By C. Michael Forsyth
SHAMIRZAD, Iran – Iranian authorities have issued a fatwa – a death warrant – for a burqa-clad mystery woman who beats up clerics who scold ladies for immodest dress!
Since September, 14 holy men have been beaten to a pulp by the veiled vixen – enraging leaders in a nation where women are supposed to be subservient. Known only as the Mystery Virgin, she has been likened to the swashbuckling masked avenger Zorro.
“Because she’s covered head to toe, none of the injured victims have been able to identify her,” says Iranian journalist Davood Jobrani of the People’s Report.
“Authorities are frustrated – and concerned that if the Mystery Virgin is not captured soon, disrespectful behavior could spread among the female population. They fear we might have women running around in blue jeans and high heels. The imans have launched the mother of all manhunts for the assailant.”
Iranian law demands that women abide by a strict dress code that bans Western clothing. Those who break the rules risk public reprimand by the “morality police,” clerics or alert male citizens – and for serious breaches can be carted off to jail.
The first known attack took place in the northern town of Shamirzad. According to Iran’s official Mehr News Agency, the Mystery Virgin pummeled the cleric so badly that he needed hospitalization.
Respected religious leader Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti told reporters he was on his way to pray at a mosque when he encountered a young woman and warned her that her ankles were partially exposed.
“She responded by telling me to cover my eyes, which was very insulting to me,” still-shaken Beheshti recalled. When he demanded she cover up, the Mystery Virgin told him to “put a lid on it.” Then she punched him so hard he hit the ground.
Since then, more than a dozen clerics in the area have reported similar incidents in which they criticized women for non-Isamic dress or conduct and were severely thrashed for the unsolicited advice.
“I saw a woman reading an American fashion magazine in the park and noticed that she was wearing nail polish,” Arash Hadandi told Iranian TV. “I ordered her to put away the magazine and scolded her for her shamelessness. Out of nowhere a second woman appeared and told me to shut up.
“I said, ‘How dare you? Go on your way or you’ll get a good caning.’
“She replied, ‘The only one who’s getting a beating today is you.’ The harlot knocked me to the ground and kicked me until I was unconscious.”
Hadandi suffered a broken nose and two fractured ribs in the brutal attack.
News of the Mystery Virgin’s exploits has spread throughout the country, along with wild rumors. Some Iranians believe the two-fisted superheroine studied martial arts, or perhaps picked up tricks from bootleg Jackie Chan DVDS, in clear violation of Sharia, Muslim holy law.
“She delivers blows so rapidly and her roundhouse kick is so powerful that she may indeed have received some special training,” said Police Inspector Mahoud Rostami, who is leading the investigation. “Or it could merely be that rage has given her abnormal strength.”
Adding insult to injury, two of the victims were left stripped to their underwear. Clergyman Farid Karimi denounced a woman he spotted on the street as a “prostitute” because he could make out her curves through her burqa. The Mystery Virgin came to her rescue, taking down Karimi with a lightning fast blitz of jabs and uppercuts.
“As I lay sprawled in the alley, she said, ‘I don’t like your fashion sense either,’ and yanked off my robes,” Karimi told newsmen. “As I tried to cover myself she disappeared into the gathering crowd.”
Karimi, who was found to be wearing women’s undergarments, now faces criminal charges himself. But it is the elusive Mystery Virgin whom authorities are determined to bring to justice. If captured, she could face a trial before a religious tribunal and death by stoning.
The Mystery Virgin has become a symbol for the pent-up anger of downtrodden Muslim women, to whom she’s become a hero.
“They may condemn her in front of their husbands at the dinner table,” notes reporter Jobrani. “But when they are in the kitchen cooking and washing dishes, they praise her in hushed voices.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth