Iran’s Supreme Leader, Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei has claimed that gender equality is a “Zionist plot” which aims at only corrupting the role of women in society.
Khamenei told during a meeting of religious speakers that Iranians should resist feminist ideas but rather should hold Fatimah, daughter of Prophet Muhammad as their ideal.
Making women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most likely among Zionist plots aiming to destroy the societySayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei, according to a translation on his official website
“Today, Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the corruption which it has brought about,” he added.
According to Khamenei men and women are equal in the “ascendance of spiritual positions, the power of leadership, and the capability to lead humankind,” but that some tasks for women “collapse and humiliate” clashing with their primary roles as housewives and mothers.
Khamenei “expressed hope that views of those who raised similar (gender equality) issues inside Iran were not based on the Western misconception,” reported government-controlled Mehr news agency.
Like all Muslim nations, Iranian women are heavily restricted in their personal and public lives, which also include state-enforced dress codes, curbs on higher education courses, jobs and sporting activities open to them, and freedom of movement which requires a husband’s signature to leave the country.
Many have been rallying round movements like My Stealthy Freedom, which combats the compulsory hijab, but women found to have broken “morality” laws have been arrested and forced into public apologies.
Among the women arrested are also women detained for breaking fatwa issued by Khamenei to ban women cycling in public — claiming it “attracts the attention of men and…contravenes women’s chastity” — as well as others arrested for posting “vulgar” photos without headscarves on Instagram.
Iranian religious leaders frequently cast pushes toward gender equality as part of a conspiracy by the West or enemy “Zionists” in Israel.
Earlier this month, Khamenei issued a speech warning that “cultural attacks by the enemy are more dangerous than military attacks,” hitting out at human rights groups and think tanks.
Urging Iranians to resist using their “cultural wealth,” he called for renewed holy war, adding: “What is cultural wealth? For example, willingness for and belief in jihad is an example of cultural wealth.”