Monday, 14 June 2010 03:52 Acharya S./D.M. Murdock
The misogynistic Islamist Mullah regime of Iran are turning the women into sex-slaves…
Iranians protesting election of 2009
With the approaching first anniversary on June 12th of last year’s controversial Iranian presidential elections, officials of the Islamic Republic are bracing for possibly millions of protestors pouring into the streets in a show of strength that could eventually spell the end of the government’s 30-year reign of terror and oppression. So terrified is the current regime, apparently, that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, on the recent celebration of Ayatollah Khomeini’s birthday, ordered all Iranians living abroad to return to their native land to be hanged or jailed for being “enemies of the Islamic Republic.”
The list of the Iranian people’s grievances against the Islamic Republic headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is long indeed, and includes the blatant and vicious oppression of women, manifested most pathologically in government-sponsored prostitution and sex slavery.
While the regime’s apologists put forth weak arguments and excuses for the blatant Islamist abuse of women in Iran—claiming, for example, that because there are female Iranian lawyers and doctors women are thus treated well and fairly—festering below this shallow surface remains a horrendous record of sexism and misogyny justified by classical, not “radical” or “extremist,” Islamic teachings.
Iranian Shah’s wife, before 1979 revolution
One need only look at images preceding the Islamic fundamentalist takeover of Iran in 1979 to see how poorly women have fared in the past three decades under what some Iranians consider a criminal occupation of their ancient nation. Says Iranian-American writer Amil Imani, for example:
“Under the late Shah, Iranian women were the most respected females in the entire Muslim world. These thugs who are currently running my native country are not Iranians but packs of Muslim wolves who are simply following the examples of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad.
“This misogynist religion of Allah is custom-made for the savage male. A faithful follower of Allah is allowed to have as many as four permanent wives—and replace any of them at any time he wants—as well as an unlimited number of one-night or one-hour-standers that he can afford to rent. But, woe unto a woman if she even has a single love affair with another man. Nothing less than death by stoning is her just punishment.”
Mr. Imani, an ex-Muslim co-founder of Former Muslims United, has good reason to make what sound to the untrained eye to be inflammatory remarks about the Islamic Republic, as he has watched from the safety of his well-appreciated adopted home of America the absolute oppression of his beloved Persian people, male and female, by rabid Islamists who use Islamic sharia law in order to establish a male-dominant, sexist and misogynistic regime that abuses, enslaves and exploits girls and women to the hilt. This exploitation and abuse include the kidnapping of girls and women off the streets to be enslaved in government-approved brothels, as well as to be trafficked in sex slavery around the Arab world and elsewhere globally.
Iranian brothels service male “pilgrims”
The government-approved or run whorehouses with kidnapped sex slaves who service male “pilgrims” and others are Iran’s “dirty little secret,” which mainstream media and human-rights activists may be ignoring as a “cultural idiosyncrasy” or “religious freedom” but which is in reality the cause of the intense suffering of thousands of Persian girls and women, as men have turned them into sex slaves, to be used in Iran as well as to be sold to men in other countries, including in the West, according to Dr. Donna M. Hughes of the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Hughes is a “leading international researcher on trafficking of women and children” whose studies have included the trafficking of girls and women in such diverse places as not only Iran, Russia and Korea, but also the United States, France and Great Britain. In “Islamic Fundamentalism and the Sex Slave Trade in Iran” (2005), Hughes writes:
“A measure of Islamic fundamentalists’ success in controlling society is the depth and totality with which they suppress the freedom and rights of women. In Iran for 25 years, the ruling mullahs have enforced humiliating and sadistic rules and punishments on women and girls, enslaving them in a gender apartheid system of segregation, forced veiling, second-class status, lashing, and stoning to death.
“Joining a global trend, the fundamentalists have added another way to dehumanize women and girls: buying and selling them for prostitution. Exact numbers of victims are impossible to obtain, but according to an official source in Tehran, there has been a 635 percent increase in the number of teenage girls in prostitution. The magnitude of this statistic conveys how rapidly this form of abuse has grown. In Tehran, there are an estimated 84,000 women and girls in prostitution, many of them are on the streets, others are in the 250 brothels that reportedly operate in the city. The trade is also international: thousands of Iranian women and girls have been sold into sexual slavery abroad.
“The head of Iran’s Interpol bureau believes that the sex slave trade is one of the most profitable activities in Iran today. This criminal trade is not conducted outside the knowledge and participation of the ruling fundamentalists. Government officials themselves are involved in buying, selling, and sexually abusing women and girls.
“Many of the girls come from impoverished rural areas. Drug addiction is epidemic throughout Iran, and some addicted parents sell their children to support their habits. High unemployment—28 percent for youth 15-29 years of age and 43 percent for women 15-20 years of age—is a serious factor in driving restless youth to accept risky offers for work. Slave traders take advantage of any opportunity in which women and children are vulnerable. For example, following the recent earthquake in Bam, orphaned girls have been kidnapped and taken to a known slave market in Tehran where Iranian and foreign traders meet.
“Popular destinations for victims of the slave trade are the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. According to the head of the Tehran province judiciary, traffickers target girls between 13 and 17, although there are reports of some girls as young as 8 and 10, to send to Arab countries….”
Hughes’s article also reports the breaking up of several prostitution networks thriving in Turkey and Europe, extending to Pakistan and Afghanistan as well. In the Islamic fundamentalist country of Pakistan, she explains, also exist institutionalized brothels in which these sex slaves often end up.
Islamic sexism and misogyny
Iranian women today
(Photo by Zoom Zoom)
While Islamist apologists may argue that sex slavery exists around the world, exploiting innocent girls, women, boys and men, the fact will remain that in these Muslim nations this human-rights abuse has become institutionalized, with government-run brothels in Iran, for instance, offering what is called mutah or a temporary contract that allows men to “marry” for sexual purposes women other than the four concurrent wives alloted by Muhammad. Many of these brothels are near “holy sites,” so that male pilgrims can “relieve their urges” while on a “religious” pilgrimage.
These sexist practices are justified by Quranic verses and other Islamic texts that proclaim women to be inferior subhumans to be used and exploited at will by men, who are given permission to beat and control them as they would property and animals.
For example, the Quranic verse or ayah 4:24 is held up as justification for mutah:
“Also [forbidden to you are] married women, except those whom you own as slaves. Such is the decree of God. All women other than these are lawful for you, provided you court them with your wealth in modest conduct, not in fornication. Give them their dowry for the enjoyment you have had of them as a duty; but it shall be no offense for you to make any other agreement among yourselves after you have fulfilled your duty. Surely God is all-knowing and wise.”
Believers in a literal and eternal interpretation of the Quran/Koran seem to have only one place to go with this verse, which basically says that Muslim men can own sex slaves. Moreover, according to Islamic or sharia law, a woman has no right to divorce, as only a man does, a right he may freely exercise in some Muslim areas merely by saying the word talaq—”I divorce you”—three times. A man can then proceed to marry another woman and another after that by doing the same thing.
The notorious Quranic ayah 4:34 makes men superior to women and allows them to beat them:
“Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them.”
Woman in niqab in Yemen
(Photo by Steve Evans)
As concerns the guarding of “unseen parts,” in some Muslim sects, a woman’s entire body is considered awrah or “naked” and thus must be completely cloaked. In other words, a woman is wholly a sex organ. In other sects, a woman’s hands and face may be exposed, but the rest of her is a “walking vagina” and must be covered up in loose-fitting clothes so that no man but her husband-owner may see her shape.
Additionally, there are many hadiths or commentaries on the Quran and Muhammad that disparage women and essentially allow for their subjugation and enslavement. In the Tabari (9:113) or History of the Prophets and Kings, written in the 10th century by a respected Islamic scholar and theologian, we read the following about women:
“Allah permits you to shut them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Qur’an.”
Islamic misogyny is so rampant that it extends to the Muslim hell, the main occupants of which are women, allegedly seen by Muhammad himself:
“I stood at the gates of Paradise, most of those who entered there were poor, I stood at the gates of Hell, most of those who went in there, were women.”
Forced prostitution is illegal in civilized countries
While it may be argued that even the United States has legal, government-approved brothels, as in the state of Nevada, the fact is that forced prostitution is against American law and is generally vigorously prosecuted wherever it is found. The victims of forced prostitution in Western countries are not imprisoned and raped as they are in Iran and elsewhere, as part of the “religious” punishment according to Islamic or sharia law. Nor is the sexploitation of women in the West justified by “sacred scriptures” or “religious traditions” of any sort, although sexism and misogyny themselves are also common to the other Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity, as well as other religions.
In the end, the fact will remain that according to mainstream, classical Islam, women are subordinate to men and can be exploited at will. As the Quran (2:223) also says:
“Women are your fields: go then, into your fields whence you please.”
Concerning the Iranian Islamic fundamentalists, Hughes states, “Misogyny is at the heart of their ideology and is the framework of their state structure and authority.” Until the world grapples with the fact of religiously justified sexism and misogyny, it cannot call itself enlightened and civilized.
In conclusion, the videos appended to this article give a sad view of what has happened to so many women in Iran since Islamic fundamentalists took over—as well as what happens to any nation that oppresses women and does not allow them the opportunity to pursue their own natural and God-given gifts and talents. As Dr. Hughes also says, “Only the overthrow of the mullahs and the defeat of their theocracy will liberate women from a system of contempt and hatred for women.” The lovely women—and men—of Iran deserve a much better life than they have been consigned to these many years, including the right to self-rule in a free, democratic state.
D.M. Murdock is the author of controversial books and articles on comparative religion and mythology that can be found at Truth Be Known, Stellar House Publishing and Freethought Nation. For more articles from the Freethought Examiner, be sure to subscribe!