Thursday, December 10, 2009
Men in Veils: Ahmadinejad's latest media charade backfires.
One of the areas that Ahmadinejad wishes to follow in the footsteps of Hitler is the domain of propaganda. He has been long after media sensationalism; and because he is not good looking, charming or charismatic, he has opted for the grotesque to attract his audiences.
The first exhibition of his "media" war was the staged trials; where over hundred reformists, previous ministers and bankers and journalists were brought together with younger protesters and some occasional hooligans to a televised court (In pajamas and plastic slippers, without socks--something that is highly rude in the Iranian culture) and forced them to "confess" and "regret" their having been naive and under western influence. When the new judiciary head took over, and fired the butcher prosecutor, Ghazi Mortazavi, these show trials stopped; and I heard that prisoners were given the option to file a complaint against the court and the judiciary. Of course, this is perhaps another media-trick because nothing in the condition of many of these prisoners has changed, and following their forced confessions (and even without succumbing to confessions) the prisoners have been given a minimum of 5 years of jail term--those with lower profiles or minority status are also given death sentence.
After the student protests of December 7th, a new wave of arrests and harassments has begun. But this time, the IRI has made a serious media faux-pas! They arrested an engineering student from Amir Kabir University, who for many years has been a highly vocal and leading advocate of democracy and proponent of the dictatorship to which Ahmadinejad clings--i.e. velayat-e faghih. (He has also suffered multiple disciplinary actions). On the day of protests, this student gave an impassioned speech. You can see the video of his speech at the bottom of this post.
Following the protest, he was beaten, injured and savagely arrested. The IRI's media gurus decided to humiliate him so they published pictured of Majid Tavakoli, wearing female hijab. The IRI mocked Tavakoli for being a "chicken" and trying to escape in female attire. About 28 years ago, the IRI pulled this same trick on Abulhasan Banisadr, the democratically elected president who was ousted from office because he did not wish to prolong the Iran-Iraq war. Pictures of Banisadr appeared that showed he escaped in female clothing.
This time however, the IRI is facing a new generation. This generation does not see masculinity as a form of power; rather it is ashamed of all the discrimination the gender disparities causes. This generation of green men has been going to school with women, and often overpowered in numbers and university ranking by their female peers. This generation has fought alongside the women movement in Iran. This generation has forced the conservative Mousavi to hold his wife's hand when walking to the pre-election rallies. This generation of men is SERIOUS about gender equality and perhaps--from what I have seen--more progressive in their demand for such equalities than elsewhere in the world.
Today, more and more of these men are making a statement by photographing themselves wearing a veil. You can see an example in this blog.
This last charade of the IRI media not only exposes the superficiality of Ahmadinejad's fascists in their understanding of media politics; but it is also illustrating HOW clueless they are. I presume these images are for the consumption of their "so called" rural supporters who run after trucks of free potatos; or humiliate themselves to get their personal letters to be read by Ahmadinejad, in home of a 100$ handout--coming from the oil revenue that have been going missing without parliamentary consent from the monetary reserves of the country.
But, no matter who the audience, Ahmadinejad is shooting himself and his "claim" that he respects women, that Iranian women are special and free, that Iranian women are worthy of entering his cabinet for the first time in the history of the IRI. Ahmadinejad is contradicting himself, as a schizophrenic that he is.
To photoshop a BRAVE student activist in female clothing suggest that he was COWARD raises important questions (these questions have been frequently asked across Persian media today):
1) WHAT is so scary in Iranian prisons that would make a student who is brave enough to stand on a car and give a speech, cross dress to escape? (That is in case he was, actually dressed as female at the time of arrest--a claim protested by his friends)
2) Is the IRI trying to humiliate a "man" by making him dress as a woman? Is being a woman a shameful thing? Is masculinity the sign of power? (That is in case the IRI has photoshoped, or forced him into this costume)
Today, many Iranian men and women have been asking this:
If WOMEN are "cowards", and forcingthem into Hijab strips power from a person, then how come these women who were forced into Hijab have stood up to IRI's Talibanism for the past 30 years; and have emerged more empowered and focused on their goals.
Of course Ahmadinejad's kissing an older woman's hand, claiming a teenager girl has "discovered nuclear energy in her basement, and appointing women to his cabinet are charades. As I am writing this, the parliament is examining a proposal to remove the clause that a man's right to re-marry (polygamy is permitted in Iran) depends on the consent of the first wife.
Ahmadinejad's destroyed all the foundations of the IRI ... of the Superpower Islamic Nation remains a cartoonish image! All the better, we can do without his comics' V for Vendetta!
New video denouncing fars-news' latest blunder, and in support of Majid Tavakoli
Posted by Naj