Middle East studies in the News
Iran Accuses Concordia Professor of "...fomenting a feminist revolution" [on Homa Hoodfar]
by P.A. Sevigny
Although it's been over a month since her arrest and detention in Teheran's notorious Evin prison,Concordia Professor Homa Hoodfar's family have yet to hear from her.According to Iran's state media,the respected Canadian academic with a global reputation is presently being accused of "...fomenting a feminist revolution" in the Islamic Republic.
"We heard that she's being detained in a special branch of Evin prison that's under the control of the counter-intelligence unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards," said Hoodfar's niece, Amanda Ghahremani. "Other than that, we have no details of her arrest and detention."
Hoodfar was visiting friends and family in Iran while doing some research on women and public policy in the Middle East when she was originally arrested and detained on the sixth of June by the government's Revolutionary Guards. Although she was scheduled to return to Montreal in early March, a counter-intelligence unit visited her only days before she was supposed to leave during which the guards seized her phone, her passports and her computer.
As Iran does not recognize any kind of dual or triple nationalities, Professor Hoodfar is considered to be just like any other citizen in Iran with no special rights and no access to any kind of diplomatic or consular communication. Although the Trudeau administration is aware of the situation and "...doing all it can to help Professor Hoodfar," the situation is complicated because Canada does not have any diplomatic relations with Iran since 2012.
Ghahrameni maintains that both family and friends (including her lawyer in Teheran) have yet to hear any news about Professor Hoodfar, but she did say that the nation's media did report that Professor Hoodfar was being accused of "... dabbling in feminism," and of "...fomenting a feminist revolution," in Iran. Other reports indicate that the Canadian academic is just one of the many Iranian citizens with dual nationalities who are the victims of an internal political struggle between Hassan Rouhani – the President of the Islamic Republic – and the nation's Revolutionary Guards who are opposed to the president's efforts to open up the country in order to encourage the return of thousands of expatriates who left Iran along with their talents, their education and their wealth.
"They're trying to link my aunt with other people in order to try to create a 'feminist' conspiracy that doesn't even exist," said Gharemani. "At this point, they even tried to implicate members of Rouhani's own family in this so-called plot – people that include Shahindokht Molaverdi – the woman who also happens to be the Vice-President in charge of Iran's Women and Family Affairs.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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