By Souad Sbai
#WhiteWdays, that is, the new protest initiative launched by Iranian women against the mandatory veil. Every Wednesday, thousands of women from all over the country meet on Facebook to share photos and videos where they appear dressed in white and with the head uncovered, without wearing that black bag imposed by the Khomeinist regime that completely hides women.
The founder of the movement, Masih Alinejad, also created the @Mystealthyfreedom campaign and had to flee to the United States to avoid the fate lived by her fellow activist Nasrin Sotoudeh, sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 frustrated due to her battle against the mandatory veil. However, intimidation, arrests and torture have not persuaded Iranian women to stop the protest, that in the meantime has acquired an international character. On Wednesday, April 17, hundreds of young women from all over the world crowded the stretch of the road in front of the Iranian embassy in London, dressed in white and with the head uncovered, joined to shout #FreeNasrin.
The veil is a decisive issue for the survival of the Khomeinist regime; removing it from compulsory means demolishing the fundamental pillar that has supported the Islamic Republic of Iran for 40 years: women’s submission. For this reason, the Supreme Guide, Ali Khamenei, does not intend to soften the intransigence that has characterized him so far.
It is a real war against women’s rights, in line with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which the Khomeinist regime is the Shiite version. For this reason, Khamenei is in full harmony with the leader of the Brotherhood worldwide: Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, to whom Qatar has made Al Jazeera available with the aim of spreading the extremist message, with the blessing of Erdogan’s Turkey “The hijab – stated Al Qaradawi – is not the result of the opinion of jurists nor Muslims: it is a Koranic order”.
On the other hand, the fact that the hijab is not obligatory in Islam has already been explained repeatedly by Muslim scholars and religious leaders, based on the Koran. Among the most recent, it is important to remember the figure of Sheikh Mustapha Rashid, professor of sharia at the University of Al Azhar in Egypt, the maximum point of reference for Sunni Islam.
Because of having demonstrated, Koran in hand, that in the main sacred text of Islam there are no verses that establish the mandatory nature of the veil, Sheikh Rashid received numerous death threats and was attacked fiercely by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, braver that never during t Mohamed Morsi’s presidency. But Sheikh Rashid does not lacks courage and has challenged the ideological regime that the Brotherhood intended to impose in Egypt and in the rest of the Middle East, declaring that praying with Morsi was a gesture contrary to Islam since he was accused of murder and high treason.
It cost the excommunication via fatwa of a Sheikh of the Brotherhood, Abdel Fattah Idriss, on behalf of a large group of Sheikhs affiliated with the organization. However, none of them has been able to present arguments to invalidate the fatwa issued by Sheikh Rashid, which establishes the non-mandatory nature of wearing the veil for women.
These alleged experts in Koranic sciences, explains Sheikh Rashid in an interview, decontextualize the verses in which the Arabic term hijab is mentioned (block, wall, impediment) to give it the meaning that best suits their ideological point of view; applying this criterion also to other concepts, such as that of jihad. This is how Islam is politicized by the Muslim Brotherhood, at the service of extremism that generates terrorism.
The veil, therefore, has no religious value; it is a cultural and social heritage, linked to the customs and traditions of ancient times that the evolution of time and history has already caused to fall in the West and in other areas of the world. On the other hand, in the Arab and Muslim world, a battle is underway between those who fight against the religious exploitation of the veil and the Muslim Brotherhood that continue to attribute a sacred religious character to the veil so that it remains where it is to keep women in a position of submission, following the typical ideology of the Brotherhood well embodied as a state by the Iranian Khomeinist regime.
Al Azhar officially disassociated itself from Sheikh Rashid’s fatwa at the time of its release in 2014, when the pressure of the Muslim Brotherhood was at its highest peak, also conditioning the pronouncement of one of the main Islamic religious authorities. But the wind has changed direction and important steps towards the full recognition of women’s rights have been made by the current Imam of Al Azhar, Sheik Ahmed Al Tayeb, who has recently expressed himself critically about polygamy and in favor of the policies that pay tribute to women’s central role in society, following the line marked by the document on the Human Fraternity signed in Abu Dhabi with Pope Francis.
Thus, in one part of the Arab and Muslim world, women’s rights are advancing by leaps and bounds, while on the red line of jihad that unites Doha, Istanbul and Tehran, women’s rights recede and continue to be fiercely fought.
La Voce del Patriota