Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek described the protests over the morality police’s killing of Jîna (Mahsa) Amînî in Iran as an event of global historical importance and highlighted the importance to protesters of both feminism and the Kurdish struggle.
“Your struggle has literally – this is not a rhetorical exaggeration – world historical importance, because it serves a lesson also to us in the so called ‘developed west’,” said Zizek.
The celebrity scholar hailed the protesters’ demands for women’s rights and rallying cry of “jin, jîyan, azadî” (woman, life, freedom) as a true and powerful expression of feminism.
But Zizek said the struggle in Iran had added power because it sought to benefit all of society, regardless of sex.
“Men know well that oppression of women in Iran also involves their oppression; that Iranian men will not be really free without the full freedom of women. Men in the West, we do not know this,” said Zizek.
“This is what we do not see in the West and we will have to learn this. It is not that we in the West are already in freedom and we can sympathise with you giving you the patronising message,” added Zizek.
The Slovenian philosopher also stressed the Kurdish identity of Jîna Amînî, saying her death had made it clear to Iranians that the oppression of Kurds was part of the general political oppression in the country.
“Without freedom for the Kurdish people, the majority of Iranians – who are of course not Kurds – will not be free,” said Zizek.
Zizek’s comments mirrored the words of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) executive Duran Kalkan, who had made his own comparison of Western liberal strains of feminism and the protesters in Iran.
Remarking that the protests in Iran revealed an important truth, Kalkan said Iranians made the “jin, jîyan, azadî” slogan real and revealed what was needed in Iran and therefore in the world.
These events “proved once again that hope is in the east and in women,” said Kalkan.
The PKK official said many people had denounced the 11 February 1979 Revolution since it had led Iran’s current Islamist theocracy to power, but noted the fatal flaws of the Shah’s brutal, capitalist regime that preceded it.
And, Kalkan said, the struggle of women had played a crucial role in toppling the Shah, and highlighted Iran’s importance as a symbol of revolutionary struggle in the East.
The top commander also said the demand for freedom in parts of Kurdistan has reached a high level imposing the solution of the Kurdish problem on the world political agenda, by mention of the women’s freedom struggle.