Símbolos religiosos

A memorial for Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old Iranian woman who died after Iran’s morality police detained her for wearing her hijab in an “improper” way. Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

Growing up in southern Iran and Southern California, I had the pleasure of having a father who loved to tell stories about his childhood in Iran. Most of his stories were funny, but there was one that always brought him to the brink of tears.

Of course, he never cried; he always changed the subject right at the breaking point. It was the story of his oldest sister, Sedigeh, the smartest sibling in their large family. Because she was a girl, she was married at 16, which was not unusual for Iranian society in the 1930s. Despite her intellectual curiosity, she never had a chance to finish school.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iranian demonstrators taking to the streets of the capital Tehran during a protest for Mahsa Amini on Sept. 21, days after she died in police custody. (AFP/Getty Images)

A new popular uprising is taking place in Iran, and this time women are in the lead. It’s incredibly inspiring to see — for the first time I can remember — unveiled women marching at the front. They have overcome fear and are challenging one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic of Iran: compulsory hijab.

These women are marching shoulder to shoulder with men, chanting against the whole regime. They are facing guns and bullets and demanding an end to a system of gender apartheid.

Mahsa Amini was only 22 years old. She wasn’t uncovered; only a few strands of her hair showed.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The killing of Mahsa Amini has sparked widespread anger.’ Police and protesters clash in Tehran following the death of Amini. Photograph: EPA

Woman, life, freedom. These are the words being used repeatedly in Iranian social media posts and carried on banners in the current demonstrations across the country. Three words that may have been a poetic combination in any other context, but not for the women who pay the price of their freedom with their lives. The death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, after being detained by the morality police for her “improper hijab” has sparked widespread anger, leading to the deaths of at least 41 others.

The collective fury pouring out on to the streets is a result of decades of oppression against women in Iran.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Iranian regime’s brutal killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — who was reportedly brutally beaten after she was detained for showing too much hair — has triggered nationwide protests, led by the nation’s granddaughters against the grandfathers who have ruled their country for over four decades.

It’s premature to assess whether these protests will meaningfully change Iran’s politics, or whether they are simply another crack in the edifice of a rotting regime whose lone source of diversity is whether the beards and turbans of its ruling men are black or white. Yet one conclusion can already be drawn: Amini’s killing, and Iranian society’s response to it, should permanently alter how the outside world interacts with Iranian officials.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mahsa Amini is dead because she let the world see a few locks of her hair. She was 22-years-old, beautiful, and full of hope and promise. She died in the custody of Iran's morality police. She was neither the first, nor will she be the last.

Iranian officials claim she died after suffering a "heart attack" and falling into a coma (she was detained for allegedly breaking rules on wearing the hijab). But Amini's family -- and demonstrators across the country -- aren't buying it. Watching dramatic images of protesters burning their hijabs, cutting their hair and violent confrontations with security forces, shows how little has changed since my own teenage years at the hands of police and Revolutionary Guard brutality.…  Seguir leyendo »

Iranians march during a pro-hijab rally in the capital, Tehran, on Sept. 23. STR/AFP via Getty Images

The latest round of mass protests in Iran erupted over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman. She  died on Sept. 16 at the hands of the so-called morality police for allegedly violating Iran’s rules on mandatory veiling in public.

Amini’s tragic death is yet another reminder of how the Islamist rulers in Tehran remain tone-deaf to the demands of the Iranian people. Opposition to mandatory wearing of the veil, or hijab, is one in a long list of public grievances.

The violence that led to Amini’s death was not accidental. It is part and parcel of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s attitude toward any political dissent.…  Seguir leyendo »

La discriminación en el deporte no ha sido una mera anécdota. A pesar de que los valores éticos y humanistas son consustanciales a la práctica deportiva, no han faltado episodios de discriminación hacia jugadores y atletas en estadios y competiciones.

Si bien durante algún tiempo se volvió la mirada hacia otro lado, hoy este tipo de comportamientos se consideran inaceptables. No sólo se debe a una nueva mentalidad de la sociedad. También a que el mundo del deporte se ha ido comprometiendo con el respeto a los derechos humanos.

Las organizaciones deportivas se mostraron inicialmente reacias a admitir la vigencia de los derechos humanos en su ámbito.…  Seguir leyendo »

French lawmakers last month voted to ban women and girls from wearing hijab while playing sports -- showing the world once again that when it comes to further politicizing, targeting and policing European Muslim women, our clothing choices and bodies, France is in a league of its own.

The French Senate voted 160 to 143 in favor of the ban on wearing the hijab and other "conspicuous religious symbols" in sports competitions. The amendment was proposed by the right-wing Les Républicains, which argued the hijab could risk the safety of athletes wearing it while playing sports.

You really couldn't make this up.…  Seguir leyendo »

La libertad dentro del velo

La más reciente controversia sobre el hiyab, el pañuelo que usan las mujeres musulmanas, estalló a finales de octubre. Irónicamente, el detonante fue una campaña contra la discriminación lanzada por el Consejo de Europa.

El Consejo publicó en sus redes sociales un breve video compuesto por una serie de imágenes divididas por la mitad. Un lado de la imagen muestra a una mujer con un hiyab, y el otro muestra a la misma mujer sin cubrirse la cabeza. Al final del video, aparece el texto “La belleza está en la diversidad, de la misma forma que la libertad está en el hiyab”, y a continuación se muestran los hashtags #celebratediversity y #JOYinHIJAB.…  Seguir leyendo »

El soldado José Franco desembarcó en el puerto francés de Cherburgo el 15 de septiembre de 1944, tres meses después del Día D. Allí estuvo un mes de entrenamiento hasta que su unidad, la 44.ª División de infantería norteamericana, se incorporó al VII Ejército aliado en su ofensiva hacia el macizo de los Vosgos. A mediados de noviembre, la 44.ª División avanzó hacia Estrasburgo, ciudad que liberó el día 23.

Fue en ese avance, el día 17 de noviembre, cuando Franco cayó en combate. A aquel soldado de Texas, originario de El Paso, le faltaban tres meses para cumplir los 22 años.…  Seguir leyendo »

Quand un symbole du sexisme religieux devient un droit fondamental

La Loi québécoise sur la laïcité de l’État (loi 21) a été validée en bonne partie par le jugement de la Cour supérieure du Québec, au grand soulagement de ses défenseurs craignant son invalidation par le Tribunal. Toutefois, le contenu de ce jugement est décevant à maints égards.

Dès le début du procès, il était clair que le juge Marc-André Blanchard penchait en faveur des contestataires de la loi. Dans son jugement de 240 pages, il adopte leurs arguments voulant que cette loi porterait atteinte aux droits fondamentaux des minorités, particulièrement ceux des femmes musulmanes. La loi n’a donc été validée que grâce à la disposition de dérogation, renouvelable tous les cinq ans, ce qui rend son avenir précaire.…  Seguir leyendo »

Retrato de una mujer argelina.Marc Garanger

En 1958, en medio de una guerra en Argelia que había empezado cuatro años antes, algunas mujeres, entre ellas las esposas de dos generales, ponen en marcha el Movimiento de Solidaridad Femenina y organizan presentaciones públicas en varias ciudades grandes del país.

Son unos actos extraños en los que participan militares y personalidades importantes. Unas mujeres cubiertas con velo, reclutadas durante semanas, llegan casi con fanfarria y, en medio de largos discursos sobre la importancia de la emancipación, queman sus velos en la plaza pública. Hay fotógrafos y periodistas para inmortalizar aquello, mientras los militares vigilan.

Las mujeres de los generales y los altos dignatarios, con sus collares de perlas, sus peinados perfectos y sus bonitos vestidos, exhiben grandes sonrisas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Women hold signs reading "Don't touch my headscarf" as they demonstrate Oct. 19, 2019, on the Place de la Republique in Paris. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

“France, the world is watching”, Muslim American Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) posted on Instagram recently, with a video of herself wearing her religious head covering along with the viral hashtag #handsoffmyhijab. The hashtag, created by American Muslim women to support their French counterparts, spawned millions of videos on TikTok after France’s senate voted to ban children under the age of 18 and mothers who accompanied them on school trips from wearing the hijab, and to ban burkinis at swimming pools.

This global movement came in stark contrast to the silence of prominent French voices, who have said little about the new provisions that are part of a law designed to fight the “separatism” that is supposedly threatening France.…  Seguir leyendo »

De la democracia directa que gobernaba Atenas hace veinticinco siglos, solo queda Suiza. En el cantón de St. Gallen, los ciudadanos todavía se reúnen una vez al año en una gran explanada, como el ágora griega, para fijar la cuantía de los impuestos y, hasta hace pocos años, para excluir a las mujeres de la política. Esta democracia directa, que ya no se practica tanto, se manifiesta ahora en las urnas mediante referendos de iniciativa popular sobre todos los temas de la sociedad. Así, el pasado domingo, por iniciativa del partido Unión Democrática del Centro (UDC), cuyo activo comercial es el rechazo a los impuestos y a los extranjeros, los votantes prohibieron, con el 51 por ciento de los votos, «ocultar el rostro en los lugares públicos».…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman in London in March 2017. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images)

On March 7, Switzerland will hold a referendum to decide whether to ban full facial coverings such as burqas and niqabs. Polls show that more than 60 percent of Swiss voters favor the burqa ban. Although the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen and Ticino already have a ban on full face coverings following regional votes, the Swiss government has recommended voters reject the federal proposal, saying a nationwide constitutional ban would “undermine the sovereignty of the cantons, damage tourism and be unhelpful for certain groups of women”.

Those “certain groups of women” are Muslim women.

It is ironic that the vote will take place on the eve of International Women’s Day on March 8, which strives for a gender-equal world.…  Seguir leyendo »

A medida que pasan los años, las polémicas ligadas al velo islámico han agravado de forma insidiosa las divisiones políticas. Hace unas semanas, el caso normal y corriente de una madre con velo en una excursión escolar volvió a provocar el debate sobre la situación de las personas acompañantes. ¿Se las debe tratar como servidores públicos, representantes del Estado? Una pregunta que se plantea desde hace más de 10 años y a la que, como con todo lo relacionado con el velo, solo se le da respuesta a través de las leyes. Ese es el problema. Pensamos que erigir un muro de leyes va a servir para frenar los avances del islamismo radical.…  Seguir leyendo »

La importancia de un trozo de tela

Cuando era pequeña solía observar con fascinación a mi abuela cuando se vestía: desplegaba un trozo de tela larguísimo que se enrollaba alrededor de la cintura, se lo pasaba por la espalda y lo deslizaba hasta el pecho para sujetarlo con un par de fíbulas de plata. En cuanto al cabello, lo recogía en trenzas brillantes de aceite de oliva y en lo alto de la cabeza se ataba una pañoleta en la que luego colgaba las trenzas. Mi abuela iba tatuada desde la barbilla hasta el pecho, llevaba grandes brazaletes de plata y un fajín de lana rojo oscuro. Quedaban aún, a mediados de los años ochenta del siglo pasado, mujeres que vestían como ella, “a la antigua”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Acaba de entrar en vigor en Holanda una legislación «anti-burka», siguiendo una moda reciente en algunos otros países europeos. La prohibición no es tan amplia como en Francia o Bélgica, donde se castiga el uso del burka hasta en la calle, pero sí se extiende a una cantidad importante de lugares públicos, que incluyen escuelas, hospitales, edificios estatales y medios de transporte. Como en otros países, la intención de la ley se oculta mediante una redacción «neutra» que se refiere genéricamente a la ocultación de la cara; aunque no es ningún secreto que el verdadero objetivo consiste en desterrar del espacio público la presencia del velo integral islámico, en especial el burka y el niqab (este último deja visibles los ojos).…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman standing on a telecommunications box on a Tehran street holds a hijab on a stick to protest against the country’s compulsory hijab rules in December 2017. (Salampix/Abaca/Sipa USA via AP)

About two weeks ago, I received a gruesome death threat from Hamid Reza Ahmadabadi, one of the more prominent figures of the Basij — Iran’s much-dreaded paramilitary arm. In his message, he said I’d be butchered because I had been insulting the sanctity of Iran’s revolutionary and Islamic values. He warned that one of his agents in the United States would cut out my tongue and slash my breasts before killing me. I was to be “slaughtered” in the same manner that former opposition leaders had been murdered abroad in the 1990s.

In a later interview with the BBC Persian service, he reiterated the same threats, making references to the assassination of Shahpour Bakhtiar, the shah’s last prime minister, and Fereydoun Farrokhzad, a dissident artist who was murdered in Germany.…  Seguir leyendo »

A young Iranian woman waves a white headscarf in protest of her country’s compulsory hijab rule.

On Dec. 27, Vida Movahed stood bareheaded on a utility box on one of Tehran’s busiest thoroughfares, waving her white head scarf on a stick. Within days, images of the 31-year-old, who was detained and then released a few weeks later, had become an iconic symbol.

In the weeks since Ms. Movahed’s peaceful protest of the compulsory hijab, long one of the most visible symbols of the Islamic Republic, dozens of women, and even some men, throughout Iran have followed her lead. So far, at least 29 women in cities throughout the country have been arrested.

These bold acts of defiance against the hijab are unprecedented in the nearly 40-year history of the Islamic Republic, but a movement that may have helped inspire them has been going on for years.…  Seguir leyendo »