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Posts Tagged ‘ hijab ’

  • 11 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 3 Comments
  • Events in Iran

Why are these men wearing hijabs?

From the Free Majid Tavakoli Facebook Page

You might have seen pictures such as this, of a man wearing a hijab and dressed like a woman, don’t let them fool you, they are not among the many who make Iran the second largest country of transsexuals; rather, they are campaigning for the release of Majid Tavakoli.

Tavakoli was arrested on Students Day, Dec. 7, after giving an impassioned speech during a protest at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University. After his arrest, according to Radio Free Europe,

The semi-official Fars news agency posted pictures of Tavakoli dressed as a woman after he reportedly tried to escape by disguising himself. Fars paired a picture of Tavakoli with one of Abol Hassan Bani Sadr, Iran’s first president after the 1979 revolution, who reportedly escaped in 1981 disguised as a woman.*

The government has spread the picture of him dressed like a woman to shame him, but it backfired as he has become another accidental hero and rallying point for the protesters.

In a rapid response to his arrest, The Free Majid Tavakoli Facebook Page was created and notes his last Facebook updates,

‘Only two more days [to Monday’s demonstrations]. I have spent ten exhausting days on the road with more than 100 hours of driving and now I have to leave for Tehran.
… I welcome and accept all the dangers, standing next to my friends with whom I am honored and proud to be on 16 Azar shoulder to shoulder we will shout against tyranny. For Freedom.’

In solidarity with Tavakoli, hundreds of men around the world and in Iran have donned the hijab for his release. You can also see a video of them here.

Tavakoli is one of the hundreds of thousands who protested on Monday despite the risks, and he was one of the more than a hundred who were arrested that same day. Despite the censorship, arrests, killings, and torture, the perseverance and continued ingenuity demonstrated by the Iranian protesters is undeniable and they proved once again, that this movement is a marathon, not a race.

*Update: A protester in Iran clarified that Tavakoli did not dress as a woman when he tried to escape, in fact the details of his attempted escape is not clear, rather, the government dressed him as a woman solely to shame him.

  • 4 March 2009
  • Posted By Sahar Jooshani
  • 1 Comments
  • Civil Rights Legislation, Culture, Iranian American Life

Civil rights in jeopardy in Oklahoma

oklahoma-flag1Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could only see the events taking place in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

On March 2nd, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation (H.B. 1645) that would “strictly prohibit” individuals from wearing “head scarves” and “head garments” in driver’s license photographs. Members of the House voted 88-8 in favor of the measure.

The Tulsa World, an Oklahoman media outlet, reported that the legislation was introduced by Oklahoma Republican Rep. Rex Duncan in light of the Norman Department of Motor Vehicles allowing Monique Barrett, a Muslim woman, to take her driver’s license photo while wearing a hijab.

In the past Rep. Duncan has made headlines by refusing to accept a copy of the Quran as a gift from the Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council. When asked for comment, Rep. Duncan was quoted as saying “Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology….I know that not all Muslims are terrorists, but I don’t know of another religion or ideology that employs terrorism and the threat of terrorism.’’

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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