Maryam Rajavi: Iran’s ruling mullahs are the enemies of all Abrahamic religions and all denominations of Islam
Speech to the conference marking the advent of the Holy month of Ramadan
Dear friends, sisters and brothers, representatives of Muslim communities in France,
Greetings to you all. I am very grateful and delighted for your participation in this conference at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, even though unfortunately I do not have the opportunity to see you in person because of the pandemic.
I salute all Muslims in France, and around the world at the start of Ramadan, the month of piety. I particularly salute my sisters and brothers in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, and Afghanistan who are victims of the mullahs’ religious fascism. And of course, I salute my sisters and brothers in Iran who adhere to various faiths and religions.
Today, the pandemic has changed the face of many countries but Iran’s case is different. The regime ruling Iran has deliberately been seeking massive human casualties to prevent popular protests. It has used the Coronavirus as a shield to fend off uprisings to the extent that the mullahs’ supreme leader Ali Khamenei declared a ban on purchase of vaccines from the U.S., Britain and France. The ruling mullahs turn a blind eye to the warnings and requests of specialist physicians meant to confront the Coronavirus and to reduce the fatalities it causes.
With 250,000 deaths out of a population of 85 million, Iran has the world’s highest death toll, after the U.S. and Brazil.
Khamenei has ultimate responsibility for the massive death toll.
Emancipation of mankind, essence of all religions
Ramadan, the month of fasting, starts in circumstances where the lives of many Iranians are devastated every day by high prices and various deprivations as millions of people are unemployed.
The mullahs have been allocating funds to the IRGC, and its warmongering and terrorism in the region, out of the pockets of the Iranian people and by increasing the prices of basic goods by several folds.
Just as the regime is engaged in nuclear talks, it says that starting today, it will begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity. This is just another step towards developing nuclear weapons. Yesterday, France and the U.S. expressed concern over the regime’s latest announcement, and President Macron called it a “grave development.”
On the other hand, Khamenei refrained from spending even a tiny portion of the trillions of dollars of his assets to the fight against the Coronavirus to provide for the public’s health and healthcare.
In reality, the Iranian people simultaneously face two monsters: the virus of religious fascism and the Coronavirus.
Iran’s ruling mullahs lack the very value that is the criterion for human dignity, the value that the Quran has emphasized, namely, piety.
Is it not true that the Quran says the aim of fasting is to obtain liberating piety?
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may [learn] self-restrain.(1)
So, fasting with the criterion of piety is not only for Muslims. It has been there even before Islam and it is a common ritual among followers of all monotheistic religions. So, all Abrahamic religions focus on resisting and fighting the internal and external influencers that enslave human beings.
These religions emerged at various junctures of human history in long intervals. Each had its own prophet or messenger. Nevertheless, they are united in their essence and spirit. This essence is the emancipation of mankind and the emancipating evolution of human communities.
This interpretation completely rejects the behaviors of individuals who exploit religion to deceive and oppress people.
The Quran says: It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or west (i.e. praying).(2)
In the Torah, God chides those who fast in order to deceive people and to justify their oppression.
He says: “The fast I like is that which tears evil bondages. So, tear the links that enchain the oppressed, set them free, and tear asunder every chain.”
The Almighty says: “Don’t I accept your fasting when you divide your bread among the hungry, and bring home the homeless poor, and put clothes on the needy whenever you see them?
“In this case, your light will dawn like morning… and justice will come to you.”(3)
Since the outset, when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) invited people to believe in the one and only God Almighty, he told them: “This is for your salvation.” In the Quran, God says: “He (the Prophet) has come to tear the chains from their hands and feet, and remove heavy loads from their shoulders.”
Prior to him, Jesus had said: “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and… to set the oppressed free.” (Luke 4-18)
So, as children of Abraham, all of us are sisters and brothers.
In the Quran we read:
و«قُولُواْ آمنّا باللّه و مآ اُنزل إليْنا و ما اُنزل إلى إبْراهيم و إسْماعيل و إسْحق و يعْقُوب و الأسْباط و ما أُوتي مُوسى و عيسى و ما أُوتي النّبيُّون من رّبّهمْ لا نُفرّقُ بيْن أحدٍ مّنْهُمْ و نحْنُ لهُ مُسْلمُون».
Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to [all] prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah [in Islam].”(4)
The Mojahedin’s Islam vs. the mullahs’ Islam
In a 1983 interview with the theoretical publication of the Socialist Party, while he was in France, Massoud Rajavi, the Leader of the Iranian Resistance, said this about the Mojahedin’s Islam:
The special attribute of the Islam that we believe in is that it is democratic. This Islam recognizes the rights of various denominations and creeds, and other schools of thought. This Islam is not something we have made up, but it emanates from the common roots formulated by Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. And we can clearly see this in the Quran…
The Quran pays the highest respects to those who promote virtue and justice.
At the same time, Islam, Judaism and Christianity are not different from each other. We see Jesus as our own prophet as well and do not see any differences in the paths undertaken by Moses or Mohammad.
The Quran says that there is no difference among our prophets (5). In the eyes of God, all religions are united and inseparable.(6)
Now let’s see how different the Mojahedin’s Islam is with what Iran’s ruling mullahs claim to be their interpretation of Islam?
Fundamentalists, and specifically the religious tyranny ruling Iran, have beheaded this message. Instead, they have resorted to discrimination, suppression, and oppression of followers of all religions and denominations.
The mullahs destroy Sunni mosques in Iran.
They prevent construction of Sunni mosques in Tehran.
They have turned the Shiite mosques into centers of espionage and oppression.
They close down and destroy places of worship belonging to various creeds of Shiism, like the Gonabadi Dervishes.
They have imposed double oppression on our Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen, and Baluch sisters and brothers, depriving them of their rights.
In reality, Iran’s ruling mullahs do not respect Shiite, Sunni or any human life for that matter.
Indeed, why do they imprison and kill the Baha’is?
Why do they suppress, assassinate and execute the Sunnis?
The mullahs massacre even the Shiite Mojahedin in Iran. The Mojahedin’s name is their primary red line. In Iraq, they victimize Shiites and Sunnis alike. And in Syria, they slaughter the Sunnis.
You may recall the terrorist bombing of the shrines of the tenth and eleventh Imams of Shiites in Samarra, Iraq, and the coordinated attacks on 200 Sunni mosques in that country. This regime also bombed the Shrine of the eighth Shiite Imam in Mashhad, Iran, in 1994. They murdered Christian priests and falsely blamed the murders on the Mojahedin. In 1987, they caused the slaughter of pilgrims in Mecca.
Years later, the regime’s internal feuds revealed the fact that these crimes had been designed and carried out by the clerical regime itself.
Iran’s ruling mullahs are truly the enemies of all Abrahamic religions and all denominations of Islam.
These acts of suppression coupled with the regime’s crimes and immoral activities provide a clear definition of the Velayat-e Faqih and the fundamentalist regime ruling Iran;
A despotic regime ruling under the banner of religion, imposing permanent, violent, military and security control on people’s lives. At the same time, observing extremist dogmas in trivial and secondary matters is the method of Iran’s ruling mullahs. “Straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel,” as Jesus said. (Matthew 23:23-24)
The mullahs’ evil ideology consists of exporting of terrorism and fundamentalism to countries in the region to preserve the regime’s internal and external balance of power.
They have imposed compulsory religion and a series of religious forms of discrimination. They have established misogyny and a gender apartheid. They have monopolized the country’s economy, and engaged in savage plunder and exploitation.
The mullahs’ destruction in the Middle East
At the beginning of their rule, the mullahs hid their reactionary intentions with phrases like spreading the revolution and Islam throughout the world and its export to neighboring countries.
Today, that policy has lost its Islamic and popular masks. What has come into light is ruthless pillage and brutal terrorism. This is coupled with sponsoring a dozen murderous proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen each of which has created a state within the state of each of those countries. In addition, they engage in terrorism, intimidation, bloodshed, and smuggling of oil and narcotics.
By misappropriating concepts in the Quran, they dub their enemy as “arrogant”
Now, their four-decade long record of crimes and oppression reveals them as being the pharaohs of this era: The execution of 120,000 political opponents, the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, and the slaughter of at least 1,500 young men and women during the November 2019 uprising.
No one has forgotten the regime’s chants and cries in support of the “oppressed.” Now, look at the extensive plunder and corruption they have imposed on Iran.
Consider the vast class difference in society, where 80 percent of the populace have been pushed to live below the poverty line.
Indeed, who has said that Islam means keeping millions of Iranians hungry in order to set up an arsenal of missiles and develop a nuclear bomb?
Is brutalizing Afghan refugees, throwing them into rivers, and burning their cars Islamic?
Is it Islamic for Qassem Soleimani to bury alive the Sunnis in Jurf al-Sakhar in Iraq?
No, these actions are against Islam, and against the genuine religion of Mohammad. They are against the emancipating essence of Islam.
Islam’s view on the behavior of rulers
Friends, sisters, and brothers,
There are several important documents which to a certain extent depict Islam’s true outlook on a ruler’s treatment of the people:
In a charter drafted in the 11th month after the Prophet of Islam’s departure to Medina, it is said: “Jews and Muslims are one nation and one people. Of course, the Jews follow their religion, and Muslims comply with their own.”(7)
After the conquest of Mecca, the Prophet of Islam pardoned all the city’s residents who were his and his movement’s sworn enemies. He declared that all people are equal because all of them are descendants of Adam and Eve. They are the same in creation and related in blood.
He annulled all the debts the poor owed to usurers. He discouraged revenge.(8)
Another document is the letter of the second Caliphate, Omar, to the residents of Jerusalem in 636, after Muslims conquered parts of the Byzantine Empire.
The letter grants them clemency with respect to their lives, properties, churches, and crosses. It further banned destruction of churches and the pressuring of Christians to renounce their religion and faith.(9)
Another document is a (7th century) letter by Ali ibn Abi Talib to Malik al-Ashtar after appointing him as the governor of Egypt. Ali stresses in this letter: “Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them. … Show preference to (counselors) who have a habitual regard for truth, however trying to you at times their truth may prove to be, and who offer you no encouragement in the display of tendencies which God does not like His friends to develop…. Let none from your armed guard (push back the people) so that the representatives of the poor might state their grievances fearlessly and without reserve.”(10)
Islam, religion of listening and freedom of expression
Dear friends, honorable dignitaries,
The true message of Islam rejects the dark and reactionary interpretations of Islam. That genuine message is that Islam is democratic, and it is known by lofty values and principles. Among them are:
• It guarantees the people’s sovereignty.
• It rejects religious discrimination.
• It establishes separation of religion and state.
• It is thoroughly based on freedom. It is the religion of freedom, and freedom of speech. It is the religion of listening(11), reasoning(12), and consultation(13). It is the religion of expressing dissent and criticizing the rulers.
• It rejects all forms of religious compulsion and compulsory religions: (As the Quran says) “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”(14)
• It is the religion of equality, and its only yardstick for being a better human being is emancipating piety: “Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is [he who is] the most righteous of you.”(15)
• It defends human rights. As the Quran says the life of any one person is as valuable as the lives of all humanity.(16)
• It is the religion of peaceful coexistence with other religions and schools of thought.(17)
• In our view, a true Shiite today is recognized by the struggle they wage against the Velayat-e Faqih regime, and to the extent they see Sunnis as their brothers.
• Genuine Islam is the religion of justice; it rejects exploitation. It is the religion of fraternity.
• As Ali (peace on him) said: People are of two categories. They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in humanity and creation.
The Mojahedin have obtained this progressive and advanced interpretation of Islam through the sacrifices made in a tortuous struggle against two dictatorships.
The leadership of this movement, whose flag bearer is Massoud Rajavi(18), embodies the essence of a full-fledged struggle both in theory and in practice to understand the fundamental essence of the Quran and Islam in the context of a resistance movement for freedom.
He demonstrated that a true understanding of the verses of the Quran is made possible only when it is dynamically and dialectically linked to an unrelenting struggle to liberate the society, and reject despotism, reactionary fundamentalism, and exploitation.
He has clearly demarcated between true Islam and anti-Islam or fundamentalism masquerading as Islam. He positioned democratic Islam as the antithesis of religious fundamentalism.
He showed that genuine Islam advocates gender equality.
And during an arduous and persistent struggle against religious tyranny, he showed that Islam promotes and defends freedoms in all political, economic, and social realms.
Under Massoud’s leadership, an arisen generation in Iran has found this emancipating religion as its guide to bring about a great political and social upheaval.
From this vantage point, Ramadan and fasting represents the worship of unity for the Mojahedin. In this way, the human being’s infinite power and capacity is cherished and valued, an endless potential that can break all chains, and break through any internal or external obstacle on the path to achieve personal and social salvation.
This is the secret to our movement’s exuberance, progress, and perseverance.
Time for downfall and defeat of religious fundamentalism
Dear friends, sisters, and brothers,
Today, the ruling religious fascism in Iran has stepped into a phase of failures and defeat despite all the bloodshed and clampdown that it has committed. Yes, the time has come for the decline and defeat of religious fundamentalism and reactionary ideology.
During the uprisings of the past several years in Iran, the Iranian people and rebellious youths attacked the centers of the regime’s Friday prayer leaders, the seminaries which train mullahs, and other symbols of reactionary religion.
Farmers in Isfahan, and worshipers in Kazerun and other cities turned their backs to Khamenei’s prayer leaders and cried out, “Turning our backs to the enemy, and facing our homeland.”
Other slogans chanted during social protests are equally telling of the defeat of the regime’s reactionary religion and strategy.
The people of the Middle East have known Iran’s ruling religious fascism by its ominous and destructive projects. They include a criminal plan to sow discord between Sunnis and Shiites, the destruction of Syria, which has left more than 10 million displaced people, stabbing the people of Palestine in the back, a constant effort to divide the ranks of the Palestinian movement, the destruction and disintegration of Lebanon, and creating militias who are engaged in nothing but murder and drug trafficking.
Some of the main slogans of protesters include expulsion of the Iranian regime and expressing resentment toward its puppet parties.
In the protests in Iraq, rebellious youth set fire to the regime’s consulates in Najaf and Karbala.
In Lebanon, Shiite protesters have time and again protested against Hezbollah, which is controlled by the IRGC.
The hearts of the people of the Middle East bleed for the hundreds of thousands of innocent people killed in Syria at the hands of the Iranian regime. Our Palestinian sisters and brothers are deeply hurt by the treachery of the clerical regime towards the Palestinian people and leadership.
Clearly, so long as the clerical regime has not been overthrown, it will not abandon repression, religious discrimination, and misogyny. It will not abandon its meddling and crimes in Middle East countries because it relies on these policies for its survival.
But there is a solution to this ominous calamity which has taken hostage the destinies of Middle East countries and poses the greatest threat to global peace and security. The solution is the overthrow of the mullahs’ religious fascism by the Iranian Resistance and through the uprising of the Iranian people.
Abraham, the father of prophets, overthrew Nimrod.
Moses rose up against the Pharaoh.
And Mohammad crushed the idols of the Quraysh tribe.
And today, the Mojahedin, the people of Iran, and their courageous children have risen up to bring down the rule of religious dictatorship.
On behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance, I urge all anti-fundamentalist Muslims, and all countries in Europe and the Middle East, to stand with the Iranian people and their struggle to overthrow the regime.
This struggle to establish a democratic and pluralist republic will make possible the tolerant and peaceful coexistence of followers of various religions and denominations.
In the early days of Ramadan, we extend our hands and pray to the Almighty God.
O’ God, help humanity and all the countries in overcoming the pandemic and regaining health for all people.
I would like to use this opportunity, to sincerely call on all my compatriots to set up a national and nationwide aid movement in Iran to help those who have contracted the Coronavirus.
In circumstances of backbreaking high prices, provide financial support to the families who have sick relatives.
Encourage the spirit of resistance. Do not allow fear and despair to overcome the people.
O’ Mighty God! Protect the people of Iran, the majority of whom are poor and deprived because of the regime’s pillage and plunder.
Help political prisoners and imprisoned members of Resistance Units in their resistance against Khamenei’s henchmen.
Pave the way for the victory of courageous youth and Resistance Units.
Help the People’s Mojahedin of Iran attain victory in the fight to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship and establish freedom and people’s sovereignty in Iran.
O’ Almighty God! Save the Middle East, including Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iran, from the evil of the Velayat-e Faqih regime.
ربَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَ إِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَ ثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَ انصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ
“Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything We may have done that transgressed our duty: Establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith.”
2-Al-Baqara, The Cow, verse 177
3-The Book of Isaiah
4-Al-Baqara, The Cow, verse 136
5-Al-Baqara, The Cow, verse 285: The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one [of them] believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. "We make no distinction [they say] between one and another of His messengers."
6-Interview with l’Unité, publication of the French Socialist party, February 1983; Mojahed publication, No. 190
7-Sirat Ibn Hisham, Volume I, page 334
8-Sirat Ibn Hisham
9-The History of Al-Tabari, by Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Volume 3, published in Beirut
10-Ali ibn Abi Talib, Nahj-al Balagha (The Way of Eloquence), Letter 53
11-Zumar, The Crowd, verse 18: Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best [meaning] in it.
12-Al-Baqara, the Cow, verse 111: Produce your proof if ye are truthful.
13-Al-i-Imran, The Family of Imran, verse 159: And consult them in affairs.
14-Al-Baqara, The Cow, verse 256.
15-Hujurat, the Inner Apartments, verse 13.
16-Maida, the Table Spread, verse 35: And if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.
17-Al-i-Imran, The Family of Imran, verse 64: Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you…”
18-Massoud Rajavi is the Leader of the Iranian Resistance and Chairman of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.