Not one to hide his light under a bushel but under an amama, the Muslim headgear that many Americans seem to delight in describing as a ‘raghead’, the Ayatollah Khamenei, supreme ruler of Iran, surfaced today to delight everyone with his not-so-witty observations on the US military proposals for Syria.
“We hope that the new US attitude toward Syria would be a serious policy and not a media campaign. The latest developments, if they can be taken seriously, show that they have stepped back from the inconsiderate and mistaken actions that they had taken in the past few weeks.”
Most of us were more likely wondering about the rather puzzling inactivity of the US with regard to Assad’s chemical weapons, truth be known. The Ayatollah has recently had some bother with media campaigns, hence his dander being slightly up. Headgear is also part of the problem too.
Several hundred Iranian men uploaded images of themselves dressed as women, wearing headscarves and chadors, the flowing robes Iranian women wear, to highlight their anger that university student Majid Tavakoli was arrested having given a speech during the National Students Day protests in Iran.
State media published pictures of him with a headscarf alleging: “This student dressed up as a woman to escape from the university campus.”
It is alleged that these pictures were either photoshopped or that after arresting Majid Tavakoli, they forced him into wearing female clothing to take the picture. He is regarded as the “honour of the student movement” by his peers.
An Iranian photographer took up the banner by asking Iranian men on social media to protest the treatment of Mr Tavakoli by the Iranian security forces. He invited them to post a picture of themselves in women’s clothing and it resulted in over 250 pictures. The spearhead of the spontaneous and peaceful outburst states that the arrest of Majid Tavakoli and the publishing of his picture in hijab (Muslim female covering) is a mode of “straining the student movement and the Green Movement in Iran,” as well as “belittling Iranian women.”
The statement adds: “To prove that we are behind Majid Tavakoli, to prove that there is nothing wrong with female clothing and the only thing that’s wrong is the compulsory wearing of hijab whether it is forced on the women of this country or upon Majid Tavakoli; to show that we are all together, post your picture in hijab!” The result was this:
Majid Tavakoli was arrested after a speech on December 8 during which he directly criticized senior Islamic Republic officials.
State media claim he was dressed in female clothing out of fear of arrest. Majid Tavakoli was also arrested three years ago after a protest rally against the presence of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Amir Kabir University and was imprisoned for 15 months.
Incidentally, if you seek to follow Khamenei on Twitter, you will find there are no less than 14 personas there, but the real Ayatollah is easy to spot: the fakes are harmless and funny.