by Khadijah Ali (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 9, Rabi' al-Thani, 1444)
While protests over the tragic death of Mahsa Amini have died down, the west’s hostility toward the Islamic Republic of Iran continues with full fury. It is truly touching to see so many western politicians and so-called liberals join the anti-Iran bandwagon over Ms. Amini’s death.
Is the west truly concerned about the plight of Muslim women? Consider this.
On October 3, more than 50 Afghan female students (53 in all) were killed after a suicide bomber struck the Kaaj Eductional Centre in Kabul where the girls were taking university entrance exams. Scores of others were injured. The terrorist attack was carried out by ISIS, that receives broad support from the US. The level of concern expressed for these poor Afghan girls was nowhere near the hysterical denunciations that followed Ms. Amini’s unfortunate death in Iran.
Let us get some basic facts straight. The 22-year-old woman of Kurdish origin was arrested in Tehran by Dasht-e Ershad (Guidance Patrol, erroneously translated as ‘morality police’ by the west) on September 13. She was brought to a police station for questioning over her improper hijab.
Western media outlets have alleged that she was ‘brutely assaulted on the head’ in a police van while being transported to the police station. This, it is alleged, led to her death. Yet, CCTV footage released by the police showed that inside the police station, there were scores of other women.
A couple of police women talked to Amini without any physical contact. They were all standing; there was no evidence that she had been hit on the head. If that were the case, she would not have been able to stand or walk on her own. There was also no evidence of injury.
The other allegation that she died in police custody is also false. When the police women left her, Ms. Amini is seen moving toward a chair to sit down but collapses and falls down. She is later carried out of the police station to an ambulance and transported to hospital.
She died in hospital three days later (September 16). The coroner’s autopsy report said she died of cerebral hypoxia—lack of oxygen to the brain “due to sudden heart rhythm disorder, decreased blood pressure and loss of consciousness and insufficient oxygen to the brain.” Her CT scan showed no injury to the brain. The coroner’s report does point out that had she received timely medical intervention, she might be alive.
The report further states that Ms. Amini had had brain surgery when she was eight for which she was taking medication. It needs pointing out that some medication was not available for her treatment because of US sanctions.
Some other facts also need recounting. President Ibrahim Raiesi was in Samarqand for the SCO summit. When he got the news, he immediately announced that her death would be properly investigated. The Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s representative also went to meet the girl’s family to express condolences and assured them that their daughter’s death would be fully investigated.
It must be asked, how is it that as soon as Amini’s death was reported, there were not only protests in different parts of Iran but they immediately turned violent. Police stations, banks, mosques, ambulances, public buildings and buses were set on fire. Dozens of police men were also attacked and killed. One police officer was murdered by slitting his throat in the street.
How could people be mobilized so quickly and then begin to indulge in such gruesome acts of violence? Which government would allow such criminal acts? Would the US, Canada, Britain or France allow people to burn down buildings in their capital cities?
According to Mona Issa, a Lebanese author and journalist, the first allegations of Amini’s “killing” by the police appeared in “US-funded outlets in Farsi, such as Iran Wire.” This allegation was then regurgitated by other western-funded Farsi language media outfits in London, England.
The Cradle revealed in a piece on October 1, titled, ‘Decoding the Pentagon’s online war against Iran’ how “US government-funded propaganda outfits such as Radio Farda and Voice of America Farsi,” spread fake news about Iran.
“They also repurposed and shared articles from the British-based Iran International, which appears to receive arm’s length funding from Saudi Arabia, as did several fake personas attached to these outlets” the Cradle wrote.
The protests over Amini’s death quickly morphed into demands for regime change. While the anti-government protests were relatively small—a few dozen at most—the manner in which their photographs were splashed in the media, especially on social media platforms created the impression as if there were huge numbers.
The much larger pro-government rallies in support of hijab attended by hundreds of thousands of women were reported perfunctorily. These were carried alongside reports of alleged large anti-government rallies.
A major role in this propaganda campaign was played by twitter. For the record, there are less than 300,000 twitter users in the whole of Iran. Yet for several weeks, the #MahsaAmini hashtag broke all records and surpassed the 100 million mark!
Who was behind this twitter storm? Careful analysis of twitter users revealed an overwhelming majority as bots and trolls with fake accounts retweeting the same message. Further investigation revealed that many of these trolls were based in Albania (where the MKO terrorists have their headquarters), the US—an existential threat to the Islamic Republic—and the illegitimate zionist entity.
Masih Alinejad, an Iranian woman on the US payroll, who has received more than $628,000 since 2015, immediately hijacked the campaign, at least in the US, at the behest of her CIA handlers. Her crocodile tears over Amini’s death convinced few people in Iran except the hardcore monarchists and members of the gang of munafiqeen.
She has never called for the lifting of sanctions against Iran that has caused so much suffering to ordinary Iranians. Instead, since Amini’s death, she has demanded more sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The MKO terrorists and monarchists also attacked mosques and Arbaeen marches in different western capitals. Iranian diplomatic missions and diplomats also came under attack in such countries as Norway, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and Britain. In Thornhill, a suburb of Toronto, The Mahdi Islamic Centre that is used by Muslims of Iranian origin, was also the target of hate crime, twice in less than one week (October 13 and 18).
There is a large expatriate Iranian community in Toronto, the vast majority being monarchists who fled with their wealth from Iran, and the MKO terrorists. Many of them are extremely violent and will not hesitate to commit any crimes.
Senior officials in Iran including the Rahbar, have blamed foreign governments for instigating and supporting the riots. Iran’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi said some rioters were receiving funds into their bank accounts every 15 minutes.
Opinion in Iran about the role of Gasht-e Ershad (Guidance Patrols) is divided. There are some—a tiny minority—that oppose the hijab and thus the role of Gasht-e Ershad altogether. There are others that oppose the Gasht-e Ershad’s role but support the wearing of hijab. And then there is the vast majority of women that fully support the hijab and the role of Dasht-e Ershad.
Iran is an Islamic Republic. Islam mandates a certain dress code that nobody—the west or anyone else—has any business dictating how it should be implemented. Calls against hijab are part of the west’s campaign of cultural imperialism. Having failed to undermine the Islamic Republic through the use of coercive hard power, this underhand campaign has been escalated.
It is quite revealing that some anti-Islam Iranian women in the west exposed their upper bodies completely during rallies. Such vulgarity is not tolerated even in most western countries. The people of Iran will never accept such behaviour, no matter how hard these western-backed women try.
Adopting such tactics, these women only expose themselves, both physically and figuratively.