Protests have erupted and intensified all over Iran following the severe beating and subsequent death of a 22-year-old woman at the hands of the country's morality police. Mahsa Amini was reportedly arrested in Tehran on Tuesday while traveling with her family from the western province of Kurdistan to visit relatives. Authorities had accused her of breaking the law that requires women to cover their hair with a headscarf and their arms and legs with loose clothing.
Amid ongoing protests, Amini's father has refused to allow Islamic prayers over his daughter's body.
"Your Islam denounced her, now you've come to pray over her? Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You killed her for two strands of hair! … Take your Islam and go," he recently said.
While police call Amini's death an "unfortunate incident," Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch says it has become a real flashpoint.
"It's nationwide," he reports. "It's astonishing. People are chanting, 'We don't want an Islamic republic' and, 'Death to the dictator.' We haven't seen this kind of thing in Iran before. There's immense dissatisfaction with the regime."
On Monday, security forces opened fire during protests, killing five people in Iran's Kurdish region. But pending a bail out from President Biden, Spencer does not think Iran's government can survive the unrest on its own -- even as the people are unarmed, and the government has guns.
"The only hope would be if people in the regime turn," the Jihad Watch director submits.
And considering the fact that "these are their own wives and daughters and children," he says that could happen.
"It's a question of how repressive the regime's apparatus is willing to be," Spencer concludes.