With all the silliness and tragedy in the news lets take time to honor raw courage. In Iran this week a woman named Narges Husseini was sentenced to two years in prison for taking off her headcovering in public. Her crime according to the government: “encouraging moral corruption.” Moreover, the government has stated that she is in need of “long-term medical treatment” and a psychiatrist.
Well, someone is delusional here all right. Would it be
a) a woman who doesn’t want to wear a head covering.
b) those who believe that an angel from God came in the 7th century and gave the order that women must cover their hair, along with other ethical guidelines, like men may marry girls as young as nine years old, and rape women they capture in war.
And speaking of corruption, dozens of demonstrations broke out in Iran earlier this year protesting that very thing. Not the “moral” kind (though corruption is always a moral issue, isn’t it?) but the kind involving bribes, kickbacks, cronyism—the usual suspects when it comes to government officials and shady deal-making.
To stand up in public and wave your headcovering on a stick in a country like Iran is an act of tremendous courage. She must have known what would happen to her, and to others who followed her example and now, sadly, she goes to prison.
Then there is Slovakia where investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancée were executed by unknown killers. Kuciak, hot on the trail of corrupt government officials and mafia bosses, must have known the danger, but didn’t let that stop him. He paid the price. Tens of thousands of outraged citizens have taken to the streets, jangling keys as they did when the Iron Curtain fell, demanding an end to corruption and organized crime.
To remind you of where these sorts of street protests can lead, look at Syria 6 years after the first protests against the Assad regime broke out. It takes incredible courage to head for the streets knowing there may be tear gas and bullets waiting for you. It’s an even greater act of bravery to take on the powers-that-be and ruthless murderers as Kuciak did and as his fellow members of the fourth estate are doing now as they follow through on what he started to honor his name and his courage. Let’s hope the government falls and some real change can occur.
And let’s hope that Iranian women and Muslim women succeed in gaining ground in their fight for basic rights in the face of theocrats and fundamentalism
Lest we forget, dear reader, the Bible also orders women to cover their heads when praying (First Corinthians) but how many Christians think that’s important anymore? Some for sure, but others have edited the Bible, essentially saying they don’t believe every verse is an order from the Almighty. Islam take note.