How Iranians use music to protest against the regime | The Economist

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This week in 1979 the world ’s first Islamic Revolution toppled the ruling dynasty of Shah Reza Pahlavi in Iran. The intertwining of religion and state has been tough for some Iranians, but they are increasingly using culture as a means to protest against the regime. Click here to subscribe to The Economist on YouTube: http://econ.trib.al/rWl91R7 This week in 1979, the first Islamic revolution toppled the ruling dynasty of Shah Reza Pahlavi in Iran. it began with the demand for democracy but ended with the world's first Islamic Republic. Through 1987 and 1979, the Iranian people took to the streets in mass protests against the country's growing inequality and what they saw as the tyrannical regime of the Shah. The protestors found a figurehead in an Islamic religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini who was in exile in Paris. Promising free and fair elections if the Shah was overthrown. He rallied religious leaders in the country to support the mass protest from the pulpit. In January 1979, the Shah fled the country. Within two months, a new Islamic Republic of Iran had been declared with Ayatollah Khomeini as its supreme leader. he ruled with an iron fist. At the time, the Economist reported: "Arbitrary arrests and telephone tapping are back and so is torture, though not as skillfully done as under Savak, the Shah's security service". 37 years on, life in Iran remains highly oppressive. The regime's boundaries have relaxed over time. There are now pop concerts in Tehran but tight restrictions remain in place. Shahin Najafi is an Iranian musician who uses his music to speak out against the regime. He is in police protection in Germany. After writing one song which included lyrics about a Shia cleric, Shahin was sentenced to death by a senior ayatollah from the regime. He has a $100,000 bounty on his head. Breaking religious taboos through cultural expression has been on rise in recent years as the children of the revolution become restless with the regime. But they must tread carefully as speaking out against the country's leaders can have severe consequences. Daily Watch: mind-stretching short films every day of the working week. For more from Economist Films visit: http://films.economist.com/ Check out The Economist’s full video catalogue: http://econ.st/20IehQk Like The Economist on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEconomist/ Follow The Economist on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theeconomist Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theeconomist/ Follow us on LINE: http://econ.st/1WXkOo6 Follow us on Medium: https://medium.com/@the_economist
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2017-02-10 03:36:44
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