As we were to publish this post, Sir Salman Rushdie was cowardly attacked in New York, on Friday 12th.
In Iran, the mullah-land, some people jubilated, calling the abhorrent act: the fate for anybody who insults Islamic sanctities. Mehr news website, proudly reproduced the Khomenei’s fatwa from February 14th 1989 condemning Salman Rushdie and his publisher to death: I ask the zealous Muslims to execute them immediately, so that no one dares to insult the holiness of Muslims, and whoever is killed in this way is a martyr.
In a statement on 13th of August 2022, Charlie Hebdo had the right formulation: Religion never forgets because it wants to be eternal and has nothing to do with our basely earthly emotions. The freedom to think, to reflect and to express oneself has no value for God and his servants. And in Islam, whose history has often been written in violence and submission, these values simply have no place because they are so many threats against its hold on spirits. […] Well no, we will have to repeat again and again that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence, of anyone for anything. What right do individuals, who we could not care less about knowing that they are religious, have to assume the right to say that someone has to die?
Is it possible to break free of the yoke of our Islamic masters and have a humanist political conscience? Can we do our own thinking? Can we have dignity instead of begging from our Shiite overlords?
Islamocracy of Liars
Usually, in the European context, when the Westerner you meet for the first time realises that you are of the Iranian extract, they promptly enthuse: What a beautiful country.
We lack the courage to reply: A land in which people are born to put up with the yoke of bondage. I would rather live in a democracy of flawed institutions than an Islamocracy of liars.
Since we are conditioned to avoid expressing our minds, even in a safe surrounding, we carry on embroidering the conversation with pleasantries / Taarofs on the natural and historical beauties of Iran. Thus, we are carefully refraining from discussing a population full of polemical issues.
Presently, the folks are taken for serfs, useful in honouring Islamist violence. There is no dignity in voluntary acceptance of serfdom. There isn’t a public hue and cry against unacceptable violence.
The joy of admiring the natural beauties and historic monuments in our dictatorship will never, ever, replace the warmth of welfare and security felt by a sovereign population in its country.
Iran’s Gift to Civilisation: Islamocracy
The Velayat-e Faqih is the Iran’s poisonous gift to the civilisation; a haughty and backward Islamocracy in which the population gives in to the liars and let themselves to be led by the stick.
Wherever we live, in Iran or abroad, we silently witness nepotism, corruption, moral and political decay at the centre of power, heavily contaminating the periphery.
We numbly watch the economic collapse of the country impoverish every one of us. We just moan and beg for alms from the supremacist idiot, the Supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. He and his gang have thrown the country in an abyss, but we do not react.
If we continue this balancing at the edge of the precipice long enough, we become very, very adept: no matter which way we are pushed we always right ourselves. We accept and continue to live under this totalitarian regime or another.
What the Supreme Leader, Khamenei is trained to do is encourage people to exercise Islamic values and force them to follow his political dogmas. In the event of disobedience, he silences for ever, the repulsive and discordant voices in his ears.
The centralized Iranian state has been based on the accepted paradigm that one ethnic group and one religion are in charge, but are equally unaccountable before the population. The perspective of a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population does not fit; it calls into question the ideological foundation of the nation, the myth of Persian-ness.
When cowardliness, hypocrisy and corruption are the norms of society and mere banalities, there is no awareness of the crimes committed in our country in the name of Allah and his Prophet Mohammed. These two cult figures are used to priggishly justify the cruel man-made behaviour.
A few weeks ago the Islamic security corps were given a licence to kill. The Iranian president and Executioner in Chief, Ebrahim Raisi, passed a bill through the parliament that gives the security forces the freedom of using their weapons at will in the case of street protests. There wasn’t a public hue and cry.
What is the point of admiring the most beautiful mosque if it is built on thousands of corpses of innocent people slayed in violence?
Spontaneously, since the 1979 revolution, we have evolved into a perverted morality where truth and trust have no place. Totalitarianism poisons the mind and prevents citizens from scrutinising the compassion and understanding of the rulers.
A reassessment would have enormous political and social consequences, resulting in an in-depth review of the state and the frame of mind of the population. No Iranian who carries the Persian-Shiite doxastic culture is as yet ready to consider it. Our personal political understanding of history is based on a rewritten narrative of the present-day dictator. This has condemned us to repeat the same social fallacies, though in different contexts. The Islamocracy of liars, carries false ideas and the seeds of intolerance.
Doxastic Dual Personalities
After decades of intensive brainwashing, it is no longer plausible to convert a fascist phallocentric regime, though on its knees, into a republic respectful of its citizens. Especially when citizens are unwilling to accept the tolerance and freedom of thoughts that are vital to improvement.
Under the Iranian Islamic modus vivendi, well-kept domestic thoughts in private environments secure the person and revel those who are at war with those who think differently.
Our identity is defined by what our entourage tells us, the doxa which reassures us, but which we carefully avoid judging and evaluating. We hardly ever question our family and cultural backgrounds in creating today’s social and political mayhem. We submit to the evils of our cultural habits: we hate the autocrats and the bastards who rule the country, but we accept them as fact of life in our destiny.
The doxa is our reassuring cage that we can control from every corner, but it keeps us away from evolution in our thoughts by communicating with other culturally diverse minds. A constructive exchange of ideas may well shake the frames of our world, and propel us to a realm in which we are no more the victims of our destiny but the responsible players of our lives.
For us Iranians, certainty is security, hence our readiness to be peremptory and lecturing in all circumstances. Uncertainty would invite us to seek opportunities in meetings which could change our minds, a scary and unsettling perspective.
Uncertainty allows us to evolve, certainty has locked us in the social stagnation of the last four decades. Otherwise, how is it that, as a nation, we have not considered replacing the rotten nepotists we are holding to?
It is decades that despite all precautions, any citizen, female in particular, can expect to be manhandled on some lousy pretext at any time by the brainless agents of the Islamic regime. Day after day, year after year, we hear the very same repressive stories about wearing hijab, singing, censorship, arbitrary arrests, flogging and executions. Then, why do we just stumble around shrugging our shoulders looking lost?
We are frightened by the prospect of anguish, inherent to change. If this is not the case, why have we resigned ourselves to regression?
Is there peace under the protection of the dogmas of absolute truth of the Supreme Leader, whose principles are easily understood and obeyed publicly?
Wearing his yoke allows us to dream of a higher social standing which might give us crumbs of power and money, if we behaved.
Our Islamic despots with their pious faithful have lost the spirituality that can be expected from a religion and the positive acts of goodwill breathed in. They are untrustworthy and unreliable. Their slogans are just hollow words repeated over and over again.
But, the power of mobilisation of the regime in mass rallies are still impressive. The mass rallies remembering the soul of a martyr provide the ecstasy needed to break from the monotony of daily life. Repetition of ready-made formulas, shouts, applause, self-righteous indignation and the exhibition of collective hatred towards an enemy, provoke moments of unreasonable inebriation.
Watch the Ashoura mass rallies or dissect the repeated funeral ceremonies for Ghassem Soleimani or any other “martyr”.
The few Iranians, for whom the present and future miseries of the country are tangible, present the symptoms of a lethargic, disassociated and fragmented ailment.
Regardless, how much we hate the way the country is run, we do nothing. We don’t know what to do. We have not learned to defend our rights, but to accept thankfully the alms grandiloquently given by the ayatollahs. The gifts of alms are intended for the serfs and the poor, fulfilling the institutional needs of the Shiite hierarchy to assert its power over the people.
We must be taught to respect our dignity. No one has the right to treat people as mere beggars, especially tricksters believed to preach only the words of Allah.
To win respectability in the eyes of our children and grandchildren, we have to roll flat the bugs that presently command our lives.
Front Line Fighters: Women
The experiences of social dynamism gathered since the spring of 1979 go in one direction. Wherever Iranians live, in the country or abroad, women express themselves more powerfully and act in a more pragmatic manner than men.
Iranian men tend to be followers of someone who impresses them, or someone who fills them with awe, fear or a reward. They could be readily greedy, far beyond earning the family needs, and without qualms attracted by a morally corrupt regime.
Iranian women see injustice, but must contain her rebellion; fully conscious that she will not be supported by her male entourage in her social struggle. One day, when the fear that stifles their courage collapses under the pressure of long-standing anger, there would be no way out for phallocentric men from their ire.
Men tend to have conservative reactions to women’s demands, effectively choosing the safety of the sham Islamist values hammered into the minds by the regime. For women, in the Iranian chauvinistic society, male arguments are unconvincing, and often rooted in dubious unstated assumptions. Whose logic lies in conspiracy theories that provide a wacky explanation for complex issues.
In today’s Iran, a rotten society filled with dogmatic crap, hardly anyone can feel part of a magnificent millennial culture, but certainly part of a culture of denunciation, submissiveness, meanness and misogynist behaviour.
Iranian people are not the only ones who care more about their own lives than they do about holding their governments accountable. However, they have perfected the art of leading a double life, and in public, telling blunt, blatant, even brazen lies to avoid the paroxysm of social agonies. Ultimately, in the tragedy of the totalitarian Islamic Republic, citizens have a supporting role.
To repeat what was said earlier: women express themselves more powerfully and act in a more pragmatic manner than men.
Looking back on the past forty something years leaves no doubt: women were first and foremost in protesting against the dogmas of the Islamic Republic.
As refugees, it was women who were responsible for supporting the family and keeping it together. Their backs to the wall, women have known they have to start from zero, no matter the importance of their social standing in Iran. Pragmatic, they acknowledge the ups and downs of life and draw the necessary consequences.
Women were the first to shed light on the intangible masks of Janus behind which the people of Iran learn to conceal their thoughts and ways of being.
Often in public, we no longer recognize the person we have met in private. The public figure has been shaped and redefined in a way that makes it acceptable for everyone. A forbearing and jovial individual in private, becomes an arrogant bigoted figure in public.
Where is our freedom to be ourselves? Do we actually know where we are when we swap masks too often? The repression of the Islamic Republic makes us lose sight of the good and the evil, the insincerity and hypocrisy that kill honesty.
Iranian women have transformed the harmful and violent repression of the Islamic Republic into a positive force that will one day disrupt the underlying Iranian society. They have developed the intelligence of the heart, sensitivity, and thirst for freedom. They have understood the trauma of the Islamic Republic: inducing the hatred of freedom and misogynist attitudes.
The Islamocracy of Liars, the Islamic Republic must be broken if we do not want to go on living in a disjointed and repulsive society. Otherwise, when the worst comes to the worst, the alternative is heading to the democracies of the West. No matter how flawed and ageing they are, we can learn to respect our dignity. The very same dignity that allowed them to fight for their freedom from serfdom.
The warmth of well-being and security felt by a sovereign population in their country is the source of a genuine sense of accomplishment and pride.
We are responsible for providing the conditions necessary to enable this commonwealth. The question is: are we able to? Are our men enlightened enough to support those on the front lines, the women? Do men intend to participate actively in the Islamocracy of liars for ever?