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04 Aug 2012

Speech in the International Conference of Arab-Muslim countries

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Speech in the International Conference of Arab-Muslim countries

Brothers and Sisters
Dear Friends
I salute you all.

At this conference on the occasion of Ramadan, I want to talk about freedom. Freedom is the glow of God and also the message of Islam and Prophet Mohammad.

But today, any talk about freedom, is decorated by warmest salutes to the brave people of Syria and its combatants who now lead an admirable struggle for freedom.

In the past 17 months, 20 thousand of our sisters and brothers in Syria have fallen. The crimes in that country have been extended to our Palestinian sisters and brothers for sometime and a large number of them have also been killed.

These sacrifices herald a strong message from the people in the Middle East that the time for dictators has come to its end.

Today the ruling theocratic fascism in Iran is utilizing all in its power, extending all types of aid such as arms, intelligence, financial and logistical to preserve Assad’s government. Many governments from east to west are either preparing plots against Syrian people or being silent and doing nothing.

Nevertheless, it is the Syrian people and their Liberation army that will lead this fight to freedom. It will be them who will create victory.
Let us salute them all and their martyrs on behalf of the Iranian people and resistance.

In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful
O believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint.

Ramadan is the month of self-restraint and freedom. It is the month of worship that aims to dignify humanity.
Our prophet Muhammad (May peace be up on him and family), had a very simple and short message:
Say there is no god but his mighty one and be blessed and free
This is the same message that imamates today calling on everyone: Say that dictators will fall.
Say that religious fascism in Iran will fall.
Tyranny and exploitation will fall and you will be blessed.
It is so, that in every call to prayer at every dawn and sunset and in words of “there is no god but Allah”, we hear the message for freedom. This is a message to reject idols that encourage enslavement, this heralds the downfall of velayat-e faqih and a free, orderly and just society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thirty-Three years ago, the people of Iran rose for freedom but instead they found themselves facing a tyranny under the disguise of religion…
In those years, many of our brothers and sisters in the Arab world, especially in Palestine, had their hopes high because of the revolution in Iran. But the mullahs betrayed them all.

Khomeini started to crackdown on freedoms… Iran’s spring of freedom was soaked in blood. Every oppressive measure was taken under the name of Islam. Misuse of Islam to advance oppression and dictatorship was Khomeini’s worst misdeed. Iranians in their thousands have been the victims the regime crimes either in the domestic crackdown or in the war. But the bigger crime Khomeini and the mullahs committed was that they did all that under the name of Islam. They introduced Islam to the world as the means of imposing the most vicious dictatorship and suppression of freedom.

In the Islamic world, Arabs and Iranians all seek freedom. People call for freedom and reject dictatorships.

They all ask what Islam says about freedom? Is Islam a thriving force for freedom or is it an obstacle standing against it?

The conduct of Khomeini, his successor and the fundamentalists that have gained influence in many places in the Islamic world, have nothing to do with Islam. I want to present our own experience; the confrontation of the Muslim Mojahedin (PMOI) with a regime that calls itself Islamic. As the time passed, this face off became tougher. Now thirty-three years has passed and still the main opposition to this regime, are the Muslim Mojahedin; those living in Ashraf and Liberty.

But what does the Iranian Mojahedin say about Islam? What was their dispute with Khomeini right from the beginning?
In short, our dispute was over freedom and it still remains to be the main issue.

This is what Massoud Rajavi told Khomeini, in their first and last meeting. And in the same meeting, he quoted Quran and the letter of Shiite first Imam, Ali to Malik Ashtar, about freedom. His reliance on Quran and Imam Ali’s letter forced Khomeini to confess that in “Islam respects freedom”; a phrase from Khomeini that was quoted as headlines by Iranian newspapers the following day.
Khomeini and the clerical rule consider the Mojahedin as their staunch enemies because they will never compromise on freedom.

Imam Ali wrote to Malik Ashtar, “Open your heart to your people and be kind to them and never be aggressive and violent to them. That is because they are either your religious brothers or you equals in creation and humanity…”

But Khomeini believed that in order to preserve his regime under the disguise of Islam, suppression of opponents, discrimination, lying and deception would be ok and even necessary.

Massoud Rajavi had no other guilt but rejecting Khomeini’s religious dictatorship and renouncing it loudly to be against Islam and its emancipating teachings. Massoud Rajavi never agreed to accept Khomeini’s Supreme Leadership instead of popular sovereignty and their vote.

He believed that demarcation and imposing discrimination on basis of religion is not correct. Mojahedin say that sovereignty belongs to the people not the mullahs. Freedom of expression and association of those thinking otherwise is their right and Islam defends this right.
Khomeini explicitly said, “If I say something as the supreme leader and people say otherwise, only what I say is important and the others’ are not.”

One year after the revolution in Iran, when there were a lot of discussions about the new constitution, just as there is now discussion in many Arab countries going through the Arab Spring, then we did not vote for the velayat-e faqih principle (absolute rule of clergy). Because, it undermines popular sovereignty. Velayat-e faqih, before anything, is against genuine Islam. It indeed ignores people’s right to self-determination.

Under the name of Islam, one cannot eliminate people’s suffrage and participation in the running of the country.

But Khomeini based his rule, under the disguise of Islam, on velayat-e faqih and religious dictatorship.
In a letter to Khamenei back in 1987, Khomeini wrote to advance the will of the government and preserve the Islamic rule, it is even ok to stop praying or going to Haj (to Mecca for pilgrims).

It is clear instruction of Khomeini, documented in his published speeches, that to save Islam (meaning his own rule) lying, drinking alcohol and spying are necessary and allowed.

Dear sisters and brothers,
God says that Muhammad has come to free people. To unshackle chains which means to set people free. It means to free people from oppression. It means freeing people from any type of tyranny.

Indeed, this is the most significant demarcation between the true Islam and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. On one side there is a so called Islam that defends tyranny and aggression, and on the other side we have an Islam that opposes despotism. Islam is the religion of freedom. Our God is the God of freedom.

In monotheistic anthropology, humankind is recognized as having intelligence and being free. He or she is free to elect and to be elected.
Quran emphasizes that it is the mankind himself who chooses his path:
Then We guided him to the Way: either to be grateful or to be a disbeliever.
And it is human who can change his destiny:
The fact is that Allah never changes the condition of a people until they intend to change it themselves.

Freedom is the essence and the message of Islam. Therefore, whatever that contradicts freedom and is based on compulsion and ignorance cannot be defined as Islam.

We say that believing in Islam or practicing Islam must be based on free will not compulsion. No religion can be imposed upon people, This is an issue related to the heart and deep belief of one.

Everyone is free to choose her/his religion. There is a verse in Quran in its Baqarah sura (chapter) that says: There is no compulsion in religion.

In another verse in Quran in Younis chapter the God has been quoted as telling Prophet Mohammad: If it was the will of God, all mankind on earth would have faith, so, are you going to force people to have faith?

In chapter Hood, Quran says: Noah told his people, while you disrespect the logic of God, how can I oblige you to follow him?

Indeed, this is the most explicit and strongest assertion in defense of freedom of religion and belief in Islam and Quran.

Yes indeed, monotheism and Islam are intertwined with freedom of humankind and their right to free choice.

Anything that is against freedom is rejected by Islam. Religion and worship cannot be imposed.

Thus, Quran never says to punish those who have no religion.
Islam is indeed a religion to facilitate a better life and encourage tolerance.
Quran says there is no difference between our messengers.

Therefore, we consider Jesus as our messenger and we do not distinguish path of Moses from that of Muhammad.

True Islam defends popular suffrage as the basis for political legitimacy. Quran even tells Prophet Muhammad to:
Consult them (people)in affairs Then, when thou hast taken a decision put thy trust in Allah.
And he says about beleivers:
Answer the call of their Lord, establish Salah, conduct their affairs with mutual consultation, spend out of the sustenance which We have given them,[
Meaning that Quran considers consultation and people’s right to suffrage equivalent to saying prayers.

Islam also defends freedom of speech including the rights of people to criticize and oppose the ruler.

Speech in the International Conference of Arab-Muslim countries

Quran says:
“As for those who refrain from worshipping Taghut (Satanic forces) and turn to Allah in repentance, there is good news. So O Prophet, give good news to my servants who listen to the Word and follow the best meaning of it. Such are the ones whom Allah has guided and such are the ones who are endowed with understanding.”

Ali, the first Shiite Imam, wrote to Malik Ashtar, Governor of Egypt at the time, on freedom of belief. He said: The closest aides to you must be those who criticize you more and praise you less… Spend some of your time with those in need and allow them take part in public meetings. Treat them courteously and prohibit the guards from obstructing them to express themselves without any fear… I heard from the Prophet repeatedly saying that a society will never be clean and healthy if the weak people could not achieve their rights from the rulers without any fear or worry.

Indeed, this is the core of the issue.

Let people talk without any fear.

Let the oppressed spell out what they want to say.

Let the deprived and those enchained to speak.

Ladies and gentlemen

Islam is the source of perseverance for our movement against the most brutal dictatorship in today’s world. It advocates freedom and therefore, in the contemporary history of Iran two completely contradictory Islam lined up against one another.

On the one hand, we have a deceitful and reactionary Islam, the one that defends tyranny and cruelty.

But, on the other hand, we have an Islam that stands for justice and unity, the one that encourages compassion and freedom.

Against the reactionary principle of Velayat-e Faqih (absolute rule of clergy), we have been advocating a democratic Islam that recognizes popular sovereignty as the highest right of people.

In contrast to war mongering, export of terrorism and fundamentalism under the name of Islam, we follow the teachings of an Islam that advocates peace, friendship and brotherhood among the nations.

In contrast to mullahs’ misogyny, we advocate the kind of Islam that considers establishment of equality between men and women as its task. This is the Islam that relies on equality of men and women and emancipation of women. Thousands of women in Ashraf and Liberty are outstanding symbols of this belief.
In contrast to religious discrimination and tyranny, we have risen in defense of freedom of religion. The National Council of Resistance of Iran presented the plan for separation of church and state 27 years ago.

In contrast to mullahs’ Shariat that wants to rule based on regulations set out 1400 years ago, we believe in dynamism of Quran and Islam. Quran rejects rigid dogmatism in social and economic life. And instead, it offers as a method for implementation of Quranic principles based on economic, social and political situation at the time. It even goes as far as stating clearly that some of the verses of Quran annul and replace some others descended in a different situation at a different time.

It is very clear that there are two entirely different interpretations of Islam contradicting one another.

The compassionate message of Islam is respect for human rights, forgiveness and openness and the ultimate respect for individual and social freedoms.

Therefore, I have repeatedly stated this and wish to repeat again that, the objective of this movement has never been and is not to seize power for any cost. Our objective is to guarantee freedom and democracy for any cost and as we have repeatedly stated it will suffice if we could have the chance to visit the grave yard of our martyrs in Tehran’s Khavaran cemetery.

Our goal is to achieve freedom, equality and people’s right to vote. Our aim is to establish a republic based on separation of church and state where followers of all religions enjoy equal rights and our program can be summarized in three words: Freedom, democracy and equality.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The true followers of Islam, in Ashraf and Liberty, are resisting against the worst enemy of Islam and Quran. They are the ones who have risen and been resisting and are the vanguards of struggle for freedom.

They are the ones who have remained faithful to their commitment to God.

They are the ones who say our Lord is Allah and stood firm on their belief.

The freedom seeking Mojahedin, have demonstrated true Islam in their practices, in their honesty, in purity of their human relationship, in their respect for freedom and equality, in their pursuit of Prophet Muhammad’s manners, in their humbleness and away from selfishness, in their affability, forgiveness and good deeds, and in their solidarity with fellow human beings.

It is over three and half years that the Mujahedin in Ashraf and Liberty are being harassed and facing aggressions under the most inhumane siege.
The main point here is not Mujahidin’s presence in Ashraf or Liberty, or their transfer to outside Iraq. The argument is over presence of an organized resistance movement that the mullahs find it to be the only threat to their existence and are trying to destroy it or pressure it to surrender.
Public dissent and anger is reaching explosive state. The mullahs aim to eliminate the resistance before outburst of dissent.
Syrian dictatorship, a pivotal front for the regime is about to shatter. Before that happens, they want to destroy the main leading element for change in Iran.
Turing Liberty into a prison and preventing the Mujahedin from having access to minimum humanitarian needs, are all for the same reason. The government of Iraq, according to plans and demands of the Iranian regime and unfortunately having the cooperation of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General, has turned Liberty into a prison.
We have shown maximum flexibility. The residents have limited their expectations more and more. They are only asking for 8 humanitarian points to be observed before the sixth convoy would leave. They have even provided many and alternative solutions for these 8 points to achieve a peaceful solution. All goals are achievable with the equipment provided for by the residents and at their own expense and in a short period of time. But the government of Iraq resists.
If the government of Iraq really wants the Mujahedin expelled from Ashraf and Iraq, why won’t they allow for these basic needs at Liberty? Now these days, clearly, Iraqis threaten that if the rest of the Mojahedin do not leave home Ashraf, they will be relocated forcefully.
Meanwhile the United Nations and the United States claim that the conditions and living standards at Liberty are satisfactory will only help embolden Iraqi government and help its oppressive policies.
With his biased remarks during the past few months and particularly in the latest meeting of the Security Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary General has emboldened the Iraqi government. Any harm comes to the Mujahedin from now on and any bloodshed, he will be directly responsible.
If the Special Representative truly believes that the humanitarian standards are met at camp Liberty, why does the Iraqi government refrains from opening the gates of Liberty to Parliamentarians, lawyers and even American officers who severed for many years in Iraq and Ashraf?
Let me remind that the government of United States, as the Amerian representatives in the Congress have stated repeatedly, in particular this week, in the framework of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the agreement signed individually with the residents, is completely responsible for their protection. If the United States was accountable for its responsibilities, it would neither allow for two massacres nor would it allow the government of Iraq to press inhuman limitations against them.
And we also have to remind that since the residents accepted relocation of every group from Ashraf to Liberty following clear and written commitments by the United States, the responsibility of the US is much more about this condition.
Therefore, I call on the US Secretary of State for this responsibility and warn that if the government of Iraq once again resorts to a crime against humanity, the government of the United States will have to be held accountable.

And finally, I call on all Muslims to come to the aide of their sisters and brothers in Ashraf and Liberty.
This is an Islamic responsibility, not just to help the children of Iranian people, but in defense of the advocates of true Islam against worst enemy of Islam.
Members of MeK are facing enemies who have deployed utmost cruelty, brutality and lies along with all sorts of weapons and suppressive instruments. But, the residents of Ashraf have a weapon that their enemies do not have. That is their deep belief in Freedom.
This objective will eventually overcome all the conspiracies and suppressive measures.
This is the will of God, this is the verdict of history, and the logic of progress and evolution.
Freedom, the light of God, will prevail and the tyranny of velayat-e faqih is doom to fall.
I beg the almighty God to help the Iranian people and their resistance to bring this day ever closer.
Oh God, help the oppressed people of this part of the world to gain their freedom.
Please help the heroic people of Syria in their ongoing struggle and bring closer and closer the final victory of the revolution in Syria and liberation of Damascus and the whole country.

Thank you and God bless you all

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

The President-elect of the NCRI for the period to transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran

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