Death to women!

The obsession with women, specifically with women’s dress, seems something of a sexual aberration on the part of the men in uniform seeking, often by brutal physical assault, to control them. This is another feature of primitive Taliban zealotry. A teenage girl who has perhaps held a boy’s hand is swung in her own burqa between two soldiers. She begs to be killed. Another teenage girl who had refused ‘marriage’ to a Taliban soldier is flogged. Such videos are perhaps too terrible to be watched.My green vote was not your black name!

A religion without humanity, let alone any concept of human rights. A religion of lies. Who needs it? No wonder thousands in Iran are converting to Christianity and Zoroastrianism.

The true believer

President Ahmadinejad is notorious for lying. He has lied so often about the economic facts that a number of members of the parliament publicly objected to him passing false information to the supreme leader and the public. Carelessness with truth does not do anything, of course, to rein in superstitious excess, as recounted here:

[O]ne of the very first innovative achievements of his government was to drop a letter of contract addressed to the 12th hidden Imam (Imam Zaman) in the Jamkaran Well near the City of Qom.  The rush of illiterate and superstitious people to this “Blessed Well” was so great that a duplicate well was constructed for the “sisters” to drop in their requests.

Tortured confessions

A hallmark of an unjust regime, short on evidence, is that it puts on show-trial individuals making confessions. This form of evil exhibitionism was a characteristic of Stalin’s purge-ridden Russia, where inflammatory public ‘campaigns’ (i.e. paranoid fantasies) succeeded one another, with scapegoated victims appearing in show trials where “everything was true except the facts”, as has been said.

The Regime of the Rat in Iran today is similarly illegitimate and paranoid. Add to that an Islamic ignorance of the rudiments of justice ─ and you get television appearances of people who have obviously been tortured and will confess to anything. This represents an insecure grasp of credibility. There is a photograph circulating ─ a protestor coup! ─ of a dark-garbed female television interviewee reading from a card being held up out of sight of the camera.Neda Iranian Statue of Liberty

Monopoly of monotony

I argued here some days ago  that the Iranian nation has had very little experience of government. It is a daily perceptible fact that there is no separation of powers within the polity which would ensure some vitality of administration. Thus the Supreme Leader can only be dismissed by the Assembly of Experts, a body whose members are themselves selected from clerics loyal and obedient to the supreme leader. Thus there is no dialogue or dialectic. This is because the regime is monistic – its features are monolithic, monopolistic and monotonous. In short, it lacks pluralism. Not surprisingly, there is no room in it for others whose views may be slightly different, no scope for constructive disagreement or useful criticism. In and of itself the regime must be retrograde, must lack the ability to cope with the challenges of time and change. It cannot move. It lacks signs of life.

It is a fact, therefore, one which Jonathan Swift would recognise as a sign that the regime is clinically dead, that

if the supreme leader says that yogurt is black then it is black.

Indeed, it is argued, according to the article cited above, that the duty to preserve the Islamic Republic comes even before the Moslem’s religious duties of prayer, zakat etc. This exposes the vacuousness of the entire enterprise: how could you know that preservation of the republic was a greater good unless you applied your religious conscience? The following of the spiritual path is logically and morally the primary concern. Only if it is in accord with conscience can a faux-religious system be preserved. Any system of piety which cannot comprehend this is at fault and should be discarded in favour of a better one.Ali Khamenei one man

Perhaps this explains why Rafsanjani, Khatami, Mousavi and others are so reluctant to press their advantage: they are one and all terrified of bringing down their precious house of cards. But is it really so fragile? Protestors in recent days have wanted reform but not necessarily a wholesale rejection of the Islamic system. To suppose otherwise is prematurely to ascribe revolutionary status to those authentic cries of injustice. An early compromise might have headed off any such fundamental rethink, but of course would also have demonstrated political skills nobody in the leadership possesses. As a consequence the Islamic leadership is saddled with the view that the whole edifice of the Islamic Republic is somehow illegitimate.