In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 19, 2009 / 29 Menachem-Av 5769

Chadors in the Cabinet can't cloak Iran's misogyny

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Sunday that for the first time since the 1979 revolution, women will be named to the Iranian cabinet, a development the news media promptly described as a bid "to soften his hardline image" and to "mollify the opposition … while currying favor with women." Some people will believe anything, so presumably somebody somewhere is taking at face value Ahmadinejad's claim that from now on things are going to be different in Iran. "We have entered a new era," he said on state television. "Conditions changed completely and the government will see major changes."

It would be pretty to think so. But meaningful change to Iran's theocratic government will not be coming from Ahmadinejad or the cutthroat mullahs he answers to. His first female cabinet choices — Fatemeh Ajorlou for the social welfare ministry and Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi for the health ministry - are as hardcore as the men already in power in Tehran. According to Massoumeh Torfeh, an Iran specialist at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, both nominees are supporters of "draconian changes to family laws" that would further diminish the rights of women in cases of divorce and child custody. Ajorlou, moreover, is "a notorious advocate of punishment of women who ignore the dress code" and "was influential in setting up the Basij Sisters militia, which has been involved in brutal attacks and arrests of women's rights activists."

If this is the regime's strategy for "currying favor with women," what would a strategy for alienating them look like?

Islamist power in Iran, like Islamist power everywhere else, has been a disaster for women: That is the blunt truth that no public-relations maneuvering can disguise. It has been less than two months since 26-year-old Neda Agha Soltan was cut down, reportedly by a Basij gunman, during the post-election protests in June - protests that brought tens of thousands of women opposed to Ahmadinejad's presidency into the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities. Neda — whose graphic murder, captured on video, was viewed by millions around the world — is a far more potent symbol of what Islamist rule means for women than the chador-clad hardliners being named to the Iranian cabinet.

The misogyny of radical Islam is not a peripheral distortion, but a key element of the society Islamists aim to create. The Iranian-born journalist Amir Taheri recalls that one of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's last sermons dealt with "three threats" confronting Islam: America, Jews, and women. Women organized the first mass demonstration against the new Khomeini regime in 1979, Taheri writes. In the years that followed, "the authorities imprisoned hundreds of thousands of women … and executed thousands."

By now, 30 years into the Khomeinist theocracy, a voluminous literature documents the repression of women under the mullahs. Some of it is matter-of-fact and impassive, such as the 2006 United Nations report finding that "violence against women in the Islamic Republic of Iran is ingrained" and that many Iranian women "feel compelled to tolerate violence inflicted not only by their husbands but also by other family members, for fear of shame, of being ostracized, or of being divorced, and for lack of alternatives to the abusive environment." Other accounts, considerably more wrenching, include Freidoune Sahebjam's heartstopping The Stoning of Soraya M., Zarah Ghahramani's My Life as a Traitor, and Marina Nemat's acclaimed Prisoner of Tehran.

It is difficult to overstate the cruelty and depravity to which women and girls can be subjected in Ahmadinejad's islamist paradise. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post last month, a Basij militiaman explained how the regime's devout thugs deal with young females sentenced to die:

"In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a 'wedding' ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard — essentially raped by her 'husband.'"

When he was younger, the militiaman had taken part in such "weddings" — they were a reward from his superiors for exemplary service — but now, he said, he regretted them. "I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their 'wedding' night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die."

It will take more than shuffling a few cabinet posts to end the Islamists' grotesque cruelty to the women and girls of Iran. "We have entered a new era," Ahmadinejad says. Not by a long shot.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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