TEHRAN -- Leader of the
Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Wednesday not only have the Western countries oppressed women, but they have also been hypocritical in the way they criticize Islam over women’s rights.
Ayatollah Khamenei described hijab as a religious and inevitable duty for all Muslim women, emphasizing that no Iranian woman should be labeled as non-religious or anti-revolutionary if she fails to fully honor the obligation.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with a group of Iranian women in the run-up to celebrations commemorating the birthday anniversary of Hazrat Fatemeh Zahra (SA), the beloved daughter of Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon Him).
“The absolute brazenness of the West comes into sight when it presents itself as the forerunner of advocacy for women’s rights, whilst it is responsible for flurries of blows dealt to the dignity and prestige of women. This could be explained as utter shamelessness,” the Leader said.
The Leader said last year’s social movement which marked Western women publicizing their experiences of sexual abuse or sexual harassment was a source of shame.
“This is what they mean by women’s rights and freedom. This is by no means freedom, but rather utter slavery,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the intermingling of men and women in Western societies, contrary to what it propagated, has failed to diminish men’s carnal desires and has instead amplified it, resulting in women and girls being sexually harassed in the streets, in workplaces, educational centers and even in military facilities.
“Sex trade, sexual slavery, violation of all moral and humanitarian principles, and legalization of issues that are forbidden in all divine religions” are now widely prevalent across the West, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“Contrary to this decadent view, God in the Holy Qur’an says that women are role models for men.”
The Leader said endeavors by prominent Iranian women to introduce Islam to the West will have an impact.
Western women, the Leader said, are being “alienated,” describing the Western capitalist system as a patriarchal one.
Ayatollah Khamenei said equality between men and women is among the unquestionable principles of Islam. “In Islamic and human values, there is no difference between men and women.”
Men and women have different, yet balanced, roles and responsibilities in Islam, Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“Unlike the deeply patriarchal Western capitalist system, in Islam both men and women are important in various issues and have legal, intellectual, theoretical, and practical privileges. However, the West falsely attributes the inherent patriarchy that exists in their own system to Islam.”
The Leader also criticized Western capitalism, saying people’s capital has more value than humanity in the economic and political system in Western countries.
“In their system anyone who can accumulate more wealth is more valuable. Naturally, given that men’s character is such that they are more inclined to accumulate wealth, the West’s capitalistic system is deeply patriarchal.”
The Leader said, “The sex trade and sexual slavery, the breaking of