Leaving Islam



An open letter to Shirin Ebadi, The winner of Nobel Peace prize, 2003


Parvin Darabi  

The day we, at Dr. Homa Darabi Foundation, a human rights organization defending the right of women against religious, cultural and social abuse, heard the news of an Iranian woman winning the Nobel Peace prize for 2003, were elated with joy. People called and emails kept coming congratulating us for such a great honor bestowed upon our countrywoman. We even cried with joy. Then we started reading the news and interviews with you Mrs. Ebadi and our joy was reduced to sorrow and despair. We stayed quiet for a while but we feel that it is time for us to speak. 

We were stunned to hear you calling yourself a Muslim woman instead of an Iranian woman. Have you forgotten that Iran has been a defeated country and Islam is a foreign religion forced on the Iranians for centuries?  Perhaps you are a descendent of the conquerors? In that case you should not be intolerant of the present regime in Iran. After all they consider themselves the follower of Islam and the Koran. 

It is interesting that you states that you have been fighting for changing the Islamic laws regarding women and children in Iran and you won the prize because of your effort in this respect. Are we missing something here? If Islam is such a peaceful religion and believes in equality and tolerance, then why and what have you been fighting all these years? 

Also didnıt we hear you advocating the separation of mosque and state? Why should you ask for this separation if Islam is compatible with human rights and democracy? Even Islamic Scholars such as Kadivar have stated that Islam is the religion of discrimination and separation. Do you really know more about Islam than Kadivar? Didnıt you study law during the Shah when Iran was a semi-secular country? Since when you became an expert on Islam. We are not Islamic Scholars either however, we have read the Koran and the Sharia and the Islamic Republic of Iranıs Civil and criminal laws. Where is justice when a woman has to die by stoning because she killed her attacker and defended herself against rape? Where is this Islamic justice that calls for an eye for an eye and a head for a head with little or no trials? Where is the Islamic justice when peopleıs limbs are amputated for theft and women are stoned to death for having sex without marriage? 

Didnıt you defend the mother of a 7 years old girl who had been killed by her father and stepbrother? And, werenıt you disgusted by the Islamic laws that allow a father to kill his own daughter? We still have the tape of the interview you had with CNN where you called the judge and the Islamic court the shame of humanity. How is it that all of sudden they conform with humanity? 

We are also puzzled why did you remove your Islamic hijab in Europe? If hijab is such a good thing then why did you not wear it in Europe? Why do you have to wear it in Iran? Isn't it the fact that you are forced to wear hijab in Iran based on Islamic laws against the laws of human rights? Or you wear the hijab in Iran because the Iranian men (mostly Muslims) are wild animals and you need protection from them? Or is it because you are a woman afraid for her life? 

Are you saying that all those Ayathollahıs in Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and other Islamic countries are ignorant of the Islamic laws? 

We would appreciate to know what Islam do you practice? Wasnıt it Islam that fired you from your appointed position as a judge bestowed upon you at such an early age (since you are 56 years old now and Iran has been an Islamic Republic for the past 25 years then you must have been in your late twenties, barely out of university, when you were appointed a judge) by the late Shah of Iran?  If Islam is such a tolerant and peaceful religion shouldnıt you have been a practicing judge instead of a legal aide? Didnıt you read the Islamic requirements for a judge? For your information Mrs. Ebadi we have it stated here, taken from Khomeiniıs book. Since you do not seem to be bothered by Islam and Khomeini then you may agree with him. 

The Islamic requirement for a judge is that "the person have reached puberty, know Koranic laws, be just, not have amnesia, not be a bastard and not be of a female sex." 

That is why you were removed from your position as a judge and allowed to work as a legal aide, not even as an attorney. We hear that you donıt mind a human beingıs value be measured against the value of camels and cows as long as it is the same number of cows and camels for both men and women. We hope you do disagree with the Islamic laws that values a manıs left testicle more than a womanıs life, donıt you? 

Have you ever read the Koran? If you have what do you say or what is your explanation on the following texts? 

In 4:34. Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. 

According to Islam, "a woman is the ward of her father as long as she is in his care and then becomes the ward of her husband when she marries and when her husband dies she becomes the ward of her son, grand son, and so on and if she has no male relatives she becomes the ward of her community." From the Wisdom behind the Islamic laws regarding women, Islamic assembly of North America. 

Koran 2: 222. And they ask you about menstruation. Say:

It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.

 2: 223. Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves; and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.


Dear Mrs. Ebadi, how can you be working for human rights and then accept the Islamic laws of torture, amputations, stoning, beating and flogging. How many lashes should you get for posing without your Islamic hijab outside of Iran? After all you state that Islam and democracy, Islam and human rights are compatible? We believe you are confused you either do not understand democracy and human rights or do not understand Islam. Otherwise you would not make such an enormous error. 

What kind of human rights is it that allows a little girl of 9 years of age (actually 8 and 1/2 according to Islam) to be ready to pray, fast marry, and be punished for her crimes? Do you know that, many 9 years old were executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran? 

What kind of human rights and woman rights is that a woman is denied the right to divorce, get custody of her children and share in the familyıs wealth they accumulated during their marriage? 

Blow are some more statements from Koran to bring to your attention the respect for human rights in the holy book and its compatibility with democracy and human rights. 

"Those who resist Allah and his messenger will be humble to dust. Koran 58:5,  

"Slay the idolaters wherever you find them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, Koran 9:5


"I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, Smite ye above their necks and smite all finger tips of them. "The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. Koran 98: 1-8


The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement. Koran 5:33.  

These versus from Koran are quite in line with the United Nationıs declaration of human rights! 

Dear Mrs Ebadi, this was an opportunity for you to do something good for all the women living under the Islamic laws. You had the opportunity to expose this religion and its brutality at a time where the world was paying attention to you. You could have called an spade a spade, but you gave in to fear. Your statements regarding Islam, democracy and human rights and their compatibility's are lies and you know it too. We are sorry to say that you failed the Iranian women and the women who are living under the barbaric laws of Islam all over the world. You failed us just as bad as your president Mr. Khatami failed the 25 million Iranian youth and women.




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