Islamic Mullah accuses Iraqi Kurdish women
activists of blasphemy
By Saman Basharati
January 4, 2011
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Thirteen Iraqi Kurdish
women's rights activists fear for their lives and
have complained to the police after a well-known
Mullah has accused them of "blasphemy and
demoralizing Kurdish society" in a recent
The pamphlet, entitled "A Lost Truth," was
distributed by Mullah Farman Kharabaiy of Majidawa
Mosque, a mosque in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi
The pamphlet focuses on women's rights issues in
Kurdish society, but more specifically targets Iraqi
Kurdish women’s rights activists and their push for
gender equality in the region, an issue which has
been under the spotlight in recent weeks as a hot
topic of discussion in the Kurdish parliament.
In his pamphlet, Kharabaiy claims that the issue has
been widely used by women’s rights activists "as a
business to get rich."
The cover of Mullah Kharabaiy's pamphlet, --A Lost
Truth,-- which criticizes Kurdish women's rights
The activists targeted
in the pamphlet have now lodged a complaint with the
Erbil police, because they view the pamphlet as a
direct "threat to their lives."
However, Kharabaiy defends his words merely as
“The pamphlet does not include any defamation or
libel,” said Kharabaiy in an interview with Rudaw.
“It is simply research conducted on some of the
writings published by Kurdish women activists
defending women's rights. I wanted these women
writers to regret their opinions; it is because of
them that divorce has increased and more women burn
themselves to death [in Kurdistan].”
Taman Shakir, a writer and women’s rights activist
who was named in Kharabaiy's pamphlet, says she
believes the pamphlet is "dangerous" for the women
writers mentioned in it,www.ekurd.netand
so she is urging the Kurdistan Regional Government
(KRG) to protect them.
“There is a threat to the lives of those named in
the pamphlet,” said Ms. Shakir. “The government
needs to draw a line in the sand for those Mullahs
who are using their religious status to target
journalists and women's rights organizations.”
Ms. Shakir added that she and her colleagues had
been accused of being “ultra-feminists” who
encouraged “prostitution, homosexual marriage and
antagonism to Islam” in Kurdish society.
Khanim Rahim, director of women's rights
activist disparaged by Kharabaiy in the pamphlet,
said she saw the recent religious publication as an
inspiration for terrorism.
"The pamphlet could lead terrorist groups to target
those writers and activists [named in the pamphlet],
because, according to Mullah Kharabaiy's pamphlet,
all the problems facing women [here] are because of
the writings of those activists," said Ms. Rahim.
Aso Hassan, the official in Kurdistan’s Ministry of
Culture and Youth in charge of public libraries,
said Kharabaiy had only been permitted to publish
1,500 copies of his pamphlet.
“But he published 15,000,” said Hassan. “He was
supposed to print them at the Education Ministry’s
[official] printer, but he didn’t."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Endowments and
Religious Affairs, Mariwan Naqishbandi, told Rudaw
that the ministry had asked Kharabaiy to discuss the
matter with them.
Naqishbandi said Kharabaiy was a civil servant with
the ministry, and therefore he had been warned that
he had a responsibility in regard to the lives of
the women he had named and targeted in his pamphlet.
Copyright, respective author or news agency,
does not take credit for and is not responsible for the content of news
information on this page