Iranian Prisoner to Religion
Freedom allows mankind to rebel and grow. For a democracy to arise and be built, State must be free from religious power and dogma. This creed is NOT an Iranian cultural heritage. The Iranian, especially the Iranian Shiite, was and is a prisoner to religion.
Today, the Islamic Republic subjugates the society to Shiisme. The laws and judicial power in the country reflect the discrimination brought by Shiite Islam. Followers of other religious movements, whether within Islam or outside Islam, are regarded with contempt or strongly persecuted.
This makes the Shiite man a first-class citizen; the woman, she is just a half-citizen. Other citizens do not count.
In Iran, the Sunni Muslims are tolerated, but their commitment to public service is judged case by case. Baha’is are systematically persecuted. The acceptance of other religions – Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism – is only symbolic and followers are under the close scrutiny of the Islamic Republic. (See Farsi section for an adapted picture to Iran)
In Iran, those declaring themselves agnostic or atheist would have a brush with the law and in the end be hanged from a crane in the street as a traitor to Islam, and this would be met with indifference by the public. The domestic despotism of Shiite in daily life is a fact that has existed for centuries. The Revolution of 1979 institutionalised a Shiite despotic state. By reflex, religious minorities withdraw into their community and the distrust of Shiites is instilled and expanded into the mindset of their followers.
Religious intolerance in Iran will not disappear with the collapse of the hegemony of Velayat-e Faqih; in future, it will remain an obstacle to the establishment of democracy since, as despicable as it can be, insidious religious intolerance is part of our cultural heritage. It is part of our prejudices and day-by-day responses to our environment. Proof needed? The plethora of interjections and religious insults in today’s Farsi. Even if we hate the Islamic Republic, in our words and actions we unconsciously reproduce religious discrimination. Scoundrels such as Khamenei, Rasfandjani, Ahmadinejad and Laridjani stay in power thanks to the silence and the apathy of Iranian Shiites. By having our implicit support, the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic remains credible.
We would not stay slaves to our dictatorships if we, the people of Iran, accepted that everyone has the right to choose freely their religion or their philosophical convictions, and to profess them alone or in community with others in peace.
We would not be minions to our dictators if we, the people of Iran, would have the audacity to proclaim that we shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of sex, origin, race or religion.