Nobel Peace Prize Iranian awardee reveals reality of ‘One nation under God’

Narges Mohammadi

Iran remains a living warning of the dangers that religion-run governments pose to women’s rights.

Jailed Iranian activist Narges Mohammadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting women’s rights and human rights. The news this week that yet another young Iranian woman was taken to a hospital in a coma after traveling with uncovered hair underlines the importance of Mohammadi’s work.

State media security footage shows the unconscious teenager, Armita Geravand, 16, being transported off a subway train. The situation seemingly parallels that of Mahsa Amini, 22, who ended up in a coma and then died in a hospital in September of last year after morality police took her into custody because some hair showed under her scarf.

Mohammadi has been a prisoner for many years and is currently serving a sentence of a decade-plus, with the state accusing her of propaganda and actions against national security.

CNN reports that an audio recording was heard of her leading chants of “Woman, Life, Freedom” within Evin Prison before the prize was announced. That chant is the slogan of the resistance movement that erupted for months after news of Amini’s death. Since then at least 500 protesters have been killed, more than 22,000 detained and several executed. The cleric-run nation cracked down further on protesters the past summer.

The Nobel Committee called for Mohammadi’s immediate release. “We want to give the prize to encourage Narges Mohammadi and the hundreds of thousands of people who have been crying for exactly ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ in Iran,” Berit Reiss-Andersen, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told Reuters.

Mohammadi recently wrote CNN that the religious regime has used the compulsory hijab to “showcase the image of domination, subjugation and control over women” as a means to control society.

“Imagine Iranian women who, for 44 years, have been forced to wear a head covering, long coats, and dark-colored pants in the summer heat, and in some places, black chadors,” she stated. “Worse than that, they have been under psychological pressure to strictly adhere to compulsory hijab, all to preserve the image of religious Islamic men and ensure the security and purity of women.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation congratulates Mohammadi and sympathizes with her plight — a symbol of the injustice that Iranian women are facing more broadly.

“Women can only be free under a government freed from religious dogma and control,” comments Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “Mohammadi and all Iranian women deserve ‘Woman, Life Freedom.’”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with over 40,000 members across the country. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

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