Iranian protests


Kolby Wring, Staff Writer - The Mustang Messenger

After the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, many Iranian women have protested against the mandated hijab law that must make women wear them in public. According to the BBC and Iran Human Rights, a Norwegian group claims at least 201 people have been killed over these protests. In 2009 there were similar protests over the disputed presidential election that was primarily led by the middle class. Once again there were protests in 2017 and 2019 due to economic hardships. There have also been videos of women rebelling against this rule and cutting their hijabs and their hair along with them chanting “Woman, life, freedom, and death to the dictator”  Which refers to Iran’s current head of state Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Authorities have reacted to the protests via police brutality and even going as far as shutting down the internet to add to the unrest; it didn’t help that authorities released them. The civil unrest has had far-reaching effects as many European and American cities have had solidarity protests in honor of these women and the many sacrifices they are making knowing they will face severe consequences under Sharia law which is Islam’s legal system under the Quran which heavily restricts women’s rights in the middle east such as not being able to drive vehicles or have jobs to add to their income and are mostly housewives. To make matters worse the people are also protesting over Iran’s involvement in providing drones to Russia in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war out of fear that like Russia, Iran will be sanctioned for its involvement, only adding to the issues already plaguing the land.

The Iranian government has tried to delay this information from leaking out to the world by shutting down the internet and all social media, but it has done them no good as many Iranian athletes playing overseas have either refused to return to Iran or have taken solidarity stances with the protestors before games such as professional climber Elnaz Rekabi who removed her hijab during a competition in South Korea. A new popular form of protest according to CBS is “turban tossing” a trend in which one removes a religious cleric’s turban. There were also reports of hacking on a news station on which a pro-Khamenei speech was interrupted by an image of Supreme leader Khamenei with a crossfire on his face and a fire in the background. These protests may also call for an end of Sharia law in Iran as many suspects these protests may turn into a full-on revolution as nations like Turkey have relaxed some Islamic laws as to avoid mass protests. Many other nations have also pledged their solidarity with the protestors such as Israel, Turkey, and Greece along with many more such as the US and UK.