One Death, Thousands Outraged

Lindsey Smith, Arts & Entertainment Editor

On September 16, 2022, a 22-year old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, was killed. Her death has sparked global protest and a battle cry for gender injustice. Among the approximately 240 people killed in the protests, it is estimated that 23 children were among the casualties.
In Iran, all women, natives and foreigners alike, are required to wear a hijab by law; that same law was allegedly violated by 22-year old Iranaian, Mahsa Amini. The violation resulted in her death which, although originally presented as a death by heart attack, has now been reported as a death by punishment from Iranian morality police officials. Her passing sparked outrage among both men and women, Iranians and foreigners, and a push toward a more gender equal society evolved into an abundance of protests nationwide and internationally.
In solidarity with Amini, women have taken to tearing away their hijabs and headscarves, burning them in community fire pits, and cutting their hair, all actions defying the government’s laws concerning what women should and should not wear (BBC News).
Although restrictions on the internet in Iran have made it difficult for news sources to gather the full extent of the information, by piecing together the bits gathered online, it is evident that the protests are unlike any that Iran has seen before (BBC News).
In comparison to past protests, like those in 2009, 2017, and 2019, Amini’s death united individuals worldwide, making the current protests some of the largest and longest in recent Iranian history. The current outcry of support has spread far past just one group of people, or one place. Protests extend far beyond just the working class, and far beyond Iran. Across the world, people have shown their support by taking to social media and publicly cutting their hair. In other places like Berlin, Germany, groups of well over thousands of supporters protested (abc News).
At Pembroke Pines Charter High School, students have expressed their own opinions on the situation, including senior and Muslim Student Association President Asra Khan: “It breaks my heart to see the people of Iran, especially the women, go through this oppression and [have] their lives taken away by the way they dress. However, I also think it’s important for people who aren’t Muslim to realize and acknowledge that even though this harassment is taking place in the ‘Islamic Republic’ of Iran, it does not reflect the values of Islam. In fact, our religion puts women on a high pedestal and we’re taught to treat them with love and respect, so for people to go around hurting and murdering these women ‘in the name of Islam’ is extremely disrespectful and my heart goes out to the people of Iran. We should continue to spread awareness and gather support for them as we would for any other world issue.”
Iran is about to enter the sixth week of protests all started by the death of one individual. As the protests have demonstrated, it takes one to fuel the power of many, and thousands of people to make change a possibility. While the outcome remains to be seen, it is evident that the people of Iran will not go down without a fight.