Protests against the Iranian regime have erupted in Iran and around the world following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody. She was arrested by Iran’s “morality police” for wearing the hijab improperly.
On Thursday afternoon, a group of college students and community members gathered around their alma mater to participate in a global campus rally for Iran of Iran Scholar for Freedom. It was a demonstration of solidarity with the Iranian people protesting the current regime on more than 200 university campuses around the world.
“I hope people are given the opportunity to let them know that this fight is not about religion,” said an engineer graduate student who attended the rally. Participants chose to remain anonymous due to safety concerns. “It’s about giving people a chance to live the way they want.”
Thursday’s rally was hosted by the university Iran Heritage Foundationa community group that promotes Iranian culture through art and music on campus and in the Champaign Urbana community.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has been ruled under Sharia. Sharia is an adaptation of Sharia, which means “way” in Arabic, into state law. Many countries enforce some aspects of Sharia, and Iran is one of them. stricter enforcer of such laws. This includes mandatory hijab laws for all women in force since 1983.
“If you don’t cover your head, you are not allowed to go to school. A 7-year-old girl has to cover her hair to go to school and is given the chance to get an education,” said the graduate student. I was. The harsh environment in which Iranian women and girls live.
Those in solidarity with the Iranians are rallying under the mantra “Women, Life, Freedom.” A doctoral student attending the rally described the mantra as “respecting the role of oppressed women.”
Iran is not the only country in the Middle East where there is a gender-disparity in rights, but the doctoral student said, “I am happy to be the first country in the Middle East where women are the first to make a revolution.”
The protests of the past two months are one of the biggest challenges in the current Iranian regime’s 43-year history, and the Iranian government has responded with force.
based in norway Iran Human Rights NGO The organization claims that as of November 12, protests by Iranian security forces had killed at least 326 people, including 43 children, and arrested thousands. Such violence United Nations investigation human rights violations and Sanctions by the European Union against Iran. But despite the violence, students still feel the need to come out and protest.
“As one of the international students here, it is my responsibility to care about other students in my country,” said another engineering graduate student who attended the rally.
Two months into the protests since Amini’s death, students at the rally said they were still unsure what the outcome would be for Iran and the Middle East.
“There may or may not be a new Arab Spring,” said the doctoral student.