Iran continues to suffer from double-digit unemployment and inflation - inflation climbed to a 28% annual rate in 2008. Underemployment among Iran's educated youth has convinced many to seek jobs overseas, resulting in a significant "brain drain.
A measure of Islamic fundamentalists’ success in controlling society is the depth and totality with which they suppress the freedom and rights of women. In Iran for 25 years, the ruling mullahs have enforced humiliating and sadistic rules and punishments on women and girls, enslaving them in a gender apartheid system of segregation, forced veiling, second-class status, lashing, and stoning to death. While Islamist apologists may argue that sex slavery exists around the world, exploiting innocent girls, women, boys and men, the fact will remain that in these Muslim nations this human-rights abuse has become institutionalized, with government-run brothels in Iran, for instance, offering what is called mutah or a temporary contract that allows men to "marry" for sexual purposes women other than the four concurrent wives allotted by Muhammad.
These sexist practices are justified by Quranic verses and other Islamic texts that proclaim women to be inferior subhumans to be used and exploited at will by men, who are given permission to beat and control them as they would property and animals.
For example, the Quranic verse or ayah 4:24 is held up as justification for mutah:
"Also [forbidden to you are] married women, except those whom you own as slaves. Such is the decree of God. All women other than these are lawful for you, provided you court them with your wealth in modest conduct, not in fornication. Give them their dowry for the enjoyment you have had of them as a duty; but it shall be no offense for you to make any other agreement among yourselves after you have fulfilled your duty. Surely God is all-knowing and wise."
Believers in a literal and eternal interpretation of the Quran/Koran seem to have only one place to go with this verse, which basically says that Muslim men can own sex slaves. Moreover, according to Islamic or sharia law, a woman has no right to divorce, as only a man does, a right he may freely exercise in some Muslim areas merely by saying the word talaq—"I divorce you"—three times. A man can then proceed to marry another woman and another after that by doing the same thing.
While it may be argued that even the United States has legal, government-approved brothels, as in the state of Nevada, the fact is that forced