IRAN - The Fate Of Khomeinism.The following is how an article by Amir Taheri Amir Taheri is an Iranian-born journalist and author based in Europe. His writings focus on the Middle East affairs and topics related to Islamist terrorism. Taheri's public speaking engagements are arranged by Benador Associates, a public relations firm with a predominantly , a prominent Iranian journalist opposed to the theocracy theocracy
Government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. In many theocracies, government leaders are members of the clergy, and the state's legal system is based on religious law. Theocratic rule was typical of early civilizations. , on July 23 described one aspect of the situation in Iran: "Just over a month ago Sa'id Mortazavi, the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor in Tehran, agreed to receive the wife of one of the many political prisoners languishing lan·guish
intr.v. lan·guished, lan·guish·ing, lan·guish·es
1. To be or become weak or feeble; lose strength or vigor.
2. in his jails. The visitor wanted Mortazavi to know that her husband, then in the third week of a hunger strike hunger strike, refusal to eat as a protest against existing conditions. Although most often used by prisoners, others have also employed it. For example, Mohandas Gandhi in India and Cesar Chavez in California fasted as religious penance during otherwise political or , was nearing death. The prisoner in question is Akbar Ganji Akbar Ganji (Persian: اکبر گنجی, born 31 January, 1960 in Qazvin) is an Iranian journalist and writer. , a 46-year-old dissident, whose fate is emerging as the latest hot topic in the power struggle within the Khomeinist establishment. 'What is all this fuss about?' Mortazavi reportedly snapped at Ganji's wife. 'Who cares if Ganji dies? Each day many prisoners die in our jails'".
Now however, and as Iran waits for a new administration under Ahamadi-Nejad, it seems that many people care about Ganji's fate because "the fuss" about his imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.
former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]
German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist. and alleged torture, has been transformed into what Taheri calls "a debate about the future of the Khomeinist system". Who is Ganji and what is so special about him?
Taheri noted that, since 1979 when the mullahs seized power in Tehran, about 2.3 million Iranians "have spent some time in prison because of their opposition to the regime". In a sense, Taheri added, "anybody who is somebody in most walks of life has had some experience of prison in the Islamic Republic An Islamic republic, in its modern context, has come to mean several different things, some contradictory to others. Theoretically, to many religious leaders, it is a state under a particular theocratic form of government advocated by some Muslim religious leaders in the Middle . And that includes the Shiite clergy. More mullas have been imprisoned im·pris·on
tr.v. im·pris·oned, im·pris·on·ing, im·pris·ons
To put in or as if in prison; confine.
[Middle English emprisonen, from Old French emprisoner : en- in the past 27 years than members of any other social group in Iran. The revolutionary regime has also executed over 100,000 of its real or imagined opponents and driven a further 4.5 million people into exile, without a second thought".
So, why has Ganji got special attention? Why is the theocracy so afraid of him? When Ganji began to act as a dissident in 1996, Taheri said, many regarded him with suspicion. "After all he had been a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard for over a decade before joining the Intelligence and Security Service. In that capacity he had even served a stint at the Iranian Embassy in Ankara "keeping an eye" on exiled dissidents. So are the Khomeinists sore that one of their own has decided to turn against them? Many Iranians believe this to be the case". That explanation, however, is not satisfactory.
Over the years, countless other Khomeinists have become critics of the regime in one way or another. Most of the "students" who held the US diplomats hostage in Tehran in 1979-80 are now among the regime's critics. Many of the intellectuals who collaborated in "cleansing" the universities and purging counter-revolutionary academics, writers and scholars have distanced themselves from the regime. One of them Abdul-Karim Sorush has become a critic of the theocracy. Mustafa Moin was the candidate of the reformists in the presidential election.
Ganji is almost entirely a child of Khomeinism in socio-political terms. By social background, family history, and political upbringing he should be the model Khomeinist. He has fought for Khomeinism in the war against Iraq and in campaigns against dissidents and armed secessionists. Few in his generation have more revolutionary credentials.
The prosecutor Mortazavi, who specialises in tracing the slightest flaw in his victims' revolutionary profile, has been unable to find any in Ganji's. Unlike other critics of the regime, Ganji has succeeded in liberating himself, morally and intellectually, from his Khomeinist illusions. Moin pretends that Khomeinism is a pure and beautiful ideal which has been sullied in practice. Ganji sees Khomeinism as the cause of all problems since 1979.
Taheri put the comparisons as follows: "Moin is like Mikhail Gorbachev, who, even in the final moments when the Soviet Titanic was sinking, was trying to fool himself and others with a vision of 'pure Leninism'. Ganji, however, is like Boris Yeltsin “Yeltsin” redirects here. For other uses, see Yeltsin (disambiguation).
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (IPA: [bʌˈrʲis nʲikoˈlajevɨtɕ ˈjelʲtsɨn] who, although a member of the Soviet Politburo for years, at one point realized that the Bolshevik Revolution had been 'the greatest tragedy in the history of the Russian people', and said so publicly. Moin wants to reform a system that is unreformable. Ganji wants a new system that is as distant from the one in place as possible. All this means that while Moin is no threat to the establishment of which he remains a privileged member, Ganji is. The regime can cope with the 'if' and 'but' school of criticism. The more shrewd operators of the regime, such as the outgoing President An outgoing president is a president or, generally, other head of state or government when he holds office between the election of his successor and the inauguration by which that successor assumes power. Muhammad Khatami, even encourage this kind of 'lite' dissent because it helps foster the illusion that the system can accommodate a measure of debate. That illusion, in turn, could hoodwink hood·wink
tr.v. hood·winked, hood·wink·ing, hood·winks
1. To take in by deceptive means; deceive. See Synonyms at deceive.
2. Archaic To blindfold.
3. Obsolete To conceal. some Westerners, including former US President Bill Clinton, into believing that the Khomeinist system is 'a kind of democracy'.
"When the lawyer Mrs. Shirin Ebadi Shirin Ebadi (Persian: شیرین عبادی - Širin Ebâdi; born 21 June 1947) is an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and founder of Children's Rights Support Association in was nominated as the Nobel Peace laureate for 2004, Khatami welcomed her with the admonition Any formal verbal statement made during a trial by a judge to advise and caution the jury on their duty as jurors, on the admissibility or nonadmissibility of evidence, or on the purpose for which any evidence admitted may be considered by them. not to 'go beyond certain red lines'. Mrs. Ebadi took the advice, and all went well for her. She devoted her acceptance speech to attacking the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. for 'abuses of human rights' in Guantanamo Bay, and castigating Israel for 'oppressing the Palestinians'. Knowing her red lines she made no mention of the tens of thousands of prisoners, including some of her own friends, rotting in Mortazavi's jails. But the 'most important red line' according to Khatami, concerns the criticism of the 'Supreme Guide' or the late Khomeini himself. Ganji, however, has rejected all advice from Khatami. He has insisted that the only red lines must be fixed by law in a democratic system".