ARCHIVE – Demonstrators chant slogans against the death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Jina Mahsa Amini during a protest in downtown Tehran in September. Photo: Uncredited/AP/dpa
“There is a significant segment of society that practices Islam. But even most of the country’s traditional, religious population is appalled by brutal violence in the name of Islam, »said Fatemeh Shams, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania for Persian literature, in an interview with the German Press Agency.
According to the professor, who focuses her work on the intersection of literature, politics and society, more than three months after the start of the protests, it is becoming increasingly clear how divided Iranian society is. “I think that this time we are also experiencing a generational change that has brought schoolchildren to the forefront of the protests – and that’s a complete novelty. These kids have nothing to lose. All they want is a normal life and they are willing to sacrifice their lives for it.”
The trigger for the nationwide demonstrations was the death of the Iranian Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini. The young woman died in police custody almost 100 days ago after being arrested by the so-called moral guards for violating Islamic dress codes. The protests that followed spread like wildfire and plunged the Islamic Republic into the worst political crisis in decades.