Iran: Editorial: Shutting Down "Zanan"
Mr. Ahmadinejad — with the backing of Iran’s most conservative mullahs — won election in 2005 promising economic reform and an end to political corruption. He has failed to deliver either. In an era of $100 a barrel oil, Iran’s people are struggling with food shortages, high unemployment and spiraling inflation.
He has tried to divert attention from those failures with threats against Israel, Holocaust denials and a confrontation with the United Nations Security Council over nuclear ambitions. Iranians are not so easily fooled.
Fearing just that, Mr. Ahmadinejad and his allies are pressing the vetting committees to keep a much higher than usual number of moderates and reform candidates off the ballot. Already large numbers of reformers have been told that they will not be allowed to run. According to government data, 8.16 percent of the current candidates for Parliament are women. That is down from 9.89 percent four years ago. Some women are now talking about trying to enter the race with an all-female slate of candidates — challenging the government to throw them off.
The order to close Zanan, which means women, is the latest outrage and a sign of how much Mr. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs fear any debate. It should be reversed immediately.
Ms. Sherkat, a former religious revolutionary turned pragmatic feminist, has kept Zanan open for 16 years and 152 issues, despite financial and political pressures. She has managed to inform her readers without overly infuriating the mullahs — until now. According to reports from Iran, authorities said that the magazine was a “threat to the psychological security of the society” because it showed Iranian women in a “black light.”
The truth is, the magazine respected and celebrated Iranian women by offering articles on health, parenting, legal issues, literature and women’s achievements. One recent article argued that laws codifying unequal treatment of women in Islamic countries lacked justification under Islamic law and could be changed. The only psychological threat Zanan posed was to the regime’s authoritarian and anti-feminist pathology.
Mr. Ahmadinejad may be able to stifle debate, for a while longer. If Iran’s mullahs think that he’s strengthening the country, they don’t understand Iran’s people.
7 February 2008
Source: New York Times
- SUDAN CHRISTIAN WOMAN MERIAM IBRAHIM & FAMILY ARRIVE IN ITALY & MEET WITH POPE FRANCIS
- World Cup ban? Iran's women just don't care
- Letter to Obama Administration on Egyptian State Violations of Human Rights
- EIPR shocked by continued detention of 23 defendants including an awarded human rights defender
- Press Release on the arrest and detention of Human Rights Defenders in Egypt
- Send your support to Yara Sallam and other human rights defenders imprisoned in Egypt
- URGENT: Join the international campaign against Egypt’s repressive protest law!
- Arbitrary Arrests and Detention of Women Human Rights Defenders
- URGENT ACTION NEEDED: INNOCENT SUDANESE MOTHER WILL FACE PUBLIC FLOGGING AND EXECUTION, SIHA CONDEMNS TODAY'S RULING IN HAJ YOUSIF COURT IN KHARTOUM
- A Former Child Bride is Hanged and Denied Her Last Wish to See Her Daughter
- Egypt: #noprotestlaw campaign abridged toolkit
- Disposable Victims: Laws and Practices on Gender-related Killings of Women and Girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran
- 35 Years of Forced Hijab: The Widespread and Systematic Violation of Women's Rights in Iran
- No One is Safe: Abuses of Women in Iraq's Criminal Justice System
- Early and Forced Marriage in the Islamic Republic of Iran