No, She Was Not Mad

Maryam Namazie
Published in WPI Briefing
August 24, 2004

16 year old Atefeh Rajabi was publicly hanged in the city centre in Neka in the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran on 15 August for “acts incompatible with chastity” after having been arrested a few months earlier for having sexual relations. She had no attorney at any stage of the farce.

During the ‘trial’, she expressed her outrage at the misogyny and injustice in society and ‘judicial’ system and even removed some of her clothing. The lower court ‘judge’ was so incensed by her protestations that he personally put the noose around her neck after his decision had been upheld by the ‘Supreme Court’.

In media reports on her execution, Ateqah Rajabi has been deemed by some as ‘mentally incompetent’.

I suppose it can be nothing but madness that drives a 16 year old to rage against the barbaric Islamic system.

It must be madness that drove Shahla Jahed to scream out in ‘court’ against the torture she had faced and her execution order.

It must be madness that drove Maryam Ayoubi to rage against her stoning order.

It must be madness that drove the two sisters who were stopped by the morality police to fight back and tear off the hejab of one of the agents.

It must be madness that brings hundreds of women to the streets on International Women’s Day to burn the hejab.

It must be madness that every year, tens of thousands of women are arrested or fined for ‘improper’ veiling. Pure madness…

Reading that Atefeh was mad reminds me of the innumerable protesting women deemed mad for their century. But dear readers, there is one difference. It is not sweet 16 Ateqah who is mad for her century but the regime that has brutally ended her life…

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