Friday, October 9, 2009

(Un)Islamic Republic of Iran

The ideological fervor behind the Islamic Republic in Iran seems to be fading, especially since the June 12 elections. While we have always known Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad care more about staying in power than the people in Iran, we are now learning they also are willing to sacrifice the precepts of the Islamic revolution to maintain their rule. As Geneive Abdo argues, recent appointments of ultra hard-liners to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps reveal a growing reliance on the military to keep the Iranian people in check.

This past week, the regime hosted street demonstrations to display the prowess of the police forces. You can see some pictures here (h/t Tehran Bureau). Policewomen, garbed in veils to ensure modesty, break concrete slabs over their stomachs and ninja-chop stacks of wood. Most interestingly, the women are shown publicly touching men as they spar each other. Keep in mind, Iranian women can find themselves in trouble for letting a mere lock of hair fall carelessly from underneath their veil. So for the government to not only permit but to host demonstrations where women are in physical contact with men is truly amazing. It is one trivial but telling example of how militarism - and not revolutionary Islam - now upholds the Iranian regime.

As a side note, it is not uncommon for once ideologically driven regimes to forgo their founding principles in order to stay in power. Communist China is a good example (in some senses, they are now more capitalist than we are). And just last month, North Korea amended its constitution to formally expunge "Communism" from the text and declare Kim-Jong Il its official "Supreme Leader."

1 comment:

macheesemo7 said...

dragon kicking hijabbed women in the face?! im sorry but this regime has my interest.

Post a Comment