Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In Iran, female student sued for being sexually abused by teacher

Supporters of various totalitarian ideologies labelled as religions often admit that freedom is positioned low in their societies but this is compensated by putting high other values, such as virtue. In these discussions, "virtue" is usually used in a very narrow sense, related only to the sexual lifestiles of women.
We freedom-loving people of course will claim that freedom is higher than virtue. Moreover, we can argue that their societies cannot achieve (or assess) true virtue, only appearance of virtue, because any whore will emulate a virtuous woman if threatened by the appropriate punishments. After all, the whole concept of virtue implies that you acquire it by free choice.
However, the worst feature of these societies isn't their hypocrisy and even their oppression but the fact that oppression is unevenly distributed. The strong, the powerful, the rich can satisfy their urges even better than members of hedonistic Western societies, and the whole burden and blame for their sins is laid on the weak, the oppressed, the victims.
Last month I wrote a post titled This is too much even for the Mullahs, based on Azarmehr's April 13 post Temporary marriage online. In it, Azarmehr described how the institution of temporary bride (sigheh) invented by the Iranian theocracy serves as a cover for prostitution and even for rape, victimizing vulnerable women and allowing powerful men to get away with everything.
In his Aug. 9 post Only in the Islamic Republic! Azarmehr brings another example of how this institution is used:

"... Vice chancellor of Zanjan University, Hassan Madadi, was caught on camera, by students of Zanjan university, while abusing his position and trying to sexually assault a student girl who was due to appear before the university disciplinary committee.
A brave female student went against all the threats and intimidations of the so-called disciplinary committee and university authorities and refused to give in to their demands and instead helped gather evidence to prove the corruption and abusive action of the university vice-chancellor Hassan Madadi. The vice chancellor's demands for sex was caught on mobile cameras by the students who had been alerted by the female student and who burst into Madadi's office to save her. Tens of thousands of people saw the mobile phone video posted on YouTube showing students seizing him, turning him over to the authorities and demanding that he be charged. (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=01NPJ5McQW4)
The news outraged Zanjan university students and 3,000 took part in protests...
Any where else in the world, the vice chancellor would have faced the most dire punishments and would have probably lost his job and his university career would have ended for good, but not in the Islamic Republic, which presents itself as the flagship of morality to the unaware admirers of itself.
Any where else in the world, the female student and the other students who stood up to the abuses of the vice chancellor, would have been commended...
After the demonstrations ended and the university closed for the summer holidays, the Zanjan prosecutor announced that 'exposing a sin is worse than the sin itself!' and the woman student who dared expose this abusive official was herself arrested and accused of having an unlawful affair. The university Vice Chancellor has now been promoted and there is talk of whether the Sigheh, Shiite temporary marriage where a man can marry a woman for as short as an hour, prayer verses were read or not before the sexual demands were made by the chancellor.
Four of the students who took part in videoing the abuse and rescuing the girl, Payam Shakiba, Hassan Joneydi, Arash Rayeji and now Bahram Vahedi have also been arrested.
Similar events in other Islamic Republic universities of Sahand and Kermanshah have also resulted in the arrest of the students instead of the authorities who were abusing their position..."

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