Eyewitnesses Say Iranian Police Use Force to Break Up Protest
By Edward Yeranian Voice of America
22 June 2009
Witnesses say Iranian riot police have fired tear gas to break up a new opposition rally in the centre of the capital Tehran, hours after a stern warning to protesters.
According to eyewitness reports, Iranian police Monday attacked hundred of demonstrators attending an opposition rally in a Tehran square with tear gas.
Demonstrators had gathered on Haft-e Tir Square despite the warning from Iran's Revolutionary Guards against holding unapproved rallies.
Earlier, defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi urged his supporters to continue demonstrating, but "with restraint."
"The country belongs to you," Mr. Mousavi told supporters on his Web site Kalam, adding that "it is your right to protest lies and fraud," in reference to disputed election results which gave a landslide victory to incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards, however, vowed to crush further protest rallies, telling opposition supporters to be ready for a "revolutionary confrontation" if they continue to demonstrate.
Iran analyst Mehrdad Khonsari with the London-based Center for Arab and Iranian Studies says that government tactics to quell demonstrations is having limited results.
"The authorities are succeeding in trying to prevent a mass congregation in one place, which means they're stopping people coming to a central location or a central point from various avenues, but they have not succeeded in preventing people from coming out, so instead they're trying to control the crowds arriving at that central point from a number of other streets and locations," said Khonsari. "This tactic has been successful in preventing huge numbers from gathering in one place, but this does not mean that the demonstrations have fizzled out or that people have lost their enthusiasm."
He also notes that there are similarities between the period leading up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution and events of today.
"There are similarities in appearance, but what separates the two is that the government at that time did not have the resolve to want to quell the rebellion at any price, and the Shah was seeking to make compromises with the opposition," he continued. "This time, the regime is bent on quashing the rebellion, and they don't want to make any compromises, whatsoever. Finally, the revolution was sort of aimed at opposing forces of modernity in favor of traditional religious values. This time, you see the forces of modernity challenging conservative religious forces."
Iranian state radio reported earlier that at least 457 people were arrested Saturday, a day marked by clashes between security forces and demonstrators that resulted in the deaths of at least 10 people.
I intend to show as many videos as possible that reflect the courage and valor of the young people in Iran and the no good bastards on the wrong side of history.ReplyDelete
These events are as historic as the events that led up to our own revolution. I sincerely believe that this will be a game changer in the Islamic world.
Ever the optimist that I am.
Will the EU and the US go after the kleptocracy of decency in Iran with as much zest as they have sought Radovan Karadzic and his army commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic? The entire regime should be tracked down and arrested anytime they leave Iran.ReplyDelete
"I sincerely believe that this will be a game changer in the Islamic world."ReplyDelete
Some of us must be reading Lang. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
He's just, you know, wrong.
Comes the question: How could the one-time stand-up for Defense Humint possibly be wrong?ReplyDelete
I hope you're right, Deuce. It seems unlikely; but hell, I'm getting old, what do I know.ReplyDelete
We used to say that No revolution had ever succeeded without money, and support from "outside," but that was before the internet, twitter, facebook, etc. Does that old saw still hold? Stay tuned, I guess.ReplyDelete
Uh oh, you're not going to like this. McChrystal is going to order troops in Afghanistan to return fire coming from HOUSES.ReplyDelete
Shit, that sounds weird.
That should be:ReplyDelete
Not to Return Fire from attacks from Houses.
The stupid old religious fanatics running Iran are trying to ban prayers for the young woman murdered by one of their droids.ReplyDelete
These guys are finished. It may take some time but they will end up at the end of a rope.
Iran bans prayers for 'Angel of Freedom' Neda Agha Soltan
Iran's regime has issued a ban on memorials for a young woman whose death has become the focal point of protests against the clerical regime.
by Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Published: 5:21PM BST 22 Jun 2009
Neda Agha Soltan, 27, was dubbed the Angel of Freedom after a video which appeared to show her being shot by a government sniper was posted on the internet.
Graphic scenes show Neda – her name means "the call" – walking with her father among demonstrators, then separately when she was shot as well as attempts to save her life.
Online posters of the woman covered in blood quickly emerged, included one modelled on a prominent image of Barack Obama during the last US presidential campaign.
Some online posts speculated the image would rank alongside that of the unnamed man standing in front of a tank in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the summary execution of a Vietnamese Communist prisoner by Colonel Nugyen Ngoc Loan in 1968.
The Iranian authorities have now sent out a circular to mosques banning collective prayers for the woman.
...strange revolution this...ReplyDelete
...no Molotov cocktails...no government assets attacked...no buses ablaze...no kitchen cutlery used to hack to death the isolated government agent...no lynching...no armories or police stationed looted for arms…Hmm
Waiting on the world to changeReplyDelete
Desperados, waiting for a trainReplyDelete
Ed McMahon Dead at Age 85...ReplyDelete
Old Ed is dead.ReplyDelete
'Rat'll Love This:ReplyDelete
Washington has already spent 7 ½ years and more than $15 billion on failed training programs. President George W. Bush’s Pentagon never sent enough trainers (most of those available were assigned to Iraq) to systematically embed American advisers in Afghan Army units, an approach now paying dividends in Iraq.
It failed to pay Afghan soldiers a living wage, making it easy for Taliban and drug lords to outbid them for the country’s unemployed young men. The Pentagon also neglected to keep track of weapons it gave out, like mortars, grenade launchers and automatic rifles. Tens of thousands disappeared, sold to the highest bidder and, in some cases, used against American soldiers.
Perhaps most fundamentally, American war planners never seemed to understand that a more effective Afghan Army and a more honest and competent police force could help persuade civilians that the war against the Taliban was more their own fight and not just an American war being fought on their territory.
With the Obama team giving Afghanistan the attention it requires, there is a chance to correct these mistakes. Four thousand more trainers are on the way, a dramatic increase over last year. A revived training effort will require the full engagement of the new American commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Afghanistan’s national police force will have to be rebuilt almost from scratch. Kabul’s central government is notoriously corrupt, but the tales from the field are even more distressing.
Journalists for The Times have reported seeing police officers burglarizing a home and growing opium poppies inside police compounds.
American soldiers complain of police supervisors shaking down villagers, skimming subordinates’ wages and selling promotions and equipment.
Muhammad Hanif Atmar, the interior minister, has pushed for greater accountability by senior police officials.
He has a lot of work ahead of him.
The idea, Rufus, is to quit alienating the Afghans.ReplyDelete
Only problem is,
it will still be Afghanistan.
He's all clear for take off. Good pick...
John Mayer Say (music video from The Bucket List)ReplyDelete
Anybody seen Bucket List?
From the last thread:ReplyDelete
"naif--Noun. A person who lacks knowledge of evil...
Ash: I'm a freedom loving kinda guy...Ya wanna wear a burka - go for it.
Ash to the imam: Ya wanna force your women to wear the burka? Go for it.
Ash to the honor killer: Ya wanna kill your daughters and wives for flirting? Go for it.
Ash to the rioters: Ya wanna have sharia law in your neighborhood. Go for it.
Ash to the DMV: They wanna wear a veil for their driver's license photos? Let 'em go for it.
Ash: They only wanna be free."
Linear, there is a big difference between someone choosing to wear an article of clothing and someone forcing another to wear or do something. I am surprised that you would actually support the notion that a national government should legislate dress codes. Your linear thought has led you right into the worst of theliberal/fascist paradigm.
Libertarians are Fascists.
Modern Liberals are not.
During World War II, McMahon was a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps serving as a flight instructor and test pilot. He was a decorated pilot and was discharged in 1946, remaining in the reserves.ReplyDelete
After college, McMahon returned to active duty.
He was sent to Korea in February 1953.
He flew unarmed O-1E Bird Dogs on 85 tactical air control and artillery spotting missions. He remained in the Marine Corps Reserve, retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1966 and was then commissioned as a Brigadier General in the California Air National Guard.
"These guys are finished. It may take some time but they will end up at the end of a rope."ReplyDelete
M. Ledeen's sources: "Need 5 mil for rope. And instructions."
How many interested parties are running IO on this, do you think?ReplyDelete
Three New Videos: Three videos uploaded tonight. Protestors standing in frontReplyDelete
of what is allegedly a Basij headq..
9 hours ago from twitterfeed
A Street War: Another incredible video of a street war in Tehran between a
massive group of Iranian citizens who..
13 hours agofrom twitterfeed
Video of Student Killed by Gunfire: Nico Pitney, who's live blogging all of the
latest developments in Iran over..
13 hours ago from twitterfeed
A Different Kind of Protest: Many of the protests we've seen recently have ended
in violence, but here's an exam..
13 hours ago from twitterfeed
Senator McCain talks about Neda on the Senate floor today:
Comments on Three VideosReplyDelete
Khalid, why do you think millions of Iranian have fled their homeland? Why do you think 80% of college graduates try to leave the country?
Why do you think most Iranians, given a choice, whould choose to leave their beloved home?
Let us hope we can all act together and work for a better future, in spite of these idiot devils who have kept us miserable prisoners in our own country.
These pretenders to Islam who rule Iran now will surely go to hell for making this life a living hell for the rest of us.
Everything thing is great...Team 44 takes credit for inspiring uprising and invites the regime to an Independence day party.ReplyDelete
Although I am always sceptical about the French, I must give Sharkozy credit for displaying great personal courage. When he decided to attack the burka, he had to know that he and his family may not live to see an old age and will have to live under constant guard. Bravo! Mr. SharkozyReplyDelete
Love is a splendid thing, doug.ReplyDelete
The US miltary had been planning to fight a nonexistant enemy, since at least '82, when I became disgusted with the leadership and by '84, when I was able to escape, the Army had its' head so far up its' ass, in regard its' mission and perspective opponents that the new dawn could not be seen.
It was a fat, bloated and totally misdirected force structure.
The changes that were implemented, subsequently, did not adress the core problems. There is still an aversion to utilizing foreign proxies, even when the President informs the Nation that there in lies the "Plan".
How else could it ever be expected for Iraqis or Afghani to "stand up"?
At some level the military leadership not wanting to stand down, never completing their primary mission, but finding excuse after excuse, not to.
I wonder, would the appropriate course for the US to follow, in Iran, be one that mirrored Mr Bush41 inciting revolution in Iraq in the end phase of Desert Storm?ReplyDelete
Encouraging insurgency against impossible odds, then refusing to aid or materially comfort the revolutionaries, when push comes to shove?
Watching them, via eye in the sky satellites, die by the thousands instead.
Now, that’s how to play the gameReplyDelete
“The tribal zone was also hammered by suspected U.S. missile strikes, which targeted a purported Taliban training center and then hours later hit a funeral procession for some of those killed in the earlier strike.”
In the words of our host, “Sweet!”
That’s the way I like it
I wonder if having 30 (?) million recently liberated neighbors next door who occasionally flaunt their purple fingers as they return from the polls has been any inspiration at all to the Iranians.ReplyDelete
Well, chachapoya, the Iranians have been voting for years. This time around their faith in the honesty of the electoral system seems to be severely shaken.ReplyDelete
allen, I presume you also agree with the French law outlawing headscarves in public places? You do realize that law also applies to other religious symbols as well, don't you?
You do presume. You haven't a clue what I think about the proposed legislation.
What should be clear is my respect for Mr. Sharkozy's personal élan. He is the first Western leader, to my knowledge, to attack a debasing symbol of a wretchedly misogynist perversion.
I wonder if the reform movement comes with a plan to cease treating Iraq as the Persian rump state. I wonder if any operations at all outside of the Republic will be rolled up. I wonder if the IRGC will reform itself the hell off the map.ReplyDelete
This has 'sucker' written all over it.
Chachapoya, that would definitely effect me.ReplyDelete
Oh, wait, that can't be right. That's what the eeeevul Bush wuz sayin would happen.
ah, you are asserting a nuanced view of things are you allen?ReplyDelete
This revolt does not seem to be driven by a dispute over Iran's policies, either foreign or domestic. There has been not a peep about nuclear development, for example. The "revolutionaries" appear to 1) believe they were disenfranchised and 2) want a different face in the government...same game, different name.
Genuine revolutions and revolutionaries have a knack for raising Hell fast. Commerce is interrupted. Arson abounds. Communications nodes are disabled...And petrol fuels the fires, lack of Barettas notwithstanding... Nada...
...nothing nuanced about what I said...If you have a question, feel free to frame it plainly.
ok, allen, do you support the proposed French legislation to ban the wearing of the naqib in public?ReplyDelete
Your linear thought has led you right into the worst of the liberal/fascist paradigm.ReplyDelete
No, Ash. It keeps me from embracing the worst of that paradigm. For starters consider the CHRC.
I do think you're a naif. My comment ran overlong, though I suspect it's points hit close to the mark.
I must learn to stop beating a dead horse.ReplyDelete
Linear, I'm no big fan of the CHRC. I do think it silly that a national government would see fit to pass dress codes. I'm surprised you are on the opposing side of that issue. The same logic behind legislating against the burka can, and is used to legislate against hate speech (see CHRC) and many other federal impositions upon individual conduct.ReplyDelete
ash writes: Linear, there is a big difference between someone choosing to wear an article of clothing and someone forcing another to wear or do something. I am surprised that you would actually support the notion that a national government should legislate dress codes. Your linear thought has led you right into the worst of theliberal/fascist paradigm.ReplyDelete
Ignoring a violent, repressive, murderous group of brain washed people in your society and giving them a "pass" based on a norman rockwell concept of freedom of religious expression is dangerous.
Islam has not earned the RIGHT to be freely expressed in the west...
ONCE Islam respects OTHER FAITHS as reasonable equals within those countries that Islam has a say, then they can have the RIGHT to wear head to toe coverings... We would not allow Klansmen in public dressed that way, we would not allow colombian gang bangers to dress that way....
WHY ALLOW the MOST VIOLENT FAITH on Earth influence civil. pluralistic society....
Were I French, I would oppose the legislation. I am thrilled, however, that this symbol of oppression is going to get the public debate it deserves. Perhaps some lady(ies) will then feel free to dispense with it. Thereafter...
I favor publically hanging by the neck until dead the next guy who "punishes" his wife(ves). Wouldn't you agree?
...Tell the faithful women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their scarf to cover their bosom. Koran, 24:31 (English translation).ReplyDelete
I haven't read the proposed French legislation. I would support any society that sought to restrict the unfettered application of religious practices such as the required wearing of the burqa or niqab, honor killings, and female genital mutilation under the circumstances known to prevail among muslims.
"...the niqab is such a powerful statement that more liberal Muslims sometimes can be heard objecting to it, especially in more developed societies, where women have fought long and hard to shake off restrictions seen as outdated and imposed by men."
The issue is not denying a woman the right to dress or undress as she wishes.ReplyDelete
What's your position, ash, on snake handling sects in Kentucky or muslim women demanding they be allowed to pose for their driver's license photo with their mask and veil in place?ReplyDelete
There are those who would argue that a ban on clitoridectomy would lead to a ban on circumcision.
Clitoridectomy prevents orgasm, a natural body function, while circumcision does not.
Now, if in the interest of gender equality Islam introduces removal of the glans penis, well...who am I to interfer?
"Clitoridectomy prevents orgasm, a natural body function, while circumcision does not."ReplyDelete
Yeah, but what if the smegma boy's are twice as good?
Obama Assails Iran for Violent Response to ProtestsReplyDelete
President Obama harshly condemned the Iranian crackdown against the protests on Tuesday, declaring the world “appalled and outraged.”
What if POTUS is an echo?
Dumbo is afraid to be appalled w/o "World Opinion" as a backup.
1970 - 52% of federal spending went to Defense,ReplyDelete
26% - payments to individuals.
2008 - 21% of federal spending went to Defense,
62% - payments to individuals.
- Robert Samuelson via Steyn
Re: twice as good
They are not - hence, pederasty.
Why are we having this conversation in the 21stC?
Right...oil...The Emperor has clothes.
Lost an old friend today...ReplyDelete
He just thinks I have gone over the deep end since I take my Glock (in my trunk) to schul...
I think he's the last man running down the hill from a bear...
Sorry to lose him, but i guess his daughters will make some nice black moslem NOI members proud....
Bye Bye Brian! Embrace Islam as a faith of peace at your own peril...
Someday, in the not to distant future you will learn (or not) that you cannot appease a beast...
Islam will continue to attack the west and it's self..
If israel is destroyed tomorrow, Islam will not stop it's attack on the west...
So bye bye my appeasing friend, the koolaid is blinding you from reality...
However he goes,ReplyDelete
whatever happens to his daughters,
he will go believing he is your moral superior, WIO.
If you moved to Georgia, you would not have carry your pistol in your trunk - you could wear it on your hip, or display it conspicuously in your car.
For $40.00 and a week's wait, you can conceal it and carry.
Suspected U.S. Drone Strike Kills at Least 60 in PakistanReplyDelete
If confirmed, the strike at a funeral in South Waziristan would be perhaps the deadliest by unmanned U.S. aircraft in Pakistan.
While the strike on the funeral may have been conducted by the Pakistani air force, residents and local media reports uniformly attributed it to an American drone.ReplyDelete
The dead may have included top commanders for Mr. Mehsud. The Geo television network, quoting unnamed sources, said that the dead included a trainer of suicide bombers named Qari Hussain as well as another Taliban commander named Sangeen, though there was no way to immediately verify the report.
Another television channel, AAJ, put the death toll at 60 and said the attack was carried out by a guided missile.
At the Corner:ReplyDelete
Bret Stephens' "Religion of Peace" [Andy McCarthy]
I'm an ardent admirer of the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens, but Bret, and the Journal in general, go a bit too la vie en rose for my taste when it comes to perceiving signs of reform and liberalization in the Islamic world. The Stephens column today, deliriously entitled "Religion of Peace" (and flagged in NRO's web digest), is case in point. The column is the subject of a devastating deconstruction by my friend Diana West at her blog, The Death of the Grown-Up.
Ahistorical and illogical things have been been written by many observers of the Iranian election protests who, looking at what the evidence to date suggests is little more than an intra-Islamic power struggle, see a glorious revolution of liberty-loving secularists ready to propel Iran into the heart of the Western world. Maybe it's the blue jeans that confuse them.
Revolutions fail when no one joins the initial segment, meaning the initial demonstrators are the ones who find themselves socially isolated. When the demonstrations do not spread to other cities, the demonstrations either peter out or the regime brings in the security and military forces — who remain loyal to the regime and frequently personally hostile to the demonstrators — and use force to suppress the rising to the extent necessary. This is what happened in Tiananmen Square in China: The students who rose up were not joined by others. Military forces who were not only loyal to the regime but hostile to the students were brought in, and the students were crushed.
A Question of Support
This is also what happened in Iran this week. The global media, obsessively focused on the initial demonstrators — who were supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s opponents — failed to notice that while large, the demonstrations primarily consisted of the same type of people demonstrating. Amid the breathless reporting on the demonstrations, reporters failed to notice that the uprising was not spreading to other classes and to other areas. In constantly interviewing English-speaking demonstrators, they failed to note just how many of the demonstrators spoke English and had smartphones. The media thus did not recognize these as the signs of a failing revolution.
But critically, the protesters were not joined by any of the millions whose votes the protesters alleged were stolen. In a complete hijacking of the election by some 13 million votes by an extremely unpopular candidate, we would have expected to see the core of Mousavi’s supporters joined by others who had been disenfranchised. On last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when the demonstrations were at their height, the millions of Mousavi voters should have made their appearance. They didn’t. We might assume that the security apparatus intimidated some, but surely more than just the Tehran professional and student classes posses civic courage. While appearing large, the demonstrations actually comprised a small fraction of society.
Tensions Among the Political Elite
All of this not to say there are not tremendous tensions within the Iranian political elite. That no revolution broke out does not mean there isn’t a crisis in the political elite, particularly among the clerics. But that crisis does not cut the way Western common sense would have it. Many of Iran’s religious leaders see Ahmadinejad as hostile to their interests, as threatening their financial prerogatives, and as taking international risks they don’t want to take. Ahmadinejad’s political popularity in fact rests on his populist hostility to what he sees as the corruption of the clerics and their families and his strong stand on Iranian national security issues.
Two little known news stories about a bombing which killed 11 French technical consultants suggest that in the hard world of international salesmanship, it is hard to welsh on an unspoken deal. The Times of India reports that the French engineers were killed, not by terrorists, but by Pakistani officials who were waiting unsuccessfully for their kickbacks. The French decided not to pay bribes earlier agreed upon and the Pakistanis decided to send a high explosive message. The French, being more civilized, replied with hit men and leg-breakers.ReplyDelete
LONDON: High-ranking Pakistani officials were behind the killing of eleven French ship-building engineers in Karachi seven years ago, two French judges have ruled. Until now al-Qaida had been blamed for the bomb attack on a bus in 2002 that killed 11 engineers and three Pakistanis.
The judges suspected that the Pakistanis were retaliating over a decision by former French President Jacques Chirac, to halt payment to Pakistani officers of millions of pounds in secret commission from an 720 million pounds contract signed in 1994, for three French submarines, the Time reported on Tuesday. ..
According to media reports, the French secret service retaliated after the 2002 attack, breaking the legs of two Pakistan navy admirals and killing a lower-ranking officer.
7. Salt Lick:
I was living in Kenya when Idi Amin assassinated Kenyan Minister (and possible British intelligence agent) Bruce MacKenzie with a timed bomb hidden in the “gift” of a lion’s head. Blew up MacKenzie’s plane on his way back home from Uganda.
America's first 100% Ahistorical President.
You know Di personally, Trish, or just thru her missives?ReplyDelete
Good find, Whit.ReplyDelete
An education gap, but also no doubt much truth about the source of Nutjob's populist appeal.
Diana West is a friend of McCarthy's. It was his post at the Corner.ReplyDelete
Thot we had a direct line to royalty.
Reports on Hubby as sparse as news on Mark Warner.ReplyDelete
Should setup a Whitehouse in Hyde Park, Complete with Security by Farakahn.tm
You are not playing fair! I answered your question, but you have not mine.
Which is better, this orReplyDelete
White House Says Iranians Still Invited To 4th of July Cookout OutReplyDelete
They can watch Kim's 4th of July Rocket together on TV.
Thanks for a great segue!
"Obama said he was "95% cured" and compared himself to a recovering alcoholic."ReplyDelete
My neighbor's wife is only 95% Pregnant, so I'm home free.
Obama refused to say how many cigarettes he smokes, where he sneaks them or how often he lights up now that he's in the White House. Only a day earlier, his top aides had refused to answer direct questions about the president's smoking.ReplyDelete
"I don't, honestly, see the need to get a whole lot more specific than the fact that it's a continuing struggle," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "He struggles with it every day."
During the presidential campaign, aides packed nicotine gum in their pockets to help Obama control his urges. Obama occasionally bummed cigarettes from aides, while also making sure to emphasize his efforts to stop for good and his progress toward quitting.
in thinking about Islam, Democrats, and smokingReplyDelete
After Obama said he was “appalled and outraged,” Major Garrett of Fox News asked him, “What took you so long?”ReplyDelete
At this, Mr. Cool turned into Mr. Icy. “I don’t think that’s accurate. Track what I've been saying,” the president said. “We’ve been entirely consistent.”
And when another reporter asked if he was responding to the criticism of John McCain and other Republicans who implied he had been “weak and timid,” Obama said: “What do you think? I think John McCain has genuine passion about many of these international issues. Only I’m the president of the United States.”
So there. And when NBC’s Chuck Todd asked why he would not spell out the consequences for Iran if the rulers there did not clean up their act, Obama said, “I know everybody here is on a 24-hours news cycle. I am not.”
Wearing a tie that was an icy shade of lavender, Obama remained, as always, unflappable. Before the news conference, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said he was “almost debonair” in his manner. After the news conference, you could remove the “almost.”
(Leg tingling, no doubt)
Suckup Simon @ Politico
Sorry allen if my response wasn't fast enough for you but I was out racing sailboats this evening. Is this the brilliant question you wanted answered?ReplyDelete
"I favor publically hanging by the neck until dead the next guy who "punishes" his wife(ves). Wouldn't you agree?"
No, I'm not in favor of capital punishment in general and definitely not for the crime of assault. I do not think that a husband has a right to assault his wife, nor his children. Any other questions I can help you with?
Blogger linearthinker said...ReplyDelete
"What's your position, ash, on snake handling sects in Kentucky or muslim women demanding they be allowed to pose for their driver's license photo with their mask and veil in place?"
Sorry Linear, I don't know anything about snake handling sects so I can't help you there. With respect to the driver's license question: No, it would be absurd to allow an obscured face to stand as a photo intended to identify.
Trampling on the lady's freedom of expression.