Friday, June 26, 2009
The Stoning of Soraya M. and Trust-Fund Babes
[Manda Zand Ervin]
I saw the movie The Stoning of Soraya M.
, at a private showing in Washington, D.C. and, although I have seen many pictures of the stoning of the women and young girls by the Iranian Islamic regime, I could not believed that the human race is capable of such cruelty. Apparently our words and cries are not strong enough to raise human-rights awareness, but this movie can help our cause. After all, one picture is worth a thousand words.
As the only Iranian woman is the room, I tried hard to suppress my tears. I kept thinking, “This can not be the country I grew up in! Where have these people come from? They can not be the people I lived among!” No wonder all the old Iranian philosophers have looked at the mullahs as evil beings.
I asked the producers why this movie isn’t shown nation-wide — world-wide — to all the people on this planet who turn a blind eye to the barbarism of the Iranian regime. This movie must be shown at the U.S. Congress, at the White House, at the United Nations, and the European Parliament, I insisted. On behalf of Iranian women, I would like to invite all the women politicians to see the real crimes against humanity and the abhorrent injustice against helpless women and young girls.
The Stoning of Soraya M. must be shown at the annual conference of the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women, to which I was a delegate. But, of course, this kind of movie will never be shown because of the politics — UNIFEM is receiving millions of dollars from the Islamic regime every year, paid off to see no evil and hear no evil. The hypocrisy is revolting, the immorality is beneath contempt.
When I got home, I communicated with a woman activist inside Iran about the movie. She said: As barbaric as the act of stoning is, it is the brutal assault against the human dignity of a female person that makes me cry of pain and shame. It is the absolute helplessness that makes me cry out in protest and get arrested again and again.
How can the powerful women on your side of the world be so indifferent towards the women in this globalized world of theirs? How can they think for one minute that their freedom and equality is worth anything as long as there are women living under these conditions? Monir K. is one of the many brave Iranian women who have spent many years of her life battling against the sharia laws that makes the stoning of women and young girls legal.
The trust-fund ladies and their friends in Hollywood go to Iran talk to hand-picked Iranians while their “travel handlers,” who are plain-clothed Revolutionary Guards, assigned by the regime, are watching every move people make and every word they utter to the visitors. The ladies of leisure take publicity photos in the mandatory Islamic robes and head covers and come home to talk about their visit to the “exotic Islamic third world.” Iranian women call them “Cultural Imperialists.”
Cultural Imperialists attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, praising the woman selected by the Islamic regime, but they will not utter one word of support for the real activists, the women who are in prisons, getting tortured and hanged, trying to take back their place among the respected people in the world.
It is a fact that the feminist American culture, the culture of Hollywood, is one of the major issues that Islamists like Khomeini, Bin Laden, Hezbollah, the Muslim brotherhood, and the Taliban have against America and the West. But this culture supports the Islamists by its silence and indifference to the issue of human rights. The Stoning of Soraya M. should have received many academy awards, many Cannes awards, and many movie reviews. It is the least this culture can do for the Iranian women suffering to gain the same human rights that American feminists exploit.
— Manda Zand Ervin is the president of the Alliance of Iranian Women