While reading about the gay teenagers recently hanged in Iran (see previous post), I came across the story of Ateqeh Rajabi, a sixteen year old girl executed last August for “acts incompatible with chastity” – and, apparently, for talking back to a judge. The man she committed the “acts incompatible” with, in contrast, was sentenced to 100 lashes. From the Telegraph:
So what was the judge (one Haji Rezaie) doing sentencing an “unchaste” 16-year-old to hang? He said that she had a “sharp tongue” and had “undressed in court”.
It seems that all she did was to take off her headscarf and insist that she was the victim of an older man’s advances: but even if she had stripped naked and called the judge a fat ignorant bastard, those actions would hardly merit death, even under Islamic law. Nevertheless, the judge was so outraged that he decided he would personally put the noose round the child’s neck.
Note, however, that this was not a lone act by an isolated judge; the Iranian Supreme Court approved of Rajabi’s execution before it took place.
Frontpage Magazine published a symposium about Ateqeh Rajabi’s death. One of the experts interviewed was Donna M. Hughes, a women’s studies professor and an expert on international abuses of women’s rights, who argues that “misogyny is central to Islamic fascist ideology, just as anti-Semitism was central to Nazism.” Here’s Ms. Hughes’ account of the execution:
Rajabi talked back to the judge, reportedly insulted him and said that the real perpetrators of moral corruption should be punished not the victims. That sounds like an accusation to me and possibly a threat. Does the judge know who these real perpetrators are that she referred to? We know that judges and other officials have been caught running prostitution rings. In her outrage at the unfairness of the charges against her, one account said she “undressed in court,” although according to Alasdair Palmer in The Sunday Telegraph (August 29, 2004), she only took off her headscarf.
To us in the West, that seems like such a small act of defiance, but to the Islamic fascists, it is a threat to their entire ideology and system of social control. A woman or girl pulling off a headscarf is a challenge to the whole theocratic terrorist state. If a girl is allowed to get away with it, the whole system will start to crumble.
Some news stories have said that Rajabi was mentally ill. She doesn’t sound mentally ill to me. She sounds furious and tragically sane and intelligent enough to see through the corruption and injustice of the insane mullahs’ system. She was foolishly courageous enough to confront a perpetrator of the misogynous system.
Haji Rezaii, the sadistic judge, chose to personally take part in snuffing out her life. He personally put the noose around Rajabi’s neck and gave the signal for the crane to hoist her body into the air.
Afterwards, Rezaii said that his real reason for executing her was her “sharp tongue.” In truth, her real crime was speaking truth to power.
The entire Frontpage symposium is worth reading – the most interesting article about Iran I’ve read in quite a while. One of the three experts they interviewed is a Freudian psychoanalyst with a (to my mind) dubious theory blaming Iranian misogyny on over-closeness to mothers; but the other two experts, Ms. Hughes and Iranian expatriot activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, are fascinating.