Taravat Talepasand “Islamic Youth”
by Doe Deer
[Editor’s Note: English is not Doe Deer’s first language, so the article has been a back and forth between our Editors and Doe Deer in order to give you the most precise and clear version.]
In 2009, after Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad won the presidential election for the second time, Iran experienced one of the biggest national demonstrations since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Initially, the protests were against the election results, but later lead to be against the government as a whole. Reformist (but still religious) candidate for the 2009 election Mir Hossein Mousavi instigated these protests against the current government, which were eventually stopped and Ahmadi Nejad remained as the president of Iran an additional four years.
Once Ahmandi Nejad’s additional four years had passed, Iran faced a crucial election. Neither the most reformists nor leftist choices were allowed to be candidates, but both sides were still represented to some degree. Hassan Rowhani, considered a religious, reformist mullah garnered much public support and was finally elected as Iran’s new president. After Rowhani’s win, Iranians celebrated in the streets, hopeful for a different government after Ahmandi Nehad’s. Even more extreme leftists supported this; including those who refuse to vote, believing their vote goes unrecognized. Despite his confirmation by Islamic Republic’s leader Ali Khamenei, even some of those against the entire Islamic Republic are now looking forward to his rule.
Two days after the election, people were celebrating on the streets once more for Iran’s national football team’s win, placing them in the next world cup. The success was important for more than just football fans as it extended a national pride for positive world representation. This kind of successful global recognition is rare for Iran. It was a double celebration.
Despite this progressive victory, I still wonder if this will change the public’s religious views and cultural taboos. There are differences between what religious principles the Islamic Republic emphasizes and what is instilled in cultural roots, what has subconsciously embedded itself in the minds of citizens who’ve been raised in such a strictly religious country. Iranians have always held fanatic beliefs, even before the Islamic Revolution, but these days even the most alternative of citizens appreciate any change for more freedom. But regardless of what legalities change, will it shift the cultural perspective on what is currently taboo? Will individuals and families who still abide by the culture’s expectations be able to express themselves and not hide? It is not just about religion, but about personal choice and not fearing an attack.
Is it the Islamic Republic’s responsibility, or the peoples’?