Iran’s first feminist uprising

Kian Tajbakhsh

NB: For state officials to beat a young woman to death for showing too much hair under her hijab is positively Kafkaesque for its surreal brutality. We need to think about what religion means. Is this the will of God at work? Or the demented egos of old men with long beards? Eternal shame on Iran’s rulers and its police. DS

Lives are being lost in a brutal government crackdown on protests for women’s rights after Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody. Can the long-standing controls of Iran’s morality police on women’s appearance in public spaces be unsettled by a majority already resisting the dress code?

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi: Woman! Life! Freedom!

This is the stirring slogan of the protests that have erupted across Iran, triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was visiting Tehran with her family when Iran’s morality police detained her on 16 September for showing too much hair under her hijab.

Led by predominantly young women and men in their late teens and twenties, the nonviolent protests are expressing a range of priorities. Beyond their frustrations at the indignities of being harassed and arrested for violating the Islamic dress code – not to speak of the danger of dying as Amini did – most are also expressing a desire to live under a different system of government….