Comments: Some cultural exchange after girls clobber cleric over hijab
Iranian women can be subjected to harsh punishment for small infractions of the country's Islamic dress code.
September 20th, 2012
07:46 PM ET

Comments: Some cultural exchange after girls clobber cleric over hijab

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's a few exchanges we noticed today.

In a small Iranian town, a cleric asked a girl to cover herself more completely. She refused, and then eventually she and a friend double-teamed the man and clobbered him. The man, Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti, says he asked politely, but ended up in the hospital. He ultimately declined to file a complaint, but said he didn't mind the prosecutor's investigation. This incident has many readers talking.

Girls beat up Iran cleric over dress code

Many readers cheered the girls' reaction, and others wondered what would happen next.

Johnusmc: "You go girls!!"

Superstition: "My thoughts exactly! I'm so happy to finally hear a version of this story that goes the other way. It’s too bad I now have to fear for their safety ..."

There were some theories about the cleric's intentions.

smokin666: "Or the man is just lying to promote whatever idea of morality he wants to. Oh look at these kids today. They don't dress properly and attack their elders. Whether it happened or not, you have to lose some respect for a guy who got beat down by little girls if it's true, or lied about getting beaten by little girls if it's not."

dlws8607: "Johnusmc and your supporters: Let's say the story were just a bit different. Let's say a female was criticizing two boys in public for how they were dressed. Would you support those two boys beating up the female? I bet not. Misandry rules!"

Peg Johnson: "dlws8607, I criticize boys' method of dressing in public ALL the time. Pull your pants up! You walk like you have a pile of doo doo in your drawers! Not one has hit me. I think the cleric is fibbing about the girls hitting him, unless he tried to forcibly cover her up - then he should have gotten hit because he tried to touch her."

In the wake of this story, a bit of cultural discussion seemed to be taking place.

Abdullah719: "Both are in the wrong, but if you look at the Iranian girls' point of view, it makes sense. I'm not saying violence is OK, but after Iranian women have been oppressed, threatened, harassed and detained/fined since the '79 'revolution', you can understand why they will crack under the strain. Iran desperately needs some reforms in their laws; especially regarding women. The Imam also can't go around telling people what to do. If he absolutely must, advice is OK (at his own risk, now he knows). But you don't go around telling other people what to do, simple as that."

Rick1948: "I would agree with you, if the incident happened in a Western country, but it didn't. You cannot apply your standards to countries that have different laws and cultures. That's one of the major problems with the United States trying to spread its 'way of life' to the rest of the world. Your way of life is yours; if you like it, that's good. But, it doesn't apply anywhere except where you live."

Abdullah719: "Rick, I didn't say what I said because of the West, or because of any country. I said it because the laws in Iran are incorrect and inhumane toward women. They can be fined, detained, threatened, etc., all for not wearing the hijab. You don't need any man-made laws to know that's wrong. Even Islam does not allow that. Islam says that women SHOULD cover themselves up (no specific mention of burqa), but most certainly does not say to force them. I live in Egypt, and while there are problems in Egypt regarding women, dress code isn't really a problem. Most women cover their hair and that is seen as a natural thing, but some don't, and that's accepted, too. Modest clothing is encouraged, though; for example, mini-skirts/tank-tops and such would attract a lot of unwanted attention, but Egypt doesn't have laws forcing women to wear hijab."

granny25: "Your comment, as a Muslim, comes as a shock, as most Muslim men want to oppress women; but its nice to know that you feel that way. :)"

Abdullah719: "Many Muslim men don't support laws such as the ones in Iran and Saudi Arabia. It's only the insecure, uneducated and the extremists that support such terrible laws. Hopefully someday in the future, Muslim countries will stop oppressing their own people."

What do you think? Can you relate to this story? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Comments • Iran • Religion • World
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Now, see, I don't think that ALL Muslims have the same beliefs about women, about alcohol, about Americans, about whatever subject you care to name. What really bothers me is that so many seem to think that there is a total definition of Islam and that all Muslims follow that definition. Simply not true. There seems to be no agreement on many things. You have Sunnis and Shiites disagreeing all the time, and then there is disaffection even within the Sunni and Shia sects.
    Hmmmmmmmm .... sounds a lot like Christians ... or Jews ... or ...
    Maybe what we need is to agree to disagree without that making any of us evil.
    What do you think?

    September 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I think that's a sane idea, Chris, but people would have to get over the preconcieved sterotypes and that *their* idea or definition is the only true and correct one.
      That's where the trouble begins...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    @chris
    well said and I agree.
    Unfortunately folks. Its the mindset like that spreads hate and misconception about Islam or the culture of countries that we occupy which Al-Qaeda considers as an asset.
    They don't want to see reconciliation or return to sanity. The more hate we in the West spread about Islam and create paranoia the more it serves their cause to recruit more misguided youth to their side projecting the West and particularly us Americans as 'anti Islam' not anti -terrorism. This any of our field commanders in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere would tell you and have been telling us.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So which is it… are people spreading a hate filled misconception of Islam…or… does Islam need a return to sanity?

      October 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Those who burn their holy book, vulgarize their prophet etc are in fact aiding and abetting Al-Qaeda or the extremists and serving no other purpose. it defeats our objectives in those places where we have been struggling for more than a decade now to achieve some kind of a 'victory' spending trillions of our national treasure and thousands of American lives.
    About time we faced reality.
    Good day all.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      So you're not an Al Qaeda sleeper cell, just a willing accomplice. A pompous arrogant one to boot, flattering yourself with comparisons to Mark Twain. I've lived over six years aggregated across a thirty year period in the Middle East. It is radicalizing on its own, has expansionist ambitions, is exporting terror to achieve those ambitions, and all your "blame America first" blather doesn't change that. You are living obliviously in a state of denial. I don't care that you imperil yourself. I do care about your incessant parade to persuade others that a real bonafide threat that is responsible for death, misery and suffering daily is , pooh pooh, no threat at all.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Resistance and protest are not aiding or abetting. You are trying to transfer the responsibility and should be ashamed.

      Tonight I shall burn a a 'holy' book from each.

      October 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Lol.
    What a load of hooey.
    I love the mentality of people who disparages others because the automatic response, apparently, is suppose to be "kill all Muslims".
    Whatever.

    September 21, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Old Driller w/no TV

    Not dissing America as you say. Dissing many Americans for what they have done to her.
    Gn@saywhat, banasy. See ya'll tomorrow, same time zone, same station [in life as you]. 🙂

    September 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Old Driller w/no TV

    Btw...I ran accross a feller who used to blog here often. He had a semi-popular blogsite "The Crow" that was just Poof!...gone.
    He explains some on a blog he started this summer, but "pulverized to near power" is a ghost town. (hint: Wildfire, a song by Michael Martin Murphy)
    "Freedom is when two and two make four" is sort of his catchphrase.
    Who will outgess the other? he he. gn

    September 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mary

    Michaelfury ?

    September 22, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Hollywood

    The birth of cultural change wears many faces.

    September 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
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