Reputable western media outlets and other established mainstream news organizations have blindly echoed propaganda manufactured by Iran’s regime.
In a December 4 article, Aljazeera reported that Iran’s prosecutor-general announced the cessation of the Morality Police. According to the article, Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said the Morality Police has been “shut down by the same place that it had been launched from in the past.”
New York Times, quoting Montazeri, also headlined the shutdown of Iran’s Morality Police. In its reporting, New York Times claimed it was unverified but added that the Morality Police is “scarcely” seen on the streets.
The BBC called Montazeri’s announcement an “uncertainty,” adding that Iran officials claimed Montazeri’s statements were misinterpreted.
But Iranian journalists and activists on the ground sounded the alarm. An Instagram account called from___iran said, “mainstream media outlets are deceived at best,” in its post.
“Iran state television is reporting that the morality police has definitely NOT been removed,” the Instagram post added.
Masih Alinejad, a US-based Iranian-American journalist and activist, said Iranians were shocked and hurt after seeing the headlines from the New York Times.
In a tweet, Alinejad said that the Islamic Republic uses disinformation “to stop the uprising.” “Protesters are not facing guns and bullets to abolish morality police or forced hijab; they want to end Islamic regime,” she added.
It’s disinformation that Islamic Republic of Iran has abolished it’s morality police. It’s a tactic to stop the uprising.
Protesters are not facing guns and bullets to abolish morality police or forced hijab.They want to end Islamic regime.#MahsaAmini
— Masih Alinejad (@AlinejadMasih) December 4, 2022
In an interview with MSNBC, Alinejad made clear that the reports about shutting down the Morality Police are a big lie started by the Islamic Regime and propagated by western media.
Alinejad added that Iran knows how to use propaganda tactics “to change the narrative around the world.”
Alinejad lamented at the news organizations asking why the reports were not verified before being published. “There was no single slogan about Iranian people asking for the Morality Police to be abolished,” Alinejad explained.
Alinejad added that the protest started gaining momentum with Masha Amini’s death, but people were loud and clear that they wanted an end to the Islamic Republic.
She also raised the previous move of the Iranian Parliament urging the judiciary to sentence protesters to death, which does not align with the decision to shut down the morality police.