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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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Ideas

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Elon Musk bought Twitter in the name of absolute freedom. But numerous research shows that social media hate speech leads to actual violence. Musk and others running social networks need to strike a balance.

Absolute Free Speech Is A Recipe For Violence: Notes From Paris For Monsieur Musk

Freedom on social networks can result in insults and defamation

Jean-Marc Vittori

-Analysis-

PARIS — Elon Musk is the world's leading reckless driver. The ever unpredictable CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is now behind a very different wheel as the new head of Twitter.

He began by banning remote work before slightly backtracking and authorizing it for the company’s “significant contributors.” Now he’s opened the door to Donald Trump to return to Twitter, while at the same time vaunting a decrease in the number of hate-messages that appear on the social network…all while firing Twitter’s content moderation teams.

But this time, the world’s richest man will have to make choices. He’ll have to limit his otherwise unconditional love of free speech. “Freedom consists of being able to do everything that does not harm others,” proclaimed the French-born Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1789.

Yet freedom on social networks results not only in insults and defamation, but sometimes also in physical aggression.

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