Under the sails
IN their book “The Narrow Corridor,” Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson explained that “freedom” has two fundamental components: (i) state and (ii) society; whose balance ensures the sustainability and stability of a country.
Later in this book, they also introduced their readers to a very interesting concept based on these two components that defines three types of states that we witness in the world today.
The first is the “chained state” or modern welfare state that emerges due to the balance between state and society.
The second type is when the state falls behind, the society ends up living in an “absent state” and the third is a “despotic state”, where the society is too weak or confined compared to the state which is imperial and authoritarian.
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been in a despotic leviathan state, where the rulers reign supreme and their laws and legislations are passed without the involvement or consent of society.
Faced with enormous economic difficulties, due to the global sanctions imposed on its nuclear program, the Iranian people were already bearing the consequences of the decisions taken by their leaders.
Once again, since September 16, 2022, Iran has been making global headlines for an incident that sparked nationwide riots in the country.
The hijab (head covering) is not a choice but a constraint for Iranian women that must be followed as part of a strict dress code for them set by their government.
They have their own “moral police” to uphold and enforce the law.
In the past, many instances of mismanagement, abuse and misconduct by their moral police have surfaced, which have either been overlooked or ignored by the government and conveniently glossed over.
On September 13, 2022, a 22-year-old woman named Masha Amini was arrested by Tehran’s Moral Police for allegedly violating Iran’s hijab and modesty laws.
Amini later died on September 16, 2022 while in custody. His detention and suspicious death raged among locals who later took to social media platforms to condemn and protest the heartbreaking incident.
Masha Amini was declared brain dead when she was brought to a hospital emergency room from her detention center.
The hospital later retracted its initial statement and said the cause of his death was heart failure.
Amini’s parents ignored the cause, saying their daughter was perfectly healthy and had no previous heart problems when she was taken into custody.
Her hospital bed photos show her unconscious, with bruises on her face and bloodstains near her ear.
She was clearly tortured. When oppression, disappointment, anger and pain grow; unprecedented courage and strength are born to reshape the world that changes the destinies of nations.
Masha Amini’s death sparked riots and protests broke out from Tehran and quickly spread across the country.
Women and men have taken to the streets against this brutal murder which they claim is the result of a decades-old tyranny.
They come out and let out their desperate cry to be heard and seen. Some women burn their hijab while others cut their hair in protest and to show their solidarity with Masha Amini.
Men and women from all over the world are demonstrating in support and solidarity with the courageous Iranians who, at the cost of their lives, are chanting against their current regime a long-awaited change to breathe with freedom and dignity. country.
“Remember, however, that sometimes the people you oppress become more powerful than you would like” – Veronica Roth.
To date, more than 20 people have lost their lives since the protest began after Masha’s funeral.
The state has taken strict measures by stepping up the crackdown on protesters. Many were arrested or injured.
The government has also taken steps to eliminate noise by turning off cellular services and restricting social media platforms by restricting the internet in the country.
The Iranian military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have also warned the public of harsh and harsh measures against the protesters if the current situation does not deescalate peacefully.
When you take freedom of choice away from society, people are manipulated into believing they are controlled puppets rather than people.
There is a limit to any oppression which leads at some point to revolt which ends up giving birth to revolutions.
Cultural values should never be confused with religion and respect for humanity should reign supreme.
—The writer, accountant by training and travel influencer by choice, is a freelance columnist and award-winning filmmaker, based in Karachi.