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Martyrs

Will 'Neda's' Death Inspire Revolution?

The viral video of a young woman’s death on the streets of Iran—some have nicknamed her Neda, Farsi for the voice—may become the iconic image of the Iranian demonstrations. An article in Time looks at its possible political consequences, noting that “For the cycles of mourning in Shiite Islam actually provide a schedule for political combat—a way to generate or revive momentum.” Shiites mourn the dead on the third, seventh, and 40th days after their passing, with the 40th day being the most important: In 1978, two deaths spawned huge protests 40 days later, which, ad nauseum, produced more deaths that produced protests of their own after 40 days until the Shah’s ouster in 1979. Could Neda's death ignite a similar cycle?

June 22, 2009 2:07 AM