An American-Iranian activist has challenged the Biden administration’s support for Iranian women saying the hijab is not their “culture,” it’s “gender apartheid.”
Journalist and Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad appeared on Fox News to share her opinion of how Western countries could better support the brave Iranian women protesting their oppressive regime. Alinejad has spent her adulthood railing against the Islamic regime that imposes punitive strictures on the country’s women. Her bravery has not come without consequence, however, as the Islamic Republic has attacked her family, forcing her sister to denounce her on state television, arrested her brother, and earlier this year, tried to assassinate Alinejad on American soil.
Now, she’s calling on the Biden administration to do more, not for her, but for her people. Protests have erupted in Iran after the “morality police” allegedly killed 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for wearing her hijab incorrectly.
So far, the American response to the protests in Iran has been tenuous. The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to play Iran on Tuesday in a decisive match in the group stage. Ahead of the match, the U.S.’s Twitter account displayed the group standings with the crest removed from the Iranian flag. This move was a deliberate protest against the Iranian regime, but the image has since been removed and U.S. Men’s coach Gregg Berhalter, who knew nothing of the post beforehand, has apologized for it. It should be noted that several players of the Iranian men’s team have been outspoken supporters of the protests in their home country, including their captain, Ehsan Hajsafi.
“I have to say I’m thankful to the U.S. federation for doing that because that is not the flag of the Iranian people,” Alinejad said in response to the social media post. “It is the Islamic Republic’s flag and… under that flag, people are getting raped. People are getting tortured. People are getting killed, teenagers, children.”
This type of criticism is contradictory to the policies put forth by President Biden. In fact, while the authoritarian regime is murdering protesters, the Biden administration, along with the United Nations, hasn’t given up hopes of a new Iran nuclear deal proving that the only ramification for despotism is an open door.
Alinejad said that years ago when she was asked to speak about the compulsive hijab laws, many in the West diminished her claims of oppression by saying to her,”‘Oh, this is your culture.'” Alinejad implored U.S. authorities and world leaders to recognize and condemn the “gender apartheid” that the Islamic Republic is enforcing.
“I want the U.S. government, I want the leaders of G-7, the democratic countries that when it comes to gender apartheid, this is a bipartisan issue,” she said.”Is it difficult to understand? Imagine every day I go here in the streets and say 7-year-old girl, you’re not allowed to choose what you want to wear. Girls from the age of 7 are not allowed to go to school if they don’t cover their hair. In Afghanistan, girls are not allowed to go to school because they are girls.”
Alinejad’s comments came just hours after the niece of Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, released a video condemning the nation’s government. Farideh Moradkhani has been arrested and placed in jail as a result of her statement. Alinejad said the video could be an “earthquake in Iran” and hoped that it would spur world leaders to isolate Khamenei like “you isolate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
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