In this Instagram TV episode, I discuss White Wednesdays, which is a movement started by Masih Alinejad in May of 2017 to protest Iran’s mandatory hijab rule. You can follow her on Instagram @Masih.Alinejad.
Masih Alinejad, currently lives in New York after she left Iran years ago. She started this movement in Iran called White Wednesdays. What White Wednesdays is, is woman who are taking off their hijab, tying it to a stick and standing in a public traffic circle, where cars are going by, and just waving the hijab, because in Iran, it’s compulsory. They have to wear it.
The idea for this topic came up after we posted an Instagram quoting Robert J. O’Neill, (who is the retired avy SEAL who actually shot and killed Osama Bin Laden). Rob O’Neill has a fantastic book out that I highly recommend called The Operator. It’s one of the top five best books that I’ve ever read, and he has a lot of experience on terrorism and the Middle East. Here’s what he said about the hijab:
“Do any of you realize that the whole hijab thing is only 39 years old? It’s not tradition.” ~ Robert J. O’Neill.
The context is the ongoing discussions in the West about the hijab, which always seems to center around women in the West being oppressed or discriminated against when they wear it, while almost zero discussion is focused on the fact that millions of women around the world are forced to wear the hijab against their will; either by rule of law or their families or societal insistence. Many people read the Instagram quote, emotionally over-reacted and started hurling insults, instead of trying to join the discussion, understand what was being discussed and learn something new.
People’s response to Robert O’Neill’s quote are like, Oh, you’ve got veils and things that go back to the times of the bible. There’s been a lot of talk in the media, because there’s a lot of people on the political left that like victims. Anyone who is perceived to be a victim, they just jump on the bandwagon, lift them on their shoulders, and they don’t really know what’s going on. So the context for this conversation is, look at all these women in Iran that are trying to not have to wear the hijab, because it’s compulsory. They lock you up.
This woman I want to introduce you, Masih Alinejad, has a million and a half followers on Instagram, (@Masih.Alinejad), and what she did was create a platform for women in Iran to post their videos protesting, so people can see the plight of Iranian women and their attempts to throw off the compulsory hijab.
Now, if people want to wear it, whatever, but what I personally have a problem with is it being forced. If you look at the comments from my Instagram post, (quoting Rob O’Neill), people read it, were flying off the handle, and had an emotional reaction without really trying to understand the context of it. I just wanted to bring attention to it because I thought it was a great quote.
What you normally see in the news is, any time someone talks about the hijab, you hear, “you’re a racist,” “you’re a xenophobe,” “you’re an islamaphobe,” blah, blah, blah, and it just drowns out the voices of women like Masih, who is trying to bring about change in her home country, giving a voice and a platform.
There was a woman who was between 18 and 20 years old, who was one of the first ones to do it, to wave her hijab on the stick, and she got sentenced to like 80 or 100 lashes and 20 years, two decades of her life, in prison for protesting, taking her hijab off. There was a video Misih posted of a woman who wasn’t wearing her hijab properly, and a bunch of women who are part of the morality police descended on her and just beat the shit out of her. This was all filmed and uploaded to Instagram and other platforms.
There was another video I saw of 5 or 6 guys and women, friends sitting around and playing guitar, and then the morality police showed up, because you’re apparently not allowed to play music in public like that. These morality police are forcing people to do things against their will. It’s a great platform for people to find out what the hell is really going on over there.
People ask me, Corey, why do you talk about these subjects? You’re supposed to be a life coach or a dating coach. I started studying success and self-help when I was a teenager, because I wanted to be more successful. After writing my first book, How To Be A 3% Man, I had gotten to a point in my life where I wanted to make a difference in the world. In my second book, Mastering Yourself, I get a little more into politics. In the reviews people complain about it and say, why? But if you read the back of my first book, it says:
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
That’s why I talk about these things. It’s because they’re all interrelated. In order to reach your full potential in life, you have to have the freedom and the space to do that, to be who you are. And because half of my clients are U.S. based, the rest are distributed throughout the world. I have clients in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Pakistan, India, all over the UAE. I have a lot of Muslim clients, so if you’re going to speak intelligently, and you’re going to have clients globally, you should at least know where they are on a map, and you should know a little bit about what’s going on around the world, or in their part of the world, to help them effectively. So these things concern me. I care about these things.
As I talk about extensively in my second book, Mastering Yourself, when people understand things like the banking system and how that works, they’ll know what’s going on when the economy goes sideways. Everybody should understand that, but 99% of people don’t know these things. When you’re trying to decide who you’re going to vote for as a politician, if you understand how the banking system works, and someone is telling you what their policies are, you’ll know if it will increase or decrease the money supply in circulation, and you will know if it will have a negative effect on the economy.
Anybody who has money, who is self-made, they’ve all gone through a similar path. They get to a certain level of success, and they think it’s just going to continue on forever, and then the boom and bust cycle with our central banking system comes around and wipes them out. That’s why I share these things, so people can avoid the mistakes that I’ve made.
So back to Masih Alinejad, she also wrote a book called, The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran. If you care about these things, and you care about other people, if you have a heart and you’re not dead inside, I encourage you to follow her @Masih.Alinejad. Here’s a quote from a Bustle article on White Wednesday and its founder, Masih Alinejad:
“…in May 2017, activist and My Stealthy Freedom founder Masih Alinejad started White Wednesdays to protest Iran’s mandatory hijab rule. Alinejad described her movement in 2017 via Facebook, saying, This campaign is addressed to women who willingly wear the veil, but who remain opposed to the idea of imposing it on others. Many veiled women in Iran also find the compulsory imposition of the veil to be an insult. By taking footages of themselves wearing white, these women can also show their disagreement with compulsion.”
There was a quote in my second book, Mastering Yourself, by Mohammad bin Salman, who is the Defense Minster and future king of Saudi Arabia. People just blew up, started hurling insults at me and having an emotional reaction, but most people just don’t understand that part of the world, don’t know what’s going on, and think, why should I give a shit? But in order to make informed decisions, you have to have an idea of what’s going on.
The average person doesn’t know that in Saudi Arabia there are male guardianship laws, so the woman can’t leave the house without a male guardian or relative with her. My Saudi clients there are like, how do I date? They’re sneaking around, going to hotels and restaurants. They’ve got friends and family members that are on their side, but they’re having to run around like James Bond to date. It’s not like it is the West where you meet a girl, you get her phone number, and you go out on a date. They have to be really cautious, so it’s hard for them to get to know other people.
Their society is transitioning to a more westernized way, where things are voluntary and not compulsory. As of June, 2018, women now have the right to drive, which I think is amazing. This is all because of the reforms that Mohammad bin Salman is pushing. In his quote, he says:
“Saudi Arabia was not like this prior to 1979. Saudi Arabia and the entire region had the awakening project spread after ‘79 … We only want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that is open to the world, open to all the religions. 70% of the Saudi people are less than 30 years old, and quite frankly, we will not waste 30 years of our lives in dealing with extremist ideas. We will destroy them today. We want to live a normal life, a life that translates our moderate religion, our good customs. We coexist and live with the world, and contribute to the development of our country and the world … I believe that we will eradicate the rest of extremism very soon.” ~ Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman
You’ve got to look at what people do, and not what they say. He has promised a lot of things.
You should watch this Nasser video from 1966, where he’s laughing at the Muslim Brotherhood’s insistence that the women’s hijab be compulsory and women be forced to cover up. If you look at the comments, there were a lot of Muslims that commented who were very supportive of the post. They were like, with my parents, nobody wore that when they were growing up in the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s. But today, most people in the West think it has always been that way.
There’s an account I follow on Twitter called Before Sharia Spoiled Everything, (@BeforeSharia), and they post pictures all the time from Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, over the last 80-100 years where you can see women are walking around in miniskirts, dresses and long hair. Most people don’t know that took place.
Because I have clients all over the world, and they share their perspective, I want to share these things. We’re all in this together. We should give a shit about other people. We should have a problem when our brothers and sisters in humanity are forced to do things against their will, and they don’t have the same kinds of freedoms we do.
I wanted to bring all of this up because it’s important to me. And I’m going to continue to talk about these things. I would like to hear from you. Post some questions under the video that you’d like for me to talk about, or topics you’d like for me to address in the future.
You know it’s interesting, what I really thought was touching and was really fucking cool was, Misih posted a video of a woman who was in a busy city in Iran with hundreds of people walking everywhere. She took her veil off, and two or three of the religious police started dragging her to arrest her, and the whole crowd descended on these guys, literally hundreds of people, and said No, you’re not fucking arresting her. Let her go. And these guys let her go. I thought it was amazing, because the people stood up and said, no, you’re not taking her to jail, because some of these women are disappearing, and they’re never heard from again.
Now, the average person in the West, they don’t know this is going on. For most of the people watching this, this is probably the first they are ever hearing about it. And it’s sad that it happens, but this is the world we’re living in. If we can understand each other and where everybody comes from, I mean, you can wear whatever you want, but you shouldn’t be forced to live a certain way. I’m always going to have a problem with that. If we understand each other’s culture and support one another in being free to choose what we want, the world’s going to be a better place. In order to be great, you’ve got to have the space, the freedom and the ability to be great.
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