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Simin Behbahani

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Simin Behbahani

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GHAZAL (2009)

O you who preach the shari’a on the prayer mat of Rape and Violation—
Whose hand has blinded you to the murder of Faith and Compassion?

Every night those who can’t take it any more cry “Allah-u Akbar!”
We are a volcano that has shattered the demon’s wing.

They are so blood-drunk that Fairness means nothing.
I’m ashamed to say more. They have dishonored Virtue herself.

Nothing is left of sharia’ except its name. And at common law everything is forbidden.
As proof, here is Taraneh’s body, here is Neda’s heart.

Wearing a mask of calm mothers bury their Sohrabs.
Who will cure the hate of these grief-stricken Tahminas?

Some clerics recognized the Imam’s pride and cloak at the eye of this storm.
In what robes can they dress now? How will they try to be kind?

The prayer mat’s warp and weft are ripped. On it a brutal demon squats.
May a great flood wash away Hypocrisy’s prayer mat and prayer.

Published in:

Little Star Journal Blog (April 2011). Reprinted in Surviving Rape in Iran’s Prisons, published by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (June 2011).