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Reaction to the Undressing of a Woman at Tehran's Khomeini Airport: "The Turn of the Spouses of the Ayatollahs Will Come"

By Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz Online

In response to an incident at Tehran’s Khomeini airport this week where a woman was undressed on orders of security guards, Mehdi Khazali, the son of a very prominent ayatollah, wrote on his personal website that had this been done to his wife, he would have made “the mothers of perpetrators mourn”, a Persian term implying he would have killed the perpetrators. In his written piece, Mehdi Khazali, the son of hardline Assembly of Experts on Leadership member ayatollah Abolghasem Khazali, strongly criticized clerics and even grand ayatollahs with following (marjae taghlid) for remaining silent over such issues and concluded, “our clergy has been dead for years and people have buried them and their bones have disintegrated.” He also warned that their wives’ turn would also come to experience similar atrocities.

Mehdi Khazali

Mehdi Khazali is a physician and a well-known critic of the Iranian regime who was last arrested in January for his inflammatory comments against the regime and particularly Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration.

The source of Khazali angry reaction and article is a news items that was originally published in Baztab website close to a former Revolutionary Commander. The news report wrote that security agents at Imam Khomeini airport outside Tehran, “undressed a veiled woman,” an action that was extraordinary by all measures. The site reported that Iranian families had contacted it over the unusual and un-Islamic measure of the airport police.

The article in Baztab compared the behavior of the airport police with those of American military officers at Guantanamo prison and wrote, “Such security measures do not take place even under the worst security situations, and fully undressing a person is “considered a torture in detention centers such as Guantanamo.”

The police and the Revolutionary Guards who are responsible for airport security and flights have till today not responded to the incident at the airport.

Writing in his blog, Mehdi Khazali said, “Is human dignity not violated in this catastrophe?” In the piece, he used an incident from Islamic history to say that men who engaged in such activities were not men and quoted the Shii revered leader Imam Ali as having said that people unfortunately remained silent to such events then in order to protect the regime of the time. He went even further and said that the prayers that many said during the fasting month of Ramadan were rejected by Imam Ali. He then expressly addressed the ayatollahs and calling them protectors of the Quran and the nahjol balagha (a sacred Shiite book), and members of the Assembly of Experts (to which his father belongs), and said that the victim woman was their daughter in law, the daughter of a cleric who had a long record of service to the country, a daughter in law who had lived in ayatollah Khomeini’s house and currently worked at the home of current supreme leader.

He then addressed an anonymous ayatollah and said, “We all deserve to die because of this major calamity.” He concluded his piece by saying, “If clerics do not raise their voices over this, I swear a day will come when the daughters and daughter-in laws of senior ayatollahs in this country would be undressed by which time they should not complain.”

In another part of his piece, Khazali wrote that one day their wives’ day would come to face similar atrocities. “If you do not cry out in protest, they will yell at you so loudly that the whole world will wake up. Do not let a time come when people will yell at you. Wake up, enough of misery.”

Khazali also criticized Baztab website and wrote, “What do you mean by saying why did they undress a veiled woman? Do you mean that undressing a non-veiled woman is acceptable? We are talking about human dignity and there is no difference between a veiled and a non-veiled woman. This aggression and violation is condemned.”

While a critic of the regime, Mehdi Khazali was also a close associate of some security offices such as the infamous Saeed Imami, the architect and executioner of the serial murders of dissidents in the Islamic republic in the 1980s. But since the state violence following the 2009 presidential elections, Khazali turned into a harsh critic of the administration and even took public positions against the views of the supreme leader, and some other senior ayatollahs. His actions resulted in his father publicly disowning the dissident.

... Payvand News - 08/06/12 ... --

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