Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Iran needs secularism


Nov 13, 2005

Bahman Aghai Diba PhD International Law - Persian Journal

Iran and all Islamic Nations Need Serious Secularism

Dr. Abdulkarim Soroush, a prominent Iranian-Islamic scholar confessed in a speech in Paris that Islam has no political and civil rights for the people. What you find in the Islamic jurisprudence is only obligations, not rights. Therefore, it is useless to look for democracy in Islam.

These remarks are new attestation to the long time proven principle that religion must be separated from politics. This is especially true in the case of Islam. Secularism is the medicine acutely needed in all the Islamic societies, especially in Iran.

The experience of Islamic revolution in Iran proved once again that mixture of politics and Islam, in the world, which is divided into nation-states and the governments, which are designed to follow the national interests, does not work. For a long time in Iran (hundreds of years), religious people had claimed that all problems in the society came from non-observance of Islamic rules and if religious Islamic leaders become political masters in the society, everything would be in order and justice would prevail all over the state.

More than two decades of Islamic government in Iran has showed clearly that the idea was not working. There is no doubt that the people of Iran are less religious and more underdeveloped now, compared to twenty-six years ago. Many people in all Islamic societies are trying to separate their religion from politics. What is happening in Iran at the present juncture is a clear struggle by the people of Iran to get religion separated from politics. There is no other way. Anyone, including all Muslims and any government, especially the U.S., that wish a better life for the people of Islamic countries and similar states, and also seek international peace and development should help the cause of separating religion from politics.

The National-religious groups of Iran are redundant. They claim to be intellectuals and at the same time religions. They are intellectuals in the box, like Ali Shariati and Bazargan.

Jalal Al-Ahmad, the Iranian writer that the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran tries to affiliate him to itself, has said: there are two groups that they cannot be intellectual: the clergymen and the militarymen.

Ali Sharati, who was called a "spy" by Dr. Beheshti, one of the founders of the Islamic regime of Iran who was killed in a bombing accident, along with the people like Bazargan, are responsible for deceiving the at least two generations in Iran. Fortunately, the present young generation of Iran does not give a damn what Shariati and his fellow travelers are thinking. This "shop" is closed.

However, the victims of these demagogues have the responsibility to reveal the mistakes for the sake of history and stopping its repetition.

The combination of nationalistic ideas and religion does not work. Those who are pretending otherwise are liars. The religions, especially Islam, are not able to support democracy. The religions by nature are tyrannical. The expansionist religions, like Islam, follow a kind of universalism that gives the monopoly of power to the religious despots and their interpretation of the religion.

People, like Ali Shariati are responsible for creating something out of Islam that did not exist. Notwithstanding that they really believed in their fabrications or used them as a strategy to get to their other goals, they are demagogues that have deceived the people. The members of this group had a great role in the hijacking of the Iranian revolution (which was after freedom and justice) by the religious zealots and their ignorant thugs. It is interesting that many members of this group are now considered as a kind of reformist to the mess that they have created. The present regime of Iran knows these demagogues better than anybody else.

These are the direct words of Hassan Abbasi, the Director of Center of External Security Analysis of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, talking in the Tehran University (05/23/04):

"The leaders of the Islamic world should have the courage to declare: Islam and Western democracy are not compatible. Islam has nothing in common with the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights. Islam has nothing in common with the Western liberalism and this kind of freedom. Islam opposes these ideas?According to Nietzsche, the founding of a civil society leads to the death of God?the Koran has said: go to war?if it is possible to do something that the disbelievers feel fearful, then this kind of terrorism is holy terrorism?. Look at my hands. These are the hands that have created Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad... You have 6000 nuclear warheads? those are our target. The guerrillas will destroy them... We are working on recruiting the Mexicans and Argentineans for our cause... We will mobilize everyone who has a complaint against the America?we have identified all of their weak points... and we will give those information to the combatant groups of the world.

"The Muslim people are sick and tried of religious extremism. The religion is a personal thing and it should be confined to the private life of the people. Whoever tries to impose religious things on the people should be stopped in proper ways. Imposing ideas is against the freedom of expression and violation of the people's rights. Unfortunately, the Government of Iran that does not represent the people of Iran, has taken policies that is against the Iranian ideas and interests. The Government of Iran, which has taken the power through a creeping coup and it is called "the Second invasion of Iran by the Arabs", has been killing itself during the last 26 years to make the people more Islamic but the product of all those efforts are in vain. The people of Iran at the moment are less Islamic than the time of the previous regime. The regime has taken so many steps visibly and invisibly to impose, attract, lure, deviate, make interested or push the people toward Islam and it has failed. Some of the measures were:

- Persuading the Arabic language in Iran

- Publishing religious books in millions of copies every year and distributing them free of charge inside and outside of Iran

- Changing the program of the schools and universities by inclusion of religious materials, inserting distorted historical stories (based on the fake sources) in the text books, giving higher priority to the good marks in the courses related to the Islamic things

- Imposing the barbaric laws of the ancient Arab nomads under the name of Islam to the judicial system of Iran

- Establishment of hundreds of Islamic theological schools all over the country that produce thousands of a certain type of narrow-minded and single-lined graduates with and without turbans, every year.

- Expansion of the Islamic rituals like the special congregational prayers (like Friday prayer) under the supervision of the hard-line and low-understanding Mullahs.

- Expansion of Islamic propaganda inside and outside the country by using the mass media, especially the radio, TV and cinema.

- Creation of a kind of division between the people that are called "the insiders and outsiders". The insiders are the sheepish followers of the Islam as interpreted by the regime and they are considered as human beings that have some limited rights. The outsiders are worse than animals. The regime does not care who does what to the outsiders.

- Adding the word of "Islamic" to all governmental and non-government institutions in order to create limitations for the managers- Clear prejudice in favor of the small minority of Iranians that follow the Islamic gibberish of the regime. Even most of this minority does not believe in what is indoctrinated by the regime as Islam. They are after having a better life and they sell themselves like cheap prostitutes.

- Trying to disconnect Iranians from their glorious past. Although Iranians have received Islam through Arabs, but they do not feel any respect to the Arabs for the same fact. Many Iranians still feel the humiliation of an imposed religion. A number of Iranians believe that what we hear about great Islamic civilization is in fact the Iranian rich heritage captured and redistributed by Arabs who lived in nomadic tribes of Arabia at the advent of Islam.

Iran is ready to accept secularism as the best option for moving towards democracy. Any person that opposes this option wants to delay the movement of Iran towards democracy at least 400 years (the time of renaissance in Europe). The religious things should be separated from the state administration. A special organ should be established to find and discards the religious things from the state affairs.

Iran needs a period of De-Islamization and De-Arabization. Iran is not an Arab country, contrary to what may Westerners think, and it is not a deeply Islamic country. The people of Iran are not serious Muslims and they do not intend to be so. What Iran and all Islamic nations need is a serious secularism.


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