In Memory of Dr. Yadollah Sahabi
Dr. Yadollah Sahabi passed away on April 12, 2002 at the age of 96. It is a sad news especially as he was one of the Iranians who had been part of the movement for democracy in Iran, both during the Shah's regime and during the Islamic Republic of Iran. My condolences to his family and all the freedom-loving people of Iran.
Dr. Sahabi, along with Mohandes Bazargan, was a co-founder of IFM (Nehzat-e Azadi) and in the recent years he separated from IFM and was part of Melli Mazhabis which are ideologically not much different from IFM.
Personally I never cared for the political and economic programs of IFM for Iran, both before the 1979 Revolution and after that. In fact, they were the main political force responsible for mixing state and religion in the years of post-1953 CIA coup in Iran. They were able to turn a major part of Iranian intellectuals to the support of some form of ideological Islamic state. In a way, they impacted both Ayatollah Khomeini's "Islamic Republic" and MojAhedin's program of "Democratic Islamic Republic".
Nonetheless, elements of liberal approach in IFM's political view have always been a reality. When during the hostage crisis, the IFM and Mohandes Bazargan's cabinet were attacked, it ushered in the worst repression in the Islamic Republic's history. The exit of liberal cabinet of Mohandes Bazargan was synonymous with wiping out of the freedoms that had followed the democratic movement of 1978-1980.
Although I support the liberal elements in the philosophy and activities of IFM and Melli Mazhabis, I think it is long passed the time for Iranian intellectuals to fully part with this school of thought, which has been built on mixing of state and religion. Iranian people and particularly Iranian intellectuals should go for full secularism for Iran and we should not settle for anything short of full separation of state and religion.
Hoping for a future_oriented secular, democratic, federal Republic of Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
April 17, 2002