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Iran’s Parliament Is ‘No Place For Women, Donkeys & Monkeys’

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A hard-line Iranian politician celebrating his election victory made the following statement to his supporters: “Jackasses, women and monkeys have no place in parliament”.

The hard-line Islamic man later apologized to all Iranian women. The country is going through a transition and the traditionally male dominated authorities feel the need to protect their position against any outside encroachment; that could include animals like donkeys and monkeys as well as the hidden and veiled parts of Iranian society, namely women.

The Iranian MP is under mounting pressure to resign following the “Nader-gate” scandal.

The Telegraph reports:

Nader Qazipour made the claims during a victory speech after being re-elected as an MP for the city of Urmia.

“Parliament is not the place for donkeys and foals, monkeys and women,” Mr Qazipour, 57, said to the cheers of his group of supporters, largely made up of men.

A clip of the speech was published last week by reformist news organisations, who have branded the scandal “Nader-gate”.

Earlier this week, the MP issued an apology and attempted to explain what he described as a “misunderstanding”.

“I was carried away by the jubilation of the election among my supporters, and said something in error,” he said. “I express my regret, and do hope the misunderstanding will be alleviated.”

Women now account for 14 of the 290 members of Iran’s parliament after last week’s election – an increase of five from the nine MPs in the last parliament. It means around five per cent of

Iranian MPs are women, compared with the global average of more than 20 per cent.

“He represents the fanatical, traditionalist men in our society, and should have been disqualified long ago by the Guardian Council,” said Farzane, a feminist activist who declined to give her full name, according to the LA Times. The Guardian Council approves all candidates before they can run for office.

Sakine Omrani, an outgoing MP, said Mr Qazipour’s remarks were “obscene” and said the lack of female representation in Iran must be tackled.

“I should say, when 600 female candidates were disqualified to run in the recent parliamentary election, that was a more important tragedy to be addressed,” she said.

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“Jackasses, children and women should not be allowed in parliament!”

Iran Wire reports:

Nader Ghazipour stands on a small stage. He holds a bullhorn in one hand, and waves the other vigorously, in the style of revolutionary speakers. The camera does not show his audience, but you can hear their applause, whistles, and “hoorays” in the background.

“I am a representative of the nation, not the representative of a few bullies,” shouted Ghazipour, MP for Urmia, the capital of West Azerbaijan Province, which home to part of Iran’s substantial Azeri minority. “I am not a servant of officials. I don’t carry their bags, and I don’t flatter them! You gave me 200, 000 votes in two hours because you want to sharpen me to strike the officials!

Then, he launched into a strange anecdote. “Once they were circumcising a little boy, and on the other side a little girl was crying. She was asked why, and she said, ‘because I know they are sharpening it for me!’ We did not get this country so easy as to send any jackal or kid or jackass to Parliament. Parliament is not a place for jackasses! Parliament is no place for women. It belongs to men. Do you want to send women there so that they would do it to them and you lose your honor?”

Ghazipour, a member of the current parliament, has just been reelected for the upcoming parliament. He won the highest number of votes in the city of Urmia, the capital of West Azarbaijan Province.

The video, it seems, was recorded after election results became known, and Ghazipour is trying to thank the people of Urmia for their votes.

VOA Farsi YouTube video:

As the video plays, Ghazipour offers ever-more unabashed ethnic and sexual slurs, to such an extent that many official sites did not publish the full text.

Speaking in Azeri Turkish, Ghazipour related a bizarre sexual “joke” about an alleged incident involving himself and Ghodratollah Alijani, representative from Qazvin, in the men’s room at Parliament. In Iran many cities carry popular stereotypes, and the stereotype about Qazvin is that it is a city of homosexuals.

“Sheikh Ghodratollah Alijani was the representative of Qazvin,” Ghazipour told the audience. “He is a Qazvini. Everybody at Parliament is afraid of him. He told an MP from our town who happened to be short ‘Let me take you so you can be my guest for the night.’ One day, I was someplace and asked were the sheikh was. They said that he was in the bathroom, so I went into the lavatory and saw that he had washed every surface, and had covered them with paper towels because he is a cleanliness freak. When he bent for his ablution, I fingered him. Then he fainted and fell to the floor. When I opened the door, 20 people were standing there because of the noises that we had made. I said ‘the sheikh had set an ambush but he was ambushed himself!’ For a week he did not appear at Parliament. After a week, when he saw me, he shouted and other representatives gathered around him. He showed them his torso and told them ‘look what this bastard has done to me. See how purple it is.’ And I said ‘show them the other place!’”

Ghazipour ended the anecdote with another sexual slur: “Parliament is not a place for pansies. Send men to Parliament. Even if they don’t do anything, they can do that other thing!”

“Don’t surrender Parliament to the kids,” Ghazipour said. “Don’t give it to the pansies! Don’t give it to somebody who cannot control his own body. I have an [Azeri] accent and I am proud of it. What have those who speak Persian have done up to now?”

“Reject His Credentials!”

Ghazipour’s speech was first reported by the Tehran daily, Ghanoon. Ghazipour denied making the comments. But when social networks published the video of his speech, civil activists and others reacted.

Some members of the Azeri minority were particularly embarrassed. With the hashtag “I am a Turk but I am not Ghazipour” a number of Azeris distanced themselves from him and criticized him sharply. Some civil activists asked MPs in the next parliament to reject his credentials so he cannot join them.

According to the parliamentary bylaws, the credentials of an elected candidate must be approved by the majority of the representatives before he can be accepted as a member of Parliament.

Zahra Bahramnejad, communications director for the vice-president in women and family affairs, is one of the people who wants Ghazipour kept out of Parliament. “Mr. Ghazipour’s credentials must be rejected,” she told the news website Rouydad 24. “When he offends half the population of Iran he must expect an answer, and the answer is rejecting his credentials.”

Urmia’s Women’s Society of Islamic Iran has also demanded that Ghazipour’s credentials be rejected. “The statements by this MP give direct and flagrant offense to women,” The society declared.

Even Mehdi Ghoreishi, Urmia’s Friday Prayers Leader, got in on the act, albeit without directly naming Ghazipour. “For myself and the people I must complain against candidates who have institutionalized rudeness and disrespect in their speech,” he said in his sermon. “This is a holy place, so I apologize for saying this, but I must state the truth. Their behavior is wrong and God does not approve of it. Sometimes you should not even talk about certain facts. Offense and rudeness are not worthy of an Islamic society.”

Edmondo Burr

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