Persian Voices: Women Fought Like Male Lions

You have witnessed the events of Karbala. Has your Islamic zeal been transformed into Jewish abjectness?

Shamelessly and disgrace, O you who are less than women! You have become silent and gone to sleep…. Women of Azerbaijan put on cartridge belts, breast-fed their infants in sorrow, and fought in the battlefield like male lions… But (it would seem that) our decent people were only those who murdered or imprisoned; the others have gone into a slumber of shame, like women in comfortable beds…. O you who have destroyed Islam’s honor! O you who have ruined the rights of humanity! You are shameless, less than women, nay! Less than dogs! Did you think that all Iranians are like you, women – tempered and worshipers of Antichrist?

—Night Letter


Afsaneh Najmabadi. (2005). Woman with Mustaches and Men Without Beards Gender and Sexual Anxieties. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, p219.