Iranian government acts hypocritically towards its people

Parnia Dehghani

 When I was seven, I came to this country from Iran. I recall constantly being questioned by my peers about the reason for my move, which at the time I was unsure of myself. However as I got older, I became aware of the horrifying reality that many people in Iran, especially women, still face today. Not only do they have very few rights, they receive little to no chances to succeed due to the politicization of education and underemployment. 

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 paved the way for the establishment of an Islamic republic. Initially, many wanted the country to stray away from the western influence that was backed up by the monarch at the time, leading to many uprisings and the eventual declaration of Iran as an Islamic country. Ever since this establishment, the people of Iran have been suppressed by a government that continuously uses the name of Islam to harm its people. 

On Sept. 16, 2022, a 22 year old woman named Mahsa Amini was killed by the police for not wearing her hijab correctly, sparking human rights protests ever since. In an attempt to suppress these demonstrations, the government began brutally killing people for simply advocating for their rights and even held public executions to further scare protestors. Within only five months, over 19,600 people have been detained of all ages and genders.

Illustration by Parnia Dehghani

According to Amnesty International, “At least 14 individuals are at grave risk of execution in Iran in connection with the nationwide protests, including for acts not involving ‘intentional killing,’ in violation of Iran’s obligations under international law. The authorities have violated their fair trial rights and subjected several to torture and other ill-treatment, including floggings, electric shocks, death threats, rape and other forms of sexual violence.”

While the government is using the Quran, their religious text, to force women to cover up and wear hijabs, they also hypocritically defy its teachings by taking the lives of people without a fair trial.

The Quran (6:151) states, “Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.” It is clear that the government is using the name of the Islamic law only when it is beneficial to them. In cases as such, where the Quran explicitly explains certain beliefs that are not aligned with what the government is doing, they simply choose to ignore it.

The Iranian government argues that the people protesting are against God, which means they should be punished by death. The Quran doesn’t necessarily prohibit protesting in general, but it does prohibit it when it causes harm or destruction to others. Therefore, the Iranian government manipulates the meaning of the Quran to justify punishing protestors with execution and violence as they consider demonstrators to be causing harm. 

While protestors may be going against the Quran as well, the problem with their punishments is that those who’ve been executed have not had fair trials in which they are actually proven guilty. The Iranian government is going way too far in the sense of not only over-exaggerating the teachings of the religion of Islam, but also using it to condemn acts of terror on innocent people. Not only do their actions shine a bad light on the religion itself, but it also shows how far they will go to stay in control of their people. 

It is important to recognize that the Iranian government is manipulating the words of Islam to simply control and suppress its people. This makes it crucial to be educated on the true essence of Islam and to help the people of Iran to be freed from the ruthlessness of their government by joining local protests that advocate their freedom.