"Look at the calendar of the Baha'is two years ago or maybe three years ago; it is there recorded: The equality of the rights of men and women, [this] is the opinion of Abdu'l-Baha; the men [in charge in the government] are following him. The shah, utterly ignorant of this goes up there, and preaches the equality of the sexes. Man! You have been injected with this idea so that they can accuse you of being a Baha'i, so that I pronounce you an infidel; and that you may be dethroned. Don't do this, you wretched one! Don't do this! Universal compulsory education . . . it is Abdu'l-Baha's view." -Ayatollah Khomeini, 1963 In the above quote Khomeini denounces Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi for his progressive views, such as the equality of men and women. He even argues this is one reason why he deserves to be dethroned. So what had Iranian religious leaders so opposed to the equality of men and women? A historian explains that this "greater freedom given to Baha'i women . . . was interpreted as a sign of promiscuity." It was one reason for this opposition. "Reports on the Baha'i community written by foreign envoys who lived in Iran during the period call attention to the advancement achieved by women in this community and point out the significant differences between Baha'i and non-Baha'i women. The Baha'i concern for the equality of men and women was not limited to education, although education was strongly emphasized. In contrast to the prevailing sharia law and Shi'i custom, Baha'i teachings accepted men and women as legally equal, set the age of maturity for women at fifteen, and required the bride's consent as essential for marriage. Monogomy was universally prescribed, and temporary or short-term contractual marriage - known among Shi'i Iranians as sigheh or nikah al-mot'eh - was forbidden. Baha'i women were not required to wear hijab. It should not be imagined that these efforts yielded results easily. The surrounding traditional society extended intense pressure on the emerging Baha'i community, and the greater freedom given to Baha'i women by their own community was interpreted as a sign of promiscuity." -Fereydun Vahman, 175 Years of Persecution It would be interesting for further study to compile a list of remarks about this topic from the foremost religious leaders opposed to the Baha'i Faith in Iran during the 19th and 20th centuries.