Iranians dodge morality police

Jake Herrick, Reporter

In Iran, there are state sponsored volunteers referred to as Basij, or in simpler terms morality police. And this may, to many, seem redundant, as the actual police ought to enforce ultimate moral judgement in the place of the state. But these Basij are a little different than you probably think, each Basiji is ordered to roam around every school, street, factory and office to enforce Islamic codes. These Basiji reportedly stop cars and individuals to check if they are in dress code, have been drinking alcohol, or, if you are a woman, wearing makeup. These members work through local mosques and though cannot participate in the campaigns of representatives, the UN reports heavy involvement in elections, specifically the 2009 election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2009, they also reportedly vandalized homes and shot into crowds of protesters.

So what is the oppressed individual to do to escape this 1984-like structure? Make an app of course. An unnamed producer has created an app that provides real time updates to the location of each and every Basiji. The app was specifically made for older adolescents in their efforts to avoid “the guiding hand” of their morality police. The app is effective in limiting the Basij and is the most disruptive action taken against them in recent history.

The Basij are responsible for numerous violations of human rights, outlined by the UN, atrocities like the murdering of non-threatening civilians during and after the 2009 election, aggressive retaliation against peaceful protests and illegal and unchecked prison systems.

The Basij specialize in the pestering of high school and college students, which leads many to believe that it is one of them who is behind the creation of this app. The most horrendous example of the Basij control was the case of Tohid Ghaffarzadeh, where Tohid was stabbed by a Basij after talking to his girlfriend in front of a Basiji. The Basiji claims that his action was justified under his belief and Tohid’s violation of religious law.

Overall, these oppressive systems are a limiting agent in the progression of countries like Iran, and should be resisted however possible, and it is clear at this point that the UN will do very little against the Basij, so unfortunately the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Iranian youth.