Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Getting Worse for Iranian Women

It is no secret, to those who actually want to know, that Iran's Waning Human Rights disproportionately effect females. Ignoring oppression doesn’t make it go away.

Shrinking Rights in Iran: According to Human Rights Watch, Iran’s judiciary, which instigated the crackdown, is using national security laws to rein in Iran’s “burgeoning” women’s rights movement.

The problem, of course, is not limited to hemlines or haircuts. Human rights have steadily eroded across the board under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Disappearances and deaths by stoning are now common, according to the State Department, as are extrajudicial killings, restrictions on civil liberties, and “violence by vigilante groups with ties to the government.”

With talk of more normalized bilateral relations in the air, some reformists democracy activists remain skeptical Tehran would ever want to end its diplomatic isolation. “This would reduce state domination of an economy that is crippled by corruption and negligence, and loosen control of societal and political life by state institutions such as the Revolutionary Guards and their allies,” writes Iranian author Nasrin Alavi.

In this regard it is refreshing to see someone in the West actually articulate the fact that medieval mindsets are not welcome within our borders.

Nicolas Sarkozy: I respect all cultures throughout the world, but so that it is quite clear: if I am elected President of the Republic, I will not accept women being treated as inferior to men. The French Republic holds these values: respect for women, equality between men and women. Nobody has the right to hold a prisoner, even within his own family. I say it clearly, that polygamy is prohibited in the territory of the French Republic. I will fight against female genital mutilation and those who do not wish to understand that the values of the French Republic include freedom for women, the dignity of women, respect for women -- they do not have any reason to be in France. If our laws are not respected and if one does not wish to understand our values, if one does not wish to learn French, then one does not have any reason to be on French territory.

I’m sure Nancy Pelosi said words to this effect to Bashar al-Assad and I’m sure she will go to any mosque in America and affirm the same. Yes, I’m positive Pelosi believes people who don’t share French values should stay out of France.

AEI: Past practice shows that a strategy of speaking softly and waving a big carrot does not work with Iran. Tehran has become conditioned to expect reward for non-compliance. It is time we end that cycle.

Hey – where is Tammy Baldwin on this issue?