Do you want to hear about Persepolis? Let’s start with the fact that the religious wars that have been going on in the Middle East have brought problems. There has been ongoing controversy regarding how the many Middle Eastern countries are governed and how government corruption has caused rebellions to show up. This corruption has led to wars because inevitably, citizens will rise up because of oppressive governments when the government starts taking advantage of their own people and working against them. These civilians are fighting for what they believe in, but this passion can lead to extremism. Extremism and corrupt governments together in a region about violence and led to civilians protesting, which will result in wars that are costly and also can bring cause a society to fall into chaos.
Extremism is when an organized group of people hold extreme political or religious beliefs. Extremism creates terrorists, both domestic and international variants, who attack civilians in the Middle East to draw attention to their radical beliefs. The terrorists have committed acts of destruction throughout the region and across the world. Why is extremism bad? Extremists have no tolerance for people disagreeing with their beliefs. Everyone has their own opinion, but a world of extremism allows no one to be different. Extremists work to take away everyone’s right to believe in what they want to believe in. So the extremists would form a militant group that is powerful enough to terrorize the government and the people. For those who do not side with the extremists in a world with extremism, they will get attacked. Extremism generates violence and destruction that leads to the killing of innocent civilians. My advice to foreigners about the Middle East is stay out of there currently as it is sadly too dangerous right now. There are so many dangerous situations going on resulting in casualties in the Middle East due to the presence of extremism over there. It just goes to show how corrupt society can become when extremists gain power.
Persepolis takes place around the same time when movements were rising in the late 1970s to early 1980s in the Middle East. The protagonist is the author herself Marjane Satrapi, who tells about her experience in the Islamic Revolution time period. She saw the Shah of Iran being overthrown and the Iranian monarchy came to an end. So, then a religious supreme leader with extreme views took over and ruled Iran. The country’s government then became a dictatorship due to the monarchy being overthrown. She had a terrible life experience growing up in Iran as she observed violence including her own peers being killed. Nobody wants to be in a situation like hers because the things she saw can only be described as horrifying and will scar a person for life. It is in watching and witnessing the suffering and death that is most horrifying. All of the tragedies happening involving the casualties of civilians and the ones who served the government is destructive to their society. So what Marjane Satrapi learned she had to do about her situation was to stay calm and be resilient. Eventually as things got worse, her family had to move out when Iran got to be the point where there was too much danger. The protests become violent to the point where everyone is involved and got worse day by day. To this day, there are governments that are being overthrown by the terrorists and they are risking danger to their society.
Similar to the Islamic Revolution, there is still a lot of governments being overthrown in the Middle East. Territories are being divided due to their governments losing against the terrorists. Many of the countries that have been involved in wars against terrorism has been dealing with the threat since at least 9-11. For example, the War of Afghanistan began when the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government. Violence has been high in the country since 2001. This war and other wars related to terrorism have been ongoing because there is not any solution that the government and allies can do effectively against the terrorists. If nothing is done effectively against terrorism, the extremists will prevail. Afghanistan has been overthrown, not only that country, but Pakistan too because the governments of both countries have failed to resist the terrorist efforts. Therefore, now some territories in the land are occupied by the terrorist faction. In addition, the countries wouldn’t be able to fight off the terrorists without allies around the world, but yet they still get outnumbered. The terrorists would also go to different places to invade and cause destruction by using weapons of mass destruction. The fact is the terrorists, unlike the protesters I was mentioning in Persepolis are trained and skilled in combat, in addition due to their extremism they have no apparent desire to tolerate those whose beliefs differ from themselves.
I would recommend reading this comic because it is a fascinating biography about a girl who grew up in Iran and survived the Islamic Revolution. Extremists often feel disadvantaged and they form movements that cause chaos. It sure was not easy for Marjane Satrapi to witness and to put up with the tragic events happening during the Islamic Revolution. After conducting research, if it weren’t for extremism, I have concluded that there would be no conflict going on in the Middle East. Persepolis illustrated an example of a tragedy that showed how had corruption and extremism can be.
- Satrapi, Marjane. “The Veil”, The Complete Persepolis, Pantheon Books, New York, 2007. pp. 3-9.