There is an on-going debate. Reformers like President Mohammad Khatami believe that Islam allows for greater social and political freedoms than are currently permitted. Hard liners disagree. Ayatollah Hadavi's views lie somewhere in between.

Ayatollah Hadavi: History has shown the beginning of the corruption in society is always from the women side because of their important role in the morality of the society, as mothers, sisters, wives in home, and outside home in the society. On the other hand, on the side of men, they should control themselves. If you look at the woman, you should not look at her in some sexual desires and so on. Woman is a symbol of beauty and a symbol of love and you should take care of this symbol to take care of the society, to take care of the family.

Mahdi Hadavi lives on the outskirts of Qom. He is married with four children.

Ayatollah Hadavi: Part of Islam is for taking care of family. If it is unstable, then the society is unstable.

Although the Ayatollah believes that women must put their family first, he doesn't necessarily believe that they should stay at home.

Ayatollah Hadavi: My wife is teaching now in University. She is teaching Islamic philosophy and logic. My daughter now is in college of graphics ... and we hope that she will be able to enter the University.

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