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Iranian Alert -- DAY 21 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
Live Thread Ping List | 6.30.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 06/30/2003 12:01:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

The Iranian regime has been threatening a major crackdown on the protesters. In just 9 days (July 9th) the people of Iran are planning massive demonstrations events and strikes. On this date, 4 years ago, the regime brutally attacked peaceful student demonstrators while in their dorms. The result was the loss of life and liberty of hundreds of students, many of which are still unaccounted for.

Iran is a country ready for a regime change. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a country. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary.

Please continue to post your news stories and comments to this thread.

Thanks for all the help.

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; southasialist; studentmovement
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1 posted on 06/30/2003 12:01:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Iranian Alert -- DAY 21 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 6.30.2003 | DoctorZin

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

2 posted on 06/30/2003 12:06:02 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Iranian Opposition Movement's Many Face

PARIS, June 29 — To true believers, the ones who are waging a hunger strike to protest her detention in a French jail, Maryam Rajavi is the smiling face of Iran's future, the woman destined to overthrow its clerical leaders and become president of a free and democratic country.

To detractors, she is a dangerous cult figure who, with her husband, Massoud Rajavi, has led a terrorist movement that sold out to Iran's enemy, Iraq, and accepted Saddam Hussein's sponsorship. They say the Rajavis brainwash followers, forcing them to abandon spouses and children, and imprison or kill those who resist.

What is not in dispute is that the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People's Mujahedeen, the Iraq-based Iranian opposition group the Rajavis lead, has been designated a terrorist organization by both the United States State Department and the 15-country European Union. Now, in an unintended consequence of the American-led war against Iraq, the United States and France are struggling to figure out just who these people are and what to do with them.

The collapse of Mr. Hussein's government has left the fate of thousands of Iraq-based Mujahedeen followers, including heavily armed troops, in American hands. A major French crackdown nearly two weeks ago against the group's local headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise and sites outside Paris was aimed at preventing the organization from moving the center of its global operations from Iraq to France.

"We could no longer tolerate an organization that was expanding its terrorist operations, and we feared that it could start organizing and planning attacks from French soil," said Pierre de Bousquet, the director of the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance, France's counterintelligence service, in an interview.

The French government has given political asylum, and even police protection, to the Mujahedeen for more than two decades. But since last fall, Mr. de Bousquet said, French intelligence noticed the arrival of an increasing number of Mujahedeen members and, after the Iraq war, of many of its soldiers. The group had rented a former paint factory in the town of Saint Ouen l'Aumone, which he said it was transforming into a communications center with a television studio and satellite dishes. French intelligence officials reported that the Mujahedeen planned to attack embassies and other Iranian interests in Europe and assassinate 25 former Mujahedeen members. There was a strong desire to crack down on the group at a time when some officials in the Bush administration were suggesting it might be a potential force to use against Iran.

"This is by no means a political movement, a democratic movement," Mr. de Bousquet said. "It was not preparing the restoration of democracy in Iran. They are complete fanatics, a fanatical sect with a total absence of democracy, and a cult of personality towards the leader."

What makes the Mujahedeen difficult to decipher is that it has at least two aspects. One operates a highly regimented operation from inside Iraq with its own army, dress code, calendar, rituals, printing presses, military training camps, clinics and what it calls "re-education camps."

The other has offices in capitals around the world under the group's political arm, the National Council of Resistance, staffed by sophisticated, multilingual representatives in suits and ties. In a contradiction in American policy, the State Department lists the group's political arm as part of the Mujahedeen's terrorist network, but it is allowed to function openly in the United States and is even registered with the Justice Department as a lobbying organization. That designation gives it the right to lobby on Capitol Hill and gather lawmakers' signatures on petitions of support.

Since the arrest in France last week of more than 150 Mujahedeen members, most of whom have since been released, the Auvers-sur-Oise headquarters has become a place of pilgrimage and public relations. In the town where Vincent van Gogh lived and is buried, hundreds of Mujahedeen followers, including dozens of men on hunger strike, have camped out. French riot police officers patrol the area with walkie-talkies. Huge banners bearing Mrs. Rajavi's portrait have been hung.

Danielle Mitterrand, the widow of the late French president François Mitterrand, has paid a visit in a show of support. The mayor of Auvers-sur-Oise has lent them a soccer field to use as a campsite.

Shahin Gobadi, a Mujahedeen spokesman based in Washington, distributed letters from around the world criticizing France's decision to detain Mrs. Rajavi and 10 of her followers on suspicion of terrorism. Several were signed by American lawmakers.

"The arrests serve the interests of the terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran," said a June 19 letter from Representative William Lacy Clay, a Missouri Democrat, calling for the immediate release of Mrs. Rajavi. Representative Edolphus Towns, a New York Democrat, sent an almost identically worded letter the same day.

But for those who have studied the organization — and to some former members — it is far from being a political movement with popular support inside Iran. It has gone through several ideological shifts since its founding in opposition to the Iranian monarchy in the 1960's — moving from anti-imperialism to a blend of Islam and Marxism to egalitarian socialism to a vague philosophy that talks of democracy, freedom and equal rights for women.

"It is a mystical cult," said Ervand Abrahamian, a history professor at Baruch College who has written the most authoritative history of the organization. "It's the stress on obedience to the leader that has kept it going, rather than any political program. If Massoud Rajavi got up tomorrow and said the world was flat, his members would accept it."

The organization has long been intent on showing the outside world its positive face. While its representatives around the world publicly condemned the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, inside Iraq there was rejoicing, former members say.

"There were celebrations at all the Mujahedeen camps on Sept. 11," said Ardeshir Parkizkari, 39, a former member of the group's central council who is now a political refugee in Europe, in a telephone interview. "I was in one of their prisons then, and we never were treated so well as we were that day — given juices and sweets. They called the events of Sept. 11 God's revenge on America."

He explained his own rupture with the group: "You lose your identity and are not allowed to think freely. When I started having fights with them and pointed out their mistakes, they put me on trial and sent me to prison for not following the leader's orders." He said he was beaten so badly that he now walks with a limp.

It was devotion to Mrs. Rajavi, who is about 50 years old, that led several of her supporters throughout Europe to set themselves on fire to protest her arrest. Although Mrs. Rajavi sent a message from jail asking her supporters to stop, former Mujahedeen members said that in training camps in Iraq, self-immolation was praised as a fitting response to the possible persecution of the Rajavis.

In interviews, Mujahedeen defectors described a brutal side of the organization in Iraq, where it had been based since 1986.

After the 1991 Persian Gulf war, they said, the Iraq government ordered Mujahedeen soldiers to help suppress revolts against Saddam Hussein by Kurds and Shiites.

"We were told that if the revolts succeeded in overthrowing Saddam Hussein it would be the end of our movement," said Karim Haghi, 42, a former bodyguard of the Rajavis who is a political refugee in Europe, in a telephone interview. "Mrs. Rajavi told us to kill them with tanks and try to preserve our bullets for other operations. We were forced to kill both Kurds and Shiites, and I said I didn't come here to kill other people."

Mr. Haghi said he was jailed, and eventually escaped.

Former members said they were forced to divorce and some had their children taken from them and sent to families in Europe for adoption. They said their passports were taken from them and they were given new identities, and they were forced at group meetings to confess their "sins," sessions that were videotaped as evidence if members tried to defect.

Muhammad Hosein Sobhani, 42, also a former bodyguard of the Rajavis, said in a telephone interview that he was forced to divorce his wife. Their daughter was taken out of Iraq when she was 6 and adopted by an Iranian couple in Denmark.

"They told my daughter, `Your father died in a Mujahedeen operation,' and I was forbidden to have any contact with her," he said, adding that he has since tracked down his daughter, who is now 18.

Farid Soleimani, a Mujahedeen spokesman, denied the charges of forced divorces and adoptions, saying fighters themselves often decided to send their children out of Iraq for their safety. He also denied that the group was plotting terrorist operations from Paris, noting that the French authorities had found no weapons in the 13 sites they raided.

Meanwhile, the fate of the Mujahedeen in France is uncertain. French authorities say those who are legal residents have a right to remain in France and they have no intention of deporting any of them to Iran, where they would certainly be tried for treason.

Mrs. Rajavi, for example, has political refugee status until 2006. As for Mr. Rajavi, who according to American intelligence was last known to be living in Iraq, there is no information of his current whereabouts or even if he is still alive.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
3 posted on 06/30/2003 12:11:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Something is cooking in the hozeh (Qom theological schools) with clerics such as Taheri. I expect more declarations to go back to the Mosques and leave the administration to the government and the Majlis (parliament) on order not to taint Islam with corrupt politicians.

When Rafsanjani will follow his long term business interests we will see a regime change.

There is as well a pressure from the Shiia clercs in Iraq with more holy places than Iran. If Teheran not will change, the sprititual leadership for the Shiias will shift from Iran to Iraq in a few years time.

Hopefully we will see a non-violent change soon.
4 posted on 06/30/2003 1:02:47 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Re #3

Danielle Mitterrand, the widow of the late French president François Mitterrand, has paid a visit in a show of support. The mayor of Auvers-sur-Oise has lent them a soccer field to use as a campsite.

Danielle Mitterrand must love hard-core leftists. She also spoke of Kim Il-Sung, the late "Great Leader" of N. Korea, in favorable terms. That was about two decades ago. Apparently she likes groups which practice totalitarian personality cult.

On the other hand, it is rather disingenuous for France to suddenly wake up to the nature of this organization, now that the regime is in trouble. France must be interested in being to the good side of the Iranian regime by cracking down on the organization which has been the sworn enemy of the regime.

5 posted on 06/30/2003 1:28:26 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: AdmSmith
Re #4

Was Taheri close to the Grand Ayatollah Shariyat Madari, who used to oppose Khomeini? Is Madari still around?

6 posted on 06/30/2003 1:31:54 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Danielle Mitterrand as well supported the KGB funded PKK, the Kurdistan Workers party.

The Marxist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) may be running a military camp near Gavrilov Yam in Yaroslavl, Komsomolskaya pravda reports. Students of the "military-political academy" are reported to be ethnic Kurds from former Soviet republics, as well as "refugees" wanted for activity in Iran and Turkey; the camp is already said to be "swarming with wounded Kurdish guerrillas." The account is relayed in OMRI Daily Digest. [Editor's note: The PKK long received covert support from the KGB for guerrilla and terrorist attacks against Turkey. Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, as head of the Russian External Intelligence Service (SVR), has long been a PKK supporter, and once persuaded Saddam Hussein to allow the PKK to use Iraqi territory.]
7 posted on 06/30/2003 1:39:26 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn; Eala; ewing; RaceBannon; Cindy; backhoe; piasa; pcx99
Italians Are With Iranians too.


ROME 28 June (IPS) On the initiative of a group of Iranian intellectuals and journalists in Italy and in collaboration with "Il Riformista" newspaper, a hundred of leading Italian personalities of all walk announced their support for the Iranian student’s freedom seeking protest movement.

"On 9 July, all of us we shall be Iranian", wrote Marco Follini, the General Secretary of the "Unione di Centro Democratice" (Union of Democratic Centre), referring to the fourth commemoration of the first major student’s protest revolt against the Islamic Republic, seeking freedom and democracy.

The 9 July 1999 rebellion, started as a peaceful protest by students against the closure of a reformist newspaper, was savagely clamped down on orders of Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the leader of the Islamic Republic and the blessings of President Mohammad Khatami, elected for the first time two years before thanks to massive votes of the students.

On 9 July, all of us we shall stand proudly by Iranian students, supporting their struggle for democracy and freedom", Mr. Follini said, calling on the Italians to join in the support movement "regardless of their political stands".

The latest wave of anti-regime demonstrations started almost two weeks ago with the students protesting a government plan to privatise higher education, discriminating the poorer classes, but it quickly became full scale political, after Islamist thugs and pressure groups, controlled by the ruling conservatives, attacked the protesters.

The students were then joined by ordinary people, clashing with the vigilantes and basij (volunteer) militias, chanting for the first time slogans against the regime’s highest officials, including Ayatollah Khameneh’i, former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the regime’s highest personage after the leader and president Mohammad Khatami.

The protests intensified after Mr. Khameneh’i called on the Basij to deal "mercilessly" with the demonstrators and another hard line cleric demanded the Judiciary that the students and their supporters be punished as enemies of God, an accusation that carries death penalty under Iranian Islam-based laws.

"The fight of the brave young Iranians is not important for the Iranians alone, but also would have a positive implication for the future of the whole of the Middle East", he observed.
Answering the invitation of the Italy-based "Iranian Committee for Support of 9 July Protest Movement", Italico Santoro, the Editor of "La Voce Republicana" said not only he and all of his colleagues at the newspaper would come out on the occasion, "but I’m certain that most of our readers would also join the commemorative event".

"I shall be with you on 9 July, bringing a message not only for my friend and colleague Babak Payami, who was detained for 48 hours, but also for all Iranians, particularly the students, who, because of their courage, have been admired world-wide", said Paolo Virzi, a veteran Italian movie director.

As for Piero Fassino, the General Secretary of the "Democratice di Sinistra" (Democratic Left), Italy’s main opposition Party, "it is heart-warming" that "at last", some in Italy have decided "not to let Iranian students alone in their struggle for democracy".

In a letter sent last week to the leaders of the European Union, Mr. Fassino had urged them to "end their silence" concerning the Iranian students protest movement.

A former Justice Minister, Mr. Fassino, while announcing his "full support" for the democratic aspirations of Iranian students, said: "By backing the Iranian students, we also defend the interests of the European Union that cannot be separated from democratic movements in Europe".

"In our letter placed on some internet websites, we urged the Italian public not to remain silent in the face of what is boiling down in Iran or to explain why their indifference?" one of the original promoters of the letter, Mr. Ahmad Ra’fat, an Iranian-Italian journalist told Iran Press Service.

"Not only hundreds of people, among them some of Italy’s best known and respected intellectuals, journalists, artists and politicians responded almost immediately to our action, but also said they would suggest to celebrate the 9 July as "Iranian Students Day".
8 posted on 06/30/2003 1:45:54 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: *southasia_list
9 posted on 06/30/2003 1:51:17 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Khashayar
Re #8

Now where are those caring champions of human rights, Germans and French? What would be their slogan? I hope it is not, "We are all mullahs in July 9! We love all anti-Americans!"

10 posted on 06/30/2003 1:59:28 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Good to know that French and Germans are not popular in Iran any more.
Every penny they finance in Iran, will let the mullahs live one day longer.
EU is not popular here among the nation.
11 posted on 06/30/2003 2:19:11 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar; SJackson; ALOHA RONNIE; backhoe; Enemy Of The State; Travis McGee; kattracks; ...
Khashayar, I write in response to many of your posts. There is also a battle going on for the soul of America. If our president makes one wrong move, he fears all could be lost. I would ask him to be brave. I would ask him to stand with the American Congress and support your cause. But we have committed to a roadmap to hell. And we are still waiting for the destruction of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Israel. We are waiting for Syria to feel forced to disgorge its Iraqi refuse. We are waiting for Pakistan to feel required to allow us to follow our enemies there. And we are waiting to make our next move on the Korean peninsula.

America is holding its breath. I do not know why. One thing is for certain: you need not believe a single word written here as to our inability to crush your mullahs. We are the singlemost tightly stretched bow ever in the history of mankind. When the next arrow is unleashed, there will be no doubt as to its purpose, and there are as many more where that came from as required.

But our leaders continue to show restraint. What can we say? Sometimes it is best to let those we've elected try to work out the trappings of their machinery. Does that not bode well for you? Perhaps not. My advice: tell your story with digital photographs, English testimony, and corroborated evidence. If I understand our President and his cabinet, they need a drama with a plot and a cast of characters to show to the American people, who grow complacent without something intriguing and dangerous to focus their worries. But tell the truth -- always tell the truth.

And if you find yourself being tortured or killed for what you have said to us here, please turn this one thing over in your mind again and again in comfort: through you and DoctorZIn we have learned of your generation's passion for freedom and justice, and we will never forget you and your dreams.

Fight on, either in spirit, or in the flesh. And while you fight, remember our Captain Davis, who led the volunteer, independent Minutemen who fired the shot heard around
the world on April 19th, 1775 when asked if he were afraid to meet the British colonial army: "No, I am not and I haven't a man that is!" He died that day, one of the first to fall.

There have been many dark days in our country's history when it looked as if no fate but our destruction could come next. It's a good thing the bravest among us did not give up.
12 posted on 06/30/2003 2:37:10 AM PDT by risk ( Where liberty dwells, there is my country. --Benjamin Franklin)
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To: risk
We know and respect the values of your society.
Hope you also let us know more about your great nation and country.
This is a real dialogue between two great nations.
I m for this and I will do my best to transfer your messages and kindness into the Iranian society.
13 posted on 06/30/2003 3:04:37 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar; risk
I'd like to ditto risk's profound, prosaic words in post 12.

His advice, that Bush needs 'a drama', and 'the drama' must be true is correct. That is the most important way to help get US assistance. It's not the numbers. It's not the stats. It's the single photograph. It's the single story of a single victim, in vivid and heart-wrenching detail.

There is no powerful weapon on earth right now than a tear shed by a US voter. But if it's not true, if it's a fraud, you would be surprised how likely it will be found out. A fraud would backfire twice as badly as a true report.

Like I told you earlier, unless you are a high level leader whose personal presence is vital, the best way you can help Iran is not to be one of the many marching there, not to be taking too many chances, but to be like an underground reporter. There are two levels of reporting:

1. Paper scouting
2. Burning shoe leather.

Paper scouting is faster, easier, and cheaper than burning shoe leather. You can use search engines to find reports you know about. My favorite is http/ Learn how to use 'advanced search' if Iran allows you to go there. You can find photos and reports that you remember and post it all here on these Dr. ZIn threads. I'll teach you how to copy and post online photos.

2. Burning shoe leather. If you have access to personal horror stories, and you have access to a scanner, you can post photos of your own online. It's much slower than being a scout, but you can bring out things we might not know.

If you are a high level leader, please recruit others to be underground reporters, people who are not easilly tracked down by the government, people who can stay calm and cautious, staying safe when spontaneous protests erupt.

Show your scummy leadership for what it is. Try to get evidence. If you don't know how to already, try to learn how to post photographic images online and sound images, even webcam if possible. I'll give you some other tips in private.
14 posted on 06/30/2003 4:04:20 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: risk; Eala; pcx99; SJackson; ALOHA RONNIE; backhoe; Enemy Of The State; Travis McGee; DoctorZIn; ...
15 posted on 06/30/2003 4:05:01 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar
Your people are very close to Patrick Henry, right now. While others of our ancestors were scared to speak of war against the British, Patrick Henry had the clearness of mind to see beyond this earthly world and into the very soul of humanity. He made things clear for everyone. Nothing said in the Western Hemisphere was more profound.

Thank God Patrick Henry didn't go nuts before he made that speech and get killed by British soldiers. To hold such passion in his soul, tempered by the wisdom of restraint, is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. I'm sure you've read his speech before, but I like to reread it once in a while:

"This," said he. "is not the time for ceremony: the question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. It is nothing less than freedom, or slavery. If we wish to be free, we must fight. I repeat it, sir, we must fight! an appeal to arms, and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us. It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace! Peace! But there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the north, will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish! What would they have? Is life so dear, and peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but for me," cried he, with both his arms extended aloft, his brows knit, every feature marked with the resolute purpose of his soul, and his voice swelled to its boldest not of exclamation" give me liberty, or give me death!" He took his seat, and the cry "To Arms!" seemed to quiver upon every lip, and gleam from every eye.

[I had heard, my memory not clear on this, nor is it sufficiently confirmed, that lightning struck a tree outside the church right after he said 'death'. Perhaps God spoke in agreement, although the chian lightning that passed through millions of souls was a far greater shock than any lightning bolt has ever been.]
16 posted on 06/30/2003 4:19:49 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: Khashayar

A petition to the UN? No, friend. The UN will never help you. France, with it's veto power, is looking for bribes. I'm sure the mullahs have bribed France, already. I'd be more likely to sign a petition warning the UN to leave the US alone or we start killing them. I want them out of this country. They are threatening to arrest US soldiers for 'war crimes'. The UN is so goofy, they even condemned a South American country for honoring Mother's Day. The UN replaced the US with SUDAN in the Human Rights Commision.

You are wasting your time trying to get us to beg for any table scraps from the goofy, corrupt, insane, UN.

17 posted on 06/30/2003 4:37:16 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March; piasa; risk; norton; pcx99; DoctorZIn

Thanks for your signature

Please hurry mates, It is time to sign this petition.
Please join us! and pass this to the other mates....!
Thank you!
18 posted on 06/30/2003 4:37:53 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Was Taheri close to the Grand Ayatollah Shariyat Madari, who used to oppose Khomeini? Is Madari still around?

I do not know, but Madari was close to the Azeris "The national-liberation movement of South Azerbaijan has a history going back 90 years. National-territorial autonomy demands were put before Iranian rulers during various movements—led by Sattarhan (1908-1909), Hiyabani (1920), Pishevari (1945-1946), Shariat- Madari (1979-1980)."

Here more on Madari

The position of Supreme Leader is rooted in the Shi'a Muslim tradition of emulation of a marj'a taqlid, a senior religious scholar recognized by his followers as a source of guidance for the faithful in resolving questions of how to live an observant religious life in the world.

Traditionally, at any one time there have been a handful of Grand Ayatollahs to whom the Shi'i faithful have looked for guidance. These learned jurists have produced books offering guidance for their followers in many areas of personal life. They have traditionally been based in seminaries in the great centers of Shi'i religious learning in Qom, Mashad or Najaf, where they have educated generations of clerics who have devoted their lives to study or have gone out into the world as preachers in mosques throughout the Shi'i Muslim world. The essence of the tradition ensured diversity within mainstream Shi'i teaching. If a believer did not find the directives of one marja'a to his or her liking, then he or she was free to choose another.

The creation of a kind of "state marja'a" with the establishment of the position of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic was a radical departure from this tradition, in that it fused spiritual and temporal power in an unprecedented manner, and it greatly increased the temporal power of one marja'a over that of his fellows. There were eminent dissenters to this during the ten years that Ayatollah Khomeini occupied the position he had created for himself,(Eminent dissenters included Grand Ayatollah Shar'iat Madari, and also traditional figures like Grand Ayatollahs Golpaygani and Araki.) but his prestige and political acumen, and the need for national unity during the bloody war with Iraq, ensured that he was easily able to override such opposition.

The problems inherent in the position of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic became more apparent with the selection by the Assembly of Experts of Ayatollah Khamene'i as Khomeini's successor. Ayatollah Khamene'i was not widely regarded as one of the leading Islamic jurists of his day, and his status as a Grand Ayatollah was questioned by many. Some saw his appointment, therefore, as an essentially political choice, understandable for a position exercising the political authority of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic but detracting from his prestige as the supreme spiritual guide. As time passed, the Leader's overt political role, often seeking to balance antagonistic conservative and reformist political forces, became apparent. Inevitably, questions arose that if this was a temporal political office like any other, in fact more powerful than any other, then why should it not be filled by direct popular election? Some questioned the need for the position of Leader at all, or advocated a symbolic, politically neutral role for the Leader. Such discussions took on considerable momentum in the independent print media after President Khatami's election in 1997, providing conservatives with great incentive to close down the media.

More on the ideological shift can be seen here

Anybody knows what happened to Madari?
19 posted on 06/30/2003 4:45:05 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: Khashayar
I'll sign a petition to move the UN to Sudan.
20 posted on 06/30/2003 4:50:26 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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