Tehran’s Friday Prayer Imam today accused the “deviationist” movement led by Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and political confidant, of attempting to elevate nationalism and eliminate the role of religion in the Islamic Republic.
“There is no doubt that all of us love the Islamic nation. But worshipping Iran minus Islam is a traitorous act in the Islamic Republic,” Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami, the influential conservative cleric and today’s Friday Imam said [IRIBNews.ir, 27 May].
In the same sermon, however, the Friday Imam accused the “deviationist” movement of attempting to take advantage of the belief among Shias in Mahdi, the Hidden Imam, and efforts to prepare for his eventual reappearance (“Mahdaviat”) as a tool to advance their political agenda.
“During the Fetne (Green movement) of 2009, some people (Mousavi and Karrubi) hid behind Imam Khomeini’s stature to attack the Islamic Republic. In today’s Fetne, the (deviationists) are using Mahdaviat,” Ahmad Khatami added.
The Friday Imam did not explain the apparent contradiction in his indictment of the “deviationists” that a group determined to eliminate Islam in the Islamic Republic could also be using a belief in the imminent reappearance of the Hidden Imam to their political advantage.
UPDATE: Tehran's Friday Imams for each Friday are handpicked by the office of the supreme leader, and Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami (no relation to former president Mohammad Khatami) is regarded to be particularly close to the leader. This update is in response to email inquiries on the importance of Friday Imams.
That is a high interesting , Deviation and belief in Iran.
The Fridays Speech are exact analysed.The first time that a
exile iranian analysing Fridays speech.
It is about time people realize that Shia Islam is the soul of Iran. Even the many confused people in the diaspora carry the same ingrained mystical beliefs as the masses in Iran, but perhaps behind curtains as not to appear too "religious". Even the so-called "shah" patronized the Islamic Holy shrines in Kerbala, Najaf, Kufa, Mashad etc as well as participated in Shia rituals.
It is very naive and disingenuous to assume that a very tiny "westernized" minority will showhow change the psyche of Iranians that has been cultivated over thousands of years and later enshrined by Shah Ismail and Abbas (Safavids). Many would- be "reformers" have tried before and failed to expunge the Islamic soul of Iran, last failed attempt by Reza senior and junior "Pahlavis".
It would benefit the western parroting diaspora with confused identities to somehow grasp these facts that Iran is not about to shed its unique Islamic identity forged for the past 1400 years in conjunction with pre-Islamic practices and mystical beliefs like monotheism and a well ingrained concept of GOOD vs EVIL and an obligation to stand up for HAQ and against Oppression to some new code emanating from Washington or London.
Iranian national psyche is basically engraved with martyrdom and historically laced with distrust of secular authority, hence the clergy has always enjoyed great influence even in the "urbanized" populations.
Deluded people emulating the west thousands of miles away from Iran are simply out of touch with ground realities. The Islamic Republic is enduring and here to stay. It may modify over time but with a hybrid democratic evolutionary twist. This is the undeniable truth which every real Muslim Iranian knows and will stand-up for and the clergy knows it well too.
The West sees the promotion of their version of democracy as a means of survival for their civilization as it's on the verge decline due to harsh economic problems. As sure as the sun rises from the East, there's always going to be differences, conflict and misunderstanding between East and West.
The West sees a "democratic world" as a favorable one for their survival in this century and beyond - hence the aggressive push for democracy all over the place. I ask this question: How's the West's push for democracy today any different from Russia's push for Communism decades ago?
Love it or hate it Western civilization and system of government was built with religion(Christianity) at core. They've labeled it "secularism" today to make it a bit more appealing to the masses as more and more people are deviating from the church.
Western civilization has reached its peak and is in search of a new soul and democracy fits the bill well. Why? Because it promises "Freedom & Liberty" - and everybody loves that.
The revolutions happening in the ME today is very promising for the region in that it shows the failure of Western "democracies".Believe it or not, the West considered Egypt a democracy just because they had an obedient servant as leader of that country who was ever willing to do the west's bidding at the expense of their own people. When the people revolted against that form of rule, the West was caught surprised and bewildered. Same can be said about other countries.
Trying to distance Islam from the people of the ME is like trying to separate the Pope from Catholicism. It's part of their culture and no amount of brainwashing propaganda will erase it. I see some people from the ME who live in the West define themselves as "progressives", "moderates" (Whatever that means - a confused bunch, indeed). It's understandable they define themselves as such as Islam has been so vilified for so long in the west to a point whereby associating one's self with it almost cast you in a dark light. You won't get a similar reaction if you define yourself as Christian, though.
All the soundbites I heard from some Western press during the uprising in Egypt was that "If the Islamists take over, there won't be democracy". So the conclusion here is if they're Muslims then they cannot have democracy. The world watched on helplessly when Hamas actually won an election and got sanctioned and blockaded for winning the elections - only because they're Islamists!!
The point I'm trying to make here is: Democracy as propagated by the West is a charade with very sinister motive. Real democracy is when the people choose the system of government they want that is reflective of their culture/ faith. If there's ever any free and fair elections in any Western supported country in the ME, you can bet you bottom dollar that the outcome will be a leader that has Islamic views.
Israel is considered the only democracy in the ME by the west because no Muslim can ever become president of Israel. Israel is a Jewish theocracy in suit without the robes.
Iran has a growing population of young, intelligent and talented generation who believe in and are proud of their own culture and faith. Trying to sell them some foreign "Ideals" is an exercise in futility. Funny how western governments spend billions of dollars on democracy promotion abroad while their people starve and suffer economic problems at home. Think about it.
Why has Iran started to isolate its internet from the rest of the world's internet?
If it is as Iran's leaders say.......that its system/government/religion is better than all others......what are they afraid of?
Looks like they think that the people need to be kept in the dark!
@ anon..May 29, 2011 8:39 AM
One of best intellectual discourse I have read on this blog so far. I totally agree and could not have described the "western" facade of "democracy" better and their futile 24/7 villification of Islam while committing worse atrocities around the world. It was not the Muslims that slaughtered each other wholesale by the millions in WW1 and WW2. The west is indeed in irreversible decline as power shifts to Asia and is trying a desperate rearguard action to hang-on to the last vestiges of its influence.
Using the sham cover of "democracy" cloaked in the blood of weaker nations to destabilize independent governments is one of these tactics, while turning a blind eye to their puppet regimes like Saudis, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morrocco and the Persian Gulf petro-pimpdoms.
The young generation of Muslims and the people of the "Middle-East" can easily see through the duplicity and the hypocricy of the western propaganda. The daily bombing of and wanton murder of civilians in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine also acutely displays the benign nature of western "democracy" and its quest for control of OIL in the region. If the Arabs and the people of Asia Minor and Central Asia had no fossil fuel, do you think the west would be clamouring for "democratic change"?
Who are they trying fo fool?
Anon 10:30 PM,
Thanks for the note. Two issues:
“Iranian national psyche is basically engraved with martyrdom and historically laced with distrust of secular authority.” Are you alleging historical facts that the national psyche is engraved with martyrdom and secular authority has been distrusted? Any reference you could provide would be immensely helpful.
I gather from your other comment that “being thousands of miles away from Iran (makes one) simply out of touch with ground realities.” Earlier you had argued that historically there was distrust of secular authority in Iran and the national psyche has been engraved with martyrdom. I imagine that you could not have possibly been present during all those historical periods, not just thousands of miles away, but simply absent. How could possibly you make such all-encompassing generalizations without being there? Wouldn’t you set yourself up against charges of being “delusional,” because of your physical distance from those events?
Good analysis of course should be based on facts and grounded on realities. But physical distance is only one factor. I have seen many bad analyses presented in the heart of Tehran! You yourself probably disagree with the opposition analysis even if it comes from inside Iran, don’t you?
My comments were based on the usual confusion of the chattering classes in the diaspora who really lack a historical understanding of Iran's complex relationship with both religion and politics. The two can not be separated. A so-called "western" secular model is simply not going to take place in Iran.
Anon May 29, 2011 8:39 AM summation is quite accurate but everyone including the "opposition" in Tehran is entitled to its own version of history, even though there are very few takers as is quite obvious. I also talk with a wide hue of Iranians in the diaspora as well as in Iran. And as usual there are wide ranging views and a lot of wishful thinking on all sides. The best is to stick with the reality that the current system with all its perceived flaws has endured despite all impediments from within and without. In my opinion 2009 was the watershed and the regime easily overcame the hiccup and used it as a phase for consolidation.
Anyway, only time will tell. All any intelligent person can do is learn from history and cut through the hype. Iran has been around for thousands of years and the show will go on, US/Zionists and the pip-squeak "opposition" not withstanding. Cheers.
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