The Coast Report Editorial Board unequivocally condemns the brutal torture and killing of 22-year old Iranian-Kurdish university student Mahsa Amini
On Sept. 16, Amini was taken to a correctional facility for not properly wearing the Islamic female headscarf, often known as the “hijab,” up to the regime’s standards. She would later die from injuries sustained in morality police custody.
Protests have sprung up all over the world, from European countries to Canada, the U.S. and Iran itself, as well as its neighboring Middle Eastern countries. Protesters have called for freedom of expression and basic human rights to be protected in Iran. Protesters have been chanting “women, life and liberty.”
No government, under any circumstance, has the right to dictate how an individual decides to publicly express their religious identity.
The prevalent religion in Iran is Islam and more specifically, Shia Islam.
While the Islamic holy texts such as the Quran and the Hadiths encourage and instruct Muslim men and women to adhere to clothing guidelines, the current regime’s implementation has not been practiced by the Prophet Muhammed nor his companions.
According to Hamza Yusuf, an Islamic Scholar based in Berkeley, California, the woman herself decides whether or not she wishes to adhere to the hijab. It is almost never forced, unless in oppressive regimes that take Islamic guidelines to the extreme.
These Islamic guidelines, known as “Shariah” in Arabic, translate to English as “a clear path to water.” It is a set of principles brought forth from verses in the Quran and sayings from the Hadith, which are meant to guide a Muslim to a morally and socially upright life.
In regards to the hijab, therefore, no government should have laws forcing an individual to adhere to a particular form of religious expression. It is against the religion of Islam to do so.
Most Muslim-majority nations give the Muslim woman the right to decide whether or not she wishes to wear a hijab. Non-Muslim women in most Muslim-majority nations are never required to wear a hijab anyway.
Iran’s interpretation of the Shariah’s guideline of a Muslim woman wearing the hijab is utterly inconsistent with not only the Muslim world’s interpretation, but the interpretation of Prophet Muhammad and Islam as a whole.
Everyone can do their part to help the Iranian people, specifically women, to gain more support in their cause for more freedom. College campuses can be of help.
Mahsa Amini’s death was an unfortunate event that stemmed from the Iranian regime’s extreme views of Shariah and the hijab.
Iran, in its current form, is inconsistent with human rights and Islamic values.
Mahsa Amini, your passing will not be in vain. Women, life and liberty.