Looks like some nasty things happening in Iran. I'm afraid a lot of protestors will die and nothing will change.
I agree. The protests have begun, not just in Iran but in other, more moderate, Islamic nations. And as George notes, the crack-down has already begun.
What to do about it? How to respond? What to think about it? Huge questions, particularly as various nations continue to struggle to revitalize the non-nuclear treaty with Iran. Personally, I hope the rest of the world realizes that this is an Islamic issue and deals with it accordingly.
I have a friend of Scottish heritage who had accepted, sanction-clear business dealings with Iran during the 2000-2010 decade. He travelled there often. Most of his time was spent in Tehran and other major cities, which would skew his assessment of Iranian values, but he found the Persians a sophisticated, cosmopolitan people who paid the same lip-service to Islam as most westerners pay to Christianity. The “morality” police, at least 10 years ago, were typically more poorly educated, more rabidly Islamic, and (often cynically) open to bribes offered in the name of Islam. Their job was to mark violations of the theocracy, not just to attack women who wore hijab incorrectly. Satellite dishes, alcohol, social conduct and hosts of other potential offences fell to these police, who were often volunteer and had only limited authority.
Perhaps the broadest, most prevalent issue which could cause contention was the hijab. While the devout wear the hijab without complaint, there are huge numbers of women (and don’t forget that Iran has a large, well-educated, sophisticated, well-travelled population) who force the religious meaning of hijab by turning it into a fashion adornment.
So, Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman has died, purportedly at the hands of the religious police. I don’t know exactly how she died; has that been announced? All I read is she was brutally beaten after being detained. And that at least some articles are now describe this as “The Iranian regime’s brutal killing” of an innocent.
I’m not attempting to condone or support the death of any young person over what appears to be – even in Iran – a minor violation of conduct. And I recognize that we will probably never receive clarification. Masha Amani’s death should have been preventable. At the same time, I offer the following opinion piece from the WP as a bad way to think of what’s happening. [Read More]
I think it is increasingly important to distinguish local action from national policy. This is no more an incident based on Iranian national policy than the inordinate deaths of black folks for traffic stops make it US policy to kill their black folks.
Time to apologize for any offense. I raise the last issue simply for consideration.
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.
"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.