03 Jul 2015

Remarks at the conference: Democratic and Tolerant Islam

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Remarks at the conference: Democratic and Tolerant Islam

There is no compulsion in religion
In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” [1]

Dear sisters and brothers,
Greetings to you, to the Muslim Community of France, to the representatives of the nations of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and also to my fellow countrymen and women in Iran and to the combatants of freedom, especially in Camp Liberty.

God willing, your prayers and fasting and those of all Muslims are accepted in this holy month and the moment of freedom for all nations in the region will arrive ever so sooner.

Ladies and gentlemen,
We are observing the holy month of Ramadan at a time when significant parts of the Middle East are burning in the inferno of terrorism and war.
The calamity of fundamentalism is its coercive use of religion as a veneer to introduce and entrench savagery and regression.
Today, I would like to underscore the fact that Islam opposes compulsion in religion or the imposition of any conduct on citizens under the name of religion. Quite to the contrary, Islam emphasizes that freedom is indispensable to human society.

In Iran today, the ruling mullahs have enchained our nation through incessant executions, torture, limb amputation, eye-gouging, and acid attacks on women as well as by causing rampant poverty.

Five days ago, the mullahs amputated fingers of two young men in Mashhad. This horrific act of barbarity shocked the world, prompting Amnesty International to say that this ruthless and vicious punishment reflects the inhumane behavior of state that rules through oppression.
This inhumane regime rests on the principle of velayat-e faqih and is the godfather of ISIS and Boko Haram.
All of these forces, whatever name or claim they operate with are one and the same in their inhumane ideology and share a common belief system which :

─ Enforces religion by resorting to force;
─ Establishes absolute tyranny under the name of God;
─ Resorts to terrorism and expansionism under the pretext of exporting revolution and religion;
─ Eliminates, suppresses and humiliates women; and finally,
─ Tramples upon all human and divine principles to preserve their own rule.

Therefore, the Islamic Caliphate that today spans across parts of Syria and Iraq is an incomplete miniature of a larger model established by Khomeini under the name of velayat-e faqih more than three decades ago.
Thirty years ago, Khomeini used to say, “People should be burnt in order to rectify society.”[2]
And today the main motto of ISIS is, “Sharia law can never be enforced unless with the use of force.”
An important weapon used by Islamic fundamentalists is Takfir (ex-communication) by which they target opponents of the reactionary Sharia.

But Khomeini was the founding father of Takfir in contemporary times. In 1988, he issued a fatwa in his own handwriting in which he branded all PMOI prisoners as apostates and condemned them to mass execution. Subsequently, 30,000 political prisoners, affiliated with the PMOI and other opposition groups, were massacred.

As such, first, in our times, the institution and promotion of fundamentalism and extremism under the guise of Islam, as a system of governance, came to fruition with the velayat-e faqih regime. Second, the fundamentalists’ version of Islam is a religion of compulsion, stripping human beings of their free will. While the genuine Islam and the message of the Quran reject compulsory religion and any compulsion under the name of religion.

Freedom, the true essence of Islam
At this point, let us refer to the Qur’an, which introduces the true message of Islam.

─ Has the Qur’an not said: There is no compulsion in religion?
─ Isn’t the message of Islam, compassion and emancipation?
─ Do the chapters of the Qur’an not start with “in the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful”?
─ Is Islam not the religion of tolerance and forgiveness?
─ Did the Prophet Muhammed not forgive his enemies during the conquest of Mecca? And
─ Did he not present the charter of brotherhood and pluralism in Medina?

Indeed, freedom is the real essence of genuine Islam.
So, what Iran’s ruling mullahs and their ideological offspring, including the ISIS and Boko Haram, say runs counter to Islam and is utter blasphemy.
These verses are from the Quran:
“Argue with them in a way that is best.” [3]
“Those who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones Allah has guided, and those are people of understanding.”[4]
“Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.” [5]
“Consult them in the matter.” [6]
Indeed, the word of God neither coerces nor intimidates people, but encourages them to listen, reason and consult. These are what God Almighty decreed to Prophet Muhammed:
“You came to give and pass advice not to watch and control people.
“We sent you not, but for giving the good news and the warnings.
“We sent you not, but as Mercy for all the people of the world.

The Holy Qur’an[7] has mandated the Prophet to be the harbinger of friendship and love among people, to unshackle the chains, and to promote tolerance and indulgence, all of which ensure that human society remains free.
From an anthropologic perspective, Islam and the Qur’an recognize freedom and the sense of responsibility emanating from it as the most important attributes of human beings.[8]
The Qur’an considers man free and in control of his own destiny.
“Indeed, God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” [9]

Islam promotes freedom of expression, opposing and criticizing those who rule. It does not prohibit citizens from doing so.
The Great Prophet has repeatedly said, “No nation ever becomes clean and refined, unless the meek and the deprived can obtain their rights from those in power without fear and stutters.”[10]
Similarly, throughout his reign, Imam Ali always defended the rights of his opponents and critics.
Therefore, I say to my fellow compatriots and particularly the valiant youths of Iran]:
Stand firm and resolute against the mullahs’ impositions cloaked under the banner of Islam.
Lashing who do not fast and suppressing women under the pretext of improper veiling have nothing to do with Islam. You must rise to resist this oppression.

Condemn the oppression and subjugation of our Sunni countrymen and other religious minorities because it represents enmity with the entire Iranian nation.
Islam rejects anything that would undermine human beings freedom and free choice.
It rejects compulsion in religion, in prayer and in veiling.

Both the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammed show that Islam is a dynamic ideology. Its edicts must be interpreted in the context of specific time periods or locations. The dynamism of the Qur’an, reflected in Muhkamat and Motashabihat, is one of the most defining features of Islam.
Accordingly, two diametrically opposite Islams are arrayed against one another: the Islam of freedom versus the religion of compulsion and coercion.
In the words of the Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi: “One Islam advocates compassion, forgiveness and emancipation, the other is sinister and ruthless. One is based on ignorance and compulsion, the other relies on freedom and free choice. One promotes darkness; the other is the standard bearer of liberty, oneness and emancipation. The confrontation between these two Islams is also a battle of destiny for the Iranian people and history and is one of the most important linchpins for the future fate of contemporary humanity.”[11]

With this mindset, Massoud Rajavi founded a democratic movement, which opposed regression, a movement that emerged as the main barrier against religious fundamentalism. Today, this movement is a torch for the people of Iran and the nations of the region and the only beacon of hope to overcome the monster of religious fascism and terrorism.

Shiite-Sunni fraternity
Ladies and gentlemen,
Islam rejects all forms of religious strife and hostility. It defends freedom, compassion and tolerance.
Today, the Iranian regime, its militia and other vicious extremist groups justify their crimes under the name of Islam. They portray their own power struggle as a Sunni-Shiite conflict.

For a long time, no such war existed in our region until Khomeini seized power in Iran. He sowed the seeds of discord and fratricide by continuing the war with Iraq, with the motto of “liberating Quds (Jerusalem) via Karbala”, to expand his hegemony all over the region.
Inside Iran, he imposed dual oppression on the Sunnis by arresting and executing them and destroying their mosques, etc. On the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, the mullahs executed a political prisoner, who was a sports champion from Kurdistan.

In the past two years, a large number of Sunnis, including six Kurdish political prisoners, were executed in Gohardasht Prison, three Kurdish political prisoners were executed in Orumieh prison, and 34 Sunni Baluchi prisoners were executed in Chabahar, Zahedan and Zabol.[12] The regime also assassinated Sunni clerics and citizens in Sistan and Baluchistan.[13]
The same policy is carried out in the form of genocide of the Sunnis in Iraq and in the form of massacring innocent people in Syria.

In Iran, the mullahs have massacred the Shiite Mojahedin by the thousands because they unmasked their demagogy. Similarly, they stop at nothing to conspire against the combatants of freedom in Camp Liberty, including the continuing and criminal siege of the camp, and dispatching Intelligence Ministry teams to the gates of Camp Liberty for a psychological warfare and to prepare the grounds for another human catastrophe.

Therefore, both Shiites and Sunnis, have a common enemy: the fundamentalist theocracy ruling Iran.
Today, genuine Shiites are identified by their full-fledged enmity to the mullahs’ regime in Iran and their belief that Sunnis are their brothers.
Imam Ali has gone even further than the issue of Shiites, Sunnis and believers in any other ideology to say, “There are two types of people: Either your brethren in religion or like you in creation.”

Therefore, please allow me to tell the brother nations and all the people in the region that there can be an end to the carnage and conflict which the Iranian regime has fomented in your countries under the banner of Islam. To do so, you should stand in solidarity with the Iranian Resistance and people and stand up to the Iranian regime and its accomplices, namely Bashar Assad and those groupings in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria who are under the thumb of the clerics.

So long as this regime is in power in Iran, the people of Iran and other nations in the Middle East will not enjoy freedom and democracy. This regime, which continues to persist on acquiring the nuclear bomb, despite opposition by the Iranian people and the international community, is a global threat.

Therefore, the solution lies in the eviction of this regime from the entire region and in toppling the Caliph of regression and terrorism in Iran. [14]

Our positions and beliefs
As a Muslim woman, while stressing the need for separation of religion and state, and on behalf of a generation that has been defending the genuine Muhammadan Islam against fundamentalism and religious dictatorship for the past five decades, I declare:

We reject compulsory religion and any compulsion in religion. Despotism under the name of Islam, the medieval Sharia laws, and the excommunication of opponents whether Shiite or Sunni, are against Islam and the liberating Muhammadan religion.
In our view, the essence of Islam is freedom, freedom from all forms of compulsion, oppression and exploitation.
We follow the genuine Islam, the tolerant and democratic Islam, which defends popular sovereignty and gender equality.
We reject religious discrimination and will support the rights of followers of all religions and denominations.
Our Islam believes in brotherhood among all religions. Sectarian wars and sowing discord among Shiites and Sunnis are the sinister products of the fundamentalist regime in Iran which seeks to prolong its anti-Islamic and anti-human Caliphate.
Indeed, our God, is the God of freedom, our Muhammed is the Prophet of compassion and emancipation and our Islam is the religion that respects freedom of choice.

Ladies and gentlemen,
In the month of Ramadan, the true adherents to fasting are those who are at war with the enemy of the Iranian people and the nations of the regions. They are those who have stood up to the Iranian regime in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and against the suffering people of Palestine; they are the political prisoners in Iran who remain steadfast under torture and risk of execution; they are the combatants of freedom in the Liberty Prison who have been under house arrest and a siege for 12 years; they are the defiant men and women of Iran, teachers, workers, government employees, nurses, students, etc.

Yes, the outcome of the struggles of these true observers of the fast is the coming of victory which will inevitably bring freedom to Iran and to the entire region. This is God’s promise and cannot be doubted.
“Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the oppressors.”
God bless you all.
[1] The Cow, verse 185
[2] Sahifeh Noor (Book of Light), volumes 11 – 19: “You must tell people of Islam… Why don’t you read the Chapter of Repentance to the people?… Why don’t you read them the verses on war? You keep reading the verses on compassion. Killing is also a form of mercy because it corrects people. People sometimes don’t correct their behavior unless they are burnt, or cut so that the society gets corrected. Those who are corrupt must be expelled from society.”
[3] The Bee, verse 125
[4] The Crowds, verse 18
[5] The Cow, verse 111
[6] The Family of Omran, verse 159
[7] The following verses attest to this call:

─ The Children of Israel, verse 105
─ The Criterion, verse 5
─ The Confederates, verse 45
─ The Confederates, verse 46
─ The Confederates, verse 47
─ The Confederates, verse 48
─ City of Saba, verse 28
─ Malaika, verse24
─ The Opening Chapter, verse 8
─ The Cow, verse 119

[8] The Quran, Chapter 33, verse 72: “Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.”
[9] The Thunder, verse 11
[10] Nahj-ol Balagha (The Road to Eloquence), letter no. 53
[11] Massoud Rajavi, speech entitled, “Dynamism of the Quran and two types of utterly opposite Islams”, Eid al-Fitr, 1997
[12] On October 26, 2013, Habibollah Golparipoor and Reza Esmaeli, two Kurdish political prisoners, were hanged respectively in the central prison of Orumieh and the prison of Salmas on the charge of collaborating with the Free Life of Kurdistan Party.

On the same day, 16 Baluchi political prisoners were hanged en masse in the prison of Zahedan on the orders of Khamenei. State-run media published photographs of the victims’ corpses hanging from the cranes.
On February 5, 2015, fifteen Baluchi prisoners were secretly hanged in the prison of Chabahar.
On April 26, 2014, three Sunni political prisoners were hanged in public in the city of Zabol. Ali Dahmardeh, 2, Iman Golvi, 20, and Omid Piri, 23, were condemned to death in an unfair trial for the murder of the general prosecutor of Zabol.
On January 6, 2015, Kurdish political prisoner, Saber Mokhled was executed in the prison of Orumieh.
On February 19, 2015, two brothers, political prisoners Razgar (Habibollah) and Ali Afshari, 26 and 34, were hanged in Orumieh.
On March 4, 2015, six Sunni, Kurdish political prisoners were executed in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj while on hunger strike. They were Hamed Ahmadi, 33, Jahangir Dehghani, 28, Jamshid Dehghani, 29, Kamal Molaii, 30, Sedigh Mohammadi, 28, and Hadi Hosseini, 31.

[13] On March 30, 2014, Molavi Abdollah Baji Zehi, prayer leader of Shirabad Mosque of Zahedan, was shot four times in the head when leaving the mosque. On the same day, two Baluchi citizens, 34 and 40, with the surname Shahoozehi were killed by barrage of gunfire of government mercenaries.
On March 31, 2014, Mr. Morad Kahra Zehi, 45, was shot eight times in Zahedan and seriously wounded. On April 1, Mr. Khodad Narouii, 60, was killed by a barrage of gunfire in the city of Bazman, in Iranshahr.

[14] As for the regional solution, I said in the gathering of Iranians in Paris on June 13, 2015: “Today, western and Arab world’s policy makers stress that ISIS and Bashar Assad are the two sides of the same coin. I add that the Caliph in Tehran is the godfather of both of them. The fact is that ISIS emerged out of the atrocities perpetrated by Bashar Assad and Maliki committed on orders from the clerical regime. I therefore call upon western governments to refrain from taking sides with the Tehran regime. In Iraq, do not collaborate with the regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and the so-called Shiite militias who are a hundred times more dangerous than the other henchmen. The solution in Iraq is to evict the mullahs’ regime forces, to empower Sunni power-sharing, and to arm the Sunni tribes. The solution in Syria is to evict the Iranian regime’s forces and to support the people of Syria in overthrowing Assad’s dictatorship. The solution in Yemen is to stand up to Tehran, as the Arab coalition has already done. This must be pursued until the regime is uprooted all across the region. Indeed, the solution is to evict the Iranian regime from the entire region and to topple the Caliph of regression and terrorism in Iran.”

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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