A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Female Ninjas in Iran File a Lawsuit: Not Every Iranian Is Out to Kill Us- The Atlantic

In Nonsense, Politics on April 2, 2012 at 21:06


mf mar29 p.jpgIran’s Female Ninjas File a Lawsuit: Not Every Iranian Is Out to Kill Us 

Iranian women do not have it very easy in life, which is maybe why 3,500 of them decided to learn the martial art of ninjutsu, modeled after Japan’s ancient ninjas. The practice allows them empowerment and independence in a society that wants to deny them both. But now Iran’s female ninjas face another hardship: Western media portraying them as “assassins” who want to kill “foreign invaders.” They’re not, and the media fight over the mischaracterization reveals — and maybe worsens — how the West and Iran misunderstand one another.

In February, Reuters sent Caren Firouz to photograph an all-women ninjutsu gym in the town of Karaj. His photos (which we also ran) appeared in a slideshow on Reuters’ website. Now, Iranian state-run outlet PressTV says that several of those ninjas are suing Reuters for defamation. The Reuters story, according to PressTV, “accused [the women] of being assassins” whom the state is training “to kill any possible foreign invaders.” There’s no reason to think that these female athletes are actually state-run killers.

It’s hard to untangle what actually happened, both because PressTV is notoriously unreliable (ironically, their story uses stolen Reuters photos) and because Reuters is oddly mum about the incident. Reps for the news outlet refused to answer as to whether or not they are really being sued by the Iranian women.


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