The ruling clerics energize their followers by preaching hatred of their chosen enemies: the liberal west, women, moderate and liberal Muslims, and non-Muslim religious groups, particularly Jews. Their deepest prejudice is for women. Islamic fundamentalists loath women. They hate female shapes, which must be hidden under tent like garments. They hate their female voices, so women are banned from singing in public. They hate their female minds, so women are prohibited from holding decision making jobs. And most of all, they hate their female sexuality, which they claim is a corrupting force on earth.
They hate liberal culture and democracy because women are allowed to dress, travel, speak, think, and even sing, freely. They believe that women’s freedom and equality are what has corrupted western culture, and that is why they must purge it and its representatives from their land.
The Khomeini-crafted theocracy granted dictatorial rule to the supreme religious leader ‑ velayat-e-faqih – thereby creating an unreformable system because all significant powers of the state are held by the supreme religious leader and his appointees in the Council of Guardians. Khomeini crowned himself as the first supreme leader; after his death, the religious reign was passed to the present supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The clerics’ version of sharia law imposes a crushing system of gender apartheid on Iranians based on the premise that women are physically, psychologically, intellectually, and morally inferior to men. Men are legally granted all decision-making power within the family, including control of the movement and employment of women and the custody of children. A public dress code or hejab is mandatory and violations result in reprimands, arrests, whippings, imprisonment, and even summary executions have been documented. All public activities are segregated, and women are banned from attending sporting events in which men’s legs are uncovered. Women are banned from associating with men who are not their relatives. The age of marriage was lowered to nine years of age for girls. Polygamy was legalized. And stoning to death became a legal form of punishment for sexual misconduct.
The clerics made laws on how to control, punish, torture, and kill women and girls. Misogyny and violence against women were institutionalized.
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