Content note: pedophilia, very very VERY disgusting pedophilia imagery.
Richard Dawkins tweeted this today:
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 20, 2014
I affirm that. It’s quite public knowledge among Iranians. The translation is accurate, although it misses some graphic details, I guess because the translator didn’t want to be arrested for child (infant) pornography. Yes, the translation actually waters down what Khomeini has said. But I’m inside Iran and outside the reach of FBI, so here’s the real quote in its full whatever the opposite of glory is:
Whoever has a wife under nine years old cannot penetrate her, whether she is his permanent wife or his temporary wife. But other forms of sexual pleasure are allowed, such as lustful touching, embracing, or rubbing the penis on the thigh of the girl, even if she is an infant still. And if the baby’s vagina is so badly damaged that the bladder and urethra “become the same”.he penetrates her before she is nine year old, and her hymen is not broken, he has only sinned, and if he has only sinned, but if he has, then she will be forbidden to him forever, and [he has to pay for her her entire life (I summarized here)]. (Source in Persian)
In case you’re curious about the context:
1) Based on the Iranian law, any person of any age can marry, no one under 18 can marry based on their own decision but their parents’, girls under 13 and boys under 15 need a special court permit to be married, although the law has defined no punishment for making girls marry under the age of thirteen. Before the revolution, the laws were similar but marriage under 13 was definitely banned. In 2010, more than 43,000 marriages of girls under 15 were officially recorded. (Source in Persian).
This means that the problem is much worse than I thought before fact-checking for this post. However, I’m still fairly certain that this is not the case in big cities. Here pedophilia is really a huge taboo, and the age of marriage has gone up to 30s. So, it’s clear that parts of Iran have made huge strides while other parts are still backwards.
2) Khomeini was by no means a lone voice on this. Actually, these views are still quite dominant among the Shia clerics I know of. And I think by the time he wrote that book the average Iranian wasn’t that much against him – although I don’t know if they regarded infant too much or not. But I remember my father saying that during his time if a woman reached 20 they’d considered her too old for marriage. As I’ve said before on this blog, on many issues Khomeini was a progressive for his time, and the fact that he seems so ancient and fundamentalist now is a testament of the great progress of the mentality of certain parts of Iran.
I say this because I want to mention that this is really Islam, not Khomeini. He is supporting the dominant view. This matters because this blatant defense of pedophilia is strongly rooted in religious dogma, not a particular tyrant.