It comes in many shapes and forms. In today’s world, many things make people courageous: admitting that you were in the wrong, confessing your unwavering love to a certain someone, or trying new experiences. However, with the world changing and becoming increasingly dark and gruesome, courage can be described not only by actions but by names. Names like Mahsa Amini.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police, has become a symbol of courage. Amini was detained for not complying with Iran’s morality laws on women’s clothing. She was taken because she was wearing a loose mandatory headscarf. Her death has been pushed by the Iranian morality police as a result of prior head injuries stemming from when she was younger. They have even released state television footage of her collapsing at a police station and then receiving care. Due to these claims of her sudden and tragic death, protests have erupted all over the world from Iran to France and even in Los Angeles, all seeking justice for Iranian women.
Amini’s death sparked courage among Iranian women. Many have been defying laws for weeks in order to raise awareness of how unjust Iran’s morality police truly are. Many young women have taken to the streets intending to change their country. As stated in an Associated Press article by Jon Gambell there has been “demonstration across the country, protesting women have twirled their headscarves and screamed in Farsi, ‘Death to the Dictator!’, referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” Courageous women have decided that enough has been done and there needs to be a change. These women have been going against the laws and regulations and risking their lives for a say in what they can and can’t wear. People are pent-up with frustration with the regime.
Courage is the thousands if not millions of women stepping out day after day fighting for the right to wear what they choose to. Courage is the young girls standing up to officials and simply saying no to the enforcement of cruel and unjust laws they have grown up in. Courage is 16-year-old Nika Shakarami killed by the morality police after being separated during a demonstration from friends and family. She was allegedly taken into custody and died after being thrown from a building. She was buried on her 17th birthday. Courage is Sarina Esmailzadeh, a 16-year-old killed by Iran’s forces that beat her with batons at a protest in Gohardasht. Courage is Iranian women. Courage is “women, life, freedom”.