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‘Support for the hijab [in Iran] has been waning for years, with a report in 2018 showing nearly 70% of women either did not believe in the hijab or were among “the improperly veiled.”‘

See, here’s how I figure it: Most people are not fanatics. Most people are just people, with this or that personal enthusiasm, this or that religious faith, even this or that fanaticism, but they tend to keep it (because most people consider fanaticism creepy and even threatening) to themselves, or to a few other fanatics with whom they meet by night and howl at the moon or whatever. Extreme extremism just isn’t a good look for most people, doesn’t at all jibe with normal ordinary reasonably contented rather complicated human life, and indeed often manifests to the broad non-fanatic world as abnormal monomaniacal stupidity with a side order of willingness to die and to kill. One thinks of the sad insurrectionists in the US Capitol with their magical MAGA letters smeared on motorcycle jackets and Viking helmets. When these people speak to judges and January 6 committee members, their pitiable condition is broadcast to us all. Watching them, one wonders what new violent insipid Thing will capture them once they’ve served their sentence.

Now in my day (UD‘s an old hippie) the prevailing image was Charlie’s Girls, Manson’s fanatics, who marched off to courtrooms en masse, sporting each day it seemed a new magical MAGA sort of thing: identical chopped off hair, messages scrawled on their foreheads … All fanatics seem to make of the body nothing more than a vehicle for their pathetic passion; all fanatics seem to move always en masse — the larger idea behind all of this being the evisceration of any self for the sake of the God or the Cause.

A theocracy run by religious fanatics will of course try to turn a large, largely normal populace into fanatics – their particular category of fanatics – and they will always fail.

Having failed, and being rigid fanatics, they will then double down:

‘Raisi decided to confront the erosion of support by implementing a plan called “strategies to spread the culture of chastity” – in essence a repeat of a policy first adopted in 2005.

The essence of the 115-page plan, as published by Iranwire, was as follows:

Peeing myself laughing here. I’m sorry, but we really are dealing with heavy-duty idiocy; and I’d be laughing even harder at all the wonderful language — culture of chastity, counselling, vulgar dresses, appropriate garments (picture women wheeled into brain surgery in full hijab/robe, with surgeons drilling through all the modesty cloth) if the regime weren’t as I write this killing protesters.

Even a former speaker of the Iranian parliament just warned in an interview that “extremism in enforcing social mores leads to extremist reactions.” The regime will probably jail him.

So NOW you’ve got – what? 110% non-support for the hijab? Even many women who wear the hijab – and hijabs aren’t marks of fanaticism until, under the vicious imperatives of violent theocracies, they are – now protest with the no-hijab people.

The cretinous clerics are well on their way to revealing the heart of fanaticism – not piety, or any other form of moral seriousness, but death-cultishness which is always busy drilling down to its deepest truth: It is a sacred privilege to kill anyone who is not exactly like me.


[Protesters may ultimately] be tried and charged with hirabh, or enmity towards God, which is punishable by death. This may yet get very dark.

The protesters are guilty of enmity towards the regime, not God; but then, being religious fanatics, the regime sees no difference between the two. And in any case (see above) death is what they had in mind from the outset.


 [T]he daring women of Iran … risk their lives daily for an end to their decades-long imprisonment by medieval fanatics, in this unconscionable, real-world telling of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Bernard-Henri Levy

Margaret Soltan, October 9, 2022 2:41AM
Posted in: forms of religious experience

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