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Date QW Written: February 24, 2015
In Persepolis, although the Iranian people have a philosophy of resignation, they are never satisfied with the forms of government instilled upon them.Under both the Shah and the Islamic regime, the Iranian faced atrocities each government mercilessly committed. Under the Shah, the Rex Cinema was burned down with people still inside under the police’s watch. On the other hand, under the Islamic regime, supposed rebels of the regime are delivered “divine justice” and executed for their beliefs. While both are oppressive in their own ways, the Islamic regime is the greater enemy.
As told by Marjane’s father, Reza Shah, the Shah’s father, had initially wanted to instill a new republic for the greater good of the people. However, even such noble ideals can be tainted by the temptation of power and money. In the end, the Shah had stepped down from his position after the demands of the people.
In contrary, the Islamic regime that took powers afterwards gave no opportunity for such actions. Under the guise of “cultural revolution,” the Islamic regime oppresses the people. Like Anoosh had said, “The only thing that can really unite them [people] is nationalism or a religious ethic” (Satrapi 62). The Islamic regime imposes both to oppress the people. The veils and abolishment of bilingual schools are used to exterminate the influence of western culture that would only empower the people to overthrow the regime. Not only does the regime commits violence and oppression under a facade, but they also use it to keep the people under their power.
In the end, the Islamic regime is not exactly the greater enemy but rather the Shah was the lesser evil. Both were enemies from the start because for people who always believe they have power in their governments, they are never satisfied.