Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei encourages Iranians (with emphasis on coercion) to resist feminist ideas, claiming gender equality is a “Zionist plot” to corrupt the primary role of women in society as housewives & mothers. That deadly combination of anti-Semitism & misogyny explains police brutality against women & girls for such offenses as wearing ripped jeans, fatwas against females cycling in public, & incarceration for refusing to wear the hijab. (How that differs from Saudi Arabia is hard to distinguish.) It also explains discrimination toward Jews, which includes the government appointing Muslims as heads of Jewish schools & the annual Iranian conference of fascists & anti-Semites, which has brought the number of Jews in Iran from 35,000 to 8,756 just in the past 25 years.

Vida Movahed is a 31-year-old Iranian activist who initiated anti-compulsory hijab protests (called The Girls of Revolution Street protests) in February last year when she removed her headscarf & brandished it on a stick. For doing so, she was recently sentenced to one year in prison on charges of “encouraging corruption & prostitution to the public.” Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 38 years & 148 lashes for advocating the right of women not to wear the hijab.

A regime is not measured by its antagonistic relationship to the US but by its antagonistic relationship to its own citizens.