By Haleh Afshar
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Extra info for Islam and Feminisms: An Iranian Case-Study
Unfortunately at the moment I do not see any room for the development of women in the public sphere ... Unfortunately after the revolution women have not been allowed to play a real part in Iranian politics. They are needed to shout and participate in demonstrations. The most they do is to go to Friday prayers or help out behind the front lines of the war. I think that the absence of a suitable political environment has reduced women to such levels ... (Maryam Behruzi, Zaneh Ruz, 17 April 1983, no.
As a result elite Islamist women often feel demoralised when it comes to the prospect for success. Jamileh Kadivar, a member of the editorial board of the international information daily, Etelaateh Binolmelali, voices their fears: It is my personal opinion, which is also reflected clearly in our society, that women are totally marginalised, or are only permitted to just reach the margins. But they have no place in the central decision-making in our society. We only have to look at the absence of women in the three vital areas of legislature, judiciary and administration.
1995) This is a question which has been much discussed amongst Muslims: is it is their duty to follow, taqlid, as did the qari, reciters of the Koran, in the early days of the faith? The religious establishment in Iran has maintained that this is the case and that it is sufficient to follow the teachings of a learned alem who understands the faith and can interpret it to meet the needs of each generation (Gleave 1996). Scholars such as Ali Shariati contest the right of the religious establishment to act as the guardians of Islam and its teaching.