Posts Tagged ‘iran’

People spoke of their experiences of travelling in Iran (formerly Persia) after Helen Tait told of her 24 day trip there in 2019.

Iran’s population has more than twice the density of Aotearoa, and there is an overwhelming tradition of hospitality. Before the coup that deposed the Shah in 1979 there was a great deal of discontent and resentment as his regime was seen to be brutal and corrupt. Different groups had different ideas as to what the change should be and eventually the Muslim religion was chosen as a focal point. However increasing religious observance led to the disenchantment of many. In 2020 the GAMAAN survey showed that 72% were opposed to the mandatory wearing of the hijab, which has led to recent violent protests.

In 2019 Helen observed only casual use of the hijab by young women. The society appeared to be loosening up and moving away from strict control. Consequently she was stunned to learn of the recent repression which represents a small minority ruling a well-informed larger group.

A women who visited Iran in 1977 said she saw no hijabs then in Tehran, which appeared very free and Americanized with quality restaurants, although the situation was different in Isfahan.

The question was asked how such a small minority of religious clerics have managed to maintain and increase their authority and it was pointed out that it requires only 5% of a population to be convinced and willing to use arms to enforce an idea for it to happen.

We heard that an increasing percentage (8% in the Gamaan survey) of the population now identify as Zoroastrian as they see that religion as being patriotic and specifically Persian.

In recent days it has been distressing to learn that students in girls’ schools have been poisoned in what may be an effort to further limit female education.

A Persian woman sans hijab
may be ill-treated for her garb

A souvenir from Persia

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