Turning Iran Moment into Movement. In this article, we will be discussing on the happening of events surrounding the death of Mahsa Amini and the history of violence that is actively led by the Iranian government.
Recently, a twenty-two-year-old woman named Mahsa Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police. It has been reported in many news channels that she was visiting Tehran and whilst travelling, her hair was apparently covered in a loose fitting which revealed some portion of her hair. After her arrest, she was taken into custody where she eventually died. Her death provoked the most widespread protests. These protests included – many women who took to the streets and burned their head scarfs as well as many signs have been put on display for the authorities to take responsibility for their actions. Where the morality police have set out an official statement stating that the young women died due to a heart attack. However, the claims put forth by the girl’s family says otherwise.
History of Violence:
In 1999, “At least three students were killed and more than 200 injured by Iranian forces in response to the 1999 demonstrations. Most infamously, plainclothes police and paramilitaries stormed a University of Tehran dormitory, throwing students out of windows and beating students with batons and sticks.
Hassan Rouhani, a purported moderate who later served as president of Iran, played a key role in the regime’s crackdown on the demonstrators. Rouhani, who served as secretary of the Supreme National Security Committee, spoke at a huge counterdemonstration to praise the security forces’ suppression of the protests. He warned that detained protesters would be tried for the crimes of being ”enemies of the state” and ”corrupt of the earth,” both of which carry the death penalty. Rouhani added that the Iranian system would not permit any challenges to the constitutional authority of the supreme leader.”
In 2009 “the government or its agents killed between roughly 80 and several hundred Iranians during the 2009 protests. The most prominent victim was 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death after being shot by Iranian security forces was captured on video that went viral. Riot police and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—particularly the IRGC’s paramilitary wing, the Basij—shot protesters with live ammunition and rubber bullets, fired tear gas and pepper spray at them, and hit them with clubs, batons, and baseball bats.”
“Iranian women are battling attempts by a totalitarian state to decide how a woman should present herself in public. In this case, the totalitarian ideology is in couched in the language of an Islam, which the state propagates.”
In an interview published in the New Yorker, conducted by Isaac Chotiner with “an Iranian scholar Fatemeh Shams, who has been living in exile since 2009. They go on to discuss what distinguishes the current protests from others in Iran’s past, the place and importance of Iran’s Kurdish minority in the uprising, and the benefits and drawbacks of leaderless movements. Shams goes on to compare the center slogan of the protests which is “Women, Life, Freedom.” You can compare this with one of the main slogans of the 1979 revolutionary movement, which was “Bread, Work, Freedom.” It was the central slogan of the Communist Labor Party, which had been inspired by the revolutionary movement in Russia.
But here, the focus, the core of this revolutionary movement, is the bodily autonomy of women, and reclaiming the bodily autonomy of women. This slogan comes from the Kurdish freedom movement and is a result of decades of grassroots activities and efforts of Kurdish women in one of the most economically deprived regions of Iran, the Kurdish provinces. The Kurdish women of Kurdistan and Turkey used this slogan for the first time. And Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the emancipatory Kurdish movement, in 1998 gave a very famous speech in which he said that women are basically the first captives in history and until they’re not liberated, any emancipatory movement, in fact, will be doomed to fail.
In the aftermath of Mahsa Amini’s brutal killing at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s hijab patrol, this particular slogan goes viral. It first was chanted by those who attended her funeral in the city of Saqez, in Kurdistan. And then after that, in Sanandaj, another key, major Kurdish city in the west of Iran. And now you hear it really all over Iran. You hear it in areas like Kelishad va Sudarjan. In the cities such as Mashhad in the Khorasan province, in Isfahan. In the southwest in Khuzestan. So right now, even internationally, in all of the international protests in the past two weeks, you hear this slogan.
So, it has gone beyond the Kurdish cause. It originates there and it also includes the aspirations of the Kurdish emancipatory movement. But at this point, it really alludes to how women have taken center stage in leading this revolutionary movement in Iran. In the past, women’s rights were always important. But in the nineteen-hundreds, for example, in the constitutional revolution, it was always an aftereffect of the revolution. It was one of many other revolutionary demands. This time it’s first and foremost.” 
“Iran has seen multiple eruptions of protests over the past years, many of them fueled by anger over economic difficulties. But the new wave is showing fury against something at the heart of the identity of Iran’s cleric-led state: the compulsory veil. Iran’s Islamic Republic requires women to cover up in public, including wearing a “hijab” or headscarf that is supposed to completely hide the hair. Many Iranian women, especially in major cities, have long played a game of cat-and-mouse with authorities, with younger generations wearing loose scarves and outfits that push the boundaries of conservative dress. Iranian state TV has suggested that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed. An Associated Press count of official statements by authorities tallied at least 13 dead, with more than 1,400 demonstrators arrested.
A young woman in Tehran, who said she has continually participated in the past week’s protests in the capital city, said the violent response of security forces had largely reduced the size of demonstrations.” 
The former Iranian Prime Minister, Mir Hossein Mousavi have been house arrested and has “expressed his advice to the army to stand by the people. As per the statement, the armed forces were given the power to protect and people and not to oppress them for the sake of pleasing the powerful and mighty rulers. He said that their duty is to support the truth and the nation. The security of millions of Iranians is vested in their hands, so they should follow their duty instead of blindly following the interest of powerful government officials. As the days are advancing, the flame of the riot is gradually moving upward, and the efforts to suppress the protest by the government parallelly rose at the same pace. There are no signs from any side to stop the clash.” 
Conclusion: In my humble opinion the real issue that need to be highlighted here is that women have the right to wear whatever they want and wherever they want. In no way does it make sense that a third-party or a higher authority like government dictate what dressing norms that are needless to be followed. It is empowering to see that in a country that governs and determines each move of its citizen, a large scale of population, mostly women have taken to street to take back their control and fight for their rights. However, does harming public property or burning hijabs in particular makes a difference? There are many Muslim wone across the globe that find the wearing of hijab sacred. There has been a huge debate in India in regard to this. Where in a country like India, there have been restrictions and young girls, as young as fifth graders, have been forced in schools to remove their head scarfs. Iranian women have been fighting for something opposite. See the irony in that? As a society we have always found it to be our duty to dictate how a woman should lead her life. Whether it is that she needs to get married at a certain age or have kids at a certain age and whether she should leave an abusive marriage or not. Girls as young as 11 are presented with such toxic culture, that they are bodies are supposed to look a certain way, or that they would look much prettier if they wore certain clothes or looked a skin shade lesser than their color. Every country has its own version of women protection laws. However, what do you do, when the people who are supposed to protect you, who enforce laws meant for your protection, are the one who misuses them the most? We already have many women-centric laws, but are they assisting the way it was intended too? Why does atrocity against women continue to happen? What more can be done when it comes to safety of women? What is the law lacking exactly? We as a society collectively need to address this issue and be proactive when it comes to fighting for our own rights.
 Iran's War on Protesters: Death, Detention, and Darkness | UANI (unitedagainstnucleariran.com)  Ibid.  Hijab debate: In Iran and in India, Muslim women are fighting for control of their bodies, article by Apoorvanand & Alishan Jafri, Oct 02, 2022. Retrieved From: Hijab debate: In Iran and in India, Muslim women are fighting for control of their bodies (scroll.in)  How Iran’s Hijab Protest Movement Became So Powerful | The New Yorker  A long history of resistance: Iran's anti-hijab protests, published on October 06, 2022, The Hindustan Times. Retrieved From: A long history of resistance: Iran's anti-hijab protests | World News - Hindustan Times  Iranian Hijab Movement (drishtiias.com)
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