One can understand the Iranian Revolution as a hymn to death from its origin to its very near end. Register, timbre, intensity, and tempo have changed, but death remains the horizon of meaning. It is above all the holy death, the martyrdom of the Shiites, that began. The revolutionary and specialist in the sociology of religion, Ali Shariati, was the publisher of this death that was to decide the fate of the Muslim, by combining in an explosive mixture between Shiites and Marxist eschatology, the end of the time of Christ (the Shiite “Imam of Time”) and the imam of Marx’s “classless society.” Death is liberation insofar as it opens the desired end to an unjust world. In the long war against Iraq (1980-1988), martyrdom turns into “martyrdom” among some young people who no longer wish to live – the paradise promised by Ayatollah Khomeini was once turned into hell – and intend to die in order to reach a world Better, in heaven, in reward for sacrificing their lives in the prime of life.
Iran: Freedom Against the Mullahs
At the end of the war, the Shiite theocracy is firmly entrenched and imposes the death of the joy of living with an endless series of prohibitions. Celles-ci vont tres au-delà des conceptions de l’islam traditionnel, which avait une tolérance de facto pour la faiblesse humane: la danse, la promiscuité, l’alcool et l’homosexuality, condamnés in public, étaient largement of tolerés dans la Private life. The religious version of Islam imposed by the new regime aims to penetrate the heart of a Muslim and his private life. Any deviation, even at home, in his intimate relationship, is punished with a series of punishments that can reach the point of execution. For this new police state and its excessive interpretation of Islam, aggression could lead to death, because every disobedience is a fight against God. (fight) And an act that spreads corruption on earth (fessad wire arz).
sequel after announcement
With the reformists (1997-2005), the regime temporarily opened up to timid pluralism, but the decline soon ended in the second year of Khatami’s presidency: the first democratic student movement was severely suppressed in 1997. Since that date, the regime has become increasingly authoritarian and corrupt, moving from Plutocracy to thieves. And in order to end the “thanatocracy”, it is so easy to strike the common death of all totalitarian regimes. “Hymn of the Holy Death” turns over time into a terrible cacophony, as the oppressive state imposes unbearable restrictions on civil society that does not want it (hence the many revolutions so fiercely suppressed), which forms the framework of murderous fascism.
The movements emerging since 2009 are a rejection of an authority that is not only oppressive, but also:
- environmental pesticide: The environment has been abused in a totally irresponsible way;
- Exocedus: Muhajireen, especially Afghans, who are mostly Shiites and speak Persian like Iranians, are mistreated, denied the right of residence even after two decades of work, and sent, in return for a virtual residence permit, to the front in Syria, where they find death by the hundreds;
- ginsenoside : Women protesting against the restriction of veiling, or in the name of feminism and equal rights, are seen as subhuman and can now be slaughtered on equal terms with men, even though they have no physical capacity to defend themselves. themselves as equals;
- the kill: homosexuals are subject to the death penalty;
- Addiction Addicts are often sentenced to death or treated as less than human in death prisons, without medical care worthy of the name;
- apostate: Muslims who convert to another religion, particularly evangelical Protestantism whose winds blow, are often sentenced to death or long prison terms during which they are dehumanized and treated like cattle;
- thanatocrats : Dissenters are executed with alarming ease, and torture is common in many prisons belonging to various repressive bodies;
And the list is far from complete. Iran ranks second in the world after China in terms of the total number of executions, and the first in terms of the number of individuals.
The Iranian volcanic eruption has just begun
What distinguishes Iranian totalitarianism from others is its essentially murderous nature, which is absent from classical forms of totalitarianism (Stalin’s communism, Hitler’s Nazism, and Mussolini’s fascism). The Tehran regime is the enemy of the joy of living, dancing and singing freely, especially for women (they are forbidden to sing, while Iranian classical music until the 1979 revolution counted famous singers), the joy of savoring leisure, just wandering in the street, man and woman, without being spied on by a band morals and without accusing them of violating good morals. Even Syrian totalitarianism tolerates the simple pleasures of life. In Iran, the revolution of September 2022, which turned into a generalized disobedience that paved the way for the revolution, is above all an expression of a subjectivity that yearns for the pleasures of life: young women who have been of principle seek to live more freely, in order to give meaning to their existence without being guilty or Accused of violating the norms and taboos of another era. Many men joined them, contrary to the vision of “Islamic manhood” that wants men to show their dominance over women.
sequel after announcement
Protests in Iran: If you kill two, thirty will replace them
Denying the life of this murderous and fascist regime, which kills joy in addition to being fascist, is also expressed in a hostile attitude towards the outside world, especially the West. Young people in the demonstrations chanted: Our enemy is here / they lie (supporters of the Islamic regime) saying it is America. »
This feeling that the Islamic Republic is a “joy killer” state is evident in the deep desperation of Iranian rappers, some of whom are under threat of execution. One of them, Imad Gvedel, just before the September 2022 revolution, sang against the grim domination of this predatory state:
” fate [Zamaneh, sous-entendu l’Etat théocratique] You killed my joy in life, ruined it well and truly,
Striking my tired body, today I regretted yesterday, tomorrow I will cry today,
I can’t sing with feelings anymore, I’m from the burning generation, let me stir in the ashes. »
The new subjectivity tries above all to regain its sovereignty by rejecting the leaden creed that has descended on Iranian society for more than four decades. The first generation had succumbed to this perpetual mourning in the name of revolutionary sacrifice and honoring the martyrs of the war against Iraq (which lasted more than eight years, from 1980 to 1988). The second escalated several times (the revolutions of 2009, 2015, 2016-2019…) but the repression was bloody. Today, young people and children have less hesitation than their parents and grandparents, they seek joy without hesitation, without a guilt complex, without the temptation of the so-called “Shia pain (the actual absence of festivals and the extremely large number of obituaries that characterize traditional Shiism).
In short, it is a generation that is not influenced by the clerics, religious Islam, or the heavy apparatus of repression that has so far succeeded in imposing bloody silence on an entire society. From now on, the Iranian state is naked, and this time everyone knows it and everyone says it.
sequel after announcement
Farhad Khosrokhwar He is Honorary Director of Studies at the École Graduate School of Social Sciences in Paris. He is currently working on a book about the social movements that are angering Iran.