The reactionary ayatollahs should be ashamed of themselves

Liberals in Iran have recently been outraged by the arrest of a teenage gymnast who posted videos of herself dancing in her bedroom. Maedeh Hojabri, who has tens of thousands of social media followers, was seen crying on state TV last week during what some suspected was a forced confession: under Iran’s sharia law, it is illegal for women to dance in public or to go out without a headscarf. Since then, Iranian women have been protesting by using the hashtag #DancingIsNotACrime and posting videos of themselves dancing. (The Week, 13 July 2018)

I am posting this to illustrate the depravity and stupidity of organised religion at its worst. This ban on dancing is a manifestation of an age-old male domination and bullying that may have been near universal in the 7th Century but has no place in the 21st. Dancing is an act of joy; the rules of the right wing ayatollahs and their thought police are instruments of oppression of a youngish population wanting to be modern and free.

The Americans and the British brought the ayatollahs to power years ago by force, installing Pahlevi and his corrupt gang against the wishes of an unwilling nation, seizing its oil. By now we should have been wise and man enough to have made amends, to have a rapprochement with Iran. So many years of aggravation indicate a moribund and incompetent foreign policy, mainly driven by prejudice and fear.

I don’t support Trump’s threats and bullying or his scrapping of the Iranian international nuclear deal. Rather, it’s a case of “a pox on both your houses”.

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