Lipstick Jihad — an excerpt

Our tears are sweet, our laughter venomous,
We’re pleased when sad, and sad when pleased,
We have broken every stalk, like a wind in the garden
We have picked clean the vine’s caldelabra
And if we found a tree, still standing, defiantly,
We cut it’s branches, we pulled it up by the roots.

—-Simin Behbehani

Lipstick Jihad is an excellent book about a womans journey back into her Iranian homeland.  Azedeh Moaveni was born in the States and raised amongst the Iranian diaspora caused by the Revolution in 1979.  Later, she returns to her home in Teheran to cover the Reformist movement at the turn of the century.  She writes about the challenges of living in Iran as an Iranian-American and the inner conflicts of dealing with the [sur]reality of Islamic Iran as juxtaposed against her familial and diaspora created memories of her homeland.  It’s a moving story told from a unique inside outsider perspective.

I’ve enjoyed reading the book.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2005/03/lipstick-jihad-interview-azadeh-moaveni http://www.amazon.com/Lipstick-Jihad-Growing-Iranian-American/dp/1586481932 http://muslimahmediawatch.org/2008/10/lipstick-jihad/

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Last year some time, France banned the Burqa.  I agreed with this ruling wholeheartedly.  Some argued that France should not meddle in cultures and customs of the various immigrant peoples who inhabit their country.  Still others argued that the burqa and by extension the hijab or veil is part of the right to “freedom”  of speech a part of the expression of the culture of Islamic peoples.  I simply can not agree with this.

To me the hijab/veil and the burqa is a symbol of oppression.  It’s a relic of the patriarchal systems of our forefathers and a means of control.  It’s the tool used to enslave women.  We used similar tools of oppression here in the dark ages of the west.

These things and like items used to oppress people should be relegated to the dark past.  Discarded and forgotten for all time.

How would I feel if I were forced to wear similar tools of oppression.  What’s the difference between the hijab and the star of David which the Nazis forced on the Juden of 1930s era Germany?  What is the difference between this attitude and the attitudes of White Americans towards Blacks in the early 1900s in the Jim Crow Era of the South?

I see no difference.  Women in Iran are thrown in prison and tortured and raped for the simple offense of being seen in public with a non-relative male or showing too much ankle or for having the audacity to think and speak out.  They’re beaten on the streets for showing an inch too much of hair.  Young Men are brutalized by the basiji thugs for accompanying non-relative females from a Cafe to the curb to hail a taxi.

Do we excuse these behaviors in the name of cultural diversity?  Do we welcome this into our countries?  Do we allow this barbaric behavior into our neighborhoods?

I think we should not.

Someone will make the comment eventually; “So what do you want to do?  Invade Iran?”  That is not what this is about.

We can’t do anything about the barbarism of Islamic Sharia in Saudi Arabia or Iran.

However, we do have the choice of not tolerating it’s introduction into our own home countries.

I think that is where the world should make it’s stand.

I’m of the opinion that banning the burqa was not going far enough. The hijab should be banned as well.  Similar resolutions should be introduced in the UN to end this oppressive reign of terror on women.

4 comments on “Lipstick Jihad — an excerpt

  1. the ban of any shiria law of any country other than arabic countries should also be…england allowing it in their country is disastrous and unbelievable…these forms of oppression should never be allowed in U.S.A. however i am inclined to believe that this new administration will allow such things in the name of tolerance ….its remarkable what radical liberals will tolerate in the name of tolerance…usually it inevitably will take others rights away….

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