The managing director of Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency Hamid Reza Moqadam-Far today offered a detailed description of the ideological and political beliefs of the “deviationist” group, used to describe an inner circle of politicians and thinkers around president Ahmadinejad, led by his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie. Below are the highlights of Moqadam-Far's speech (to read the complete speech in Farsi, click here).
- The Deviationist views are based on ancientism (the belief that Persia’s ancient times were better than the present); Iranism and the Iranian school (as opposed to Islamism and the Islamic school); Norouz (Persian new year) celebrations; and nationalism.
- The Deviationist understanding of the concept of velayat (Islamic governance) is void of Velayat-e Faghih (wherein senior Islamic scholars exercise temporal authority) and the obligations to follow the Vali Faghih (supreme leader).
- The Deviationist group uses Mahdaviat (the belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi, the Shia’s Hidden Imam) for its own advantage and offer a weak and simplistic understanding of the belief in the Hidden Imam and the concept of waiting and preparing for his arrival.
- The Deviationists ignore the importance of Marjas (senior ayatollahs) and offer a belief in Islam without the clergy. The group’s deviations on this issue are manifested in their political, social and cultural behavior.
- The Deviationist group believes in “humanist Islam,” centered on the individual, as opposed to a religion centered on God and the Islamic faith.
- The Deviationist group believes in social justice centered on equality. They also offer a positive interpretation of modernity as opposed to traditionalism.
Moqadam-Far said the group’s deviationist line is unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic. He emphasized their lack of belief in velayat faghih and the supreme leader during the preparation period for the imminent arrival of the Mahdi and their ideological belief in gaining the ultimate political power in the country.
Blogger Note: The expressions “deviationist” was first used in Stalinist era and later by Mao in defining the “left” and “right” deviationists.