Aghajari Does not Deserve Nobel Peace Prize

دموکراسي اسلامي پلوراليسم نيست



Although I supported Aghajari from day one of his arrest and even before his death verdict, but I do not think he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, because Aghajari kept silence while his OMIR organization supported Khomeini's death fatwa against Salman Rushdie, even when he himself was sentenced to death by the Ayatollahs, and he and OMIR were supporters of Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie at the time and he still supported Khomeini's legacy when under the death threat.  Also his plans can push Iran more towards a religious war than a peace, and Iran's way to peace is only through full secularism.


There are words out of Oslo that Hashem Aghajari  is being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize  of 2003, and they claim that "awarding the prize to him could be interpreted as encouraging democracy and reform in Iran, and may even urge Iran to engage more fully in the world in a way that would prevent if from being further targeted by the US". 


There are people in Iran's prisons, such as the longest-held IRI prisoner Amir Entezam of Jebhe Melli, who has always stood up for democracy and reform in Iran; and Tabarzadi of Jebhe Demokratik, who has stood up for reformist change in Iran al these years, and they have not supported the savage acts of IRI, acts like Khomeini's death fatwa against Rushdie which Aghajari still supports.  Amir Entezam and Tabarzadi should share such a prize, and deserve such recognition and not Aghajari, who is not the best symbol of the struggle of Iranian people for democracy and secularism.


Some of those who are proposing Aghajari for Nobel prize are doing it because Aghajari is calling for Islam without the clergy.  Iran is not the Europe of 15th Century and Aghajari's semi-Protestantism is way behind the true aspirations of the Iranian people, which are nothing short of full separation of religion and state.  Iranians want to make sure that any clergy with a role benefiting from the parallel Shi'a organization not to hold state office in any branches of the future government of Iran. 


The mellimazhabis such as  Jebhe Mosharekat party or Aghajari's group of sAzmAne enghelAbe eslAmi, do not want the IRI to be replaced with a secular republic.  The mellimazhabis are an obsolete force in Iran and are way behind the genuine demands of the Iranian people which is nothing short of full separation of state and religion. 


The reason one hears more about the IRI reformists and the likes of Aghajari is because in the last 20 years all non-Islamic groups and parties have been banned and these people are the legal opposition who can have press and it is important to know that with the fall of IRI they will fall too because they have always been part of the IRI religious apartheid regime of the last 20 years.


The likes of Aghajari never fought the religious Apartheid of IRI which had stopped any non-Islamic group from legally being active to participate and have candidates for parliament and other elections.  The likes of Aghajari were part of the suppression of the secular forces in Iran.  Fatwa killing has a long history in Shi'a Islam and in Iran, long before IRI, and the likes of Aghajari should learn to condemn these heinous crimes and not justify it in cases like Salman Rushdie.


IRI reformists' version of Islamic Republic is not democracy, it is Islamic Apartheid and its symbols were people like Aghajari. Just because IRI cannot even tolerate Aghajari and his like, should not mislead us.  To end Islamic terrorism and IRI needs ending Isamism in Iran and beyond.  As I noted, even long after his own sentence to death because of his ideas, Aghajari said again and again that he supports Khomeini's death fatwa against Salman Rushdie.


Years before Aghajari being condemned to death, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death fatwa for Salman Rushdie.  Aghajari and his colleagues not only supported that heinous fatwa, they even actively advocated for it.  Whereas Rushdie in contrast, was decent enough to support Aghajari and condemn the death verdict against him, from the first days of Aghajari's arrest and condemnation to death.  If Aghajari had any empathy, he would apologize for his support of Khomeini's fatwa now that he was getting the same treatment, rather than again repeating his support for Khomeini's fatwa.


No giving Peace Prize to Aghajari sends a wrong message.  Iranians do not want a religious government. We want nothing short of full secularism.  As I noted at the beginning of this article, there is a danger that the plans of the likes of Aghajari can push Iran towards a religious war rather than helping Iran to move towards peace.


Hoping for a Futurist,  Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
August 11, 2003