Iran and the western-manufactured hijab protests

Attempts to cast imperialist countries as champtions of women’s rights are laughable to anyone familiar with the declining position of women in the west.

Lalkar writers

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The stirring up and coverage of an allegedly widespread protest movement (even ‘revolution’) against the hijab in Iran, supposedly in defence of the rights of women, is a classic example of imperialist media lies and regime-change operations. This image, for example, is presented on a page that purports to show the protests ‘in pictures’, but this picture and several others shown there are actually from sympathy protests (shot up close so as to conceal the small scale) in imperialist countries like the USA and Germany. Moreover, all the banners are written primarily in English, for consumption by western audiences. Another non-reported aspect is that most of the protests that did take place in Iran were in areas where Kurdish groups aligned with the USA are active and have been trying to turn Mahsa‘s tragic death into an ethnic issue.

Lalkar writers

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The western media are harping on relentlessly about great anti-hijab protests which they assure us are happening all over Iran, and which they claime are being met with ever more violent repression by a ‘vicious and violent regime’. The nail that they are trying to hang this deceitful web of lies on is the story of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman.

The known facts – of the sad death of this young woman – are as follows: during a shopping trip to Tehran with her family, she had emerged from a metro station and entered Talaqani park, where she was walking with three female and two male relatives, including her brother Ashkan. The group was approached by members of the ‘morality police’, who said she was in breach of the islamic dress code. Two of the women were given warnings, but Amini, despite pleas from her aunt that she was from out of town, the dress code being much less observed in many smaller towns and rural areas, was directed into a van to be taken to a police station for a correction lesson.

These ‘lessons’ are usually a 60-minute lecture before being released. A video recording from the station released by the police shows Mahsa Amini standing alone, collapsing onto a chair and then to the floor. She had had a stroke or a heart attack, and died before the ambulance got her to hospital.

This was, of course, an unfortunate and terrible occurrence, but it is one that does happen from time to time to people anywhere in the world. Some of the grieving family have blamed the ‘morality police’ for Mahsa’s death, and the increased stress of the incident may well have been a trigger in some way, but to someone who is unknowingly especially vulnerable, many things could have contributed – the shopping trip to the big city, the noise and bustle even. Clearly something, even if it might not have been greatly stressful for a person in good health, increased the likelihood of this tragedy for Mahsa.

Western forces, media, NGOs, spy groups and the rest all grabbed at the story and have twisted and ‘gilded’ it beyond any recognition, doing their level best to turn it into a tale of state terror by the Iranian government and hoping thereby to rouse an anti-government ‘popular’ uprising throughout Iran.

All the usual suspects have been given the usual amount of airtime on imperialist media outfits to try to convince the world that a counter-revolution (they would call it a revolution, of course) has flared up, and that blood was running on the streets all over Iran as the masses rise up against a hated islamic dictatorship that is resorting to extreme violence to keep the people down. 

Of course, nothing of the sort has happened. The masses support their government for the most part, are proud of their country’s achievements, and the living standards of the majority are deemed by them to be generally good. 

Morality dress codes come and go in all societies and Iran is not alone in this. We know from hundreds of ordinary everyday bloggers in Iran, people who daily record and transmit pictures of their streets and communities, that riot situations have been very rare. Those few that have taken place have been manufactured by western interests.

In fact, across Iran, even before Mahsa’s tragic passing, observance of the dress codes by Iranian women is not universally adhered to, and there is little or no reaction from the state.

The Iranian people have their own way of influencing their government. The so-called ‘morality police’ have been disbanded and the whole matter is history as far as most Iranians are concerned. However, those who seek to bring Iran down, who want to end its anti-imperialist stance and its friendships with Cuba, Venezuela, China, Russia etc, will try to keep this story alive in order justify their interference in Iran’s social and economic affairs.

“Never in my 14 years working on human rights advocacy have I witnessed such disillusionment with, and opposition to, the Islamic Republic regime,” said Nazanin Boniadi, a British-Iranian actor and Amnesty International ambassador. “While Iran has become accustomed to mass protests every decade, neither the student protests of 1999 nor the green movement of 2009, or even more recently the November 2019 protests, compare in fervour or magnitude to the current protests.”

Boniadi added: “The most unprecedented part is that the protests have been female-led.” Playing to the ultra-left gallery that is always there to promote imperialism’s interests as ‘revolutionary’, she continued: “The movement’s slogan ‘Women, life and freedom’ is antithetical to the Islamic Republic, which has built itself on being anti-woman, pro-martyrdom and repressive. This uprising is not just about draconian dress codes. The compulsory hijab has simply become a symbol of a wider Iranian women’s struggle.”

Revealing the real point of imperialism’s interest in women’s issues, fellow imperialist stooge Kasra Aarabi, an Iran analyst at the Institute for Global Change, described the mood in the country as ‘revolutionary’. “The people that speak to me believe they are in the middle of a revolution and will not back down. One way or another, this is the beginning of the end of the regime. This is not about reform. This is about regime change.”

Amongst the endless list of inane celebrity wannabes who have jumped on this bandwangon in order to promote themselves is Donya Dadrasan, an Iranian popstar who lives in Australia, and who has poured out invective worthy of a Sun journalist against the morality police on Instagram. Meanwhile, a quite staggering number of cretins have stood pouting into their camera lenses while publicly cutting their own hair ‘in solidarity with Mahsa’. 

As in all things, the imperialists will try to use any event, any tragedy, in order to launch an attack on countries which, like Iran, will not follow the dictates of imperialism. Our job is to look past all the blather and find the real aim of the western media and its hypocritical narrative.

When French male gendarmes were stripping muslim women on French beaches of the islamic beachwear that kept them covered, how many of these ink-flingers raised even a whimper in opposition?

In our view, Iran would do well to do away not only with the ‘morality police’ but also with the mandatory dress code for women, which, while doing no good to Iran, provides imperialism and its flunkeys with yet another pretext for poking their snouts into Iranian internal affairs, which are the sole preserve of the Iranian people.