July 1, 2009

A CONSTITUTIONAL AND THEOLOGICAL CRISIS:

'This Iranian Form of Theocracy Has Failed': In a SPIEGEL interview, Iranian theologian and philosopher Mohsen Kadivar discusses Tehran's path towards a military dictatorship, how the country's religious leaders abuse Islam and opportunities for reform. (Der Spiegel, 7/01/09)

SPIEGEL: Tehran appears quiet at the moment, at least compared with the mass protests of the week before last. Are we currently seeing the beginning of the end of the resistance -- or the end of the Iranian regime?

Kadivar: This Iranian form of theocracy has failed. The rights of the Iranian peoples are trampled upon and my homeland is heading towards a military dictatorship. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad behaves like an Iranian Taliban. The supreme leader, Mr. Ali Khamenei, has tied his fate to that of Ahmadinejad, a great moral, but also political mistake.

SPIEGEL: What has your counsel been for opposition leader Mousavi in recent days? Is he truly the undisputed head of the movement?

Kadivar: Yes, he is the leader. All reformists now support Mousavi, my friend from our days at Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran. He was a professor of political science and I was professor of philosophy and theology. I believe he should insist on new elections and continue calling for non-violent protests ...

SPIEGEL: ... which would then be violently squashed by the security forces of the regime, the Basij and the Pasdaran.

Kadivar: In the long term, a regime can hardly oppose millions of peaceful protesters -- unless it opts for a massacre and, in doing so, completely loses its legitimacy. We should again and again point to the rights granted by the Iranian constitution. In Article 27, it is clearly pointed out that every citizen has the right to protest. Our protest is non-violent, legal and "green" -- thoroughly Islamic.

SPIEGEL: That's what you say.

Kadivar: Article 56 of our constitution includes the right of God that is give to all Iranian citizens. The citizens then elect their leader, president and parliament. The constitution is very clear on that: The leader must be elected and not selected by those claiming to know God's will.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 1, 2009 4:49 PM
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