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Iran: Satire Becomes "News" - Ahmadinejad's Ayatollah and Prisoner Rape

The Latest from Iran (4 September): A Friday Pause?

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MESBAH YAZDIAmidst the current debate about gathering and disseminating news beyond the "mainstream" media, a lesson comes out of a false story on Iran.

Yesterday EA staffer Chris Emery noted a story on Israel National News that Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, widely labelled as the key religious advisor to President Ahmadinejad, said last month that "coercion by means of rape, torture and drugs is acceptable against all opponents of the Islamic regime". In a question-and-answer session with followers, Mesbah Yazdi went into graphic detail in his permission to rape, concluding,
If the judgment for the [female] prisoner is execution, then rape before execution brings the interrogator a spiritual reward equivalent to making the mandated Haj pilgrimage [to Mecca], but if there is no execution decreed, then the reward would be equivalent to making a pilgrimage to [the Shi'ite holy city of] Karbala.

The Israeli outlet gave no source for its story, and it has been known to run less-than-verified claims. So our judgement at EA was "How far away are we staying from this?!" Other sites, however, eagerly ran the piece, and it is now enshrined on Wikipedia.

The story is false. Chris Emery did some more digging and found that it had been posted at Balatarin (a portal like Digg and Newsvine for Internet articles) three weeks ago in the "Fun/Entertainment" section. The original story has now been pulled, because so many people mistook it for reality, but a quick read of the Balatarin version (even with the shaky English offered by Google Translate) makes clear that this was a bit of very black comedy gone very badly wrong.

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Reader Comments (15)

The credit for 'digging' the original source of the satirical story has to go to my Iranian-American friend, Maryam, who tirelessly searched Persian language sites into the early hours. Thanks Maryam!

I was amazed at how quickly this spread over the internet. My concern is that it makes it far easier for the Iranian regime to dismiss other accurate accusations as more Israeli inspired propaganda.

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChrisE

Thanks, Chris & Maryam & Enduring America,

counteracting this kind of disinformation is absolutely vital. I'll share this article rightaway. It needs to be spread.

Is there any chance one can get Wikipedia to alter the entry too?

Best regards,

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnusche N.

You are exactly right about how this story could be used to discredit reports of actual atrocities. In fact, it would not surprise if regime operatives planted fabrications just for this purpose, or to blame detainees putting out such info. A media company in Germany recently created and posted a fake 'sighting of Michael Jackson' video on YouTube to test whether people would fall for it. It was a global hit, tho it's hard to say how many viewers believed what they saw. Debunking is essential no matter which way it points.

I am surprised at how many people and web sites link to Wikipedia for information on a subject. If facts are needed, always verify elsewhere-- check one or more reputable sources.

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

But the sad fact remains that the fascists do justify the rape, torture, and murder of innocent people who merely have different political opinions. How they justify it, and how they bless it as religiously-sanctioned, is quite irrelevant. The story, from this point of view, might as well be true, because the end result remains the same.

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDesi Escobedo

A fact that you should remember. Rape is a systematic part of the Pasdaran and Islamic republic's arsenal. I can tell you of many young girls of 16 to 20 that have been brought to a doctors attention to be checked for virginity. Once identified as virgin, they are immediately raped and then executed. Justification of rape goes to the Kurdish front and the IRGC tactics to put down the rebellion in its early days in 1980's. It was brought back to be exercised in prisons on the MKO, and now on the population in general. Sadism and rape is there, and its undeniable. However the real sad part is that so are characters like this Taliban light mad man. He is truly one of those characters whom if one day is brought to justice, and shall be hanged, I will pay up to a 10000 for a front seat to watch. I say this with great trepidation, for taking pleasure in ones punishment, is to me somewhat immoral. However I am offering myself this one vice as I feel he is especially awful.

September 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwhereismyvote

[...] this page was mentioned by Enduring America (@eanewsfeed), Esther M (@oculusnonvidit), PERSIA_NEWS (@persia_news), Dominique Rodier (@dominiquerdr), Victoria (@diamondaria) and others. [...]

An Israeli news paper is spreading lies about Iran.
Why am I not surprised?

September 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStopHatePlease


September 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterescolehammask

Just want to point out, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone. If the story can be shown to be fake, say so and give a reference to back it up.

September 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter 

What was the satire based on?

September 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Kennard

WoW. Reading some of these comments is sad (Amy, Escobed, Whereismyvote). It shows such an immense lack of knowledge with regards to Iran, not to mention, no facts and merely the product of the constant villification of Iran. Specially, referring to the one which claims that rape is a systematic part of the Islamic republic...such statements are so far from the truth, and tragic that they are spread as facts across the internet. I am a professor of socilogy at a university in Iran (female, wow, does that surprise anyone here?) and am alarmed at the racism underlying these statements. I suggest some more critical thinking. Even when the truth is exposed in an article such as this, people such as yourselves are unable to rid your preconceived brainwashed and ethnocentric minds, and make suggestions that Iran has posted them. That is sadly hilarious.

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Dear Sarah:

Even a cursory Web-search on rape, Iran, prisons, protesters, will show that torture and rape of political prisoners in particular has been SOP for the IRI from the beginning, perhaps most notoriously internationally-speaking with regard to Tehran Prosecutor and now IRI Deputy Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi's torture-rape-murder of female Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi; it has been standard procedure from the first in the IRI for girls facing execution (and for what capital crimes?) to be raped first so that they can be executed as non-virgins under "Islamic law"; and Taraneh Mousavi and Saeedeh Pouraghaee (variously spelled) and the girls recently secretly mass-buried in Plot 302 of Tehran cemetery Behesht Zahra as forever mute witnesses to the effectiveness of the staff and procedure at the Kahrizak Prison "Special Treatment Room", all indict sneering about such reports as "ethnocentric" and "racist" as unconscionable.

Furthermore, the IRI should not be confounded with Iran, and none of the IRI's well-merited critics do so.

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Kennard

[...] story turned out to be a satirical piece first published in a Farsi-language site, which became a hoax after being taken seriously by INN [...]

September 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShouldn’t Sweden just co

We have one problem - with the Iranian rape story seen as a joke - it very well could be - and that is that Muhammad sanctioned rape of captives.

Check for sources in the Hadiths - Muhammad was conquering tribes - and his men felt uncomfortable about - raping captive women in front of their husbands ...

Found the exact verse here -

Taken directly from the Islamic Hadiths -

The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives.

Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess." (Abu Dawud 2150)


Ishaq:326 “If you come upon them, deal so forcibly as to terrify those who would follow, that they may be warned. Make a severe example of them by terrorizing Allah’s enemies.”

Ishaq:326 “Allah said, ‘No Prophet before Muhammad took booty from his enemy nor prisoners for ransom.’ Muhammad said, ‘I was made victorious with terror. The earth was made a place for me to clean. I was given the most powerful words. Booty was made lawful for me. I was given the power to intercede. These five privileges were awarded to no prophet before me.’”

Ishaq:510 “When the Apostle looked down on Khaybar he told his Companions, and what into error they throw, and Lord of the winds and what they winnow, we ask Thee for the booty of this town and its people. Forward in the name of Allah.’ He used to say this of every town he raided.”

Tabari VIII:116/ Ishaq:511 “So Muhammad began seizing their herds and their property bit by bit. He conquered home by home. The Messenger took some people captive, including Safiyah and her two cousins. The Prophet chose Safiyah for himself.”


Muhammad was no Jesus, or Buddha !!

And these Islamic scripture versus are there for anyone to read.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCole

Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi and Ahmadinejad, where in the Qur'an or the hadith of the Prophet (SAW) was that mentioned or practiced because Islam is a religion of facts. So proof your saying with the Qur'an or Hadith. If its true or islamic he'll mention the Qur'anic verse or chapter.

September 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGodofsix

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