I believe separation of State and Religion has become the main prerequisite for ending human rights violations in Iran.


In the past, I did not see the theocratic nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the *main* obstacle for improving human rights situation in Iran. The same campaign against dictatorship of the Shah, was as well applicable, when campaigning against the repression under IRI.  But the situation has changed.


The Iranian state is more and more relying on its religious justification, for its anti-human rights actions.  It is no longer an isolated case of Salman Rushdie, where an individual was condemned to death, solely because of violating some religious dogma.


The above even applies to the positions of President Khatami as well.  Ayatollah Khatami's "Civil Society"   is neither "civil", as it is theocratic, nor is it a "society", as he along with Ayatollah Khamenei, considers the Iranian people as "ommat of Islam" and not as a people.  President Khatami's anti-human rights threats, of repressive measures against Iranian students, further showed that his defense of theocracy comes ahead of his caring for democracy and progress.


Thus there is no basis for President Khatami to defend human rights and he threatened the students with repressive measures when he has been silent about the death threats against human rights activists in Iran, such as the death threat and setting bounty against the human rights activist, Dr. Hossein Bagher Zadeh.


President Khatami has basically remained silent about the swift decision of Islamic court concerning the student leaders.  In contrast to the case of the swiftness of Iranian judiciary in relation to the student leaders, they are still not doing anything about the murderers of Foruhars and the writers, and this does not seem to bother President Khatami when defending the new head of the judiciary.


In short, President Khatami has kept silent about inaction regarding the killers of Foruhars for months and months, and he is silent about the threats against human rights activists, but was quick to condemn the students, and was quick to say his support for the religiosity of Iranian state.


These are all consequences of accepting a state which justifies itself on the basis of religion and its judiciary thinks it is acting on behalf of God, and its leader thinks he is the representative of God on Earth and its president is only trying to make Iranian people to accept this repressive reality as something acceptable.


Sam Ghandchi

Sept 24, 1999






* The above article was first posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup on Sept 24, 1999




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