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Iranian Alert -- February 3, 2004 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD --Americans for Regime Change in Iran
California Recall Daily Thread: Up To The Minute News ^ | 2.3.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 02/03/2004 12:01:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
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To: DoctorZIn
Memo to Bush, Powell, Armitage et al:

Iran is the mother of all terrorism.

Ayatollah schmayatollah,
Khomenei pees on your leg,
he tells you it's raining.

41 posted on 02/03/2004 7:36:43 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn

by Amir Taheri
Wall Street Journal
February 3, 2004

As this year's Hajj pilgrimage ends, Muslims leaders need to re-examine a rite in the exercise of which 244 people were trampled to death last Sunday. This was not the first time that Mecca pilgrims have died in big numbers. Some 6,000 pilgrims have died, many in violent incidents, during the Hajj in and around Mecca since 1980.

Unlike the five daily prayers and the month of fasting at Ramadan, the Hajj is not a mandatory obligation on all Muslims. Only those who can prove that they are musta'tee (solvent) are expected to perform it.

To qualify as musta'tee an individual would have to fulfill a number of conditions. He must be well-to-do, though not necessarily wealthy, have no debts, be sure that he can provide for the subsistence of his family for a year, and be in robust health. More importantly he must be free of "the burden of sins" for which he has not repented and/or made amends. Before leaving for the pilgrimage he must also make sure that seven of his neighbors in each of the four directions from his house are cared for and not in dire straits.

Now, however, anyone who can afford the fare to Mecca can apply to become a pilgrim. The number of pilgrims has risen from an estimated 82,000 in 1954 to over two million this year. Many go to Mecca to profit from tax-free shops that sell Western luxury goods often unavailable in other Muslim countries. Each Hajj season, the business generates some $4.5 billion for Mecca and Medina.

In the 1980s the Saudi authorities imposed quotas to limit the number of pilgrims to around two million. This created a black market for places in the waiting lists established by Muslim governments. In Iran, for example, the wait could take 12 years. Thus some people register as candidates for the pilgrimage and then sell their turn to others, for up to $10,000.

In recent years dying in Mecca has emerged as a fashion among some Muslims. Old and terminally ill people are persuaded by their mullahs that anyone who dies in Mecca will go straight to paradise. (This week there were 272 such deaths.) This, of course, is in violation of the rules for the pilgrimage.

There is worse. Many people, especially from Southeast Asia and Africa, use the Hajj as a cover for entering Saudi Arabia as illegal immigrants. The Saudi Interior Ministry estimates the number of these "stay-behinds" at over one million since 1980.

The pilgrimage is also a cover for drug smuggling. According to Saudi estimates, 70% of drugs brought into the kingdom is smuggled during the Hajj when customs officials are physically incapable of checking every arrival.

Militants have also used the Hajj to spread their hate messages, raise funds, and recruit terrorists and "martyrs." In 1979 a group of terrorists seized control of the Kaaba and fought a week-long gun-battle with the security forces. Over 1000 people, including pilgrims caught in the crossfire, perished. In 1987 Ayatollah Khomeini dispatched a battalion of his Revolutionary Guards dressed up as mullahs to Mecca, where they clashed with the Saudi National Guard. Hundreds, mostly pilgrims, died.

There are no official figures, but the number of those queuing up to go to Mecca is estimated at 130 million, or 1% of the world's total Muslim population. With the current ceiling it would take 65 years before all those on the waiting list can realize their dream. Although most Muslim economies are either stagnant or in decline, experts believe that by the year 2020, the number of candidates for Hajj could top 300 million.

So what is to be done? Part of the answer was given by the late Tunku Abdul-Rahman, who gave up his position as Malaysia's prime minister to head the Organization of the Islamic Conference in 1970. In 1971 he created a commission to review the Hajj, among other issues of contemporary Islam. The commission made a number of proposals.

The first was to impose rules to establish who is qualified to become a pilgrim. The estimate at the time was that 60% of those who did Hajj each year lacked the qualifications demanded by the Islamic canon.

The second proposal was to revive the tradition of substitution, under which believers who qualify for Hajj could donate the cost of the journey to charity and stay at home while benefiting from the blessings that the pilgrimage is supposed to bestow. Similarly, the commission proposed that rather than killing millions of sheep and camels on a single day and then burying their carcasses in the deserts around Mecca, the pilgrims should give the money to the hungry poor in their homelands.

The third proposal was more revolutionary -- to spread the pilgrimage from a single day in the lunar month of Dhul-Hajja to all its 29 days so that smaller numbers of pilgrims could perform the rites at any given time. At present, few pilgrims have any chance of even seeing the central shrine of Islam, the Kaaba, let alone touching it, as a two-million-strong crowd moves around it on a single day.

The proposals were pushed aside by Muslim political leaders fearful of the mullahs, the muftis and the then newly emerging fundamentalist militant groups. It is time to revive some of those ideas and go further. The pilgrimage could be spread throughout the 365 days of each solar calendar year. The reason is that the supposedly fixed Hajj date is not fixed at all. The calendar in use is a lunar one in which a year is nine days short of the solar year. Every 10 years the season in which Hajj takes place changes. And in a time-span of just over 40 years all the 365 days of the solar calendar would have coincided with the culminating point of the Hajj.

To Muslim fundamentalists the issue of Hajj is taboo, never to be discussed except in flattering terms. But this was not always the case. Three decades ago Islam was not as closed, as frightened of self-examination, as it is today. There is no reason that today's Muslims should not review all aspects of the rite, not only to avoid further tragedies but also to make sure it is not sued as a cover for political propaganda, terrorist recruitment, drug smuggling and human trafficking.

Over 1,000 years ago the Persian poet Nasser Khosrow hailed a visit to the Kaaba as "seeing a new life." Unless urgent reforms are carried out, for many Muslims, the pilgrimage could mean seeing violent death.

Mr. Taheri is author of 10 books on the Middle East and the Islamic world.
42 posted on 02/03/2004 7:43:08 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: PhilDragoo
Ayatollah schmayatollah....LOL!
43 posted on 02/03/2004 9:36:59 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: PhilDragoo
They've tried that before. The world watching doesn't stop the regime from imprisoning the protesters. And then the reporters will leave, and the protesters will still be in prison; will still be beaten and tortured.
There are reporters in prison right now there, while 200 of their colleagues are in Iran. I haven't heard anything about the journalists who are in prison.
The world is's pretty quiet.
44 posted on 02/03/2004 9:48:01 PM PST by nuconvert ("Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

45 posted on 02/04/2004 12:05:47 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Jeesh - I missed it.. is there some recording somewhere we can listen to?-1
46 posted on 02/04/2004 8:08:31 AM PST by faludeh_shirazi
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To: faludeh_shirazi; DoctorZIn; DoughtyOne
Jeesh - I missed it.. is there some recording somewhere we can listen to?-1
We are working on getting an audio file posted somewhere online with Hugh Hewitt's's interview with Doctor Zin.

47 posted on 02/05/2004 7:45:05 PM PST by RonDog
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