Iranian schoolgirl reportedly killed by regime for refusing to sing the national anthem

October 19, 2022 • 12:30 pm

We already know about Masah Amini, a 22-year-old woman beaten to death by Iranian authorities after the “morality police” arrested her for an improperly worn hijab. That itself has ignited protests throughout Iran— protests not just against the mandatory headscarf, but against oppression and Iranian theocracy in general. Women and girls, risking arrest (and even physical injury), openly walk with their hair free, and demonstrations against the regime, sparked largely by women and young people, have spread throughout the country.

The government knows the danger of popular rebellion, and some people, like journalist Masih Alinejad, think that the line has already been crossed—that the regime is doomed. But the mullahs will not go gentle, and are cracking down hard on demonstrators, shooting at unarmed protestors. According to the Iran Human Rights group, at least 215 people have been killed, including 27 children.

Here I, or rather the Guardian, reports on an especially odious act: a schoolgirl beaten to death (and her classmates injured) for refusing to sing the Iranian national anthem. Click on the headline to read the article.

Another schoolgirl has reportedly been killed by the Iranian security services after she was beaten in her classroom for refusing to sing a pro-regime song when her school was raided last week, sparking further protests across the country this weekend.

According to the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations, 16-year-old Asra Panahi died after security forces raided the Shahed girls high school in Ardabil on 13 October and demanded a group of girls sing an anthem that praises Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

When they refused, security forces beat the pupils, leading to a number of girls being taken to hospital and others arrested. On Friday, Panahi reportedly died in hospital of injuries sustained at the school.

Iranian officials denied that its security forces were responsible and, after her death sparked outrage across the country, a man identified as her uncle appeared on state TV channels claiming she had died from a congenital heart condition.

That’s what they said about Amini, too: she had a “heart condition”, and that, not the beating, killed her. This seems to be the boilerplate language used to save relatives or authorities from having to face up to the fact that a woman was murdered. I don’t believe the “congenital heart condition” explanation for a second.

It’s a revolution led largely by women. How deliciously ironic in a country that barely sees women as humans, but rather as temptresses (ergo the mandatory veiling) and, when married, as breeders. The article goes on:

Schoolgirls have emerged as a powerful force after videos went viral of classrooms of pupils waving their hijabs in the air, taking down pictures of Iran’s supreme leaders and shouting anti-regime slogans in support of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died after being detained by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab correctly in August.

The Iranian authorities responded by launching a series of raids on schools across the country last week, with reports of officers forcing their way into classrooms, violently arresting schoolgirls and pushing them into waiting cars, and firing teargas into school buildings.

In a statement posted on Sunday, Iran’s teachers’ union condemned the “brutal and inhumane” raids and called for the resignation of the education minister, Yousef Nouri.

This again confirms Alinejad’s predictions. When the teachers’ union of Iran condemns a government official publicly, you know that the whole government is in trouble.

The rest of the article quotes schoolgirls who are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more. Here’s one:

News of Panahi’s death has further mobilised schoolgirls across the country to organise and join protests over the weekend.

mong them was 16-year-old Naznin*, whose parents had kept her at home for fear that she would be arrested for protesting at her school.

“I haven’t been allowed to go to the school because my parents fear for my life. But what has it changed? The regime continues to kill and arrest schoolgirls,” says Naznin.

“What good am I if I simply sit outraged at home? Myself and fellow students across Iran have decided to stand in protest on the streets this week. I’ll do it even if I have to now hide it from my parents.”

Other teens are quoted as well.

And yet, as this brutal oppression is going on, and has been going on since 1979, the U.S. still wants to cozy up to Iran, hoping to strike some kind of deal in which Iran, in return for perks, will give up its ambition to build a nuclear weapon. Anybody with two neurons to rub together knows that Iran cannot be trusted to keep its promises, but apparently some American officials lack that second neuron.

If you want to protest the actions of the Iranian government, the email address of its embassy in Washington is here.  I have done so, which of course means I can’t go to Iran until the government topples.

Look at these photos:

Mahsa Amini, beaten to death for a headscarf that was askew:

Asra Panahi,beaten to death for refusing to sing Iran’s national anthem:

And here’s a video about 33-year-old Iranian athlete Elnaz Rekabi, who competed officially for Iran in an international climbing competition in Seoul, Korea, and not wearing a hijab (Iranian women athletes are required to cover their heads when competing internationally).  They confiscated Rekabi’s phone and passport, and her friends and family have been unable to contact her now that she’s back in the country.  One can guess what has happened. Rekabi claimed that she “forgot” to put on her hijab, but I don’t believe that for a minute, either. I think she was protesting and made an excuse to save her skin. I will report if we find out she’s okay.

Finally, here’s a news video showing women protesting the hijab; one variant is cutting off one’s hair in protest:

20 thoughts on “Iranian schoolgirl reportedly killed by regime for refusing to sing the national anthem

  1. >> … she had a “heart condition”, and that, not the beating, killed her.

    True. If not for her courageous heart, she would be alive.

  2. Fortunately, in the US, the Freedom of Speech guaranteed by the First Amendment includes freedom from Compelled Speech. In a famous 1943 decision (at the height of WW II), SCOTUS decided in favor of Barnette, a high school student who had refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in West Virginia. This freedom may also protect students and faculty from administrative demands for apologies for disruptions caused by their lack of support for Title XI or criticisms of DEI initiatives.

    1. Overruling its decision upholding the compelled recitation of the pledge three years earlier in Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1943). The Barnette decision caused an irretrievable rift in the relationship between Justice Frankfurter (who authored the Gobitis decision and a dissenting opinion in Barnette) and Justices Black and Douglas — subsequently recognized as SCOTUS’s two great free-speech absolutists — who had changed their minds and their votes between Gobitis and Barnette.

      (Pffft, so much for the professor who thought I was just goofing off in the back row, not really paying attention during his Con Law class. Surprised him as much as it did me when I won the “book award” in that class, back when they were still handing out copies of the Am. Jur. 2d.) 🙂

  3. The aside about the Iranian Olympian reminded me of the Iranian fencer that the media glorified in the last Summer Olympics. She was so brave for wearing a symbol of her oppression! That was the narrative.

    We should ask those journalists if it still looks brave now, especially considering what’s happened to the Olympian who didn’t wear hers.

      1. Ah, yes, I forgot. Thank you. I’m not sure if that makes it worse or better. The glorification of the hijab in Western society really disgusts me. People are welcome to wear their religious garb if they want, and I have absolutely no problem with that. I do have a problem with the glorification of religious garb, and especially religious garb specifically designed to oppress an entire class of people.

        1. Still, it is common on commercials that show “diverse happy people enjoying product X”, that among them will be a girl wearing the hijab. So now the optics of that may at last start to look different.

  4. The proverbial sh*t is hitting the Iran.

    They thought it was safe to go after women because so many men seemed comfortable with shutting them down. They needn’t even have been particularly religious, as a study of semi-secularized Muslim males in England found that the one religious precept they never abandoned involved the duty of the mothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives to obey them.

    They didn’t expect the women to rebel so thoroughly or so bravely— or be joined by so many men. The National Anthem ffs. The conservatives in our country keep trying to mandate it, though I doubt even they would want it enforced with the death penalty.

    1. I’m holding off from being too invested in these protests. There were several repressive governments we were told were on the brink of being overthrown during the Arab Spring, only for them to survive and continue on as normal once they protests had died out/they had thoroughly destroyed the movements.

      I desperately hope this new revolution for the freedom of women and all Iranians from the theocracy of Iran will be successful, but regimes like Iran’s have shown themselves to be more resilient than expected or hoped for in the past.

      1. Yes. They have a long way to go before the regime can be overthrown. The military has not yet weighed in, as far as I am aware, and that will be a huge decider on how this turns out. The protests will need to swell to epic sized crowds in rebellion before I start to believe.

      2. It worries me that past Iranian protests were crushed when the experience of much wider freedoms remained in living memory. On the other hand, it’s encouraging that freedom’s appeal can be sui generis among young people, even at such great risk. Currently, well over half the population has no personal experience other than under theocracy.

  5. This is horrifying. And, like so much in that part of the world, there are a ridiculous number of contradictory social/religious policies, including the idea that secular singing – and music in general – are haram, religiously forbidden. My understanding is that pilgrims coming to the US felt the same way about music, that secular music incites humans to our more animal nature. I sometimes think Footloose 2 should be filmed in the Middle East.

  6. “ › usa › charlotte-observer › 20221019 › 281818582750347
    We’re looking at Iran’s deadly hijab protests the wrong way
    PressReader. Catalog; For You; The Charlotte Observer. We’re looking at Iran’s deadly hijab protests the wrong way 2022-10-19 – BY HADIA MUBARAK Hadia Mubarak is an assistant professor of religion at Queens University of Charlotte.. Since the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last month, two other young women in Iran have been killed by Iran’s security police for joining protests . . . .”

    If anyone is inclined to take the time and effort to somehow judiciously access this. (It’s either a paywall or cookies to deal with.) In the print Raleigh News & Observer, there is a photo of the writer sporting a hijab. IIRC she says the cause is not religion, but some combination of politics/history. She makes it a point to point out that certain countries (e.g., France, IIRC) have outlawed the wearing of the hijab. I don’t recall reading her expressly condemning the killings.

    To the extent that the U.S. Gov’t condemns these killings, will it let out the slack and similarly condemn its oil daddy Saudi Arabia for its similar oppression?

    1. I have a screenshot of the article if anybody wants it. It spends a lot of time blaming countries like France for banning the hijab (that’s in certain situations), makes the untestable claim that most women who wear hijabs do not do so under compulsion, and winds up saying that Islam has little or nothing to do with requirements to wear the hijab. It’s a huge exercise in apologetics.

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