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. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    If you "got it", "flaunt it"!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rascal Rabble

      your roving, indiscipline eye overlooked the fact that the two girls may have not been flaunting anything other than not wearing a hijab...

      September 21, 2012 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    Amusing. But hardly news. I'm sure that cleric had his reprimand.

    You travel around most of the so called Islamic countries and you would find a minority wearing 'burqas or hijabs. Be it kualalumpur, karachi, Islamabad,lahore, Dubai, Djakarta, Muscat, Bahrain, Istambul,Abu Dhabi and so on. Fashion districts and malls are full of women attired in latest trends. Businesses run by women.parliamentarians, models, in entertainment and media,in armed forces and law enforcement.
    In S.Arabia women are now speaking out for their rights and I hear of the same trend in places like Tehran.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      @saywhat, are you an Al Qaeda sleeper cell or propagandist? The only thing consistent about your posts is that you are a reliable constant Islam apologist and you are incorrect. Sharia demands "modesty" by women. How modest depends on which denomination that Islamic group follows. The clear trend is towards INCREASED conservatism, not less. In every Arab Spring country, pro Al Qaeda groups are taking over, such as the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt (Did you notice the Al Qaeda flags they flew on the US embassy on 9-11?) and the Libyan eastern tribes where the US ambassador was assassinated. You are wrong all the time, and I implore the reading audience to dismiss everything you say. You are either intentionally misleading or in a clear obvious state of denial. The relevant question is "Why"?

      September 21, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Iraqvet

      George is right. In Basrah, Iraq, girls who wore jeans or listened to music were being killed for that decision. The Turkish government was formerly officially secular until recently, and now it is quickly culturally converting to be hardline Islamist. Islam is in an internal conflict for how culturally modest they will be, and while this story may suggest that women have a choice, that is false. Women do what they're told or face severe consequences.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Alvin Tostig

    May everyone walk in peace and spread love. No sense in being mean to others.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alvin Tostig

    There is nothing wrong in wearing extra clothes and covering ones self. Violence is wrong. If the girls were at a religous function and were asked to by a priest, they should have complied or left. Violence is wrong regardless of who commits it.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alvin Tostig

    And it is not about repressing anyone. If you are in someone else's church or home, you follow their rules or you leave. You do not resort to violence. Other than in defense, violence is wrong. Please walk in peace and love.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      They met in a public setting, on the street, while the guy was going to the mosque. They were not in his house or in the mosque.
      Or are you saying that women need to cover up completely while in public because showing their hair is offensive?

      September 30, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Portland tony

    As far from civilization, this event was said to have occurred, I doubt its accuracy and veracity ......after being retold and embellished upon by each person who heard it.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    After dude got to the hospital, it soon became a rendition of 2010 "A Space Oddessy". "My G-d, there's stars".

    September 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOMBO ©

    I tried reading the story on the main site that this linked to, and there was a line about how women in western countries often fight for the right to go t0pless. At that point, I zoned out, lost in my fantasy world. May I suggest a society where women are required to be t0pless in public?

    September 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BOMBO © aka Canadian Idiot

    OK I just discovered something that a lot of you probably already knew. Do you know how sometimes you spend a lot of time typing something, hit POST and it won't go, presumably because there is a bad word in it. Instead of retyping the whole thing while changing that one word that was probably the issue, just click back on your browser or phone, and your blocked comment is right there, inside the comment box at the bottom of the page. Then just edit it, like my piggish comment above.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Oubli

    The woman had the appropriate initial response, she told him to look away – the Koran advises that BOTH men and women be chaste in manner and dress. The Koran states it's a man's responsibility to keep his own mind chaste, which means looking away from anything that may lead to unchaste thoughts. Read your Koran it's all in there.

    If he kept at it harassing her to cover up, in broad daylight, on the street he deserves to gob smacked for harassment, intimidation and for selective applying his holy book to the situation. He should have accepted her answer and looked away and been an appropriate and decent Muslim male.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I agree.
      The question is, Oubli, is why *didn't* he?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. US Christan Religions

    All US christian religions teach women to be modest in the way they dress. Some women are just stubborn and so dree like ho's.
    There are stunnorn women in all religions who refuse to get with the program. They wear revealing clothes and later, have abortions instead.
    And of course they have their counterparts in men. (the men who get them pregnant or fire blanks up boys behinds...church leaders and the men emulating them rather than following Christ)

    September 21, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. US Christan Religions

    *dress, *stubborn. oopsy

    September 21, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat

    @george
    I feel sorry for you.
    You would call any American who tries to dispel propaganda crafted to create hate, fear , phobia and paranoia an "Al-Qaeda sleeper". Precisely the mindset that has seen this country land in a mess of our own making.
    As one of our greatest writers Mark Twain had said speaking about his own bigotry " travel is the enemy of bigotry, ignorance and prejudice' and " that is how I overcame my bigotry". Misinformed you are and that makes me even sadder.
    You quote Libya and pro Al-Qaeda groups taking over, forgetting that the Western powers spear headed by us and insane voices of lawmakers like McCain who aided and abetted these very forces to get rid of Ghaddafi and now that country is another Somalia.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Lol.
    Yeah. Okay.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    The tragic assassination of our ambassador was something waiting to happen. The same goes for Syria. In Egypt for decades we supported the worst of dictators like Mubarak and his ruthless security apparatus. When there was a popular uprising and he tried clinging to power we were there for him. Clinton's visit to Cairo and the massive anti-American demo there just last month showed that .
    We lost a tried and trusted ally like Turkey in our humiliating efforts to pamper Israel.
    Undoubtedly it have been our misguided policies which set us back irrevocably geo-politically. And the sooner we realize this the better for American interests. Other powers like Russia, China, India and Turkey, even Iran are the beneficiaries of our policies and I cannot keep quiet as an American.
    Americans wake up and take notice.

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