Skip to comments.Iran's Youth Push Islamic Limits
Posted on 01/26/2005 2:17:53 AM PST by F14 Pilot
(CBS) The Iranian students storming the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 became icons of worldwide Islamic revolution.
Twenty-five years later, Iran's youth is rebelling again. But as CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports, this time against the Islamic government itself.
Fully 60 percent of Iranians are under the age of 30, and they have had enough of strict Islamic rule. Everywhere there are signs that the religious authorities are losing control.
Especially for the young, personal behavior in public can be very political. You can easily see some of these small acts of rebellion in a place that would look familiar to any American teenager, like a shopping mall.
Women let their scarves slip back to show their hair. They show off their makeup, tight coats and high heels. Even five years ago, a couple holding hands in public could have been arrested and flogged. The mullahs hope that turning a blind eye to this minor defiance will relieve pressure for major change.
That pressure did explode in 1999. Students rioted and were brutally put down.
It was a grim lesson for Azadeh Shirzad who helps run her family's print shop. She remembers what happened to friends who got involved.
"Some of them were arrested and some of them were killed and you know? I am myself ... I am afraid of that," she says.
Islamic morality police tend to stay away from trendy places like fancy cappuccino bars. But even here, people would talk to CBS News only if they could hide their faces.
One couple says that if the police do raid the café, or even private parties, young people just bribe them to go away.
A party, they say, would cost $100.
It adds up to a cash bonus for the police but a long-term cost for the government and growing contempt for the Islamic state.
That worries mullah Mohammed al Abtahi. Until September, he was one of Iran's vice presidents. He quit, disgusted by the corrupt and reactionary regime. He's traded in politics for computer blogging.
On his popular Web site, al Abtahi posts irreverent photos of establishment figures - like one of Iran's nuclear minister picking his nose - that he takes with his cell phone.
"Our young people are as well informed as young people in China or Britain or America. Anyone who tries to limit them is bound to fail," he says.
The hardliners can always launch another temporary crackdown. But in the end, the 1970s Islamic revolution seems certain to be undone by its own children.
Couples hold hands in public, women allow their scarves to droop -- small rebellions by Iranian youth against restrictive Islamic rule.
Blindfolded American hostage in front of American Embassy, Tehran, Iran, Nov. 8, 1979. Most of these hostage takers are now in prison or died in 1980s.
Masked students during a protest in front of the Tehran University in Tehran, Iran, in the early hours of Friday, June 13, 2003
Islamic anti-riot policemen make their way on their motorcycles during a protest in Tehran.
Iranian people in candlelight vigil in sympathy with the victims of 9/11
Good for the Iranian kids! The irony is that a conservative site like this one is praising youthful rebelliion. Hey, freedom is messy... our mullahs like Jerry and Pat and "Spongebob" Dobson can whine all they like, but it's misbehaving kids that are the real freedom fighters.
interesting, where's his blog?
here it is
Perhaps we should let those "rebellious kids" loose in your neighborhood. Rebellion against tyrannical government is one thing, rebellion against parents only teaches them to have respect for no one.
Respect for no one sprirals into respect for nothing. You must not have kids, I hope.
I do not trust him as long as he has a turban on his head but there you go... I can't impose my own judgement!
Iranian kids have no respect for the Mullahs but they do have respect for family and their parents.
can you superimpose the heads of Boxer, Clinton, Kerry... on those bodies?
Sorry, very early. No coffee yet. hehe...
Just to make my contribution to peace in the middle east - that girl in the top picture is really good-looking.
Thanks! My day suddenly seems brighter! Some sort of Freeper telepathy you have, obviously :0).
A veritable Britney Spears of Iran.
Why would anyone want to cover that up? Repressing homo tendencies, I would imagine.
Your ignorance is astounding. Disturbing as well.
Midnight basketball could fix that.
"Good for the Iranian kids! The irony is that a conservative site like this one is praising youthful rebelliion. Hey, freedom is messy... our mullahs like Jerry and Pat and "Spongebob" Dobson can whine all they like, but it's misbehaving kids that are the real freedom fighters."
I lose count of the examples of your bias, hatred, and ignorance in reading your statement...
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