Iranian womens anti chador revolt sends the left back to

“Iranian women’s anti chador revolt sends the left back to an issue that continues to fracture them”

A popular uprising against oppression, heroic women at the forefront of equality, a shattered dictatorship: the revolt of Iranian society since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini on September 16 in Tehran after his arrest by the vice squad has made many of the values ​​that the left has carried throughout its history. Logically, the parades with the cry of “Woman, Life, Freedom,” the incredible spectacle of Iranian women tearing off their headscarves and burning them in bonfires, should have sparked massive marches of support and enthusiastic solidarity actions.

Read the story: Article reserved for our subscribers Anger is growing in Iran after the death of Mahsa Amini, who has become a symbol of the regime’s brutality

Of course, feminist movements and left-wing elected officials took part in rallies, issued press releases in support. The Socialist Party “praised the courage of Iranian women” and La France insoumise (LFI) hailed “a civil revolution by Iranian youth”. But the demonstrations came too late, little followed, and the comments were limited to generalities. As if the “rebels” and the Greens, who are enmeshed in their business of mixing violence against women and leadership struggles, have little energy to devote themselves to a major international event.

In reality, the Iranian women’s anti-chador revolt is sending the left back to an issue that has rattled it continuously since 1989, the year of Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the expulsion of veiled students from a college in China, according to Kreil. Is the Islamic headscarf a clothing accessory whose meaning is strictly left to free individual interpretation, or is it a vector of political power? The first answer is in the majority within the left, united in the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes).

instrument of political repression

“If you decide how women should dress, you can’t get away with it,” Jean-Luc Mélenchon affirmed on C8 in February, referring to the headscarf “of good Catholic grandmothers” that “wasn’t a problem”. . A position that should be brought closer to the 69% of the votes cast by Muslim voters, according to an IFOP study collected by the LFI leader in the first round of the presidential elections in April. Sandrine Rousseau (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) said in an interview on LCP in late 2021 that she was “desperate[er] that women’s bodies and the way they dress their bodies are still an issue.” She asserts that “the women who wear veils are not political Islam,” she believes that some “wear veiled women [le voile pour des raisons] which are only an embellishment”.

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