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What does ‘secularism’ mean in the Iran protests?

Written by Roodabeh Dehghani, PhD candidate, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa Since the death of Mahsa (Jina) Amini in September 2022, much has been said and written about the protests in Iran. Amini died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. She was arrested for supposedly wearing her hijab incorrectly. Her death triggered widespread protests […]

Saudi-Iran deal won’t bring peace to the Middle East but will enhance China’s role as power broker

Written by Simon Mabon, Professor of International Relations, Lancaster University After more than four decades as seemingly implacable enemies on either side of a deep political-religious divide in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen embassies. The deal, which was signed in Beijing, comes seven years after […]

Iran: poisoning of thousands of schoolgirls piles more pressure on Islamic Republic struggling for survival

Written by Afshin Shahi, Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Middle East Politics & International Relations at Keele University, Keele University The Iranian government has announced several arrests in connection with the reported poisoning of more than 7,000 schoolgirls in more than 100 schools around the country. Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has condemned the poisonings, […]

Are Western sanctions on Iran making a difference?

Written by Amin Saikal, Adjunct professor, The University of Western Australia The Iranian Islamic regime has been seriously challenged since the start of public protests last September. The government has sought to contain and suppress the protesters – even resorting to executions – but has been unable to stop them. There are continuing reports of […]

The politics of blasphemy: Why Pakistan and some other Muslim countries are passing new blasphemy laws

Written by Ahmet T. Kuru, Professor of Political Science, San Diego State University On Jan. 17, 2023, Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously voted to expand the country’s laws on blasphemy, which carries the death penalty for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. The new law now extends the punishment to those deemed to have insulted the prophet’s companions, […]

US debt default could trigger dollar’s collapse – and severely erode America’s political and economic might

Written by Michael Humphries, Deputy Chair of Business Administration, Touro University It’s a case of déjà vu all over again on the debt ceiling debate. Republicans, who regained control of the House of Representatives in November 2022, are threatening to not allow an increase in the debt limit unless they get unspecified spending cuts in […]

Iran executions: the role of the ‘revolutionary courts’ in breaching human rights

Written by Simon Rice, Professor of Law; Kim Santow Chair of Law and Social Justice, University of Sydney The Iranian government has attempted to brutally suppress the widespread protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in September 2022. Central to Iran’s response have been the country’s “revolutionary courts”. They have […]

Long before Silicon Valley, scholars in ancient Iraq created an intellectual hub that revolutionised science

Written by Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities, Australian National University Time and again, collaboration has proven to be a key driver of scientific and technological innovation. So it follows that some of the greatest advances have come from intellectual hubs set up for this very purpose. Today Silicon Valley is synonymous with this […]

How female Iranian activists use powerful images to protest oppressive policies

Written by Parichehr Kazemi, PhD Candidate, University of Oregon Images of unveiled Iranian women and adolescent girls standing atop police cars or flipping off the ayatollah’s picture have become signature demonstrations of dissent in the past few months of protest in Iran. In fact, among the Iranian protest photos selected for inclusion in Time magazine’s […]

How Gen Z is using social media in Iran’s Women, Life, Freedom movement

Written by Farinaz Basmechi, Doctoral Student, Feminist and Gender Studies, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa Iran’s attorney general recently indicated that the country’s morality police had been disbanded after protests calling for the country’s hijab mandate to be lifted. However, the government has not confirmed the attorney general’s remarks and local media have reported that he […]

Young people around the world can save democracy — but they need our help

Written by Evelyn Namakula Mayanja, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Carleton University A photograph recently circulated on social media purportedly showing two Chinese professors in Shanghai standing between a squad of police officers and students protesting the government’s zero-COVID policies. That morning, when I met my class for the course I teach on political repression, a […]

Iran: dissent by public figures has amplified the protest across the country – and the world

Written by Roja Fazaeli, Associate Professor Islamic Civilisation, Near & Middle Eastern Studies, Trinity College Dublin Iran’s Islamic Republic continues to violently suppress ongoing pro-democracy protests, which broke out in September in response to the killing of a young woman who had been arrested for not wearing a proper head covering. According to the NGO […]

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