Iran mass protests after hijab death of Mahsa Amini: Ayatollah Montazeri
Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The tyranny of the Iranian Islamic Revolution continues many decades after the momentous events of 1979. Yesterday, it was killing communists and socialists – today, females continue to face persecution for not dressing appropriately and face death at the hands of the “morality police.” However, nothing moral about abusing females and dictating to people by utilizing the state apparatus.
Mahsa Amini’s death is further widening the gap between many of the younger generation and the ruling religious and political elites. She died because of the enforced dress code. Ironically, Iran was more relaxed than Saudi Arabia (a Western ally) until recent changes in this country – concerning the Islamic dress code.
The Guardian reports, “At least 31 people are feared by rights groups to have died in six days of protests, sparked by the death on 16 September of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman.”
The BBC says, “She was visiting the capital Tehran with her family when she was arrested by the morality police, who accused her of violating the law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab and their arms and legs with loose clothing. She collapsed after being taken to a detention center to be “educated.”
President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran said, “I contacted her family at the very first opportunity and I assured them we would continue steadfastly to investigate that incident … Our utmost preoccupation is the safeguarding of the rights of every citizen.”
However, even minority religious groups like the Baha’i and converts to Christianity face persecution. The Baha’i especially face collective persecution – from education to worshipping. Therefore, “the safeguarding of the rights of every citizen” rings hollow.
In the realm of foreign policy, the government of Iran was on the frontline in defeating ISIS (Islamic State) in Iraq. Iran is also helping Syria to survive the fate of past Western destabilizations. After all, past Western interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have unleashed untold numbers of deaths and created failed states. However, the state apparatus in Iran is being utilized internally to crush dissent, freedom, and hope. Therefore, if the political and religious elites don’t adapt to the cultural and social changes in Iran, the gap will grow bigger until an eventual spark triggers enormous internal convulsions.
Sadly, a quote in the 1980s sums up the longevity of internal tyranny. Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri wrote to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and said, “Did you know that young women are raped in some of the prisons of the Islamic Republic?”
The above religious leaders died many years ago. One provided light and the hope of change. However, the other was ultra-conservative. Therefore, Iran is still battling the demons unleashed by the revolution.
Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri said (1989), “The denial of people’s rights, injustice, and disregard for the revolution’s true values have delivered the most severe blows against the revolution. Before any reconstruction [takes place], there must first be a political and ideological reconstruction… This is something that people expect of a leader.”
This esteemed religious leader – went from supporting the Islamic Revolution to questioning the brutality that followed and the need for change. Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri – during a period of mass executions – uttered, “At least order to spare women who have children … the execution of several thousand prisoners in a few days will not reflect positively and will not be mistake-free … A large number of prisoners have been killed under torture by interrogators … in some prisons of the Islamic Republic, young girls are being raped … As a result of unruly torture, many prisoners have become deaf or paralyzed or afflicted with chronic disease.”
Yet no reconstruction is forthcoming – just the deaths of innocents including Mahsa Amini. Hence, how much longer can the people of Iran suffer?
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