Article by Pirouz Azadi
Western governments, primarily the US and the European Community, should put pressure on Iran and condemn the government’s crimes against the Iranian people.
Ahmad Kasravi was a Shiite clerical seminary student who became a secular freethinker and professor of constitutional law before Navab Safavi, the Founder of an Islamic Jihadi movement, assassinated him in 1946. Kasravi once said, “The people of Iran still owe forming a “religious” government to the [reactionary] black Islamic Shiite clergies.”
Iran has now entered the third month of growing mass demonstrations against the autocratic government that has remained in power for the past 44 years. The ubiquitous anti-regime uprisings, rallies, labor and university student strikes, prompted by the arrest, beating and killing of Mahsa “Gina” Amini, a 22 year young Kurdish woman, has only grown in magnitude. Mass demonstrations have spread beyond the 150 major cities in Iran to small towns and villages.
On 16 September as Mahsa Amini and her brother boarded the subway after their 500 mile journey from Kurdistan to visit relatives in Tehran, the Hijab “morality” forces arrested and charged her for having allegedly worn her scarf too loosely, thereby violating the frivolous “hijab law.” The security forces grudgingly released Mahsa’s body to her family three days later demanding they hold a fast and small family burial and that the family declare her death to the public and censored media as a “natural stroke.”
Paradoxically, the same morality force closes its eyes when it comes to government sponsored “parastoos” (half-naked young women exploited for sex trafficking). According to Amnesty International, the Human Rights Forum and citizen reporters, since Mahsa’s burial the regime has killed nearly 600 more innocent protesters including 70 children, injured 1000s, and imprisoned and tortured 25,000 citizens so far. In addition, adding insult to injury, 227 members of the parliament in Tehran have passed a motion and petitioned the so-called judiciary to summarily execute the 25,000+ protesters in jail. The regime’s desperate hope is to once again squash dissent by labelling it as led by the western “staunch enemies of Islam,” and headed by the US, the “Great Satan.” Meanwhile the despotic regime, short of army personnel, has resorted to importing mercenaries and snipers from Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Eyewitnesses and those injured have reported the excessive use of heavy weapons and the use of chemical and biological weapons throughout Iran, especially in the Kurdistan and Baluchistan provinces.
Demonstrations in Iran, complemented by many similar gatherings by the 8 million Iranians in diaspora have gone viral. There has been global outrage against the regime and calls for its replacement with a democratic secular republic. For instance, 200+ universities, mostly in the west, held rallies in solidarity with the people of Iran on 30 November. According to a Gamaan survey of Iranians inside Iran in February 2022, 88% of the 20,000 respondents favoured a truly “democratic political system” over the current status quo. Gamaan’s earlier surveys over the past five years, each with up to 100,000 respondents, correlate with the above results.
Continued failure of the regime over the past 44 years has only yielded misery and destitution to the otherwise affluent nation of Iran. It has caused the loss of one million lives in endless wars. The mass exodus of up to eight million expat Iranians in exile, along with the massive theft, abuse and wasteful mishandling of several trillion dollars from the national Treasury since 1979 is the highlight of the regime’s activities.
There is no alternative for the people of Iran but to propel forward with or without support. The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution deploring the systemic violations of the Islamic regime against Iranian citizens and calling for the establishment of an independent committee to collect, investigate and reach a verdict on the government’s actions.
A positive aspect is that the gloomy silhouette of ideological doctrine is fast fading away against the intensifying rays of secular enlightenment in the Iranian populace’s psyche and is being replaced with spiritual humanism, agnosticism, or reformed Zoroastrianism (the prehistoric faith of Iran since many millennia). The people of Iran have become more enlightened with liberal secular democracy, modernism and their own treasure troves of Persian literature, poetry, prose, culture and rich heritage. The more rational progressive approach is a win-win path for all within Iran by transforming the nation into an independent, sovereign and secular liberal democracy. Liberty, equality, equity, dignity, transparency, accountability, due process, and rule of law, justice and the pursuit of happiness should be the epitomes of the next republic of Iran.
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