Monday, June 22, 2009

On the death of Neda Soltan

The above is a very touching analysis by Melody Moezzi, an Iranian American, of the situation that has arisen over the repression of the protestors and especially over the death of Neda Soltan.

Perhaps everyone has seen the You Tube video taken shortly after Neda Soltan. was shot by an Iranian Militiaman, a Basij. If not, here it is:

If there were an isolated incident here in America, a shooting or someone bitten by a pit bull, and the American Media made a big deal about it, I would object. I would say this isn’t a typical situation. It doesn’t happen all the time, but in a population as large as we have all sorts of things can happen. Don’t blow it out of proportion, I would say.

But that is not what has happened with Neda Soltan. There is serious unhappiness, perhaps outrage, over the high-handed behavior of authorities during the election. Who knows how many in Iran are unhappy with Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah. The very existence of the Basij is an outrage and an offense, in my opinion. They go about abusing women if they don’t conform to their view of proper Islamic behavior. Now, one of them has executed this young woman, Neda Soltan. In appearance she was obviously not conforming to the dress code. She was with or near the protestors; so one of the Basij took it upon himself to shoot her.

As Melody Moezzi has said, the Iranians are Shia and for the Shia martyrs are very important. And now the Basij have created a new martyr. Just because it is the Basij and not the official police isn’t going to make any difference – the authorities are siding with the Basij and calling Neda Soltan a “terrorist.” That is, they said all those killed were terrorists.

I have watched these videos, feel their emotional impact and I am not Iranian. I can only guess at the impact they are having In Iran.

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