Knowledge-Centers, Melting Pot to End IRI
If the mosque became the unity container or melting pot to end Shah's regime, the knowledge-centers (universities and schools) will be the melting pot to end the Islamic Republic of Iran. The mosque became an appropriate container for creating the Islamic regime, and the knowledge-centers are a secular container to form the future secular regime of Iran. It is true that no mosque in Iran is limited to the religious gatherings, and no school in Iran today is fully secular, but both these institutions have at least been built with these two goals, one for secular education and education and the other for secular education and thinking.
Of course, I am fully aware that the students and youth movements do not have the capability to lead the change of the whole society, and my intention of proposing knowledge-centers as the center of future movement is not to suggest that the students movement to become the leader of people's movement, rather my point is that the various classes and groups of society to mix in the knowledge-centers, to unite, and to center their activity the same way at the time of 1979 Revolution, they centered around the mosque.
I am also aware that in ideal conditions, party organizations and associations are the ones to be formed to play the role of political leadership and not the educational institutions to play the role of political organizations. But both at the time of the Shah and during IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran), the permission to form political organizations has either been absent or very limited. As a result, the alternative has been either to create underground organizations, or if the goal was to create organizations that were open and legal, forming new secular political organizations were impossible.
As a result, the mosque which has basically been for the purpose of worship, took a political role in the 1979 Revolution, and now the knowledge-centers that have been created for the goal of education will take political roles, and although this is not the ideal situation for any society, but the IRI is forcing this choice on the secular movement of Iran.
In my opinion, all the political differences within the Iranian movement are clear, and now all the political forces of Iran want the end to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has taken the slightest rights of freedom of thought, belief, and association from our people. As a result, the program in front of all political forces of Iran is to form the gatherings of people in the universities and schools to end the religious state of Islamic Republic of Iran and to create a secular regime in Iran. From worker and peasant, to homemaker and merchant, they should take any opportunity to gather in the knowledge-centers and to discuss the future constitution to arrive at the plan and action to achieve it.
In my opinion, the first opportunity to do this is the time of the presidential elections. In all knowledge-centers, in challenge to the election boxes, tables for referendum of constitution should be placed and the future constitution should be discussed. If the mosques are the location for the ballot boxes of the presidential elections, the knowledge-centers should be turned to places for discussing referendum and future constitution.
Jome prayers in the universities should be turned to gatherings to discuss referendum. If Islamic regime all these years had dared and turned the university into mosque for Friday prayers (namAze jome), it is now the time that the university to take the task of a secular institution again, and become the place to discuss the future constitution which is a secular task, and to demand the end of the religious regime which for 26 years has fought the secular institutions.
All political forces and ethnic groups of Iran should be united on this path. If Iraq was able to be a country where a Kurd become the president, the Kurds and Azeris of Iran should see that Iranian free thinkers also want such unities of all ethnic groups of Iran, and not their separation, and the common enemy of all ethnic groups of Iran is ignorance and apartheid of Islamic Republic, and we do not want to replace that with a Persian dictatorship and apartheid.
Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher
April 8, 2005