These girls are the future of Iran…this murderous regime is a thing of the past
This is what real evil looks like: murdering young girls in cold blood, then threatening their grieving families to force them to lie about the circumstances of these atrocities.
Vans have even appeared in schools in Iran to arrest girls en masse – a grim development almost unprecedented. Schools in Kurdistan province have been closed; these elderly ayatollahs are terrified of little girls.
Sarina Esmailzadeh, a beautiful 16-year-old video blogger, was beaten to death by police with batons, and her family was subjected to intense harassment to silence them. The vivacious and headstrong Nika Shahkarami, who is also only 16, made one last call to her mother to tell her that she was being chased by the security forces. When his family finally gained access to his beaten corpse 10 days later, they discovered that his skull had been severed from extremely violent beatings.
Family members were arrested and threatened. Such is the tragicomic, gangster nature of this regime that when Nika’s uncle appeared on television to be coerced into giving a false account of events, a shadowy figure behind him threatened, “Speak up, you bastard.”
Nika’s mother, Nasrin, was no fool. “I probably don’t have to try so hard to prove they’re lying,” she said. “My daughter was killed during the protests the same day she disappeared.” Videos of Nika and Sarina in happier times, dancing and singing, have been shared millions of times as public anger reaches boiling point.
Repressive regimes like to impose narratives that no one believes. Tinpot dictatorships such as China, Syria, Myanmar and Iran attempt to strike fear into the hearts of everyone, while simultaneously forcing repressed subjects to recount grotesque murders through the vocabulary of “accidents”. tragedies”, “suicides” or malicious acts by “foreign enemies”.
With protests in Iran more widespread than ever, the estimated death toll is far below the reality. In Zahedan alone, in a single day, more than 90 people were killed, including children, when security forces opened fire. Let’s not forget that these furious protests erupted in the first place after another young woman, Mahsa Amini, died in a coma with a fractured skull simply for wearing her hijab “incorrectly”.
To exist as an Iranian woman is to subsist in a state of apartheid: formally or informally excluded from so many roles and social spaces, forced to wear heavy, black, regime-imposed clothes, forced to be second-class citizens. Meanwhile, the wives and daughters of the regime’s hardliners and their corporate cronies live lives of opulence, debauchery and excess. If the morality police attempted to enter the uptown areas of northern Tehran and tell these trophy brides how to dress, they would quickly find themselves sent to the farthest reaches of Balochistan!
However, the protesters in Iran have irretrievably crossed a psychological barrier. Girls cutting their hair in public is a supreme act of defiance – refuting regime-imposed demands while rejecting the standards of beauty and submission to a stifling, patriarchal society designed to keep women in their place.
People are hungry, poor and jobless because of the regime’s negligence and incompetence, but the protests go far beyond that; they strike at the very heart of women’s rights to live their lives unmolested. Make no mistake, the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” seeks nothing less than regime change. Iranian actors, musicians, sports figures and activists from around the world have recorded moving videos showing their solidarity with this uprising.
The regime’s attempts at assassination to get out of trouble are exactly what we should expect under the leadership of President Ebrahim Raisi. In 1988, when Ayatollah Khomeini wanted to empty Iranian prisons of tens of thousands of political prisoners, Raisi’s “death committee” simply subjected them to sham trials and executed them all.
To exist as an Iranian woman is to subsist in a state of apartheid
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s ridiculous claim that the protests are a foreign plot has heightened popular anger. On the contrary, the international response has been too weak. It took distracted Western states a few weeks to realize that events of potentially enormous geopolitical significance are brewing across Iran. Yet when I spoke at the British Conservative Party conference last week, I was once again surprised by the torrent of willful naivety about Iran. A member of the public told me confidently that the ayatollahs could not desire a nuclear bomb, because such a thing would be un-Islamic – as if massacring young girls and launching missile strikes against neighboring Muslim states were perfectly permissible. by Islam!
Another participant tried to contextualize all these conflicts as part of an eternal struggle between Shiites and Sunnis. What eternal struggle? In recent times, in Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, it was quite normal for Sunnis and Shiites to coexist and intermarry. Growing up in Lebanon, we had no understanding of the distinctions between Sunni, Shia, or Druze neighbors, while savoring national holidays and sharing treats that came from celebrating each other’s holidays. This recent phenomenon of explosive sectarian hostilities is almost entirely due to the cynical stirring up of intercommunal tensions in pursuit of supremacy, by a theocratic regime in whose constitution “exporting the revolution” is written.
For schoolgirls who should be far too young to have any idea of political developments nationwide, these events serve as unforgettable formative memories and create a determination to bring down this murderous regime when the opportunity arises. A video has gone viral of angry schoolgirls yelling at a Basij member sent to talk to them, while Raisi went to a university to be taunted by chants of “the mullahs get lost”. To be fair, Raisi appears to have tried to provoke the students – reciting a poem comparing the protesters to “flies”. But how can the ayatollahs hope to retain power when even young girls tear up photos of Khamenei and chant “death to the dictator”?
Even if Iranians are not immediately rewarded with the liberation they seek, the killers of Mahsa, Nika and Sarina have ensured that before long enough citizens will take to the streets to sweep away this regime once and for all. hated. .
These girls are the future of Iran. Soon they will send these evil, discredited old men into the rat-infested sewers of history.
• Baria Alamuddin is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East and the UK. She is the editor of the Media Services Syndicate and has interviewed many heads of state.
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