For the past 30 years, ever since the rise of Islamic Regime, Iran and the Iranians have been living in fear. Fear from the Mullahs with their militias (Basijis) who have been trained to have no merci. When Ayatollah Khomeini came to Iran, laughter, happiness escaped from Iran and the Iranians. Women lost most of their human rights and dignity, men gained more authorities at home over their wives, but less outside. Women were forced to cover themselves up and men had to grow beard, do away with suits and ties. Listening to music in the public was banned. And of course consumption of any alcoholic beverages whether outside or inside home became illegal and subject to physical punishment and imprisonment.
Then thanks to Mr. Khomeini who had higher aspiration, which was to export his brand of Islam to the neighboring countries, in particular to Iraq, brought almost 8 years of hell on Iran and Iranians. It is argued that it was Saddam Hussein who first attacked Iran. This is true, but it was Khomeini who wanted to export his brand of Islam to Iraq and destabilize Saddam’s regime, causing Saddam to take preemptive action by attacking Iran first. Saddam Hussein believed that invasion of Iran would be fast and easy given the military being severely weakened due to revolution and summary execution of its officers. But Saddam Hussein miscalculated the Iranians’ nationalism which was stronger than any military force making Saddam to retreat. It is estimated that over 1 million people were lost on both side. It is safe to state that Iran suffered most of the human casualties due to attack and invasion.
Khomeini died and Khamenei took his place without any democratic process, that is having an election of any kind. During these three decades a new generation of Iranians was borne. About seventy percent of Iran’s population is under the age of 30.
Another important event took place during these 3 decades, invention of cell phone and Internet. The new Iranian generation watched and witnessed their counterparts in other countries, mainly western countries living in peace and harmony and free from religious bondage. They wanted the same freedom to be afforded to them.
Neda was one of the members of this generation. She was 27 years old going to university with Philosophy as her major and was engaged to be married. Unfortunately Neda’s life was cut short with an assassin’s bullet. It is reported that a bullet from a plain clothed militia (Basiji) ended Neda’s life.
We must remember that there were many other young and brave people like Neda who have lost their lives during the last 10 days or so.
Neda’s tragic passing was caught on camera and shown throughout the world via Internet and TV news. It was horrific and extremely sad to witness a young and beautiful girl losing her life so soon and so tragically. We must remember that there were many other young and brave people like Neda who have lost their lives during the last 10 days or so. Neda’s death has become the symbol for all those who have lost their lives.
It is time for all Iranians throughout the world to demand change of regime. Having Mr. Mousavi as President is not good enough. Mr. Mousavi still has to answer to Mr. Khamenei as the supreme leader of the Islamic Regime. Mr. Khamenei has blood on his hands. He sanctioned both the election result and the attack on the protestors resulting in many death and injuries.
When lives of people such as Neda’s and friends are lost in, it must be for a greater cause, not for having Islamic Regime and its leaders in power, except only changing one of its figures. The one who does not have much power in the first place, i.e. the president of Iran.
Islamic Republic and Freedom are mutually exclusive of each other. Both of these ideologies cannot possibly co-exist and be practiced together in the same society.
We must not forget that the first human right declaration came from Iran over 2,500 years ago.
Although Neda and others like her are gone, but their memories, efforts, love for freedom will never be forgotten. These courageous individuals brought pride and honor to a population which has been branded as fanatics, backward, and terrorist lovers. Neda and her friends showed to the world that Iranians are courageous and respect human rights and demand freedom for all and are willing to sacrifice their precious lives for such a cause. We must not forget that the first human right declaration came from Iran over 2,500 years ago.
May Neda and her friends rest in peace.