The modest Facebook page My Stealthy Freedom, where Iranian women post pictures of themselves without the mandatory headscarf hijab, has grown into a full-blown insurgency. Since I wrote my Sunday column on May 25, the page has received an additional 130.000 likes, and Islam expert Lars Hedegaard believes this could be the beginning of something huge.
The day the women decide to let their hair out, theocracys number is up. Plain and simple. The entire foundation of Islam rests on men dominating women, says Hedegaard.
A movement has started, dawn is just breaking, Björn Ulveaus wrote in the libretto of the musical Kristina från Duvemåla. In the beginning, only the most courageous and desperate dared make the bold move from oppression in Sweden to seek freedom in America, but that small band would soon grow into a great and powerful tidal wave. Lars Hedegaard hopes and believes there can be a similar development in Iran.
If this keeps evolving, Islam will break down. Islam is a total and totalitarian system. You cant break out certain parts without the whole system collapsing. If women obtain the right to dress any way they want to, then its only a matter of time before demands for personal freedom and equality start showing up, says Lars Hedegaard.
The story about the Iranian womens Facebook revolution has flewn around the world press since the pages inception in early May, and the movement seems to be gaining momentum from day to day. A sure-fire sign of this is that the Iranian regime is now nervous enough to have launched a smear campaign against My Stealthy Freedoms creator, Iranian-born British journalist Masih Alinejad. She is said to be mentally ill and a prostitute. A while back, Iranian state television broadcast a phony news story claiming that Alinejad in her madness stripped naked in a London street and thereafter raped by three men, with her son witnessing the whole thing. Alinejad quickly rebutted the story on Facebook, publishing a Youtube clip of herself defiantly singing a Persian song in the London tube.
If I were to sing freely in my own country instead of in London, what would you do with me? There are millions of Iranians like me, who love singing and freedom. Do you deny their existence, or rape them in your imagination? Now why dont you also broadcast this video of mine on state television, since youre so adept at running frivolous news and have fixated on me amidst all the news of executions and assaults. Broadcast this, so that people see that Im in good health and high spirits in my perch in exile, Alinejad writes on Facebook.
It is no coincidence that whats going on right now is happening in Iran, opines Lars Hedegaard. Iranian women are generally well educated and very aware of developments in the West.
As you can tell from the photographs and video clips that have been uploaded on the page, the women are now openly challenging the powers that be, at great risk of severe corporal punishment. In the long run, the mullahs will probably not be able to maintain control over the internet, and herein lies the seed to the collapse of Islam, says Hedegaard.
In his book Muhammeds Girls, to be released in Swedish June 27, one can find plenty of horrifying examples of the oppression of women in the muslim world. If the women of Iran manage to free themselves from the mandatory hijab, we may be spared more stories like this one, taken from the book:
Homa was one of Irans most prominent child psychiatrists, with a licence to practice medicine in Iran as well as in the United States. She had created the first clinic in Iran that treated children suffering from hitherto incurable psychiatric illnesses. She was the mother of two ambitious daughters. Homa had fought for the poor and oppressed her entire life. But in the end, she found it impossible to live with the oppression of women practiced in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Witnesses reported that she drove to Tajrish, a suburb of Tehran, where she walked to a square. Several people saw her remove the veil, which she detested. Such an act could result in her being arrested and flogged, but nobody had time to apprehend her. Homa walked through the crowd shouting: Death to the tyranny! Long live freedom! Long live Iran! Some witnesses tried to convince her to put the veil back on. Instead, she took off her long cloak and poured gasoline over herself. When she was sure she was completely soaked in gasoline, she stood up for the last time, repeated her slogans and struck a match.
For one moment, she endured the pain quietly and remained standing. But after a few seconds her head fell back, and she cried out in agony. Unfortunately, some bystanders tried to pour water over Homa, which only resulted in a prolonged death-struggle.
If you wish to support Masih Alinejad and the women of Iran in their struggle for freedom and dignity, you can like their web page here:
And dont forget to buy Lars Hedegaards book here: