The Islamic state has repeatedly reiterated its singular goal to destroy Israel and the U.S. (which it refers to as "Little Satan" and "Big Satan" respectively) by any means possible. It has long supported Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon with weapons of war just as it has supported Shia terrorists groups in Syria, Africa, and Asia.
Despite threats and sanctions from the West, and in particular, the United States, the theocratic government in Iran has not only held on to power, but has grown stronger than anyone could have imagined in 1979.
However, recently things have begun to change significantly. Just as the 1979 revolution begun with radicalized anti-Western Muslim extremists, and rapidly spread to the campuses and religious schools ("madrasah") throughout the country, thus becoming a movement primarily of the youth, a new movement has taken root in Iran which opposes the, as some claim, heretical version of Islam.
While there has been sporadic protests here and there throughout Iran, it wasn't until September 13, 2022, that things took a more serious and determined turn. A Kurdish woman, 22 year old Mahsa Amini, was arrested by the so-called "Guidance Patrol", which is something of a religious "morality vice police" that aggressively enforces the regime's version of proper behavior, dress, speech, and so forth. This religious "Gestapo" reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
This "morality vice police" has the authority to fine, chastise, slap, beat, whip, and arrest anyone it finds guilty of not towing the line. In this case, it was not wearing a hijab, the traditional head covering for women. The government's Law Enforcement Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran publicly stated that Ms. Amini was arrested for "not wearing her hijab properly" and for "wearing tight pants".Additionally, witnesses at the police station stated that when Amini arrived, she showed obvious signs of having been physically brutalized. Shortly after her arrival she complained of not being able to see before fainting.
For some unexplained reason it took over 30 minutes for an ambulance to show up at the police station and another 90 minutes for her to arrive at the hospital, where she was announced "brain dead" upon her arrival. Authorities characteristically denied that Ms. Amini was beaten and stated that her death was of an apparent heart attack. However, with the support of leaked medical records and witness testimonies, the evidence indicates that she likely died of a brain hemorrhage or possible stroke due to substantial head trauma.
Since Ms. Amini's death (or more accurately, her murder) at the hands of the "Guidance Patrol" and/or police, there have been dozens of mass protests. Some female protestors have cut their hair and refused to wear mandated clothing. Students and professors have walked out of classes, shutting down universities, while businesses have been closed while thousands have taken to the streets in protest.
As of December 2022, over 476 individuals have been killed (including 60 children and 29 women) by state security forces while hundreds, if not thousands, have been injured or arrested according to the human rights organization, Iran Human Rights.
Amnesty International has reported that the state's security forces have also started firing into the crowds of demonstrators using live ammunition or beating protestors with heavy sticks akin to the Chinese security forces during the 1989 pro-democracy Tiananmen Square protests.Reports about her death went viral on social media with over 80 million tweets and retweets. It became so bad that the embarrassed Iranian government had to block the internet and all social media.
While the government attempted to stifle the online protests, they also manufactured false pro-government social media narratives and staged pro-government demonstrations which have largely been dwarfed by not so much as "anti-government" protestors as by those who oppose censorship of women and the brutality of authorities. Incidentally, this cretin-like behavior is also being experienced in Afghanistan now that the Taliban is back in charge.
All this brings me to an article written by author Ida Lichter. I had the pleasure of reviewing her book, "Muslim Women Reformers: Inspiring Voices Against Oppression" back in 2010. Dr. Lichter holds a doctorate degree in psychology and has been intimately involved with women's rights within Islamic society for many years. She regularly writes for The Spectator Australia.
One article in particular struck me as especially poignant, especially in light of the death of Ms. Amini. The article, "Lifting the Veil on Iran: A year of foolish deals, betrayal and appeasement" was published in The Spectator Australia in December of 2022. I've included a link to the article which you find below. I think you will find it highly informative. Please take a few minutes to check it out.
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