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Society

How Iran's Women-Led Protests Have Exposed The 'Islamist Racket' Everywhere

By defending their fundamental rights, Iranian women are effectively fighting for the rights of all in the Middle East. Their victory could spell an end to Islamic fundamentalism that spouts lies about "family values" and religion.

photo of a woman with red paint on her face protesting against iran

Protests like this in Barcelona have been sparked all over the world to protest the Tehran regime.

Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images via ZUMA
Kayhan London

-Editorial-

Iran's narrow-minded, rigid and destructive rulers have ruined the lives of so many Iranians, to the point of forcing a portion of the population to sporadically rise up in the hope of forcing changes. Each time, the regime's bloody repression forces Iranians back into silent resignation as they await another chance, when a bigger and bolder wave of protests will return to batter the ramparts of dictatorship.

It may just be possible that this time, in spite of the bloodshed, a bankrupt regime could finally succumb to the latest wave of protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the so-called "morality police."

Women have always played a role in the social and political developments of modern Iran, thanks in part to 50 years of secular monarchy before the Iranian Revolution of 1979. And that role became the chief target of reaction when it gained, or regained, power in the early days of 1979, after a revolution replaced the monarchy with a self-styled Islamic republic.

Whether it was women's attire and appearance, or their rights and opportunities in education and work, access to political and public life or juridical and civil rights — all these became intolerable to the new clerical authorities.


Yet violence against women is nothing new, enjoying as it has the backing of patriarchy for a few thousand years. Nor is it "restricted" in Iran to women or half of society, because you cannot violate the rights of women or one half of society, while respecting those of the other half! Simply put, that half consists of the mothers, sisters, wives, relatives and friends of the other half.

Even if men stood to gain anything from discrimination against women (like more money when it comes to inheritance or divorce), this inequality of rights hurts individuals, families and, ultimately, society.

International eye on political Islam

That is why, when the time for change arrives, women, as the biggest group facing discrimination, degradation and insecurity both in society and at home, come out with far greater motivation and drive. Their struggle in Iran has had greater international repercussions for the endemic nature of patriarchy and because women possess the dignity of mothers and mothers-to-be.

The fire of constitutionality was never quite put out.

What was particularly notable in the protests of Iranian women and girls in recent weeks was their determined opposition to that sinister phenomenon that has struck beyond Iran: Islamism.

In Iran, the fire of constitutionality was never quite put out. The "religious" revolution of 1979, which brought the Shia brand of Islamic radicalism to power, failed to extinguish the legacy of the Iranian constitutional revolution of 1906, which created a new modern social order in the country.

The freedom movement today is opposed to the Islamist racket and political Islam. It is not just a national revolution, but a historical landmark for the region and the world. Its victory could spell the wider demise of Islamic fundamentalism, in all its dismal incarnations.

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Society

In Denmark, Beloved Christmas TV Special Cancelled For Blackface Scenes

The director of the 1997 episode complained that TV executives are being "too sensitive."

Screenshot of a child wearing apparent blackface as part of a vintage "TV Christmas calendar" episode on Danish TV

Screenshot of the controversial scene in a vintage episode of Denmark's traditional "TV Christmas calendar"

Amélie Reichmut

If there’s one thing Scandinavians take seriously, it’s Christmas. And over the past half-century, in addition to all the family and religious traditions, most Nordic countries share a passion for what's known as the "TV Christmas calendar": 24 nightly television episodes that air between Dec. 1 and Christmas Eve.

Originally, the programs were strictly aimed at children; but over the years, the stories evolved more towards family entertainment, with some Christmas calendars becoming classics that generations of Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and others have watched each year as national and family traditions in their own right.

But this year in Denmark, one vintage episode has been pulled from the air because of a blackface scene.

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