Weingarten: We must cut through our hearts for Iran


Jacob Rice

Students and community members gather outside of Parks Library in to show support for women’s rights in Iran.

Caleb Weingarten, Columnist

Earlier today, while reading the “Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in which he recounts his tragic history of being arrested and tossed into a Russian gulag, I read a quote that has sat with me through the day: “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” (Solzhenitsyn 75). 

When this quote passed in front of my eyes, it led me to think of the horrific events that are taking place in Iran. Once again, the totalitarian leadership of the theocratic regime rules the citizens of Iran. 

If you are unaware of the events that have unfolded, Masah Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, was visiting the capital of Tehran when she was arrested by Iran’s morality police for supposedly wearing her hijab improperly. 

The morality police claimed she had a heart attack, but relatives close to Amini dispute these claims, saying that she was tortured the entire time she was in custody. A few days later, she ended up dead at the hands of a brutal dictatorship. 

The people of Iran have bravely taken to the streets in protest of this vicious murder, but only to be met with the same treatment. 

According to Iran’s attorney general, 400 people have been arrested and have been released, while he also claimed to keep the leaders of the “riots” imprisoned. There have also been casualties at the hands of the government besides Amini. Nika Shakarami, a 17-year-old girl who was killed and found by her family in Tehran, was also among the slain.

More recently, college students at the elite Sharif University of Technology in Tehran have swarmed the streets, banding together in the face of terrifying odds. 

We must ask ourselves, are we brave enough to decry theocracy? Are we brave enough to stand up for a place like Iran and those fighting for the establishment of basic human rights and freedoms? The oath taken by the clerics of Iran is that of an oath taken by Islam. 

My thesis is this: The regime in Iran tells us why Islamic theocracy shouldn’t be enabled in any capacity. Iran is a prime example of this, as they are the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world

We should turn to these events in Iran as a signifier of the brutality that such a regime can pose, especially when under the power of religion. In the words of Solzhenitsyn, we must be willing to destroy a piece of our own hearts in the pursuit of good.