Neda Agha-Soltan: An Overdue Follow-Up
An Iranian friend sent me a link to an article by Karim Sadjadpour, "The Ayatollah Under the Bed(sheets)" (Foreign Policy, May/June 2012), and in reading that for what it says about the Iranian Islamist regime's obsession with sex, I finally found an explanation for Neda Agha-Soltan's death. Some viewers of one photo of Ms. Agha-Soltan suggested that the pendant she wore was a cross. I looked at the image and also wondered if it were, but one anonymous commenter identified it as a faravahar, a national symbol of Iran. I suspect that's correct. She was thus not targeted for supposedly being a Christian, as some argued, but she was in fact targeted, according to information attributed to her mother:
[P]erhaps the seminal -- and most heartbreaking -- moment of the Green Revolution was the murder of a 26-year-old female protester, Neda Agha-Soltan, whose bloody death was caught on cell-phone camera and rendered one of the most viral videos in history. In an HBO documentary about her life, Neda's mother recalls a message that some sympathetic female Basij members relayed to Neda days before she was killed by a sniper: "Dear, please don't come out looking so beautiful . . . . Do us a favor and don't come out because the Basiji men target beautiful girls. And they will shoot you."Assuming that this report is true, it means that Ms. Agha-Soltan was not accidentally, but rather intentionally shot . . . for being beautiful. Shot through her heart by sexually frustrated men who hated her, most likely because she signified for them something that they couldn't have.
The article has a lot of other informative details about the Islamist obsession with sex in Shi'ite Iran, but I imagine one could generalize to various Islamist factions in the Muslim world.
Anyway, read the article!