Iranian woman’s horrific murder symbolizes how violent, repressive nation is to opponents

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There’s nothing to see in the streets of Iran. 

With country-wide Internet blackouts in place for weeks, the Iranian government hopes that the illusion of calm that it is attempting to create will become reality. 

Unfortunately for Tehran, lightning cannot be put back in the bottle. Outrage at the murder of Mahsa Amini – born Zhina Mahsa Amini – by the “Morality Police” has sparked protests the world over that will not be silenced by force of will or censorship. 

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Amini died in police custody after her arrest for allegedly violating a religious law that requires women to wear a hijab and dress modestly. Iranian authorities have claimed that the healthy 22-year-old Kurd died of a heart attack. Amini’s family and others arrested with her have called foul. 

The 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini who was reportedly murdered by Iran’s morality police.
(Obtained by Fox News)

And the world is aflame. 

As protesters hit the streets of both Iranian and Western cities, Iranians enraged by their government’s record on human rights continue to feel the boot of oppression on their necks. 

An entire generation of Iranians has begun to question the very relevance of the Islamic State of Iran, as tens of protestors have died, and hundreds have been injured and/or arrested. 

Mahsa’s murder has become the symbol of a restrictive and violent Iranian attitude toward women, and Tehran’s repressive response to any hint of opposition to its authority. 

That Mahsa Amini was of Kurdish descent could be one of the most fortuitous coincidences of this entire movement to reclaim women’s bodily autonomy. In 1998, Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the emancipatory Kurdish movement, called women the first captives in world history. 24 years later, female protestors are burning their hijabs and cutting off their hair in a show of defiance toward a regime that has for too long subjugated women under the guise of religious adherence. 

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Despite a moment in global history ripe for the advancement of women’s rights, the treatment of Iranian women only continues to worsen. July 12 of this year was the inaugural National Hijab and Chastity Day, a creation of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who campaigned on a platform of Islamization. Sepideh Rashno, who was arrested soon after July 12 for violation of the new hijab law, disappeared from public view for three weeks. The fuse that was lit on July 30 when Rashno appeared on state television in a coerced confession video exploded with Mahsa Amini’s murder. 

Before Iran became a totalitarian state in 1979, faith was a choice for the Iranian people. The hijab – a symbol of religious observance – has been co-opted as a symbol of adherence to a government prepared to crack down on its citizens at the slightest sign of independent thought. The 1979 Revolution sought to free the Iranian people from a foreign-backed monarchy. Today, the only practical difference between the yoke the revolution shed and Iran’s current overlords is that modern-day Iranian oppressors are home-grown. 

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All these many years later, protesters are simply demanding the freedoms the Iranian people were promised 43 years ago. 

Today, Iran’s oppressed underclass can be heard chanting “zan, zendegi, azadi!” – “woman, life, freedom!” 

I don’t think any of the above is too much to ask. 

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