Halo, Halo & Tiny Tips

Halo, Halo

Richard Dawkins says, ‘I’m phobic’. Apparently the things that trigger his phobia are women being whipped for the crime of being raped, or for being out with a male friend; stoned to death for adultery; subjected to genital mutilation; forced to cover their hair and faces, leaving only a slit for the eyes, and compelled to stay indoors, while boys roam free (whyevolutionistrue.com 10 August).

The Iranian Tehran Times strap-line is ‘Straight Truth’. On 30 July an article, written by a female, was published under the headline, ‘No other religion defends rights of women as much as Islam’. This is not believed to be a parody on the part of the writer or the publisher.

The Guardian (13 September) has ‘Women in Iran face up to 10 years in prison if they continue to defy the country’s mandatory hijab law, under harsher laws awaiting approval by authorities. Even businesses that serve women without a hijab face being shut down.’

‘The stricter dress code, which amounts to gender apartheid’, UN experts said, comes one year after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been arrested for wearing the Islamic headscarf incorrectly and then beaten to death by police, which led to the largest wave of popular unrest for years in Iran.’

‘A new sculpture, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, has been designed to celebrate women who wear hijabs. The artwork, called Strength of the Hijab’ – was Strength through Joy considered, do you think? – ‘will be installed in the Smethwick area of the West Midlands in October. It is believed to be the first sculpture of a woman wearing the traditional Muslim head covering. The sculpture is five metres (16 ft) tall and weighs about a tonne’.

Can you calculate the weight of oppression women face every day? (BBC News 19 September)

In a Newsweek interview, (20 September) Jamileh Alamolhoda, wife of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, said: ‘Men in Iran prefer not to ask their spouses to work or bring money home. Women are regarded as persons sharing love with men in the position of mother, spouse or daughter…

You might find it very exciting and interesting that women in Iran have not fought for their rights because ‘they already enjoy their rights.’ All said straight-faced!

Middle East Eye (29 September) reports that, ‘At the beginning of the new academic year, Iran’s health ministry told medical students they were banned from having curly hair and wearing bracelets. Female medical students not complying with the Islamic hijab law can find themselves downgraded. They should not wear false eyelashes, have nail extensions, tuck their trousers into boots or wear lace socks. Also banned are visible tattoos and piercings.’

Prohibited as well: ‘clothes with printed images of women, love sentences, swearing, comic and meaningless pictures, anti-religious symbols, logos of rap, and heavy metal bands.’

In early November the Islamic Republic of Iran takes over the Chair of the UN Human Rights Council Social Forum.


Tiny tips

Princess Diana’s sweater featuring a black sheep among rows of white ones has sold for $1.14 million (£920,000) at an auction by Sotheby’s in New York. (tinyurl.com/398cssps)

Over 330 million children worldwide living in extreme poverty. (tinyurl.com/5xxyysyr)

Iranian women face 10 years in jail for inappropriate dress after ‘hijab bill’ approved. (tinyurl.com/bdhy6c52)

Six out of 10 young South Africans are jobless and more than half of the country’s 60 million residents live in poverty, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, South Africa’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world, with around 25,000 victims per year. Since Apartheid, more than half a million people have met a violent death…’We live in the most unequal society in the world, and the divides are growing wider and wider’ says Notywala. ’It has become even more unequal since the ANC has been in power. Liberators? Don’t make me laugh!’ . (tinyurl.com/mr2mbff8)

A Kurdish-dominated militia moved to solidify its control over resource-rich parts of eastern Syria on Thursday after suppressing an Arab tribal insurgency with US support. Fighting in the area has diminished after the Syrian Democratic Forces on Wednesday entered the Diban stronghold of a tribal leader who had challenged Kurdish control of the east without resistance. The centre of Syria’s oil and wheat production lie in the region. (tinyurl.com/ra2jxv37)

Almost nine out of every ten Ukrainian draftees who enlisted in the army a year ago have either been killed or injured in combat, Ukrainian media reported on Friday citing a senior conscription officer in the Poltava Region. (tinyurl.com/yc3zbhyw)

Zelensky also said in the interview, published on September 10, that anyone who is not supporting Ukraine is with Russia. ‘If you are not with Ukraine, you are with Russia, and if you are not with Russia, you are with Ukraine. And if partners do not help us, it means they will help Russia to win. That is it,’ he said. (tinyurl.com/5cr9yven)

The TUC, writes Fred Leplat, has voted overwhelmingly to back Ukraine’s right to self-defence against Russia’s invasion…’No peace deal should be imposed on Ukraine. As long as the Ukrainians are prepared to fight, we should be in solidarity with them’. (tinyurl.com/ydcrtkap)

Equality of opportunity is a phrase commonly used by our politicians, even for those too scared to talk about equality more generally. Yet for decades we’ve been moving in the wrong direction. A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that where you are born in the UK, and the income and wealth of your family, now matter more than ever in defining life outcomes, with social mobility at its worst in more than 50 years. (tinyurl.com/4vjrtkct)

Last year, the CEOs of the Big Three automakers received staggering pay packages, fuelling workers’ ongoing push for better wages and benefits. Ford’s Jim Farley took home around $21 million, Stellantis’ Carlos Tavares pocketed nearly $25 million and General Motors’ Mary Barra — the highest-paid of the group—brought in roughly $29 million. (tinyurl.com/y6s4fhup)

Next article: Material World – Insurance: a branch of the betting industry ➤

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