Glenn Franco Simmons | Táhirih
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Táhirih is what many in the East say was the start of the emancipation of women movement ~ decades before Western women took up the cause. She was martyred in 1852. The text, slightly edited, is from Bahaikipedia:

Táhirih (Arabic:"The Pure One") is a title of Fátimih Baraghání (1817-1852), an influential poet and theologian of the Bábí Faith in Iran. As a prominent Bábí she is highly regarded by Bahá’ís, and often mentioned in Bahá’í literature as an example of courage in the struggle for women's rights.

After The Báb's arrest in 1848, Bahá’u’lláh made arrangements for Táhirih to leave Tehran and attend a conference of Bábí leaders in Badasht. She is perhaps best remembered for appearing in public without her veil in the course of this conference signaling that the Islamic Sharia law was abrogated and superseded by Bábí law. One of the conservative male Bábís is recorded to have ripped his own throat open at seeing he unveiled. It was at the Badasht conference that she was given the title Táhirih by Bahá’u’lláh which means "the Pure One".

After the Conference of Badasht, Táhirih was arrested by officials and imprisoned in Tihrán. On hearing the news that she was to be killed, Táhirih was fearless. When the day came she washed, prayed, dressed herself in a white gown and adorned herself with expensive perfume. She was led into a garden to be killed, but the men seemed to have been too scared to do so. Instead, they found a drunk who viciously strangled her with a scarf. Her body was thrown into a well and stones thrown on top of it. Before they martyred her she said "You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women."

The Sháh of Persia, who offered to marry her, was said to have experienced genuine grief over her death. She was 35, and the mother of three children.

Notwithstanding her short life, Táhirih soon won renowned not only in Persia but outside too. Her legendary valor even reached Europe. Even today, her poems are widely read in Persia by non-Bahá’ís. She is often used in Persia as an example of female emancipation and feminism. Persian scholar Azar Nafisi said on PBS's NewsHour on Oct. 10, 2003: "The first woman to unveil and to question both political and religious orthodoxy was a woman named Táhirih who lived in early 1800s. .... And we carry this tradition."
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