Iranian Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi urges compulsory hijab

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"The enemies try to defeat Islam by undermining Hijab and thus fostering corruption in Islamic countries," according to Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi. Makarem-Shirazi was addressing the Hijab Dialogue Group where he also expressed effusive support for the Iranian police force which enforces Islamic morality. He also wants to extend the hijab to all Islamic countries.

In the past Makarem-Shirazi has given reasons for the mandatory hijab. He has blamed improper hijab for "destruction of families and increase in rate of divorce and crime," on a page on his own website. He believes that in order for the government to "not resort to force for this problem," people have to be responsible themselves. He also expressed disappointment at mass media rowdyism.

Makarem-Shirazi's view on the necessity of hijab for preservation of marriage has been echoed by Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well. He has said, "you will realize that all Islamic laws and injunctions are directed at safeguarding the marital bond. Hijab is for this, it means not displaying your bodies for others, not to appear in public without proper, decent clothing, not to stimulate certain motives improperly and unlawfully, so that all and every such attractions are only reserved for your own loving partner in life."

Like all Islamic fundamentalists, Makarem-Shirazi is a strong proponent of literal or near-literal interpretation of Islamic laws. With respect to the hijab, Islamic fundamentalists back up all their positions with sharia and Islamic jurisprudence sources.

Imam Jaffer Sadiq has said, "Modesty is the symbol of faith and whoever has no modesty (Hijab), has no religion." There are only a tiny minority of Islamic clerics who don't second compulsory hijab in Iran, like Hojatoleslam Sayyed Hussein Khomeini who has said, "I am personally in favor of the hijab, but not like this. The hijab is a personal issue. If a woman wants, she may [wear it], and if she doesn't [want it], she may [refuse it]." His grandfather, Imam Khomeini fiercely defended the compulsory hijab and wrote, "With the slogans of freedom and equality, they promoted the culture of nakedness and libertinism, in the process making use of the most draconian of despotic measures as seen in Riza Khan's policy of forcing women to remove their Islamic veils (kashf-i hijab)." Reza Pahlavi was a secularist like his contemporary Ataturk.

As a member of Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom, Makarem-Shirazi proposes judges to Iran's Islamic courts.

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