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Written by Maya

In the book Persepolis that we read in our Social Justice Pathway, there are many examples of injustice and inequality in the Iranian government. There is gender inequality, racial inequality, and religious inequality.

The religious inequalities were very prevalent in everyday life, also still very prevailing in modern day societies around the world. An example of an inequality that took place in Persepolis are Martyrs. Martyrs were people who were killed for their beliefs, also people who wanted a socialist government and freedom from oppression, by a power or government. In Iran during this period there were many problems that made the government so corrupt. There wasn’t order in the judicial system, the financial system, and the religious system. The government wanted people to act a certain way and worship a certain god and they didn’t have any control in what they wanted to value.There was oppression and thats why there were so many protests and rebellions in the book. Martyrs were so rampant in that society at that time that it was almost expected of a deceased to be a martyr. It is said that around 60,000 men, women and children were martyred by the Shah's regime. In the book at one point, a woman's husband died of cancer and everyone was convinced he was a martyr. They were convinced he was a martyr because the probability of someone being a martyr is more likely than dying of natural causes.

When people die and leave others behind on earth, they are glorified in a way to honor their achievements and what they accomplished in life while they were alive. They are glorified for the reasons they died, standing up for what they believed in and what they thought was right for their community. It’s such a generic topic there's even a common saying about it, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” The saying means that while you have something in your life that you use so accepted that you take it for granted and you don’t realize that it’s so useful and important to you. Once it’s gone you realize how much use it was to you and how without it you don’t know where you would be or who you would be. That one thing could be anything, a human, a pet, or even a keepsake.

Martyrs in the Iranian revolution died pushing for what they believed was best for their country, community, and society. They were common and expected during that time period. But the people who died doing what was best for their country, are honored for being activists and without them it is unpredictable where modern day Iran would be without them.