Once again, men and women armed with guns, in vans and green uniforms, and wearing black chadors have begun an unequal war in the cities against women and girls who bravely stand against mandatory hijab and freely move about the streets without it. However, unlike in past decades, the government of the Islamic Republic is well aware that morality patrols, repressions, and threats can no longer act as a deterrent or instill fear in society to counter the mandatory hijab, as the society, following the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, is somehow on a path of unity, awareness, and collective consciousness moving forward.

This time, the regime faced an unprecedented and original multitude of resistances and was perplexed. Only by referring to the narratives of the detained women and their methods of resistance do we realize the amazing power that has been generated through resistance and the spatial dimensions that women have achieved at the cost of their lives, freedom, and security.

In those days when the dream of the promised battle was about to become a reality, and countless pilgrims who have been seeking the path to Jerusalem since September 1981 were about to reach their destination, and the noisy missile arsenal that for years had devoured the people’s bread and homes and had stolen the reason and intelligence of the regime’s officials to destroy the “illegitimate regime of Israel,” the “Commander”, Ali Khamenei quietly passed by Israel and by the rows of his generals who had forever fallen before his eyes, stepped into the field of suppressing women, and unveiled another innovation, enriching and deepening a conceived concept: “Political Haram”!

This time, Ali Khamenei’s theorizing for war was organized and methodical. By introducing the concept of “Political Haram,” he suddenly linked jurisprudence, religious law, and rights to political matters, entrusting the ideological foundations of the regime to the realm of politics.

“Haram” is a religious term which, according to the devout, is punishable in the hereafter. If a ruler intends to punish people for committing sins, he must write a law, turn the sin into a crime, and in a crime like not wearing the hijab, hand over each protesting woman to the judiciary in a draining struggle, keeping the battle on an individual level. However, the leader, never abandoning his traditional discourse of misogyny, this time used the political as a driving force for suppression, turning his artillery towards revolutionary women.

Immediately after Khamenei’s speech announcing the creation of the concept of “Political Haram,” dozens of professional regime theorists, in a coordinated and organized effort, interpreted this concept and prepared the battleground.

Mohammad Sadegh Kooshki, profeesor of regional studies and political analyst, said: “The promotion of not wearing the hijab and its encouragement by foreign media, security services, and the unruly and lawless virtual space, are in fact tools for creating an internal cultural war in the country and a method used for overthrowing [the government].”

Sajjad Izdehi, an political scientist and associate professor of politics at the Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, stated in “Guardian of Islam” publication: “The Islamic regime can show tolerance in the domain of ‘Sharia Haram’ towards some prohibitions within the realm of personal life and refrain from exerting authority. However, whenever ‘Sharia Haram’ adopts a political, governmental approach and transforms into ‘Political Haram,’ the government cannot afford to be tolerant with it.”

And “Kayhan,” the most important and well-known media outlet controlled by Ali Khamenei, which promotes and propagates the policies of his office through this publication, wrote:

“The essence of the matter is that anything that causes disturbance in the various dimensions—political, social, economic, security, judicial, etc.—of the Islamic regime is deemed Haram, and anything necessary for the preservation of the regime is deemed Halal. With this statement, preventing disruption in the regime and the obligation to preserve the regime go hand in hand, and in essence, disrupting the regime is considered the opposite of preserving the regime.”

And all of them, in complete coordination, spoke about the political matter and sanctified Ali Khamenei’s concept creation in such a way that it seemed as if they had all been trained in a class on “Carl Schmitt,” who said: “The political is the arena of the most intense and ultimate degree of antagonism, and any enmity becomes more political as it approaches the climax point of the distinction between friend and enemy. The state itself, as an organized political entity, clarifies the duty of distinguishing between friend and foe.”

Carl Schmitt, in his book “The Concept of the Political,” asserts that:

“Any kind of religious, spiritual, economic, ethical, or other institution becomes equivalent to a political institution if it is strong enough to categorize human beings in practice based on the distinction between friend and enemy. In other words, attributing a political quality to a religious prohibition or legal ban amounts to defining the boundaries of the battlefield and the opposing forces ready for conflict, inherent in the concept of the political where the possibility of battle always exists. All peripheral meanings and implications must be discarded from this term; the meanings of friend, enemy, and conflict are significant because they refer to the real possibility of physical killing, and war is the result of enmity. War is ultimately the negation of the enemy’s existence.”

As a result of this thinking and whether knowingly or unknowingly following Schmitt, the political is considered prior to the normal and everyday lives of people, and the ruler is seen as responsible for coercing everyone to adhere to his fixed principles. It also gives rise to a new type of fascism that seeks to unify society more than before, eliminate differences, and subject bodies to structured violence. The essence and distillation of all the theorizing of the government under the guardianship of the Islamic jurist is that the fundamental and sacred basis of all its operatives is the preservation of the regime at any cost and by any means.

According to Ruhollah Khomeini, it is the most obligatory of obligations; Khomeini dared to say:”It is a divine duty for all, the most important duty that God has, meaning the preservation of the Islamic Republic is more important than preserving one person, even if it were the Imam of the Age.”

Based on this foundation, the violent process of preserving the regime against the women’s movement, treating them as the infantry of foreign enemies, began with Khamenei’s order on April 4th. The revolutionary movement of Mahsa/Zhina, which was still alive, advancing, and vibrant through the actions of women who continuously occupied the streets and never allowed the regime a moment of comfort, was targeted as the main threat and the forefront of efforts to overthrow the regime, becoming the nightmare of both the waking and sleeping moments of the repressive apparatus.

The police, IRGC, Basij, and imaginary enforcers of the hijab aggressively attacked women. They covered women like hunted prey with blankets, seized them, tore their clothes, beat and bruised them, broke their bones, pulled and cut their hair, and smeared their dirty and sick hands over the faces, heads, and bodies of these helpless captives.

The arsenal of repression unveiled its products, and terrifying double-decker cage-like vans appeared for transporting injured bodies, adding the term “van solidarity” to the movement’s vocabulary. However, this time, the regime, which had been accused by international bodies of committing crimes against humanity, was overwhelmed by an array of unprecedented and original resistances. The repression only multiplied them and revitalized their strength. Only by referring to the accounts of detained women and their methods of resistance do we realize the astonishing power that has been generated through resistance and the spatial dimensions that women have achieved at the cost of their lives, freedom, and security.

Bodies play a prominent role in the layers of social space and in the creation of a collective political subject for the production of their own space and awareness of their abilities, perceptions, and potential problems, and for this reason, they must be the vanguard entering the wasteland of resistance in today’s order. The role of bodies in experiencing the space of resistance is prominent; because bodies define social relationships as abstract incorporations that have no real existence except in space and through space.

Through the processes of ‘occupation’ and ‘production,’ bodies interpret resistance in this way: the struggle in the realm of resistance with little to lose and everything to gain. Thus, bodies will serve as collective political subjects who carry the production of social and political space, linking it to the politics of space in the ‘moment,’ and they can maintain the possibility of producing a space of resistance and standing against the order of domination and the state.

Now, the excluded, wounded, and injured bodies that have fought one of the world’s most fearsome governments for over forty years have blossomed in their wounds. The time has come for all the excluded and rejected, everyone whom the Islamic Republic has pushed from the center to the margins, from the margins into the abyss of exclusion, to carve their identity as “the people” in the symbolic order. The people as a discursive construct that emerges from a chain of equivalence among heterogeneous desires; desires that are unified through an alignment with a radical democratic understanding of citizenship and a common opposition to oligarchy.

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My journey in creating this space was deeply inspired by James Baldwin's powerful work, "The Fire Next Time". Like Baldwin, who eloquently addressed themes of identity, race, and the human condition, this blog aims to be a beacon for open, honest, and sometimes uncomfortable discussions on similar issues.

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