For more than two weeks, across Iran, women-led protests have been ripping up seemingly untouchable certainties of 43-years of totalitarian hate, control and dictatorship. Armed only with their courage, 16 year old girls stand in front of tooled-up riot police without hijab, screaming out their anger over a life in a caged society imprisoned by criminal, sadistic mullah-dictators.
While the West is afraid of the regime's nuclear threats, ordinary, middle-class Iranian people have lost their fear. They have torn down the cult-like, idolatrous pictures of Khomeni, Khameni and Soleimani from public buildings, throwing these ugly terrorists into the thrashbin of history. People want revenge and justice for the murder of young Iranian-Kurdish woman Jhina (Mahsa) Amini. In September in Tehran she was brutally beaten to death by the thugs of the so-called guidance patrol (gasht-e-ershad), a violent, misogynist, state-sponsored streetgang that harrasses, humiliates and injures women everyday at the behest of dictator Ali Khameni. Iranian people want revenge too for the countless other young women murdered by the state when it tried to crush dissent: These include Nika Shahkarami, the 16-year Iranian-Lor girl who died after regime forces smashed her skull, and Asra Panahi, the Iranian-Azeri girl who was beaten to death by intelligence officers in her high school for refusing to recite a greeting in memory of the dead terrorist Qasem Soleimani. Across Iran, people have understood that there can be no compromises or co-existences with the so-called “Islamic Republic“ . It is in fact neither Islamic nor a Republic, but a mafia of corrupt, sadistic, amoral old men who wage war on God, on the Iranian people, and on freedom-loving people across the world. The slogans of the streets today are “Death to Dictator“ (marg-bar-diktator), “I will kill anyone who killed my sister“ (mikosham-mikosham-har-an-ke-khaharam-kosht), and “We will die, but we will take Iran back from you“ (mimirim-mimirim-iran-o-pas-migirim). No matter the risks, day and day again, people come out to the streets.
While Iranians have been fighting for freedom, Western media has devoted very little coverage to the struggle of Iranian woman for freedom. It’s turns out that - for example - artificial grief over the death of Elizabeth Windsor, a war criminal who colonised and genocided more than a third of the planet, was just better for their ratings. Instead of reporting the clear fact that Jhina Amini was murdered by the state, western media often adopted ‘he-said, she-said’ format that says passively that Jhina Amini “died in custody“, and that people accuse the regime of killing her but that the regime denies it, blaming unrelated medical problems (when regime denials in general do not have any credibility and are not worth reprinting as they are solely disinformation, lies and manipulation). For example, one of the earliest articles about the protests by the British newspaper, The Guardian, described the "circumstances" of Jhina Amini's death as "hotly contested" and featured not a single quote from even one Iranian female activist, not even from any of the feminist activists in the Iranian diaspora. Instead, the article devoted an entire paragraph to reporting that “In a sign of official government concern about the incident and the public response, the interior minister, Ahmad Vahidi, said an investigation was under way but insisted Amini had a history of medical problems stretching back to when she was five years old“. The crucial bit of context that the newspaper forgot to mention is that Ahmad Vahidi is not just the interior minister for the regime in Tehran, but that in 2007 the Argentinian justice system had also issued an arrest warrant for him in connection with the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires, which killed over 80 people. While Argentina is known for it’s fiercley independent judicial system, with a strong protection of the presumption of innocence, Mr Vahidi has, as of now, strangely enough, never opted to travel to Argentina, which would afford himself the opportunity to clear his name in court if he is indeed innocent as he claims. I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to decide for yourselves whether letting this person supervise the investigation into what happened to Jhina Amini is a “sign of concern“ by the regime or rather a shameless f-you to the international community?
Tired of Western media ignorance? If you want to know what’s happening in Iran now, and why it matters, here is what you need to know.
Iran had many protests in the past – after all totalitarian dictatorship, mass murder and torture is not natural for the human soul. Resistance is natural, normal, moral. This resistance started on the very day that the Ruhollah Khomeni got up from his first class seat on the chartered Air France plane that flew him from Paris to Tehran and put his dirty feet onto our land – the 1st of February 1979. We resisted tryant and occupier Khomeni like our grandparents and great-grandparents resisted all the other tyrants who came before him. We resisted Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the torture-Shah with his SAVAK-execution squads. We resisted his father Reza Shah, the racist coward who committed genocide against ethnic Iranian-Lor people for his wicked pan-Persian racial ideology, and had his royal diplomats in Nazi Germany hold events where they proclaimed Iran to be the "Land of Aryans", with audiences shouting "Long live Reza Shah, Long live Adolf Hitler". Despite all his fascist posturing, Reza shamefully ran away and abdicated when the British invaded Iran in 1941, leaving the British occupiers free to starve at least hundreds of thousands of Iranians to death in the cruel, colonalist famine the British empire caused, in 1942 and 1943.
Unfortunately, every dictatorial system in Iran, whether that of the Shah-racist or of the Mullah-dictator, has sought to divide and stratify Iranian society, to break any hope for people’s unity. Ethnic hatred, theological-sectarian misinterpretation, misogyny, elitism and aristocracy, both clerical-ideologcal and secular-blood-based, have long been the basic tools for those oppressing us.
When Kurds resisted the Mullah regime in March 1979 in the cities of Sanadaj, Mahabad and Saqqez, most of the rest of Iran remained indifferent, afraid of seperatism or of loosing their relative ethnic privileges vis-a-vis the much more downtrodden Kurds. In 1980, when the Shia Muslim Forqan group decided launch a terrorist campaign of assasinations to fight Ruhollah Khomeni’s blasphemous personality cult and his un-Islamic, fake “velayat-e-fiq“ ( basically rule by male judges) system of dictatorship, many middle class, previously secular-minded Iranians found this brutality and violence by religious dissidents too scary to bear, even though they feared the same enemy. When the regime murdered protestant Christian pastors in the late 1990s, after a brave priest called Mahdi Dibaj had defended freedom of faith and freedom to convert in a beautiful, philosophical courtroom speech during his trial for apostasy, many conservative-oriented Shia Muslims didn’t come out to demand justice for the murdered men: because felt true freedom of conscience, a free marketplace of theological ideas, was a step to far for them. When my people, Iranian-Azeris came out to the streets in 2006 after a regime-owned newspaper had printed a racist, genocide-inciting cartoon depicting us Iranian-Azeris as cockroaches who have to be killed because they can’t be talked to (the cartoon showed a cockroach saying an Azeri word, and an accompaying text said that cockroachs are unable to understand "human language", and are not even good at speaking their own complex language, especially complex verbal forms. It was a clear reference to the complexity of the Azeri language, and the fact that in Tehran and elsewhere, many young Azeris have forgotten their mother tongue because of forced assimilation and violence in regime-run schools ). At the time most Persian intellectuals remained silent about this extreme hate speech and breach of international law by a regime newspaper, afraid perhaps of the deep-reaching cultural changes that decolonisation, and anti-racism would bring to Persian society. When the “Green Movement“ demanded a reformed regime in 2009, many Iranian-Azeri, Iranian-Kurdish, Iranian-Arab and Iranian-Baloch people were uninterested, because they felt merely reforming a racist regime a little bit would hardly end their own, disporportionate suffering, but rather only empower the then-properous, mostly Persian middle classes. When starving working-class Iranians protested in 2019 about unaffordable food-prices caused by the regime’s decision to spend money on international terror rather than feeding it’s citizens, wealthier Iranians locked their doors at home, fearing the uncontrollable social explosion of the dispossed. After smashing each of these protest movements, the regime thought it could depoliticise people with hunger, inflation and increasing repression. But it was not to be – because the regime’s absurd, misogynist and repressive rules turn even the very act of living, walking on the street, breathing into an unavoidably political act.
Thus, what distinguises this feminist-led protest movement from previous ones is that it has united Iranian society, across ethnicities, across class lines, accross the secular-religious divide. Every Iranian woman, rich or poor, ethnically Persian or not,suffers from the regime’s forced Hijab, which colonises and occupies her body in the name of the Khameni and Raisi. Even devoutly religious, conservative women, who would choose to wear the Hijab voluntarily in a free Iran, suffer from it: Their Hijab, their proud symbol of conservative ideological piety in front of God, is transformed by the regime into a shameful symbol of compliance and obedience in front of the godless throne of corrupter Ali Khameni. Every Iranian man, no matter how patriarchal his mindset might be, knows a woman who has suffered from the regime’s lawless, violent “guidance patrols“. Noone wants to see their daughter, wife or sister, tortured and executed by the sadistic killers of Sipah-Pasdaran, known to the English-speaking world as the “Revolutionary Guards“, even though they really are counter-revolutionary torturers and rapists. Women’s freedom to choose, Women’s life, and Women’s equal dignity is the only force that can unite a country as broken and traumatised as Iran. These protests are not just about the politics of the street, they are also metaphysical: They juxtapose women, who give life, literally and metaphysically, with a moribound clique of corrupt, geriatic old men who murder with the same obsessive hatred that motivated the Nazis 70 years ago, who torture like in the Middle Ages, and think in ways that were last fashionable in the Stone Age. These protests are not about a government versus an opposition. In Islamic terms, these protests are about the right of women that Allah created to live free without any compulsion in religion, which Allah explicitly forbade in the Quran. In secular words, they are about the choice of liberated life, with the free women of Iran, versus torture and death with a regime of dying old murderers. Even if the regime uses it’s forces of repression to occupy the lives of Iranian women and men for a few months or years longer, it is merely dragging out it’s death. The soul of the regime, the pretense of ideology that it always shrouded itself in, died in his hot Iranian autumn. It has no present and offers no future: only rape, only robbery of the poor, only murder. There is nothing else left of it.
Life is a neccessity, not an ideology. It needs no leader, it simply exists, because the instinct of the human is to live, not to die. This is something the Western public needs to understand. Our feminist revolution, the feminist revolution of all Iranian women, is about survival. The fact this revolution is an existential struggle, not a leadership competition, is precisely why it has endured longer, and raised it’s cry louder than any protest before. We do not need any of the people who claim to lead us. Dear Prince Pahlavi, you are not our future leader. For you, it’s better if you invest your time in memorialising the victims of your father’s endless crimes against our republican-minded people, rather than fooling guillible westerners or out-of-touch exiled Persian communities with your meaningless words. Dear Maryam Rajavi, I can imagine how cool it feels to buy a big, wooden-desk, stick a golden fantasy emblem on it, put it in a room with lots of glued-on roman-style plaster columns on the walls and pretend to be the “president-elect“ of Iran.
But, dear Maryam, this does not qualify you to be president of anything, except maybe a Cos-play club. When free Iran comes, everyone will quickly forget your circus-style mass events, with lots of cheering, identically-dressed, loyal followers who clap for your every word. Nobody will think about it anymore– except, perhaps, instructors at North Korean communist training academies. After all we know Kim loves to be ogled by sychophants at mass events every bit as much as you. So maybe they can use it as a training material or case study for how to organise such things.
Despite the daily sacrifice and suffering of Iranian people for their freedom, elites in the West are disengaged with our revolution. Above all else, especially in the academic and intellectual world, many are concerned with the risk of intervention by the West against the regime. Given the long Western tradition of starting imperialist wars, such concerns are understandable. But they are misplaced, and very dangerous.
After Western defeats in Iraq, Syria and Afganistan, it is very unlikely any Western country would try again to criminally invade Middle Eastern lands. No one in Iran wants or needs foreign soldiers or mercenaries. If any ever make the mistake of coming, they will find out that there is always space left in our graveyards for them. We will free ourselves, by ourselves, one way or another. This is our story, not anyone else’s.
The whole hyped-up fear around “Western intervention in Iran“ is not just unrealistic but also very misleading: Because the West intervenes in Iran every day. Not militarily, but socially, economically, and politically. And they are not intervening for feminism, democracy, or freedom, but to keep the Mullah regime in power. That's because, for all kinds of stupid ideological reasons, they are obsessed with their failed nuclear deal. Barack Obama literally sent a plane with 400 million dollars worth of cash to Iran's regime. What did he think this money would be spent on ... Peace, love and pacifism? Or more guns, prisons and bombs to keep the Iranian people oppressed? Earlier this year, when hostages Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were released by the regime, Britain 'repaid' a 'debt' of more than 300 million British pounds to the Khameni regime. Dear British elite, nothing shows the racism and colonialism inherent in the western policy community more than this rotten and shameful ransom payment. To save the lives of two British citizens, who should better have stayed at home rather than travelling to Iran, you paid a vast sum of money, that will beused, directly or indirectly, to fund more executions, more torture chambers, more prison rapes. That’s because unlike the lives of your priveleged citizens, our lives have no value at all to you, they are completely expendable for you: the suffering of tens of thousands of us in prisons leaves your heart cold, all that matters is whether someone has that passport or not.
Western “sanctions“ are a joke, toothless and insincere – the children of the Mullahs, the sons and daughters of their torturers, drug smugglers, and terrorists, live very comfortably in Western countries like Canada, Britain or the USA, nobody is thinking about deporting them. The Mullah regime knows very well that the society they created is a dystopic failiure – and the last thing they would want is for their precious children to be burdened with growing up in it. You help them avoid the reality they force us to suffer from. In fact, your embassies in Tehran are handing out business and investment visas to regime-supporters as if they were candies at a Halloween-trick-and-treat round. And let’s not forget that terrorist Ruhollah Khomeni invaded our lands in 1979, coming directly from France, where your suicidal, confused western “liberalism“ allowed him to live in comfort and prepare his evil plans undisturbed, rather than going to a jail or closed psychiatric hospital where he belonged.
So what can Westerners do to show solidarity with Iran? Going to a loud protest in front of an Iranian embassy will change nothing, those ruthless regime diplomats won't care about your criticisms, banners and slogans. If you want to help Iran, demand precise, clear actions from your government – that’s where you can use your influence. That means ending all diplomatic relations, banning touristic travel by Westerners to Iran, closing all embassies, blocking regime-run media from operating in the West, ending all academic cooperation, repossessing all regime-mosques and handing over their management to actual Muslims rather than Khomeni-worshippers. That means stopping to give out visas to regime supporters, and cancelling the thousands of residence permits issued to such people, deporting them immediately on express flights back to Tehran so they can find out for themselves how it really feels like to live in the fascist hell created by their fathers and uncles. Instead, allow genuinely persecuted people to seek refugee status in your countries at embassies abroad, rather than having to drown in the Mediterranean sea in an attempt to get there.
Demanding all that is much harder than simply expressing your 'solidarity' on social media. But at least, it will actually make a difference.
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