We have yet another example of the perversity of justice under Sharia law. The latest case comes out of Iran where university students have filed a criminal complaint against famed actress Leila Hatami, who recently starred in the Oscar-winning film, A Separation. Some Iranians were outraged when Hatami accepted a customary peck on the cheek from Gilles Jacob, the President of Cannes Festival, as she arrived at Cannes Film Festival to serve as a member of the prestigious jury. Not only is such a sign of affection a crime in the Islamic Republic but (gasp) Hatami was wearing a head scarf that did not entirely cover her hair from being seen by men. She is now subject to jail and flogging under article 638 of Islamic Criminal Justice. The Sharia law calls for 50 lashes.
One would think that a nation like Iran would be overwhelmed with pride at the success of a citizen on the international stage. Hatami is one of just five women members on the Palme d’Or prize jury. However, in a country where women are segregated and flogged in the name of Islamic morality, many view Hatami with disgust and anger. That includes the Hizbullah Students, a group of university students with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that first brought the criminal complaint. They are demanding that Hatami be flogged.
The petition, supported by many officials and citizens, declared “We, the undersigned, who are a group of student Muslim brothers and sisters, ask the cultural and media branch of the judiciary to prosecute Leyla Hatami for her sinful act of kissing a strange man in public, which according to article 638 of Islamic Criminal Justice carries a prison sentence. Furthermore, the action of this film star has hurt the religious sentiments of the proud and martyrs breeding nation of Iran and as such we also demand the punishment of flogging for her as stipulated in the law.”
Hatami has been denounced in the media as committing a “an affront to the chastity of women in Iran” and Hossein Nushabadi, Iran’s deputy minister of culture, declared Hatami to be in open “violation of religious beliefs.” He went on to say that she had disgraced the nation and the faith by such an immoral act and that, unlike Hatami, “Iranian woman is the symbol of chastity and innocence.” And of course Iranian courts are the symbol of cruelty and ignorance.