In the News
How Iranian women’s hijab protests are a force for more than just women’s rights
Professor Scott Lucas outlines how protests following the killing of Mahsa Amini are generating discussion over widespread changes to Iranian society.
On 16th September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in hospital from injuries as a result of being beaten following her arrest for not wearing the hijab in accordance with Islamic law. The Guidance Patrol, a department of the Iranian police responsible for enforcing religious law, were responsible for Amini’s arrest and it was claimed that during her arrest she had a heat-attack and fell into a coma. Amini’s death has sparked protests across Iran which have been met with force by the Iranian security forces. Estimates of numbers killed in the protests range from 100 to 200.
The protests surrounding Mahsa Maini’s death are not isolated however, with popular uprisings in 2009, 2017 and 2019 against the Iranian government, but Professor Scott Lucas sees the most recent protests as a sign of large-scale disenchantment with the Iranian government. Protests have come from various sections of society, and despite claims that the protests are orchestrated by outside agitators, there appears to be no clear leadership behind the protests, but rather groups of discontented individuals coming together to campaign for change. Protest have been largely non-violent, yet unlike in 2019 when up to 1500 people were killed during four days of protests, government force is unable to curtail protests.
The article by Professor Lucas can be found here and is useful in examining state crime and applying Durkheim’s ideas of deviance leading to social change.