Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Cry for freedom

Cry for freedom

Opposition in Iran unites behind the value of freedom

Progressive Sufi Muslim Movement:
„The people of Iran are entitled to freedom, democracy and human rights. We Iranians hope that the United Nations and all the forums that defend democracy and human rights will be unflinching in their support for Iran’s quest for freedom and democracy.” The cry for freedom comes from Akbar Ganji and it goes towards Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General.

Freedom is a rare good in this region. The government of Mr Ahmadinedschad started in 2005 by promising more possibilities and more wealth to the poor. Especially members of the Bassiji-militia supported the movement of the hardliners, hoping for a more strict realization of Islamic rules, as they interpret Islam, and for more money.

Concerning their last hope, we learn that Pasdaran and Bassiji organizations have been granted huge amounts of money. Pasdaran control petrol, construction and communication industries. www.bfai.de/fdb-SE,MKT200710298000,Google.html But many of those who had given their voice to M. Ahmadinedschad are gutted by the hard economic conditions, which they attribute to the politics of their president.

Whereas strictness in observing Islamic rules and reduction of personal rights, the supporter of the hardliners find more often fulfilled. Women fighting for women’s rights, find themselves in jail or being flogged. Jail and violence awaits as well students, representatives of labor unions, religious minorities or journalists who dare to criticize the system or the government.

“Iran’s dangerous international situation and the consequences of Iran’s dispute with the West have totally deflected the world’s attention and especially the attention of the United Nations from the intolerable conditions that the Iranian regime has created for the Iranian people.”
It was in September 2007 when Akbar Ganji addressed his letter to Ban Ki-Moon. Meanwhile the world knows that there seems to be no nuclear weapons program in Iran and thus no threat of war. Can we then consecrate some attention to the conditions of the Iranian people and especially to those who go for freedom in Iran?

Looking forward towards next election

When Mr Ahmadinedschad won elections in 2005, many followers of the reformist movement of preceding president Mohammad Khatami, refused to vote, because they were disappointed of the results of Khatami’s time of presidency. Mehdi Karroubi, Speaker of Majles until 2004 and an advisor to the Supreme Leader, was the candidate of the reformist movement in 2005. He finished third in the vote count. After the announcement of the election results, Karroubi alleged that a network of mosques, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and Basiji militia forces, had been illegally used to generate and mobilize support for Ahmadinedschad. He alleged a son of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei among the conspirators. But in the end he resigned from all his political posts, after the Supreme Leader repelled his accusations brusque. In fact the reformist had a poor result compared to the hardliners and the conservatives.
Later elections to the Iranian Assembly of Experts in 2006 brought conservative forces in front, hardliner represented by Ayatollah Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_Murders_of_Iran failed to live up to their expectations. Local elections were another sign of discontent with the performance of Ahmadinedschad’s government. Conservatives won a majority of seats, followed by reformists and poor performance for the hardliners. www.citymayors.com/politics/iran_elections_06.html
In March 2008 will be the next election for the Majles in Iran. Reformists want to make it this time. They want to go for freedom in Iran in the frame of the Islamic Revolutionary System. Behind the freedom movement 21 political parties are uniting to a coalition. Nehzat-e-Azadi, which is the religious moderate nationalist stream, Mosharekat, which is the organization of the Mujahidin of the Islamic Revolution and various other organizations try to find a common crystallization point. Freedom might be a successful lodestar. www.nachrichten.ch/detail/295642.htm

The apocalyptic vision

The hardliner government is backed by certain Ayatollahs, who have an apocalyptic interpretation of Schia-Islam. They claim that it is the duty of the government to prepare the nation for the expected Messiah, the Hidden 12th Imam, named Muhammad al-Mahdi. Part of this preparation is the cleaning of society of “impure elements” and the other part is the causing of the conditions for his reappearance which is chaos, turmoil and clamor. They release Fatwas to enable the government to put away with adversaries.

One dangerous adversary is the Nematollahi Gonabadi Sufi Order. This mystical order gains more and more supporters from young Iranians who are fed up with intolerant and suppressive interpretations of Islam. So they participate in the ceremonies of the order, listen to a tolerant and peace loving interpretation of Islam, experience the inner meaning of freedom and bring their Zakat to the Sufi.

To get rid of this threefold danger to the hardliner government, Bassiji-militia has been first prepared ideologically to regard Sufis as Non-Muslims, as impure and as the third power behind Israel and the US in being agents of the West. In a second step Sufi houses of worship have been demolished violently by the Bassiji-militia. www.iran-now.net/$180801 In February 2006 more than 1000 Sufis had been beaten and severely injured, when they tried to resist the demolition of their prayer-house. In November 2007 around 500 Sufis were treated in the same way in Boroujerd. Their prayer-house was burned and knocked down with bull-dozers. www.iran-now.net/$207944

Resistance for freedom

The hope of the radical Ayatollahs to finish in silence with this danger and mobilize in every city the Bassiji to attack the Sufis has not been accomplished. In Iran Mr Karroubi first protested against the violence in Boroujerd in an open letter to the Minister of Interior Mostafa Pourmohammadi. The well known philosopher Javad Amoli protested and Ayatollah Fazel Meybody spoke in favor of the Sufis.

A petition to stop the radical Ayatollahs from agitating against the Sufis in Iran was written and gathered more than one thousand signatures of important intellectual and religious leaders in Iran. www.insideofiran.com/en/?p=696

Those who signed are not at all interested in being Dervishes. Their interest is freedom. Their interest is to put an end to the government of Mr Ahmadinedschad. Dr Sadr Haj Seyed Javadi and Hashem Sabbaghian from Nehzat-e-Azadi put their signature under the petition. www.jomhouri.com/plus/german.htm Former advisor to Mohammad Khatami and member of Tehran’s city council Saeed Hajjarian, who helped to uncover the responsible persons of the Chain massacres in the time of Rafsandschani’s presidency, put his signature. Yousefi Eshkevari, Mohsen Kadivar, Fazel Meybody, Ahmad Ghabel, who are reformist clerics and writers signed, and many others respected persons, who cry for freedom in Iran.

A group of delegates of the European Parliament went to Iran to investigate on the human rights situation. http://www.taz.de/1/politik/nahost/artikel/1/eu-sollte-bush-nicht-folgen/?src=AR&cHash=904319053d They informed themselves about Boroujerd attacks. This increased pressure on the government. Some representatives don’t like the negative publicity in the West. Subsequently the demission of Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr, Deputy Minister of the Intelligence Department was announced. Experts think his demission is an act of reconciliation in order not to attract too many questions from outside and more important to calm the Sufi, who try to make the entire world aware of the conduct of the responsible persons for the Islamic Revolution against their own population. www.rojname.com/index.kurd?nuce=188307
Most of the delegates who went to Iran, plea for fewer sanctions on the mullah-regime, because they fear pressure will be heightened for the religious and ethnic minorities. www.tobiaspflueger.twoday.net/stories/4531763/

The suspected enemies

In Iran the hardliner observe the activities of the opposition meticulously and try to discredit every criticism as treacherous to the Islamic Revolution. Every link to persons living in foreign countries is being interpreted as an activity as a foreign agent. Now, before the elections to the Majles, the hardliners want to intimidate their adversaries or instigate them to make a mistake.
In Keyhan, Mr. Shariatmadari’s hard line newspaper www.nytimes.com/2007/09/22/world/middleeast/22shariamadari.html?ex=1348200000&en=eb55affe88c849ae&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink, which is said to be linked to the Intelligence Services, published a very long and important article about the dangers to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It claims to be the sum of 2 years intelligence research.

The strongest thesis held in this article is that the Dutch government is the leading European performer in activities against Islam and against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Aim of the activities of the Dutch government is alleged to lead a cultural stream for breaking the values of the Islamic Republic and introduce the cheap and meaningless values of Western countries.

The main instrument of the Dutch government to destroy Islamic values and westernize Iranian youths is Radio Zamaaneh. http://www.radiozamaneh.com/; www.pressnow.org/asp/countries_news_details.asp?NewsID=63&CountryID=56&offset
Farahnaz Karimi www.parlement.com/9291000/biof/02255 who was connected to the Mujahidin-e-Kalkh organization in Iran turned towards the Dutch green party, when she went to live in The Nederlands. She is member of the Dutch parliament since 1998. She is meant to be the person engaged by the Dutch government to build up Radio Zamaaneh (new times), which is broadcasting from Amsterdam on short waves to Iran from the 11th of September 2006. The Keyhan article names all journalists working for Radio Zamaaneh, its address and every detail concerning financing it.

Director of Radio Zamaaneh is the notable Mehdi Jami, a journalist and photographer. The Keyhan article considers him a puppet of the Dutch government. www.iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2007&m=10&d=11&a=8 Exiled Iranians think Radio Zamaaneh is not complying with its targets to foster free journalism, they say it only keeps the line of the reformist movement in Iran and stays in the fringe of the system. They wish to have more critique with the regime and their violation of freedom in Iran. But Keyhan’s article gives more importance to this Radio. The difference to Radio Farda, BBC or Deutsche Welle is seen in the attempt not to persuade listeners in Iran by criticizing, but by introducing western culture into Iran. Several points are mentioned. A certain style of music and the open talk about sex are bothering the hardliners. Young Iranians are invited to contribute to Radio Zamaaneh from inside of Iran;
this is commented as an act of spying and giving dissidents the possibility to establish their contacts to western Intelligence. Radio Zamaaneh broadcasted an interview with Dr Nour Ali Tabandeh the head of the Gonabadi Sufi order, concerning the demonization and violation of his order. According to Keyhan Dr Tabandeh proclaims himself the representative of the Hidden Imam and only wanted to gain room for his Sufi sect, which is the worst Sufi sect claiming to be a branch of Shiism and being in contact with representatives of several political parties in Iran. Supporting this sect seems to be an act of treachery.

Theo van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker, who produced the controversial film “Submission” together with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a liberal Dutch politician who fled Somalia and has renounced the Islamic faith, was brutally killed in public three years ago.
www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3974179.stm This film portrayed violence against women in Islamic societies. Many Muslims living in The Nederlands felt insulted by the picture of a woman whose skin was painted with Koran verses next to whip marks. The fact that this film was publicly shown, and a second film called “Submission2” is on its way has been assessed by the article in Keyhan as an Anti-Islamic activity of the Dutch government.

In Den Haag they have a Museum, whose director is Wim van Krimpen. He wanted to exhibit photos of the Exiled Iranian artist Sooreh Hera, because he found them “special”. The photos show gay men - refugees from Iran – who for reasons of anonymity wear masks. Shortly before the exhibition van Krimpen decided to let some of the photos aside. He had discovered that the persons are wearing masks of Mohammed and Ali. He didn’t want to hurt the feelings of Muslims. Sooreh Hera received calls from persons threatening her life.
www.20min.ch/news/kreuz_und_quer/story/16950792 Keyhan article regards the existence of these photos as an activity of the Dutch government to challenge the Islamic world. So The Nederlands are demonized and every person being in contact with this country will be regarded as bad.

Ardeshir Zandi, a refugee intellectual from Iran who lives in The Nederlands since 30 years, has a bad reminiscence of some methods of Iranian Intelligence. It is the principle of the agitating agents. At the Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung conference in April 2000 several reformers appeared and held speeches in preparation of Mohammad Khatami’s visit to Germany. Vevak www.de.wikipedia.org/wiki/VEVAK www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2158 agents had been recognized between leftwing disturbers, who tried to discredit the participants by shouting slogans against the Islam and the system in Iran and dance half-naked. All this had been recorded by Iranian Television and cut to a film that roused the impression that the Iranian participants agreed to the provocations. When the participants returned to their country, they were immediately seized by the authorities and put before court.
www.2.amnesty.de/internet/deall.nsf/AlleDok/2A5424F203F8B107C1256AA00045D81A?Open Akbar Ganji, who later received various Freedom Awards from western countries, was one of the participants of the conference and he was sentenced to jail. “This is an example how radical forces in Iran often discredit their adversaries. They provoke some incidents, attribute them to their adversaries and put them out of the way, so they can keep their power,” says Zandi and he concludes: “one never knows were these agent-provocateurs will appear all of a sudden.”

This conclusion will not make it easy to look at things going on in Iran. But it can keep alert. The friends of personal rights, the ones who go for freedom, have to face strong challenges. The hardliners will not give power easily out of their hands. If the cry for freedom will cause dedication and determination under the freedom loving Iranian population, the case for freedom in Iran will improve.

©Helmut N. Gabel, Radio Flora, Hannover, Germany - December 2007

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