Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Wedding fury

N has been looking at the Buku Nikah – the marriage certificate thingy. Her status before marriage is given, not as ‘single’ but as ‘virgin’. Apparently she had to sign some sort of declaration to that effect beforehand.
It is bad enough being forced into making a declaration of a faith that I do not have but this is another awful ‘prying into the bedroom’ mentality that is forced onto people who just want to be allowed to live their lives in peace.
I don't have words to describe my fury.
I am glad N wisely didn't tell me about that ‘declaration’ until now. It was difficult enough having to psyche myself up to giving the ‘kalima[1]’ (even if I did prefix it with ‘la’[2]). If I had known what she had to do I don't know what I'd have done.
Of course men are never asked whether they are virgins or not.
How can this perniciously evil mental and social sickness be eradicated?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

AF suggested that sometimes societies can change. Iran changed from super-religious to super-nationalist to super-modern avant garde and back to super-religious in just a few decades, although such changes were often violent.
I was there in the Shah's time. Although superficially it was super-modern avant garde with Leyland double-decker buses, a constant stream of British imports and the smell of marijuana being smoked everywhere by hippies, women still could not wander round in western dress without being lynched. The Bahais were being persecuted even then. Turkey is probably a better example where a secular nationalist revival was necessary in the face of the crushing defeat of the First World War – but religion was always there as a sort of underground drum beat ready to re-surface as it seems to be doing now.
Remember that the sickness took a very long time to be eradicated in the west and it is still fighting a rearguard action in Catholic countries and in the US.
In the west there is state/corporate repression, which you know only too well. Where can we be free of both and still manage to live at peace?
I have just come back from a quasi interview at a strange school. They seem to have a revulsion against science and technology and refuse to have laboratories. They base their school on horticulture and music. They claim to be training entrepreneurs, yet without science training how are the entrepreneurs going to develop ideas? They say they don't have enough money to equip laboratories although they have tons of computers and a very well equipped music studio. I despair.