Shariati  was Reactionary


The Organisation of Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution (OMIR), a group of which Aghajari is a member, has supported the death fatwa against Salman Rushdie, who published an article in the New York Times last week, critical of the Iranian regime in the case of Aghajari. The OMIR and their associates should be ashamed to support murder fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the Salman Rushdie who has had the decency to support Aghajari in his plight against IRI murderers.  OMIR is not much different from the so-called IRI hardliners when it supported Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa to kill Rushdie then and for still supporting that fatwa now, after they are getting a taste of Islamic intolerance in the case of their own colleague Aghajari.  I have written enough about Aghajari's case two months before all these events, and I have nothing  to add to what I wrote on Sept 12th:


However what I need to add after the students protests in Iran is the attempt of OMIR supporters to show all these protests as if the protesters are asking for a return to Shariati's doctrine, by raising Shariati's posters at every student demonstration in Iran.  The Islamic Republic of Iran is the legacy of Shariati movement and Shariati and his doctrine are responsible for all the atrocities of IRI and the suffering of Iranian people in the last 23 years.  It was a mistake that Iranian intellectuals fell for Shariati's version of Islamism in 1970's, and dropped secular liberalism and democracy under the anti-Western slogans, which brought nothing but reactionary backwardness for Iran.  If the West has pioneered the democratic structure of government in the modern world, there is nothing wrong with learning from it.  In fact, even Islamists know this and this is why they adopted the term "republic" in their "Islamic Republic" terminology.  This is what I wrote about Shariat and Ale Ahmad in 1999:


The likes of Ale Ahmad and Shariati who attacked democracy and modernism under the banner of attacking gharbzadegi (Westernization) did the worst disservice to Iran and Iranians and they were the *reactionaries* and not *progressives*, contrary to the view that has been pushed down the progressive movement of Iran.  This taboo must be broken and Shariati's doctrine must be called as it was, a reactionary Islamist doctrine adorned with Western intellectual terms.  A reactionary anti-Western view which impeded the growth of modernism, liberalism and democracy in Iran. 


The so-called "Islamic Democracy" of the likes of OMIR is just like the "Islamic Republic".  In the former phrase, "democracy" is borrowed in a cunning way to deny it thru Islamism, just as  in the latter, "Republic" was borrowed deceitfully to deny it thru Islamism.  We have suffered enough from the latter in the last 23 years and Iranian people have seen enough of the former during Khatami's regime, where all non-Islamic forces have either been disallowed to participate in parliament, or were murdered or banned from having their own free associations and political parties.  Yes, we already have had enough of Shariati's doctrine and it is now time to call it what it is, a reactionary doctrine which was a major reason for setback of democratic movement of Iran for over 30 years.


Shariati's doctrine is the kind of thought that allows OMIR to support the kill order of Salman Rushdie.  Shariati's posters in Students demonstrations is  a major reason the Iranian people are hesitating to give full support to these protests.  Our national heroes were Mossadegh, Dehkhoda, Kasravi, Bakhtiar, Forouhars, and many other democratic-minded, liberal, and modern thinkers.  Ayatollah Khomeini, Shariati, and Ale Ahmad belong to the list of reactionary Iranian leaders who brought nothing but misery and backwardness for Iran and Iranians. 


Although Iranian people support Aghjari and condemn his death verdict, but at the same time Iranian people condemn the OMIR's support of death verdict against Salman Rushdie.  If Iranian people had condemned the death fatwa of Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, we would not have been here, and the likes of OMIR who supported the death fatwa, and still do, are now being attacked the same way, and they are responsible for where we are.  OMIR that has supported the death fatwa against Salman Rushdie is responsible if anything happens to Salman Rushdie and OMIR is responsible for advocating the murder of an innocent writer for his views.


Down with Inquisition, Murder Fatwas and its Supporters,

Long Live Freedom of Thought


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher


Dec 4, 2002