited her to the Embassy for a meeting. The political officer she met with had a thick file that held all the available English-language press clippings about her. But his manner was “respectful,” she recalls. “He said, ‘We know who you are. You are a tough lady.’”

Her file and the interview must have satisfied the "political officer". Soon after that she received a visa for the United States. Her Wikipedia entry adds:

She was interviewed by VOA, which was shown together with parts of the videos she had made, called ‘A Storm of Fresh Air.’ In 2010 she and a group of Iranian writers and intellectuals established ‘IranNeda’ foundation. After the presidential election in Iran in 2009, she published a novel called ‘A Green Date’.

Alinejad graduated in 2011 with a degree in Communication, Media and Culture from Oxford Brookes University.

She has been working for Voice of America since at least 2013 from London as part of the VoA Farsi language show OnTen.

Her Oxford public relation degree is truly justified. Since 2011 the Guardian quoted or mentioned her some 35 times! That must be a record. Wikipedia names the Iranian-British Bloomberg writer Kambiz Foroohar as her spouse. His Twitter account retweets and promotes his wife's campaign.

In 2014 Alinejad moved to New York and started her first campaign against a public law in Iran which makes it compulsory for women to cover their hair in public. The my stealthy freedom web and social media campaign was supposed to incite women In Iran to take pictures of themselves in public but without a scarf. It was heavily propagandized in various western media. In 2015 she received a prize from the notorious Zionist lobby organization UN Watch. The latest item posted on the first headscarf campaign website is from September 6 2015. It has since been dormant.

Alinejad claimed several times that she was slandered by Iranian media. I have seen no evidence for that claim but would not be astonished to find that an agent working for a foreign government, which is openly attempting to overthrow the Iranian political system, is somewhat disliked in that country.

Since 2015 Alinejad has her own show Tablet on VoA Farsi announced as the "15-min prime time show" that would be "focuses on cultural and social issues involving young people in Iran and the United States." Public contracts show that she receives $85.600 per annum from the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors. The BBG is running U.S. influence media like Voice of America in English and foreign languages. It is officially controlled by the U.S. State Department.

In February 2017 Alinejad publicly lauded the French right wing candidate Marie Le Pen for rejecting to wear a head scarf while visiting a religious official in Lebanon. She changed her post after being criticized for pandering to far right Islamophobia.

Her public anti-head scarf campaign, dormant since September 2015, was revived via a public relation push in May 2017. It was renamed from "My Stealthy Freedom" to "White Wednesday" The BBC posted a marketing piece about it.

Using the hashtag #whitewednesdays, citizens have been posting pictures and videos of themselves wearing white headscarves or pieces of white clothing as symbols of protest.

The idea is the brainchild of Masih Alinejad, founder of My Stealthy Freedom, an online movement opposed to the mandatory dress code.

Newsweek also published a PR write up. Both pieces claim that the campaign received a great social media response but its official announcement on Facebook shows only 1,400 likes and 316 shares. That is a very meager response. The Reuters PR rewrite says:

Some of the videos, which are subtitled by volunteers, have several hundred shares on the My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page that has more than a million followers.

Everyone should know by now that the number of followers is not a valid measure. Followers can be bought by the 10,000nds for small money. A video I recently posted on Twitter about U.S. soldiers shooting an Afghan truck driver was retweeted (shared) 900 times, more often than the videos of that greatly promoted anti-scarf campaign. How relevant then can that campaign be?

The main Facebook page of the campaign has some 2,800 "Timeline photos" but only a dozen of those are of women taking off their scarfs in public. The real response in Iran for the campaign is thus completely insignificant. Over the last days some six of probably 50 million women in the Islamic Republic have allegedly taken part in it. The marketing noise in the "western" media about the campaign is in reverse proportion to its effect in Iran.

Ms. Alinejad opposes the political system in Iran. She is working for the U.S. government and runs public relation campaigns which are designed to (a.) defame the Islamic Republic in the "west" and to (b.) raise internal dissent in Iran. The defaming part is working well but the campaign seems to have little response in Iran itself. That is not astonishing. Under the last two presidents social restrictions in Iran have been gradually lifted. [Update: As several people have noted in the comments the authorities in Tehran are no longer prosecuting the lack of a headscarf, but the law that makes them mandatory is still on the books.] The foreign driven anti-head scarf campaign only helps hardliners who see it as undue western influence and call for harsh measures against people falling for it. The campaign is not in the interest of the women in Iran:

“Iranian women have decades of experience in organizing in Iran for change. It is when their movement has been politicized by western feminists, especially those tied to the right, that the situation becomes more dire for them on the ground,” Bajoghli told Newsweek.

All of the above is public information and just a few clicks away. But U.S. media still try to hide the U.S. government connection. The New York Times just published a piece about one of those few Iranian women who reacted to the campaign. Thomas Erdbrink, the Times correspondent in Tehran, writes:

The first protest in December took place on a Wednesday and seemed connected to the White Wednesday campaign, an initiative by Masih Alinejad, an exiled Iranian journalist and activist living in the United States. Ms. Alinejad has reached out to Iranian women on Persian-language satellite television ...

There are probably 150 Persian language satellite TV stations. At no point does Erdbrink explain that the TV station Alinejad is working for is the U.S. government financed and controlled VoA Farsi. Nowhere does the NYT piece mention U.S. government influence. Instead we get this:

Hard-liners say that foreign intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, have been nurturing protests in Iran
...
The hard-liners have not provided proof to back up their claims.

Erdbrink of course knows that Alinejad is working for VoA. That fact alone evidently confirms that the campaign is driven by a U.S. agency which is specifically tasked to manipulate people in foreign countries. Over the last three years Masih Alinejad has received at least $230,000 in BBG/U.S. government contracts while running her campaign. To then claim that "hard-liners have not provided proof" for their claims of foreign government influence is just laughable. The proof is there for anyone to see.

A Newsweek piece from early January uses a similar obfuscation. It refers to Masih Alinejad as "an Iranian women’s rights activist" without mentioning at all that it is her daily well paid job to create anti-Iranian propaganda on behalf of the U.S. government.

Voice of America has only a small viewership in Iran. The VoA campaign is mostly run on Twitter and Facebook which are both not available in Iran. It can hardly have any significant impact within the country. It is certainly less than its hundreds of mentions in western media let one assume. But it helps to foster a hostile atmosphere in the "western" public against the government and political structure of Iran.

The historian Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi sees an additional, deeper motive for this campaign:

Whatever one’s stance, it’s hard to avoid conclusion that resistances to mandatory hijab in Iran are fetishised in Western coverage because they impose upon such struggles a certain self-image of Western civilisation as “enlightened” and the “saviour of brown women from brown men”.

Another Iranian, not yet working for a U.S. propaganda outlet, posted this response to the anti-scarf campaign:


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Are there any "enlightened saviors" who will sponsor his campaign against the mandatory wearing of pants?

Posted by b on January 30, 2018 at 01:12 PM | Permalink

Comments

thanks b... the propaganda push on iran never lets up with these freaks... why don't they try getting the hasidic jews to stop wearing their hats and etc too while they are at it?? it is just so silly, but alas the money that flows into these sorts of inanities is endless..

Posted by: james | Jan 30, 2018 1:23:01 PM | 1

50 million women in the Islamic Republic

Posted by: Rob | Jan 30, 2018 1:29:00 PM | 2

Yes our new CIA director Pimpino thinks he has it all figured out , he just has one of his normal Kansas flat wet dreams. Nothing wrong for a fat farting ugly asshole he is .

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 30, 2018 1:31:46 PM | 3

Brilliant! I'd throw that man a dollar.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jan 30, 2018 1:50:54 PM | 4

Oxford Brookes University
This is nothing to do with Oxford University except it's located in the same English city. Prior to 1992 it was Oxford Polytechnic. It is colloquially known as a "new university".

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 30, 2018 1:53:39 PM | 5

To avoid getting mined by the link redirect posted by "nhs", here is the real and full link: https://failedevolution.blogspot.fr/2018/01/who-would-seriously-believe-that-donald.html

Posted by: fx | Jan 30, 2018 1:57:15 PM | 6

@6 Good point. There are all kinds of language schools in Oxford and Cambridge. It looks great on resumes.

Posted by: dh | Jan 30, 2018 2:01:12 PM | 7

On December 27, it was reported that the Iranian Basij (morality police) were instructed to take a lenient view on breaches of Iran's dress code. This was prior to the protests so Iranians would be aware but not the west. The timing is intriguing. Was the Iranian government warned about or otherwise aware of the looming protests?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 30, 2018 2:13:23 PM | 8

Pro rata, Iran produces more women STEM graduates than the United States produces of all STEM graduates. Women in Iran are 70% of STEM graduates. Women in US are ~33% of STEM graduates. Who has real equality?

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 30, 2018 2:20:22 PM | 9

An Iranian Anne Coulter or a double agent?

Posted by: CD Waller | Jan 30, 2018 2:28:32 PM | 10

@9 A link to the Iranian dress code loosening dated Dec. 27,


https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/iran-hijab-chador-arrest-morality-police-change-classes.html

Posted by: Wwinsti | Jan 30, 2018 2:35:02 PM | 11

Ah, that explains why news about "women" (really, BBC? How many?) removing their head scarves and waving them in defiance of the dress laws was featured in each hours news roundup. The last time the Beeb did that was about the December protest rallies....

The Beeb does go kind of heavy on the propaganda against Iran.

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 30, 2018 2:38:18 PM | 13

b, once again you show insufficient level of understanding of the Iranian development and unfortunately a level of arrogance that does not allow you to write more humbly about things that are difficult for foreign-remote observers to understand, no matter how good-willing they are.

It is very easy to fall into the polarized narratives: to rightfully criticizing the sinister role of CIA & VOA and Western puppets like Masih Alinejad, fall from the other side of the roof and become a supporter of the corrupted, authoritarian, and insightful leadership of Iran. Another trap is to forget this important fact that criticizing the leadership of Iran does not have to follow the CIA lead, because there are important domestic elements that can be supported, without the fear of becoming too close to the Western imperial narratives.

Falling into these polarized narratives make good reading but is far from decent and insightful commentary.

The green movement was surely full of "dirty" infiltrations from West and Western puppets, but Mousavi and Karoubi and Rahnavard were absolutely right in their claim about 2009 fishy election and the consequences of silencing down the legitimate demand of millions of voters who demanded proper investigation of the election. You don't seem to understand and appreciate this extremely important element which points toward "a third way"; outside established poles.

And now you seem also to be not appreciative enough of the stupid, inhumane and brutal enforcement of mandatory Hijab on millions of girls and women. Sometimes it is important to hold firmly to the diamond and then go look for fruits and toys. Here the diamond is the honest, sincere, radical, and uncompromising will to resist the power. And I know for the fact that women's resistance in Iran cannot and should not be reduced to CIA propaganda.

You should be smarter than that. I say it, as a person who genuinely cares for you.

Peace and friendship
Bamdad

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 30, 2018 3:12:29 PM | 14

Posted by: Bamdad Irani | Jan 30, 2018 3:00:37 PM | 15
Being Iranian and very well aware of what’s going on Iran related issues. There are zero proven evidence that Iran’
Election of 2009 was fraudulent. I can link you to 10 independent western analysies that proves this point. What is real threat to Iran is the theorist traitors of Mojahdeen. And their Saudi Israeli paymasters

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 30, 2018 3:43:49 PM | 15

Kooshy @ 18, Bamdadi @ 16:

No less than The Washington Post (no friend of the Iranian government) conducted pre-polling of the Iranian people in 2009 and discovered that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was far out in front of Mir Hossein Moussavi in levels of support across the country. Even among Azeris who were expected to support Moussavi (himself Azeri), Ahmadinejad was the overwhelming favourite.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/14/AR2009061401757.html

Posted by: Jen | Jan 30, 2018 4:46:57 PM | 16

Posted by: Bamdad Irani | Jan 30, 2018 3:00:37 PM | 15
Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 30, 2018 3:12:29 PM | 16

Thank you for giving up the Irani part of your handle on the “Revised “ comment, in your next comment may I suggest to use Ghroob Zionist.

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 30, 2018 4:50:50 PM | 17

In 1968, we visited Mexico during December several months after the heated events related to the Summer Olympics transpired in Mexico City. During that trip, we visited several of the very large and famous cathedrals in the region, with the women in our party aged 9+ obliged to don headscarves prior to their entry into those institutions. No one in our party made any protest and the scarves were readily provided by those institutions. I bet there are millions of women today that don a headscarf when entering a Catholic or Orthodox church or related institution. Here's the relevant Wikipedia discussion.

So, when will the CIA attack this horrific abomination occurring within Christianity?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30, 2018 4:54:36 PM | 18

So I have a link below to another version of the same propaganda done by Newsweek and aggregated by one of the sites I frequent, Raw Story

Women in Iran are ripping off their hijabs as protest


So when is an insider going to leak the distribution source for the propaganda focus of the moment that we are seeing orchestrated?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 30, 2018 5:07:05 PM | 19

@Kooshy @18

As you are aware the election of 2009---and its consequences---is linked to one of the major fault-lines of Iranian socio-political discourses. So, I do not claim I can settle that debate by offering some "smoking gun". My purpose was to alarm MoA that he should be more careful and humble.

But regarding the polls. Since both MoA and you are referring to them. If you check out the method behinds those polls, most of them fall apart. They are "telephone based" and you can imagine if someone from USA calls a home in some small city and ask about your political affiliation, you may not give your real opinion.

And you should also remember that WP (the Zionist infested newspaper) hates Mousavi, as much as he is being hated by the Iranian conservative establishment.

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 30, 2018 5:08:32 PM | 20

@ karlof1 | Jan 30, 2018 4:54:36 PM | 21

The "slight" difference is that, besides of that you are telling happened in 1968, hijab in Iran is mandatory not only to entry religious institutions, but once you put a feet out of your bedroom, be you a religious person or not.

Quite a difference, do not you think?

Of course, this fight being instrumentalized by the CIA is what scratches a lot, since the champions on oppresion and violation of human rights around the world.

IMHO, Iranian authorities would get rid of a good cause for Western criticism by eliminating mandatory hijab everywhere, with which even would gain some support from some patriotic sectors of society not necessarily religious.

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Jan 30, 2018 5:10:23 PM | 21

@Kooshy @20

What do you mean? I do not follow your comment

"Thank you for giving up the Irani part of your handle on the “Revised “ comment, in your next comment may I suggest to use Ghroob Zionist."

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 30, 2018 5:11:32 PM | 22


Meanwhile in the land of the free and home of the brave, writer Chris Daniels has been held in custody since December 12 following a full five alarm raid in his home by FBI agents wearing their friendly and approachable black coloured bulletproof three piece suits. He was detained following the discovery of Bob Williams book "Negroes with Guns" at his house.
According to the FBI Daniels was arrested because he meets the bureau's brand-new hot off the press classification of unwhite amerikans as “black identity extremists”.
Daniels, a second amendment activist and founder of the "Huey P. Newton Gun Club" seems certain to face a very different treatment from the FBI than the more typical overweight freckly activist cops, even though it has chiefly been the latter type who takes to blowing the heads off as many innocents as possible when life gets just too much.
AFAIK Iran had nothing to do with Daniels' choice to speak out.
Freedom of speech has always been freedom of smeech for blackfellas in the land of the free. I suppose that he and his son should be counting their blessings that Mayor Daley wasn't in charge of the operation.

p.s. fun fact when looking for the link to a usable article on the FBI/Chicago Police butchery I had to take "Black Panther" outta the search terms and replace it with "Fred Hampton" as even yandex gave me nothing but endless pages on some marvel (AKA Disney studios) character who travels under the Black Panther handle. This is how real history is sidelined in favour of homogenised nonsense.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 30, 2018 5:28:06 PM | 23

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 30, 2018 5:07:40 PM | 23
“But regarding the polls. Since both MoA and you are referring to them. If you check out the method behinds those polls, most of them fall apart. They are "telephone based" and you can imagine if someone from USA calls’

Still better and more scientific than anything you can offer, testimonial rom your friends and like-minded? Please don’t BS us you mean U. of Maryland next door to Langley don’t know this little secrete you only know? In this site, you can’t BS people you get refuted, you may want to try HP. You initially signed As Bamdad Irani meaning if you don’t know Iranian Morning , than it became Bamdadi meaning in the Morning without the Irani part, I suggested next time to sign in as Ghroob Zionist meaning down of Zionism which is where you belong. Get lost in your hasbra.

Posted by: kooshy | Jan 30, 2018 5:39:57 PM | 24

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Jan 30, 2018 5:10:23 PM | 26

with due respect, not that I defend the hijab law, I grew up in a western educated family with no Hjab grandma down. But every country has social and dress law based on country' culture or religion and based on majority approved for sure majority of iranian women do and were hijab especially in villages and small town that family law will not permit otherwise. But having dress laws is not unique to Iran, in france women can go to beach naked or without top, in democracy US in Santa Monica beach or any beach in CA. you get arrested if you (female) do not have swimsuits top and bottom. Every country has laws based on her principles, culture and society.

Posted by: kooshy | Jan 30, 2018 5:48:10 PM | 25

1. I suppose we should be grateful she wasn't a member of MEK firing a mortar into the Iranian Parliament.

2. Regarding the 2009 election, how would anyone in the U.S. know that the election was stolen, did we have election monitors in Iran, was Jimmy Carter there?

3. Yikes, could you imagine the uproar if the IRGC had a "mission center" for overthrowing the govt of the U.S.? We'd never hear the end of it.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 30, 2018 5:49:06 PM | 26

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Jan 30, 2018 6:04:22 PM | 27

US allied to Saudi Arabia.
That says it all.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Jan 30, 2018 6:07:14 PM | 28

As to "mandatory" items of clothing men have forced women to wear over the ages, most can be attributed to keeping women relegated to the subordinate position of The Second Sex, or a "slave to the species" in Patriarchal societies. Times and cultural customs do change; Herodotus noted that in North Africa, it was the women who urinated while erect whereas men were forced to squat. De Beauvoir in her famous essay proved quite well why women despite their extreme importance to the perpetuation of life are treated so vilely by men and offered several pathways for women to escape. However as Ghost Ship points out @10, Iranian culture provides lots of liberation for its women; and the Iranian women I've met over the years confirms his point.

Within the Outlaw US Empire, the wearing of headscarves by women was fairly universal until after WW2--my grandmothers always donned a headscarf when going beyond their property into public; they never complained and neither the KGB nor Pravda tried to destabilize the nation by getting women to revolt against its being worn. Guess the USA has always been seen as a Puritanical nation trying to shed its Puritanical mores. I guess there was some todo about the Soviets being responsible for the burning of bras and such during the 1960s. More to the point, it appears the issue about what constitutes "modest" attire isn't addressed at any length within the Quran as Wikipedia discloses.

At bottom is the question of what "makes" a person--their integrity, some material possession, or style of dress. In the Afterlife of most cultures I've studied, people confront their God naked as it's your honor/integrity that allows you to enter the Higher Plane not one's vanity or material possessions. And when it comes to National Integrity, Iran is the winner hands down over the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30, 2018 6:08:03 PM | 29

I wonder why they(Iranian authorities) won't kick this Thomas Erdbrink out!

Posted by: BB8 | Jan 30, 2018 6:30:52 PM | 30

OT but prop related
French RFI bulletin at 0h30 on 31st jan. Explaining its audience that the separatists have taken Aden and that the president Hadi has taken shelterin KSA.
Rewind and play, no need for dates.
Immediately afterwards KSA is hailed for the sum it made after deals with important personalities.
Next question?

Posted by: Mina | Jan 30, 2018 6:37:04 PM | 31

Excerpt from the link provided at post 4:

"The centerpiece of US foreign policy, really in the wake of World War II through the Cold War, and then even with the fall of the Soviet Union, has been to align with and to embrace and to support dictators, tyrants and repressive regimes, as long as they serve the interests of the United States."

Case closed. And all for the sake of increased profits and global hegemony.

Posted by: ben | Jan 30, 2018 7:26:01 PM | 32

@ Bamdad Irani | Jan 30, 2018 3:00:37 PM | 15

The problem is not that that woman is protesting for a just cause: in an ideal world, nobody should be forced to wear specific clothes for religious or cultural reasons.

But that's not the issue. The issue is that Alinejad is using a minor Iranian societal problem (hijab) in order to substitute the autocratic Iranian regime for something WORSE. Change is only good when it is for the better, not for the worse.

Alinejad wants American hegemony over the people of Iran. That means slavery. The Iranian people will be converted in ultra-cheap workforce, will suck all the natural resources in it. The USA wants to make Iran a wasteland and call it peace. In this American-dominated Iran, wearing a hijab will be the least of the Iranian women's problems.

Posted by: VK | Jan 30, 2018 7:46:10 PM | 33

This is not a media campaign run against Iran. You showed in your article there is no effect there. It is run against citizens in the UK/US with wide distribution to prep us for another "women's rights" war against Iran just like Afghanistan early 2000s. There is a big increase next year for the US war budget, maybe that is what it is for.

Posted by: Johnny Law | Jan 30, 2018 8:02:13 PM | 34

@kooshy... thanks for your posts.. yours and the one from @38 vk... that is how i see all that too..

Posted by: james | Jan 30, 2018 8:10:00 PM | 35

So suddenly it is a problem that Iranian women wear a hijab ? Cant this CIA agent come and campaign here in Sweden, a lot wear it voluntarily? She would get so many ultra right followers. Then she could proceed to KSA and campaign there, all women there look like walking tents, knowing the Saudis, that would probably be the end of her campaigning.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 30, 2018 8:28:55 PM | 36

I once hated Iran. And it was only because of the mainstream media portraying Iran as crazy zealots. Now, after reading objective news, I actually respect Iran.

Posted by: Toxik | Jan 30, 2018 8:32:14 PM | 37

One common site, that I noticed when I was back in Iran a few years ago, was when High School girls (all girl high schools) after school walking out of school in small groups of friends going to their home (remembering I use to walk the same old Pahlavi street 40 some years back), this was in north affluent part of Tehran which is called Bagh Ferdoss.

One group that cached my eyes, were four female friends walking together, one was wearing a Chador/black tent like overall covering her face, second one was wearing a white flower chador which is milder, third girl had short overcoat and makeup a tight jeans and scarf almost behind her head, and the forth girl was wearing a skin-tight legging with a short coat and a loose scarf, all of them were wearing their cloths base not on what minimum states allows and demands but wearing on what minimum their family or themselves felt comfortable. I suppose the minimum state allows is the forth girl here is what I believe is a minimum state accepted Hijab in Tehran, that is if then dad or redneck brother doesn’t mind it.

http://www.anthemculture.com/uploads/8/4/7/7/84777584/editor/tehran-modern-women-fashion-hijab-anthem-culture.jpg?1486853489


Posted by: kooshy | Jan 30, 2018 9:00:26 PM | 38

When some of us post about brainwashing and indoctrination I know that even among more humanist amerikans eyes will glaze over and a little voice in the background will be saying "brainwashing? next thing Did will be rabbiting on about paper tigers or the capitalist running dogs of imperialism etc" blah blah.

However today I caught a really good example of exactly how pervasive and persuasive the incessant media generated, culturally reinforced amerikan propaganda is for all amerikans.
As I lay in my pit summoning the energy to rise and face the new day, I idly flicked through the channels of the free to air Aotearoa government funded UHF vid platform. One of the channels on it is al Jazeera whose news is mostly for shit but which does run watchable docos from time to time. This morning's documentary was about "the orchestra of the diaspora" which is a group of mainly refugee Palestinian musicians who have banded together in Palestine to entertain the citizens with western classical music.
Good idea - why not out-jew the zionists? - during the 19th century jews succeeded in persuading gentiles that they were positively beneficial to everyone while mostly staying quite separate from the majority culture through the generations, by actively striving to play western classical music, chess and other intellectual pursuits better than others could. It worked for about 100 years until Chinamen began doing it better. Also, at one stage I felt shouting at the TV "Careful Palestinians, mastering Ludwig van didn't end well for the jews of Germany".

But as per usual I digress. The point is that the musicians included many first generation refugees, but there was also a chunk of 2nd and 3rd generation Palestinian refugee musos born all over the planet.
One of these was an LA based violinist who had achieved some fame in amerika. He is a 2nd generation refugee aware of his Palestinianess thanks to a father and uncles who are still very much in love with their homeland.
The doco featured interviews with many of the musos and it showed a portion of the LA violinist after he had been in Palestine for a few days rehearsal and maybe one performance.

I switched off the TV after this guy said along the lines of: "this is my first visit to Palestine and it is great to experience the good part of being Palestinian" more than somewhat apologetically.
Good parts? Being Palestinian is all good unless you're getting tortured or murdered by the IDF or a gang of 'orthdox' jews who're squatting on your land and want to shift you out, but that wasn't what the violinist was alluding to.
Despite having parents and uncles firm in their commitment to Palestine's culture this chap was apologising for being a Palestinian. Too much time listening to amerikan propaganda ewinforced by high school bullies down on him for being a terrorist or whatever, this dingbat had come to believe the lies of his brainwashing.
If a somewhat effete Palestinian refugee can be convinced by this nonsense, then anyone can.

As others have posted, there seems to be little doubt that it is amerikans and europeans who are the primary targets of the hijab bulldust. Why not
if it works? If you bail up an amerikan today about the 2003 invasion of Iraq it is likely you will be told "It had to be done, Saddam was killing the xtians" That despite the fact that the Hussein administration contained many xtians a number of whom were in senior positions and since the invasion xtians in Iraqi govt has dropped to SFA.
Likewise bible-belters in amerika drone on about how the 'muslims in israel' are oppressing the xtians of Bethlehem, when in fact the israeli government is chasing out all the members of the two millennia old Palestine xtian faith, just so they can sieze the churches and sell them off to amerikan friends- members of one or other of the cultish amerikan xtian fundie corporations who are expected to boost tourism no end every xmas.

Never mind that the xtians themselves say xtians and "muslims' have been peacefully co-exixting for a coupla thousand years, "CBS news says the arab terrorists are chasing out the xtians, so that is what's happening".

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 30, 2018 10:17:50 PM | 39

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jan 30, 2018 8:28:55 PM | 41

yeah I hafta say the first time I saw some saudi princeling sidling through the door of the London Hilton followed a few paces behind by a coupla old hags in niqab and beak style mask, I almost wanted to puke. The Saudi niqab black tent is bad enough but back in the 70's wahabi women were made to wear a mask with a long beak a bit like a medieval pox doctor's get up. The object wasn't just mere concealment, it appeared to be an attempt to force the women to look as ugly as possible so no other man could possibly feel attracted to 'em. Fortunately the beak mask has fallen outta fashion, in which case how? I thought all that wahabist tosh was set in stone by the man hisself.

I reckon most of the amerikan arseholes carrying on about Iranian hijabs, have never seen a saudi niqab
How sick is that, but its Saudi Arabia so no one says a thing - not even when they stone their women to death just for the hell of it. Even better FukUS assists in the cover up of these crimes. Yet those amerikans with their compliant quislings, arseholes and wannabe compradors, squeal like stuck pigs because Iranian women chose to wear decorative headscarfs.

Piss off to Saudi then you'll really have something to whine about - oops that's right we don't do that 'cos KSA can do no wrong.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 31, 2018 1:08:25 AM | 40

Good article, b. A small point: When you say, "The campaign to induce women in Iran to take of their mandatory scarf has been an on-and-off western influence operations since at least 2014;" I assume you mean since at least 1914, around which time the Western installed dictator Reza Khan started his horrendous campain of forcibly removing religiously mandated clothing from the bodies of Iranian women because he was oh-so-modern.

What people have to understand is that most of the memes that are put out by the Borg's Lie Machines (from the BBC on down) hinge on and feed on what is technically known as a category error. All of their conceptual presuppositions and frames of reference relate to conventional secular-humanist social orders based on liberal/ Age of Reason/ Enlightenment ideologies within post-Westphalian polities (and the "civil societies" that they engender) that are suitable for populations which are characterized by religious diversity (i.e. have agreed that they can no longer agree on a single goal that they can all hold in common; whereas the Iranian constitutional order is based on a society which is characterized by religious uniformity (this is the root of Western envy), whose polity is essentially sacred and covenantal and is teleological and purposive (in other words, it has a telos as well as an ethnos, where everything is ordered by the sacred communal goal of the desire to abide by the sacred laws ordained by God in order to attain to felicity in the hereafter as well as in this world).

That said, Ayatollah Khamenei has repeated on numerous occasions (until he is blue in the face, in other words) that the requirement of the sacred law concerning modesty of dress should not be rigorously enforced (and that those who want to go around in a state of deshabille like so many Western sluts should be allowed to do so - needless to say, I paraphrase the good Ayatollah. This is still within limits, of course, so that the Zionist Dawn hasbara troll should not get his hopes up of any Wet T-Shirt Nights being held in Niavaran Palace anytime soon, praise God). But his dictate is too much for the holier than thou brown noser hypocrites who infest the Iranian body politic, and who insist on such absurd enforcement in their myopic perfidy.

Karlof1 asks: "So, when will the CIA attack this horrific abomination occurring within Christianity?" to which I respond: What did you think the demonization of Saint Vladimir is all about? I think the demonization campaign was given a big impetus with Bad Vlad's laws against homosexuality right around the time of the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 where openly gay homosexual athletes were not welcome. It is all about the culture war, in other words, between the premodern theocentric universe and the modern and post-modern anthropocentric one.

For the category error at the heart of this conflict, see
https://thesaker.is/sacred-communities-and-the-emergent-multipolar-landscape/

For head coverings in Russian Orthodox Christianity, see https://theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/womens-headcoverings/

and

https://www.google.com/search?q=russian+old+believers+veil&rlz=1C1CHMO_enIR648IR649&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiU_9Okx4HZAhWMuRQKHWl7AcEQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=637

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jan 31, 2018 1:33:31 AM | 41

Every once in a while I find some random article in the haystack of the American media garbage pile that gets it right. This one is worth taking a look at:

http://www.press-citizen.com/story/opinion/contributors/guest-editorials/2018/01/30/iran-protests-washington-meddling-iran-fuels-mideast-instability/1080825001/“>Iran Protests & Washington

“If the White House gave a hoot about Middle East stability and peace, it would not constantly levy sanctions to inflict economic hardship on the Iranian people in hopes of bringing about an overthrow of the most democratic government in the Persian Gulf and demonizing Iran to prepare Americans for another war in the Middle East. Accusations against Iran — that apply more to Washington’s meddling in the Middle East than anything Iran has done — and fabricating excuses to justify withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also do not help.”

One of the best things that could come of this, however, is if Iran enters the Shanghai Cooperation Agreement with China and Central Asian countries. The US will fail at any effort to ignite a Ukrainian-style coup in Iran, and how much longer can the US stay in Syria? The best long-term picture then becomes one in which the US only wields any influence with Israel and Saudi Arabia, while the rest of the region goes its own way, no longer under the thumb of any imperial power.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 31, 2018 1:52:18 AM | 42

The CIA is jumping on the feminist militantism promoted by Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe "Time is up" for harassment by men. The Iranian women are "harassed' when they dont wear a veil covering their hair ( BTW the mandatory veil is not a niqab, it is called "Russari" similar to the veil christian women used to wear when entering a church)

So Oprah Winfrey should be enrolled by Pompano to become the leader of a rebellion of a minority of Iranians women about the "veil harrassment"
If we had any doubts, we now see the confirmation that stupidity and ignorance run high in the US administration.
Funnily in Turkey, after decades of prohibiting the veil in public institutions now it is encouraged as the request of women!

Posted by: virgile | Jan 31, 2018 1:56:26 AM | 43

@bamdadi @23

If you little about social sciences, you know very well how "science" is ideologically driven. U of Maryland or any other contemporary scientists are dependent on their tools, methods, context, and also their worldviews. Nothing is final.

But, the way Mousavi and his friends are treated, and the way they have resisted, is the utmost proof of their honesty and integrity. Thousands of opinion pieces by thousands of the most honest people inside Iran showing the flaws of the election is much more convincing than couple of polls done by some phony methods. The Iranian political system has become catastrophically ill, because of bad decisions, supporting corrupt and insidious factions, and shutting down فرزندان صالح و شریف انقلاب such as Mousavi.


My nickname is Bamdad Irani, my persian blog running at least and continuously from 2007 is bamdadi.com (easy to open and check). I have tons of presence in Farsi blogsphere. But who are you? A fake ID? Give us your web links, where you have written stuff that can be referred to and discussed.


My blog:
bamdadi.com (first post on 2007: https://bamdadi.com/2007/05/01/%DA%86%DA%AF%D9%88%D9%86%D9%87-%D9%88%D8%A8-%D9%84%D8%A7%DA%AF-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B4%D8%AA%D9%85/)

My twitter account:
https://twitter.com/bamdadi (since Jan 2008)


And calling me Zionist?! It is just ridiculous. I disgust Zionism (all forms of it, even the Iranian versions who apparently have infiltrated even into the state aparathus). If you know farsi, simply check out the history of my writings and you realize how wrong your are!

It is you who BS me and others.

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 31, 2018 3:12:50 AM | 44

@kooshy @29

If you know little about social sciences, you know very well how "science" is ideologically driven. U of Maryland or any other contemporary scientists are dependent on their tools, methods, context, and also their worldviews. Nothing is final.

But, the way Mousavi and his friends are treated, and the way they have resisted, is the utmost proof of their honesty and integrity. Thousands of opinion pieces by thousands of the most honest people inside Iran showing the flaws of the election is much more convincing than couple of polls done by some phony methods. The Iranian political system has become catastrophically ill, because of bad decisions, supporting corrupt and insidious factions, and shutting down people such as Mousavi: فرزندان صالح و شریف انقلاب

My nickname is Bamdad Irani, my persian blog running at least and continuously from 2007 is bamdadi.com (easy to open and check). I have tons of presence in Farsi blogsphere. But who are you? A fake ID? Give us your web links, where you have written stuff that can be referred to and discussed.

My blog:
bamdadi.com (first post on 2007: https://bamdadi.com/2007/05/01/%DA%86%DA%AF%D9%88%D9%86%D9%87-%D9%88%D8%A8-%D9%84%D8%A7%DA%AF-%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B3%DB%8C-%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B4%D8%AA%D9%85/)

My twitter account:
https://twitter.com/bamdadi (since Jan 2008)

And calling me Zionist?! It is just ridiculous. I disgust Zionism (all forms of it, even the Iranian versions who apparently have infiltrated even into the state aparathus). If you know farsi, simply check out the history of my writings and you realize how wrong your are!

It is you who BS me and others.

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 31, 2018 3:19:56 AM | 45

these are american issues meant for those political parties to become one political party anyways....

gender equality.
gays. homos. gays.
voting rights..... good one
guns.
abortion.
fence.
drug on war.
repeat. you get it?

the rest of the world. it is always

is there enough food to last? forget war!
how is the country's debt?
why is usa always driving their boats around when they are broke?
how do you drive into another boat?
and you are saying, you want us care about women's right? .... right.

Posted by: jason | Jan 31, 2018 3:20:08 AM | 46

@Jen @19

I wrote this sentence in my comment address to Koshy. I repeat it addressing you, because I just noticed that it was you who mentioned the WP link. Please also read my comments address to Koshy.

:
... you should also remember that WP (the Zionist infested newspaper) hates Mousavi, as much as he is being hated by the Iranian conservative establishment.

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 31, 2018 3:27:21 AM | 47

@VK @38

Yes. I agree with you about the Alinejad direction. Change should be organic and home-grown. Exported and imposed changes are almost never good.
Thanks to its alive and dynamic society, Iranian never need any imposed changes. There are enough will-to-resist and will-to-change within Iran.

Posted by: bamdadi | Jan 31, 2018 3:30:24 AM | 48

The US brought in gay marriage through a court judgement rather than vote.
Once this was accomplished, the US commenced a full on attack on Russia for being anti gay.
Perhaps the US should first obtain a court judgment for full sexual equality in its close ally KSA before attacking Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 31, 2018 3:44:30 AM | 49

I really liked this documented article, thanks MoA and the readers who commented.

Posted by: Paul | Jan 31, 2018 4:34:54 AM | 50

Coming from the same people who decry the burqa ban in European countries and criticize it as a scandalous breach of women's rights and freedoms, that's a bit rich.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jan 31, 2018 5:00:49 AM | 51

Another example of anti-Iran propaganda - an Associated Press Story republished in the NYT:
Iran Sentences American Art Dealer and Wife to Prison
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSJAN. 30, 2018

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran has sentenced an Iranian-American art dealer and his wife to prison for being Zoroastrians, a New York-based human rights group said Wednesday. It is the latest case in which Tehran has imprisoned people of Iranian descent who hold dual citizenship.

The art dealer, Karan Vafadari, was sentenced to 27 years in prison, while his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssar, who has permanent residency status in the United States, received a 16-year sentence, said the group, the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

The "Center for Human Rights in Iran" is a western propaganda organization and the claim made is ludicrous. No one gets sentenced to prison in Iran for being Zoroastrian:
Like the Armenian, Assyrian and Persian Jewish communities, Zoroastrians are officially recognized and on the grounds of the 1906 Constitution allocated one seat in the Iranian Parliament, currently held by Esfandiar Ekhtiari Kassnavieh.
...
In 2013, Sepanta Niknam was elected to the city council of Yazd and became the first Zoroastrian councillor in Iran.

I have no idea what those people did but their religion is not a reason for their imprisonment.


A later version of the AP piece corrected the nonsense but replaced it with similar dumb stuff about dual nationals:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran has sentenced an Iranian-American art dealer and his wife to prison under a little-used law that can target dual nationals, a New York-based rights group said Wednesday, alleging their faith and Western ties made them the target of hard-liners.

The convictions of Karan Vafadari and his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssar, who are Zoroastrians, mark the latest case of Tehran imprisoning dual nationals and those with ties to the West after its nuclear deal with world powers.

Vafadari was sentenced to 27 years in prison, while Neyssar, who has permanent residency in the U.S., received a 16-year sentence, the Center for Human Rights in Iran said.

The whole claim is based on a letter allegedly send by the convicted men from prison. The content of his claims is, as AP deep down in the piece admits, completely unconfirmed.

Iran does not recognize dual nationalities. To Iran these are Iranian convicts under Iranian law. We simply do not know if or why they were convicted. To assert that it is for their religion is definitely false. To claim it is for dual nationality is not consistent with Iranian law.

Posted by: b | Jan 31, 2018 5:16:59 AM | 52

A couple of weeks ago there was a photo essay that caught my attention, published in 'El País' a leading spanish newspaper. All studio and sleek photographs of women throwing away their head scarves, at the time I thought here we go again, what used to be a sort of balanced newspaper became another cog in the machine. It was bought not long ago by an american investment fund.
https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/01/12/album/1515768196_451293.html#foto_gal_6

Posted by: Paco | Jan 31, 2018 5:21:24 AM | 53

The USA is the most socially oppressive society in the history of humanity. Since fall of Soviet Union i.e. communism, the USA is somehow consider to be model of "successful" society. Therefore many countries around the world, willingly - unwillingly, copied that "system" (the Washington Consensus) in hope to become like the US, at least in economic field.

More about the US here: https://eand.co/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse-be04d9e55235

One of these countries is Iran which follow recipe and prescriptions from IMF and the like global institutions. This headscarf issue (if it is issue at all) is pretty much self-inflicted wound of the Iranian regime, aside the facts that Iran (as a Muslim country) is hated anyway by the west and their satraps in that region.

What we see here is mixture of the Orientalism (I should re-read Edward Said) and identity politics, favorite one in the US and by Clintons and now the Orange dotard.

Posted by: Partisan | Jan 31, 2018 5:24:55 AM | 54

SAME AS IT EVER WAS: ORIENTALISM FORTY YEARS LATER

http://lithub.com/same-as-it-ever-was-orientalism-forty-years-later/

Posted by: Partisan | Jan 31, 2018 5:27:35 AM | 55

Some rather stupid folks on Twitter made the argument that the "political engagement" Masih Alinejad was independent of her job and thus not a U.S. government action.

A professional soldier killing Afghans in Afghanistan is acting independent of his job in the U.S. military engaged in Afghanistan?

A professional propagandist spreading anti-Iranian propaganda is acting independent of her job in an anti-Iranian U.S. propaganda organisation?

Posted by: b | Jan 31, 2018 6:13:15 AM | 56

as a jew its one of those little ironies i enjoy.

islam is very much closer to judaism than either is to christianty.

every married jewish (religious) woman, covers here hair, but the unique aspect of judaism compaired to other religions is that we celebrate following "the letter of the law" rather than the spirit.

so you see jewish woman every day with their hair covered, and you don't even know it, why? because they cover their hair with someone elses hair, in the form of sheitels (wigs)

surely we should be liberating the oppressed jewish woman in our own country before waging war to uncover the hair of women on the opposite side of the planet.

Posted by: pB | Jan 31, 2018 8:03:27 AM | 57

@bamdadi

Please, stop it. You clearly are an exile-Iranian and follow a personal agenda. Pointing out obvious propaganda attempts and the work of intelligence agencies (infiltration, brainwashing, etc.) is necessary. Those who advocate this garbage propaganda are the ones that make it harder to solve the "mandatory headscarf" issue.

Posted by: jfc | Jan 31, 2018 8:24:11 AM | 58

OT: but related to the Information War against Iran

Commentary: The tragedy of the U.S. ‘victory’ in Iraq

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-usa/u-s-general-says-north-korea-not-demonstrated-all-components-of-icbm-idUSKBN1FJ23Z

The typical, 'Iran is the winner' story but peppered with how the vicious Shiite hoards slaughtered the Sunnis in the conquest of ISIS. I'm certain there were some instances of abuse but I have always gotten the sense that this was overplayed for our consumption and it was definitely the main point of this article. In any case, the pay off for me was the identification of the author ... Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran

I have found that no one has more well polished and extreme talking points than State Dept. drones.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 31, 2018 9:07:28 AM | 59

This is total BS.

Type *women on street in Tehran* > Google images. Yes, as you can see many of them have a sort of ‘token’ head covering
different from the minimal chirpy pill box hat of the Brit Royals or the tiny wisp o lace of devout Spanish teens in Church.

Click next on the goog screen on ‘fashion’ (left tab) to get the contemp look. Appealing!

The strategy of using women’s apparel conventions, politeness rules (or even laws) to prove oppression and galvanize
women is so outdated and lame anyone who relies on it becomes a laughing stock.

That is partly because it clashes with another trope of the ‘faux-left’ globalists which stipulates
all cultures are good each to his own you wear what you like, kumbaya .. Get tatoos, wear veils or yoga pants,
gym shorts, whatever…

Heh, burning the Bras from the 60s, that might have been fun, I remember my auntie…/censored/ why not,
redux impulses since 50 years…theatre of the absurd.

All of this has nothing to do with the socio-economic position of women.

It is a sign of the slow demise of Pax Americana and the vile, unspeakable, US MSM.

Note US young women who oppose Trump wear ‘vagina hats’ at demos. (Not at work, oh no.) Of course nobody is punished
if they don’t sport one.

Link is to Clintons with V hats (caution. though safe for work.)

http://www.teamnetworks.net/mobile/photo/10994/clintons-in-vagina-hats/

So maybe the gals n ladies in Tehran need to reconsider their priorities and sport vagina head gear.

;) :) !!


Posted by: Noirette | Jan 31, 2018 9:14:05 AM | 60

@41 & 42 - DiD... thanks for that... informative AND entertaining

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 31, 2018 9:16:08 AM | 61

@42 " It is all about the culture war, in other words, between the premodern theocentric universe and the modern and post-modern anthropocentric one."

I think that's right. Curiously though the same debate goes on inside Israel where it's OK to be openly gay in Tel Aviv but not so good in Jerusalem.
IMO most of the anti-Iran propaganda is based on Ahmedinejad's famous misquote.

Posted by: dh | Jan 31, 2018 10:00:46 AM | 62

It is all about the culture war, in other words, between the premodern theocentric universe and the
modern and post-modern anthropocentric one.
- Nuff said at 42.

Such grand and useless, obfuscating, hypocritical, interpretations. A “pre-modern theocentric universe”,
what about Xtian evangelists in the US, or staunch Catholics in CH? Or crazed Moonies? Heh, I know some
Jehovas witnesses, they are very rich ppl (top capitalists, employ slave labor with big smiles) but rigorous in
their religious beliefs and observance. Is that post-modern? Or maybe pre- ..? Aiiieee.

And post-modernity is thus free of the binds and strictures of religion (‘theocentric’), sorta, what,
uniquely secular, anthropocentric, what does that mean? (I know the dic. definition.)

These are empty words or worse. Culture wars? Culture ? While millions of children (Iraq to Yemen for ex.)
are bombed, raped, murdered, starve to death? Die because of no clean water, no food, no health care? I don’t think so.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 31, 2018 11:15:36 AM | 63

@ Kooshy @39 @26

A white flower chador?!

When was the last time that you traveled to Iran? Iranian society is very dynamic and diverse. While there are certainly many Iranian women who may freely choose chador, the practice of wearing “white flower chador” is simply out of fashion nowadays.

I am an Iranian woman, so believe me, this fashion died many years ago and is not practiced anymore in major cities. “A high school girl with white flower chador.” I am sorry, but your comment sounds like a fantasy of old times to me.

Let me tell you something: do not deceive yourself and international readers of MoA by phrases like "dress code." You should be an Iranian woman to understand how stressful it is to walk in the street being afraid of the moral police. You will never understand the humiliation of getting arrested like a criminal just because you do not follow the so-called "dress code."

As an Iranian woman, I would like to remind you that mandatory Hijab is not only about covering the body; many Iranian women don't get their favorite job position (especially jobs offered by the state) not because they are not qualified but because they do not have a proper Hijab. I can give a long list of these Hijab related discriminations (and indeed oppressions).

It is obvious that I do not support Masih Alinejad or any Western-funded-propagandist-activists like her. We thank MoA to point out this to the international audience. However, I cannot ignore that many Iranian women are sick of the mandatory Hijab, and honestly, I appreciate the courage of Iranian women who are opposing that. I wish MoA could simply acknowledge this fact along with his critique of the likes of Alinejad.

Posted by: Sisi | Jan 31, 2018 11:31:36 AM | 64

@64 Ouch. Nuff said can speak for himself. I admit I'm not doing much to help Yemen. I wish I could. Just theorizing on a blog doesn't make any difference at all.

Posted by: dh | Jan 31, 2018 11:47:05 AM | 65

Hey, ppl, get a grip. Is a Palestinian child of say 12 imprisoned by the Israelis for throwing a rock because of *culture*,
that is, he or she is a zombie mentally madly living in a pre-modern theocentric universe, which clashes
with the oh so wonderful modern anthropocentric era?

For sure the meme of Pals. as having no soul, remember the suicide bombers well before 9/11,
the dregs of crazed humanity, presented as a variant of killer robots, the most evil ever, not human.

... Stripped of their legitimate label of ‘resistance’ or ‘oppositon’..

Ok I will shut up for now. Maybe. b can delete anyway.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 31, 2018 11:50:44 AM | 66

@Sisi

Thank you for your reply for your information last time I visited Iran was 2014 and I saw many women wearing white or colorful chadors as well as skin tight leggings mostly in upper part of Tehran.
Personally I don’t like the hijab and I am sure is hard on some women who have to obey the laws like my own wife when in Iran.
But nevertheless it’s the law of land, for now just like is now law the land in very democratic open minded France that women with hijab can’t enter government offices or attend government schools, it must be equally hard for some women in France that they have to take their hijab to go to their work. Don’t you think?
If we believe in democracy we should believe in rule of majority enacted laws I hope new generation of Iranians learn how to tolerate laws and how to change the laws lawfully.
More importantly don’t fall for colonial hegemonic evilness the western imperialism.That is what I believe b and his site are doing and I fully support him in this effort including this recent hijab propaganda observation.


Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 31, 2018 11:54:55 AM | 67

Culture provides the ideological medium out of which atrocities arise, such as the Zionist Entity, and the Saudi war on Yemen, which has made the former look good. Duh.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Jan 31, 2018 12:18:58 PM | 68

@ Kooshy
Let me contradict you:

“If we believe in democracy we should believe in rule of majority enacted laws" - democracy is not just the wish of some majority. The influence of an independent law system is necessary to guarantee a minimum set of personal liberties against the rules of such a majority. In present Turkey they force the turban (scarf) by means of informal conformistic violence in everydays life. You get the job, your qualifications are simply ways ahead of the competition. The boss is happy to accept you for the job. When you leave the bureau, papers are signed, you get to know: BTW, women here wear a scarf.
A dynamic firm, 6 partners, 3 females, in Istanbul do 50% of their revenue with state orders. 5 partners are agnostic, 1 lady is religious and wears a scarf, but only on the street. So the firms conference decides: you will be the one to regularly show up at the Friday praywers so that our AKP-customer see you there. Then they will think our firm is „one of us“ and we get the jobs. That means: if not - not. This is the more refined method of the AKP to enforce Islamization, claiming it is the rule of the majority. What it is not, has never been. 30% of the populace, but the core supporters of the AKP, think like this.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 31, 2018 12:25:57 PM | 69

@Hausmeister

Thank you for your reply, do you understand what does enacted means? I wrote majority enacted laws. I don’t know in a democracy how else a social civil law can be Enacted without a majority consent? For now that is the law, like it is the law here in California, to have your private body parts covered when going out to beach, but in France you can’t even we are your Muslim swimsuit at beach but you can be naked, and in Iran you can’t be on the same beach with men, and in Saudi shithole women can’t even go to beach. Unfortunately one can’t pick and chose the laws he or she likes and ignore the ones they don’t like.

Posted by: Kooshy | Jan 31, 2018 1:01:29 PM | 70

OT
While the French msm are twisting facts and reporting that the kurds are attacked by the turks with the help of their syrian allies (confusion intended) this is what is going on, and as usual the French are playing wrong
http://www.wca-ngo.org/wca-news/press-releases/589-kurdish-ypg-asayesh-forces-kidnapped-more-aramean-christians-in-northeast-syria

Posted by: Mina | Jan 31, 2018 1:06:28 PM | 71

The West’s new ‘values-based’ racism

Psychologists say that every war first starts in human hearts – with the dehumanization of one’s opponent. The current sad state of Russia’s relations with the US and the EU is characterized by exactly that – dehumanization.
http://www.cetusnews.com/news/The-West%E2%80%99s-new-%E2%80%98values-based%E2%80%99-racism.r1-9yd4CBz.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 31, 2018 1:23:09 PM | 72

Great work b. History is awash with these but still I find it very hard to comprehend that people would turn against their country on behalf of a morally bereft country that has been waging one war after the other and wouldn't miss a single oportunity to rain down bombs and destruction on ones own country. I guess what plays is greed, fame, unable to see the big picture and just sheer idiocy.

Posted by: xor | Jan 31, 2018 1:50:46 PM | 73

From Iran: This is one of the best and most right-on-the-point articles published on this matter. The objective is attacking Iran from all different directions: economic sanctions; economic sabotage; assassinations; riots; 100's of cyber mercenary foot soldiers, working for their masters in the evil AngloZionist masters (even in the above comments with Iranian names); dozens of "Center for Human Rights in Iran" (check out the funding for the New York based one); dozens of Persian speaking satellite TV stations funded by CIA; 100's of news channel on Telegram app (40 millions of Iranians use Telegram); etc. The final goal: bring down the idiginous and popular 4-branch government of Iran (4th branch: spirituality) -- 70%+ average voter turn out in every election for the past 40 years (US: 50%). Iranians and their ancient culture is a threat to the evil empire. One of the most significant aspect of the 4,000 year old Iranian culture and civilization as eloquently described by our poet Saadi in 1258 A.D.: "If you see oppression and exploitation in the universal family of human beings, you must rise against it; otherwise you do not deserve to be called a human being." I have a few posts on my facebook page. If the evil AngoZionist empire plans to make sure that the apartheid Zionist regime of ethnic cleansing in occupied Palestine extends its shelf life, it MUST destroy Iran first (as in Libya?).

And, the tragic comedy of the arrogant self righteous genocidal folks who have been on a rampage in the last few centuries annihilating many native indiginous cultures on this planet (e.g, Native American indiginous tribes) now want to do the same with Iran, one of the last remaining ancient and original cultures in the world.

Posted by: Sohrab Lavasani | Jan 31, 2018 2:58:24 PM | 74

@ Mina | Jan 31, 2018 1:06:28 PM | 72
You know more about the background of those people? Who had saved their life there when ISIS came? Who let the murderer and enslavers pass the Turkish border? Or do I mistake it with the Yazidis? - Until I only saw Christian voices from Syria that voted against the Islamists.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 31, 2018 3:26:24 PM | 75

Here is one more link showing how much BBG! have paid to Masih Alinejhad.
I was reading many Iranian on FB and Twitter saying so yeah what's wrong with that! she is a reporter should get paid! poor souls can't see the big picture! that who is the employee and what is its goal!

Well this is from wikipedia about BBG (Organisation behind VoA):
its mission is to "inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy." !!!

Posted by: BB8 | Jan 31, 2018 4:35:25 PM | 76

So when are we going to start hearing about the IRGC stealing incubators from hospitals, throwing the babies out the window, and selling on the black market in order to buy nuclear weapons from N. Korea?

That is when you know we are in the end stages in the run up to the shooting war.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 31, 2018 7:13:53 PM | 77

"I suppose the minimum state allows is the forth girl here is what I believe is a minimum state accepted Hijab in Tehran, that is if then dad or redneck brother doesn’t mind it. Posted by: Sisi | Jan 31, 2018 11:31:36 AM | 65

From "the little I know" it is complicated. It starts from the law itself that says NOTHING about the chador. Holy Quran has a number of dress restrictions, e.g. no gold jewelry for men, and for women, "they have to cover their jewels". And what are those jewels? All interpreters agree that this language is poetic and means more than professionally made adornments. I once seen a website that seemed to explain the position of official Iranian theologians. [Not the easiest of the professions.] First, it was brilliantly explained that covering faces is ridiculous and discouraged by the Holy Book. One of the verses says that the people were awed when they had seen the luminous face of Miriam, mother of Prophet Isa (PBUH). First, they had to see her face for that to happen, second, Miriam mother of Isa (PBUH) is a paragon of virtue, so there. Count me convinced. But back to jewels, the only consensus is that they include primary and secondary sexual organs. So a combination of, say, sport bra with similarly modest cover below the waist should suffice? Not so fast. By appealing to common sense, the author explains that besides covering jewels, the common sense dictates that the dress should be modest, so loose and not revealing the shape of the body and hair.

Thus there is a lot to interpret for the local authorities. Of course, there are social pressures in opposite directions, girls often hate the stringent restrictions, e.g. a young women in Tabriz, the second largest city, was admonished by an elderly cleric for her lack of modesty, and she beat him up. (Young people these days.) Clearly, the gentleman was stronger in theology than in martial arts. My impression is that while high clerical authorities would prefer to stress female modesty, their topmost priority is the survival of the "Iranian revolution", and that may necessitate flexibility. After all, one of the top councils of the theological branch of government is called "Council of Expediency". Thus the sartorial scene drift over time.

Observation of students from the region suggest that young Iranian females cheerfully adopt habits of their American friends, while Saudi females seem pretty nervous showing their faces and at the very least cover all their hair.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 31, 2018 7:35:48 PM | 78

@ Kooshy @68 @70

Thank you for your reply. But, unfortunately I cannot believe you are serious in the way that you are arguing.

1) "I saw many women wearing white or colorful chadors."
In my more than three decades of life as an Iranian woman, I have never seen a single high school girl with “white flower chador”. If you have seen one, it must have been a very rare exception. As I said, they are absolutely out of fashion. Even the girls who choose chador would rather wear black chadors nowadays.

2) "it’s the law of land,"
Yes, and it is a bad law, many want it get changed.

3) "in very democratic open minded France that women with hijab can’t enter government offices or attend government schools, it must be equally hard for some women in France that they have to take their hijab to go to their work."
Of course, it is also hard for them, but I don’t get your point. Do you mean if the Muslims women suffer in a free country like France, we should also suffer from the mandatory Hijab?

4) "in democracy we should believe in rule of majority enacted laws I hope new generation of Iranians learn how to tolerate laws and how to change the laws lawfully."
Your definition of democracy sounds funny. By these lines, one can conclude that in any society the majority can set any discriminative rules as they wish against any minority. Though in the case of mandatory Hijab, the number of women who are sick of the mandatory Hijab is not negligible and it is growing. Indeed, many women who would rather choose Hijab freely, are opposing the mandatory Hijab.

5)"More importantly don’t fall for colonial hegemonic evilness the western imperialism. That is what I believe b and his site are doing and I fully support him in this effort including this recent hijab propaganda observation."
You are making a big mistake, because your view is “ahistorical”. Iranian women had criticized the mandatory Hijab even before the Hijab rule got established, before likes of VOA, CIA, and their puppets become interested in meddeling with it. Should I remind you the women's march the day after the hijab law was brought in? Have a look at the following link:
https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/women-protesting-hijab-1979/

Posted by: Sisi | Feb 1, 2018 5:23:45 AM | 79

Posted by: Sisi | Feb 1, 2018 5:23:45 AM | 80


"But, unfortunately I cannot believe you are serious in the way that you are arguing."

Dear SISI
unfortunately or fortunately, using sarcasm is not a debate or even an argument, FYI here is a story on CNN of 2015 on hijab in Islam, with a few photos, one with many iranian women in white chadoor, I simply googled,
white chadoor and got this you can do your own, may be you need to go out in Iran a little more. Yeas law of lan is law of land,and if you and like minded don't like it, try to change it lawfully, but I suppose you will need to have a majority, I dont think at this time majority of Iran has the same view as you have. I don't like like wearing swimsuit in Santa Monica beach, but for now I don't have a choice, and I don't think I can change that law for some time to come, that is because the majority puritanism of American tradition and culture at this time and moment wouldn't give me the majority vote to pass that law. do you get it now, my dear? That's what is called the law of land for god or bad.

Posted by: kooshy | Feb 1, 2018 10:33:44 AM | 80

@SISI
Sorry, here is the Link to CNN story on Hijab (white chador) I mentioned above, which I didn't even read,
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/09/living/five-things-veils/

Posted by: kooshy | Feb 1, 2018 10:36:55 AM | 81

Too many comments for me to plow through to see whether anyone else has pointed it out. But, as I'm in the mood for a bit of whataboutery hasbara style, what about VoA stirring up a campaign against the headscarf in Saudi Arabia?

Posted by: Bryan Hemming | Feb 3, 2018 9:05:27 AM | 82

son raras las mujeres que en audiencia con el papa (católico, arzobispo bergoglio) no se cubren la cabeza con una mantilla. y se visten de negro! cristina kirchner, insumisa, optó por...un sombrero. melania trump fue tradicional: negro, cabello recogido, y mantilla.
occidente hipócrit!

Posted by: Ana Lía Pujato | Feb 3, 2018 3:14:40 PM | 83

You lost me when you claim Ahmadinejad's second "win" was not a fraud. It WAS A FRAUD!!!! I don't care what the surveys say. There's ample amount of evidence that Ahmadinejad cheated BIG TIME in the election.

Posted by: Sam | Feb 3, 2018 8:15:55 PM | 84

The Washington Post has an editorial lauding the results of the U.S. campaign to goad some girls in ran in taking off their headscarf. (Being the Post, it get the campaign hashtag wrong.)

The phenomenon is, of course, a sign for the imminent downfall of the Iran governing system.

Iranian women show their deep discontent — and willingness to act

But there is plenty of evidence that deep discontent persists in the Islamic republic, along with the willingness to act on it. One inspiring example is the growing number of Iranian women who have perched on utility boxes and walls in the streets of Tehran, removed their legally required hijabs, or head coverings, and waved them on sticks.

The first to stage such a demonstration was a 31-year-old woman named Vida Movahed, who clambered onto a metal utility case on Enghelab, or Revolution, Street on Dec. 27. She took off her white headscarf, affixed it to a stick and silently waved it for an hour. Pictures and videos of her protest soon spread across the Internet, and other young women began to follow her example, both in Tehran and in other cities. They soon became known by the hashtag #GirlsofRevolutionStreet.

...

But the Girls of Revolution Street are one more sign that Iran has entered an unpredictable, and hopeful, season of ferment.

Posted by: b | Feb 11, 2018 9:34:41 AM | 85

@87 just sayin'.. sammy read it in the nyt or on jeff bezos blog... what more do you want? lolol!

Posted by: james | Feb 11, 2018 1:19:42 PM | 86

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