Women, Life, Freedom

Column by Alireza Majidi

(Majidi is an international student from Iran.)

Seven weeks ago, a Kurdish girl was killed by the Morality Police in Tehran, Iran. Mahsa Amini, 22 years old, was walking in one of the streets of Tehran, breathing that polluted air, struggling with lots of problems, and having hundreds of dreams in mind.  Suddenly, she was arrested by the morality police because they believed that she did not have an appropriate hijab.  They put her in one of those black vans and brought her to the police station.

It might be a question for many of you what an appropriate hijab is in Iran. For example, all women must have scarf, or shawl to cover their hair. However, this new generation are not following this rule anymore, and they just cover a part of their hair so that they can feel free and show their hair. The other red line is the gown. Women are not allowed to wear short gowns, up to their knees. The colors also should not be very flashy, and heavy make-up can be unacceptable. The intensity of these rules varies city by city and district by district.

The story of Amini caught international headlines because of what happened after her arrest. Video surveillance in the station showed that Amini fainted and fell on the ground. The video also showed policewomen let her lay there for a while before she was taken to the hospital, where she died.

The Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran claimed that she had a heart attack in the police station and fell into coma. But eyewitnesses and the medical reports say she was brutally beaten.

This was a shock for the people who were tired of their government. They have seen the incompetence of the Islamic Republic for four decades; they have been the witness of many incidence. Those include the shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in January 2020 in the skies of the Tehran air defense system which killed 176 people. The Islamic Republic of Iran says it thought it was an American bombardier after they attacked one of the American stations in Iraq.  The massacre of Aban otherwise known as Bloody November in 2019 was a series of nationwide civil protests in Iran when the government killed almost four thousand protestors. The mass executions of the 1980s were a violation of the human rights. The Iranians have been tortured for more than four decades by the barbarism of this so-called religious regime ruled by bloodsucker Mullas getting fatter every day.

If there is a country named Iran today, it is because of the sacrifice of people who dedicated their lives and futures for their country to die on the front lines of the illusions.  They were promised a free land, democracy, independence, and peace, but now what they have are just suffocation, dictatorship, being-a-good-boy-for-Russia-and-China, and economical war. People have been the witness of these injustices yet said nothing and hid in their night cocoons in hope of having a brighter tomorrow.

However, they were the former generation who feared going to the streets and targeting the main principles of the regime. But this new age has nothing to lose as they cannot see any future for themselves. They have no identities in society. They live with little hope must bury their ideas and dreams right after they are born. The sudden death of Mahsa Amini was lighting a match in a room full of chaff. And now, these people are shouting with all their power to break this forced silence.

The lion-heart girls, the same age as Mahsa and even younger, are standing on the police cars with the slogan of “Woman, Life, Freedom” on their lips, and their scarfs in their hands, to make a change in Iran and revolutionize the fossilized minds of the people.

Now it is the seventh week of the protests and some parts of Tehran and other cities are in the hands of the people. Young men and women are dying in the streets for the freedom that most Americans were born with. Right now, people outside of Iran speak out because they feel safe and nothing will harm them, but the real frontline of feminism is in Iran where safety is not guaranteed.

Although we are miles away from them, let’s just support them and post something on social media to show them they are not alone. Let’s be one voice before it gets too late because this bright candle will die someday if it’s ignored.

Those women who you cut their running feet yesterday,

Their daughters have the wings of flying today.