Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Iran: Attempts to shame = badges of honour

Men in Hijabs
Transmission: Iranian oppositionists have launched a campaign in support of student Majid Tavakoli, who was arrested on Students Day on December 7 after giving a passionate speech during an antigovernment protest at Tehran's Amir Kabir University. Watch the speech here.

The semi-official Fars news agency posted pictures of Tavakoli dressed as a woman after he reportedly tried to escape by disguising himself. Fars paired a picture of Tavakoli with one of Abol Hassan Abni Sadr, Iran's first president after the 1979 revolution, who reportedly escaped in 1981 disguised as a woman.

In solidarity with Tavakoli, some Iranian men are taking pictures of themselves while wearing the Islamic hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran, and posting the pictures on Facebook. They are calling for an end to Iran's mistreatment of prisoners including Tavakoli.

The Islamic Association of the Amir Kabir University has also condemned the arrest of Tavakoli and said that Tavakoli, whether dressed as a woman or a man, is the pride of Iran's student movement.

Emails from Iranians: 'It is ironic how headscarf, which was traditionally seen as a symbol of women's oppression (who are forced to wear it in public in Iran) is now being used by men to show membership in a liberation movement. It is worth noting that it is a violation of law to cross-dress in Iran.'

'A band of close-minded, desperate, brittle thugs are facing intelligent, resourceful, flexible opposition. They'll struggle increasingly to get their message across as each tactic they use is subverted, adopted or discounted by their foes. Every attempt to shame will become a badge of honour and respect. They've lost, it's just that they haven't realised it yet cos they still have all the oil & guns. They're too stupid to realise that in an educated country, money & guns aren't enough.'
Image source here.