Since 1979, the Iranian theocracy is an open-air lab for the Islamism tyranny, a major cause of the violence not only in our country but in the Middle East. We are enslaved to Islamists. In all these years, we Iranians have been poltroons. We have tolerated it, we have let the Shiite hierarchy decide what is good for them and then impose it on all citizens by coercion.
By collective submission, we have let our masters refine their methods. In all these years, webs were spun by ruthless and poisonous tarantulas, viz. the Pasdaran, bassijis, and hezbollahis. The latter destroy faith, culture and humanity within a feudal frame and, paradoxically, from abusing the means that the digital era provides. They act coherently, and are determined; contrary to the irresolute Western world.
The West’s Political Failures
Today, the West, instead of admitting its political failures and weaknesses in the Middle East, deludes itself and treats the ayatollahs as potential allies. It is all the same old story of the geopolitics in which millions of women and men are forgotten, unless they turn up at the European borders. Since the Iranian Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) in July, the whole process of caressing the ayatollah beard has been labelled realpolitik, during which short-sighted views and uncoordinated diplomatic choreographies prevail; not to mention ignoring, and even worse, finding excuses for the negative and aggressive signals from Tehran.
Powerless and confused in the Middle Eastern mayhem, the West minimises the ayatollahs’ craziness and megalomania, qualifying them as rational, reasonable and pragmatic. As a matter of fact, the West, mainly the Europeans, peep at a promising Iranian market with dollar signs in their eyes. An adventure doomed to yet another error of judgement, unable as the West is to tame the greed of its own financial institutions and overcome the internal EU quarrelling in want of an intelligible EU foreign policy.
Yes to Enslavement: is Our Driving Force?
The key factor in the Iranian politics is the population: 80 million living in a vast, rich and diversified land.
Are we, the people, satisfied with fantasising for hypothetical bits after the presumed benefits are shared by the ayatollahs and the stockholders of large multinationals, if and only if the JCPOA fulfils its minimum promises in 3, 6, 12 months? Or do we seek welfare and safety for all in longer terms?
Are we comfortable in being pathetic poltroons, grateful for bits coming our way? Or are we civilised enough to take advantage of a united nation and combat the violence, greed, and the power thirsty Mullahs Imams?
The decision is ours. We can decide to keep and obey the ayatollahs, as we do today and be the silent witnesses of the savagery in the region. Or we can decide to get rid of them, of the Velayat-e Faqih and of the whole lot of Islamists.
We can build a nation in which democratic values succeed. Are we willing to surpass ourselves to figure a stable, decent society where citizens can live in peace? It is our decision, and we have the potential of it.
But… are we willing to do it? Are we not enslaved to Islamism, and an Islam in the hands of dictators, frozen in time, and incapable of progress and change? Are we not like others in the Middle East where the population is tossed up like coins, as the so-called realpolitik demands it?
The coin is tossed and, if the face lands, fighting Daesh-ISIS and any other lawless rogues becomes a handy excuse for all the despicable Islamic tyrants in the Middle East to cut each other’s throat, backed by their Western or their Eastern protectors.
If it is the tail that lands, the very same autocrats facilitate the Daesh-ISIS and any other gangs of Islamic mercenaries when it suits them. All this at the expense of their own population.
Our ayatollahs compete with Saudi princes to keep the leading role in this drama. Our ayatollahs are culprits in Syrian genocides and even if Daesh is a savage gang it does not lessen the culpability of our authorities.
Are We Political Deserters?
We Iranians tend to bury our heads in the sand. We do not discuss issues essential to our lives among ourselves. Today, the favoured way of going about politics, not only by Iranian diaspora, but also by the highbrows in Iran, is to be apolitical. The word is uttered and savoured as if honey in the mouth. “I am apolitical, I don’t interfere/understand/argue on politics.” Full stop.
Nonetheless, ignoring the realities does not make them disappear.
The Islamism has kept us immature. Our behaviour shows our personality of Nowkar-Sefat, having the character of a servant; we are dead rats, Moush-Mordah. We obey the master, the tyrannical leader, Ali Khamenei.
We think, believe and do what we are told to; this is our concept of being apolitical. We believe that in the Middle East wars our masters would be the guardians of a secure harbour, i.e. Iran. This is an illusion. It is impossible to fan the ambers, fuel the fires and keep it all at a safe distance.
If each one of us is a political deserter, who is going to build democracy in Iran? Who is to defend our freedoms? The American administration? The British establishment? Bureaucrats in Brussels? The Russian Duma? The Chinese communists? Mehdi in person and his prayer wells?
The duty of seeking freedom is ours. Freedom allows us to question, to rebel, and to mature. For a democracy to be built, the State must be free from religious power and dogma. This creed is not our Iranian cultural heritage. The only language that we do understand is the language of the tyrants, their brutality, and their money. Our personal reasoning and actions follows their logic: oppress your challenger or buy them.
And Enslaved to Shiism …
Today, the Islamic Republic has enslaved the population with Shiism and its load of superstition like never before in Iranian history. It has shaped social encounters by enforcing punishment that has been intended for “unbelievers” for fourteen centuries. Presently, the men in authority label the mildest critic “Islam’s enemy”. The laws and the judicial power in the country reflect the discrimination developed by the Shiite dogmas. This makes Shiite men first-class citizens, especially those flattering the ayatollahs, the elite made of journalists, university professors, top businessmen, you name it. The women are there to serve the men, or replace them at tasks regarded as dishonourable or unrewarding.
Many believe that opening up the bolted Iranian business markets, and the Iranian sites for tourists, will advance the cause for an open country. Those who had the same hopes for other countries have long been dismayed.
Since 1979, the followers of other religious communities, both within Islam and outside Islam, have been regarded with contempt and mistreated. The Sunni Muslims are tolerated, but barred from the “sensitive” public services: judiciary, law and order forces. Baha’is are systematically persecuted. The acceptance of other religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism – is only symbolic, and serves as an alibi when it suits the political aims of the ayatollahs. Their followers remain under the close scrutiny of the Islamic Republic. The religious minorities have withdrawn and the distrust of the Shiites is instilled in their social behaviour.
Those declaring themselves agnostic or atheist are to be hanged from a crane as a traitor to Islam. Sadly for the freedom enthusiasts, their murder is met with indifference by the public, numbed by fear of the institutionalised Shiite despotism.
However, the religious intolerance in Iran will not disappear with the collapse of the Velayat-e Faqih. It is too deep rooted and will remain an obstacle to the establishment of the democracy. As disgraceful as it is, insidious religious intolerance is itself a large part of our cultural heritage. Even if many of us today are disgusted by the Islamic Republic, our words and actions unconsciously reproduce religious discriminations and simplistic views. Unwillingly we assist the ayatollahs.
We must fight our innermost prejudices, if we want to survive and, even better, thrive in dignity. We need to grow up, open our eyes and mind. We must stand tall, women and men together and equal.
Scoundrels such as Khamenei, Rasfandjani, Janati, Rouhani, and Larijani brothers stay in power thanks to accepting enslavement in silence and general apathy.
We would not be enslaved to religion and to endemic tyranny, if we, the people of Iran, accepted that everyone has the right to choose freely and in peace one’s religion or philosophical convictions, and to profess them alone or in community.
As responsible citizens, we cannot stay apolitical. Staying passive, and accepting the Islamist Diktat, shall destroy us.
We would not be minions to our dictators if we, the people of Iran, had the audacity to proclaim, united, that we shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of sex, origin, race or religion.
Are we audacious? Do we measure our accountability as a nation in the tragedies befalling in the Middle East? Are we willing to surpass ourselves to build a stable, decent society where citizens can live in peace? We have the potential, we can challenge the ayatollahs.
Only when the Valayat-e Faqih is buried, when we can rely on ourselves to think and act, the influence of hatred in the Middle East will lessen. That would open new perspectives for building bridges, not destroying them. For keeping our historical heritage, both physical and immaterial, not blasting it.