Fire & Fury: A Closer Look at Iran’s Women-Led Uprising

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Once known as the Paris of the middle east, Tehran was an iconic city that bled fashion, culture, cuisine, and extraordinary hospitality. Since then, a haven of terroristic forces has taken over and now threatens the safety of the men and women who inhabit it. 

Long before protests spread like wildfire across Iran, the hijab, a headscarf that Iranian law requires women to wear, has stood as the symbol of the Islamic Republic’s oppressive power. The death of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old woman, now named Forbes bravest woman of the year, was brutally beaten by the morality police while visiting her brother several weeks ago. This has ignited a fire in thousands of women’s hearts, demanding change from a government unwilling to abide. 

In early September, police claimed that Ms. Amini had suddenly collapsed from a heart attack while in custody during mandatory training on the hijab rules. But when a video of her in a coma, covered in bruises with blood dripping from her ear, went viral across social media platforms, it induced a fearless rage in women across the nation, leading to the largest mass political protest Iran has seen in years. The Iranian people bravely stand against these corrupt terroristic forces to regain their freedom. Since the Islamic Regime’s rule, women have lost every fundamental human, civic and legal right, including the ability to divorce their husband unless he also agrees to release her. In the case of a divorce, women will also lose custody of their children, making it nearly impossible to leave their husbands. The citizens of Iran are not allowed to hold hands, dance in public or even own a dog.

Seeing photos of women standing on top of cars, burning hijabs in the faces of their authorities, cutting their hair, and refusing to back down reveals that this revolution goes far beyond the injustice of compulsory hijabs. The chants, “Zan. Zendegi. Azadi.” meaning “Woman. Life. Freedom.” prove to the world that these women are not damsels in need of saving. They are survivors seeking solidarity and freedom from the oppression of the Islamic Regime that was stolen from them nearly 43 years ago. 

The Islamic Regime’s extremist view of the Islamic religion has led them to believe that those protesting against their laws are also protesting against God, which is punishable by death. This, therefore, justifies the raping of women and children captured in the protests and makes it an act of divinity in their eyes rather than torture. 

Police have repeatedly used unlawful force, such as firing live ammunition, metal pellets, water cannons, and tear gas at close range to protestors and civilians. They are using nerve gas in elementary schools, kidnapping students from their dorms as they sleep, poisoning their food, cutting off electricity and the internet, breaking into the homes of sleeping families, and leaving blood trails wherever they go. 

Due to the lack of available forces, the Islamic Regime has flown in outside allied troops to continue reprimanding anyone fighting against oppression. Recently they set fire to the notorious Evin prison, where hundreds of protesters were detained. Any activists or journalists who have attempted to report on what’s going on have been added to the ever-growing number of arrested civilians, some even being handed the death penalty and executed behind closed doors with no due process or attorney representing them. Most recently, Moshen Shakeri, a 27-year-old man, was executed simply because he chose to participate in the protests. There are many more protestors who have been given the death penalty and await execution.

Since Masha’s death, thousands of others have sustained severe injuries. Most are not seeking hospitalization for fear of arrest. Iranian men and women are asking for the rest of the world to know the truth of what is being done and pleading for us to act as their voices amidst the atrocities and genocide that the Iranian government continues to wage against their people simply for protesting. Here is how you can help:

Spread The Word 

Due to the lack of western media coverage about what is happening in Iran, women are being involuntarily silenced. They ask now that we act as advocates and spread this information across our social media platforms to keep alive the truth of what is happening while they aren’t able to. 

Attend A Protest

Join in on your state’s local protest to bring greater attention to the cause. Whether marching the streets or attending a vigil, simply showing up can create massive waves of change. Staying involved in your community will help to gain traction and the attention of government officials who can help.

Avoid Sending Money

There is no way to get money into Iran as of now. The people are asking that instead of sending money, we use our privilege and generosity to share, post, talk about, call and write our government officials. With limited journalism allowed in the country, now more than ever, we must use our voices to stand up for what is right. 

U.S. supporters can ask their members of Congress to vocalize their support of the Iranian protests. The site is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to help. Here you can find the elected officials in your area and an open letter you can easily copy, paste and send. 

 Sign A Petition

You can also sign Amnesty International’s petition, which seeks to create a law that will investigate and hold Iranian officials accountable for the cruelty of their actions. You can sign it here.

No matter how far apart in the world we may be from one another, this is a war against human rights. The more we stand together, the stronger we will become, and eventually, we will rise. 

By Dr, Sherry Rostami

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