ٍOne Mistake-From Constitutional Movement to Today
Before discussing the main topic of this article, I see it necessary to remind ourselves of a point regarding the reaction to the call for referendum by the 60000000 website, and that is the need to avoid a manner of approach which was used in the first years of Islamic Republic, by some unwise people, regarding the patriotic Iranian officers of *nojeh*, where the resistance of those officers against the dictatorship of the new Islamic regime, was called a coup attempt for return of monarchy by the noted unwise people, and they became the informers of Khomeini about the gathering of those officers, and they helped the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) to slay those freedom fighters in blood, and the result was that such challenges within the regime ended, and the hands of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards became more open in the life of all Iranian opposition, and the road to repress those unwise people themselves was paved this way.
Even let's suppose the *nojeh* was a monarchist coup plan, then in that case the lack of support of the pro-democracy activists for such a group would be understandable, but being a soup hotter than the pot [a Persian expression], and to save IRI from such a coup, and calling such collaboration a pro-democracy or patriotic act, is deception, the least, because in reality, with such a direction, these unwise people showed that despite their differences with some groupings within the regime, they are in the first ring of the supporters of the regime of Islamic Republic. If at the time of the Shah, somebody helped the Shah to counter Minbashian's coup attempt, and was the first informer of the gathering to Mohammad Reza Shah, could such an individual consider himself as part of the independent pro-democracy opposition? No, and these action are all part of the shy defense of the Islamic Regime, which has been a reality within a part of Iran's political movement, all these years, and I have explained about the IRI lobbyist groups in details in the past, and there is no need to repeat here.
Let me return to the main topic of this article:
Even though my discussion is about the period spanning from Iran's constitutional movement (mashrootia't) till now, but to clarify my point, let me start with the 1979 Revolution. At that time, a force called *Nehzate Azadi* [Freedom Movement of Iran-FMI] with Mohandes Mehdi Bazargan at its helm, was the way the plan of a religious state, was decorated with the democratic colors, and the secular forces, from Jebhe Melli [Iran's National Front- INF] to the leftists, ended up supporting another retrogressive alternative regime, meaning the religious state, in opposition to the monarchist regime of the time.
This is a very important point, in 1979, to differentiate between those who wanted a constitutional and lawful regime of the Shah, such as Jebhe Melli, and those who wanted the democratic version of a religious state, such as Nehzate Azadi. In fact, one can consider those who want to democratize the current despotic regime of the time, as part of the pro-democracy movement of the time, even if they be in the regime at some time junctures, but those who want to replace the current regime, with another retrogressive and dictatorial regime, even if they support the democratic version of that model, are essentially at the service of the retrogressive alternative of the future, and it is highly doubtful if the modified democratic version of the model they follow, to be successful after the success of their intended type of regime.
In fact, the likes of Ayatollah Taleghani helped the theocracy to become the alternative of monarchy in Iran, and the fact that their modified model of religious state was defeated, is not surprising. The dictatorial regimes, from monarchy, to religious, to communist, if modified, it has been because of the resistance of the people against those regimes, and not due to the goodness of the social philanthropists even if those well-wishers had been part of the founders of such regimes.
Today with regards to monarchy, a similar course is taking shape in the political scene of Iran. The democratic currents and individuals who are supporters of constitutional monarchy, just like the democratic Islamists like Ayatollah Taleghani of 1979, who sincerely believed in a democratic religious state at the time of Iranian Revolution, are sincerely believers in the constitutional monarchy, and if today there was a monarchy in Iran, these individuals would either be the front runners of a movement for reform and democratization inside Iran, or like Ayatollah Taleghani would be removed by the regime.
But my point is that when the monarchy is not in power, these types of supporters of the constitutional model, in fact are responsible for misconception of monarchy as the the future alternative they are passing on to the people, because that regime is not in power today, and the people today are not facing the reality of the regime of monarchy. The same way that at the time of the Shah, the theocratic regime in Iran was not in power, and the likes of Taleghani and Bazargan and Nehzate Azadi created a false image of an religious regime, meaning that the truth of a real religious state, which is always racist, in relation to other religions and ideologies, was covered up by their presentation. Whereas the reality of despotism, is inherent in the definition of a religious state, and the issue is not the difference of so-called "democratic" religious regime, versus a despotic religious state, and the discrimination and dictatorship is in the nature of the religious state itself.
The same way in a monarchy, the child of the royal family, has special privileges, with the most important one being the possibility of getting to the top of power, and this hereditary system, is a discrimination against all other families, whose children do not have the same privileges, and the democratic supporters of monarchy, trivialize, this racist and anti-democratic characteristic, which is inherent in the definition and nature of monarchy . But as I have written before, these who from within the ranks of IRI, work for modification and democratization today, have every right to call themselves as part of Iran's pro-democracy movement. And if there was a monarchist regime in Iran, the similar democratic reformers of such regime can make the same claim.
The mistake of our political movement from mashrootiat till today had been that the democratic forces of ours, instead of offering a clear program and try to organize around it, they have busy managing those who want to replace the current retrogressive system with another retrogressive system, albeit wishing the democratic or modified version of it, and thus at the end, the progressive forces of ours, have become the launch pad of those who put the veto of five top clerics (mojtehed) and Shi'a as the official religion of Iran, in our 1906 Constitution.
On another occasion, they have used their power to organize the supporters of the existing regime and tried to democratize it, such as those whose wish was to see the * Adle Moazafar* [The words engraved on the headstone of Iran's old Parliament building of the 1906 Constitutional Revolution, meaning the justice of Mozafaredin Shah, who was the Qajar King of the time.] In my opinion, the progressive and democratic forces of Iranm should use their main endeavors for organizing around their own ideas, nonetheless, they should not become the informers of resistances like *nojeh*, where in effect, these kinds of events, are crystallization of the resistances against the existing retrogressive and despotic regime, and the democratic forces can be neutral with regards to these currents, instead of becoming the defenders of the ruling system,.
Today what is important is to organize the Futurist Youth Organizations in Iran, with progressive and democratic ideas, and with demands such as referendum, abolition of compulsory conscription, abolition of compulsory women's hijab, creation of jobs and facilitating traveling abroad for the youth, creation of mixed schools for boys and girls, providing the facilities to learn foreign languages in all Iranian schools instead of such education being limited to private and nonprofit schools. These are the issues that are on the mind of Iranian youth, the youth whom during the soccer matches , all these years, have shown their desires for completion in a global world. Referendum for ending the religious state, and defending these secular demands of Iranian youth are of the utmost importance at this juncture of Iran's development.
Hoping for a Futurist, Federal, Democratic, and Secular Republic in Iran,
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
December 16, 2004
P.S. For more explanation about referendum, please see New Constitution-Referendum of Progress and Petrifaction.