After almost 50 days following the death of Mahsa Amini, people around the world continue to speak out against the unjust nature of her death. When Amini died while in the custody of police for wearing her hijab in a manner that defied the regime’s rules, it ignited national outrage in Iran. However, the protests have also moved beyond the borders of Iran and sparked global condemnation of not only the Islamic Republic’s misogynistic regulations, but also of the regime as a whole.
Not only women, but Iranians and their allies from all age groups, backgrounds, and ethnicities are on the frontlines demanding freedom from the shackles of the Islamic Republic. For the first time since the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iranians and others from all around the world have united to demand liberation from four decades of cruelty, malice, and a reign of terror. This is no longer a chant of protest — this is the anthem of revolution.
Now more than ever, the voices of the courageous young lives lost to the brutality of the Islamic morality police are being heard internationally. Before they lost their lives while in the pursuit of justice, these youth were armed with nothing but the harmonious strength of their determination and bravery. Mahsa Amini, Nika Shahkarami, Sarina Esmailzadeh, and Asra Panahi are just a few of the youth detained, tortured, and murdered at the bloodstained hands of the Islamic Republic. Nonetheless, they have paved the battle path for Iran’s freedom.
As of mid October, human rights groups reported a death toll of up to 215 protestors, 27 being children, and at least 1500 arrested. As the days of protest go by and the fire of the movement grows larger, the Islamic Republic’s tireless attempts to oppress the people of Iran only further exposes the unjust nature of the regime, both past and present.
The Islamic Republic and oppression
The Islamic Republic’s objective is clear — to silence and eliminate those with power and influence and to discourage individuals that oppose their injustice by threatening them with a similar fate of detainment, torture, and punishment.
However, the Islamic Republic’s attempt to silence those that oppose them is proof of their panic and weakness. They are afraid because their opposition, too, has made their objective clear — the destruction and downfall of the regime and the return to a democratic system of rights and freedoms for all Iranians.
With the existence of the 2009 Green Movement and the 2019 protests of “Bloody November,” opposition movements are nothing new to the Islamic Republic. Yet this time it is different. This movement has gone past being a simple mass protest — this is now the 2022 Iranian revolution.
With the attention of the international community and the immense protests present in over 170 cities worldwide, the potential of this movement may go beyond previous attempts at an Iranian revolution.
In 2015, Iran and several other nations developed an Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. According to the terms of the agreement, Iran has to dismantle much of its nuclear program and open its facilities to international inspection.
From the creation of the nuclear agreement, to the sanctions placed on the Islamic Republic by Western countries such as Canada, to the international outcry over the deaths of the passengers on Flight 752 in January 2020, it is obvious that the rest of the world is in agreement with the claims of the Iranian people.
Many around the world believe the Islamic Republic to be a dictatorship capable of immense cruelty and malice against humanity. It is a regime of terror and brutality that must be denounced and internationally interrogated.
What must be done?
However, the hesitation of Western countries to fully act against the Islamic Republic is what keeps the regime in power.
Iranian people are in need of international organizations and governments to partake in immediate action. Canada and the free world are in agreeance of the regime’s sponsor of terrorism. It is well known that the Islamic Republic funds terror organizations. After all, it is known that Iran has breached its nuclear deal by providing Russia with armed drones to use against Ukraine. This is an act of aggression against international human rights.
Negotiations and ignorance toward this reign of brutality and terror must come to a halt — the free world of the west must awaken from its slumber and unite with the people of Iran for the protection of global human rights and security.
This revolution begins with us. We, the citizens of the world, are the most powerful unit of all, capable of unifying to give power to regimes, and we too are capable of unifying and regaining power.
Under the false promises of liberty, we give rise to dictators, yet the promises are left unfulfilled and the dictators enslave nations to their authority. The next catastrophe caused at the hands of the Islamic Republic could happen to me or you — terror knows no bounds and the extremists know no boundary. Let us be the ones who unite in this revolution of liberation. Urge your representatives on this movement to unite in the name of freedom and liberty.
Asal Arefi is a fourth-year student at U of T pursuing a political science specialist.