Former Muslim of Iranian descent: Why Christians should care about Iran's protests

Author: Hedieh Mirahmadi

Publication Date: 1/12/2022

Source: The Christian Post

For the first time in history the World Cup took place in a Muslim country, Qatar. In front of billions of people watching worldwide, the Iranian players remained silent as their national anthem played in the stadium. It was a simple but dramatic show of solidarity with the protestors back home who have been fighting the regime since mid-September.

Though the world's attention has moved on, the violent uprisings in Iran continue to cost the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. More than 18,000 people, including 500 students, have been arrested and over 400 have died since the protests began. The initial spark of the protests was the death of a young lady, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for improperly wearing her headcover. While in prison, Amini was beaten so badly that she eventually died from her injuries. Her death was the spark that led women to the streets, brazenly removing their required head coverings and burning them as others recorded the protests on cell phones. Men have joined the angry demonstrations, denouncing a regime they see as repressive and the cause of crushing international sanctions and isolation that have sent inflation soaring and led to rampant poverty.

The movement's slogan, “Women, Life, Freedom,” epitomizes the driving forces behind the demands of the Iranian people. For the first time in 40 years of Islamic rule, this liberation movement is led by women of all demographics. However, this fact is not as surprising as some may think. Iranian women are culturally quite different than Muslim women in countries like Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Before the Islamic revolution, Iran was an open society where women could pursue higher education and economic opportunities independent of their spouses. In fashion and lifestyle, they were far more aligned with the West than the Middle East. So when mandatory dress codes and forced morality became the source of law in Iran, women felt the strongest oppression. For decades, many wore a headcover they did not believe in to uphold a religion they no longer followed. As a former Muslim of Iranian descent, I understand why the “unveiling” became the rallying cry of Iranian women.

God has placed in all our hearts the innate desire to be free. Though dictators or religious leaders attempt to force obedience, the subjugation becomes unbearable.


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