Freedom for the Thought That You Hate. MEK & Hezbollah

Discussions on political institutions, forms of government, electoral process etc.
بحث و گفتگو در مورد نهادهای سیاسی ، انواع دولت ، روند انتخابات و غیره
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omid
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Freedom for the Thought That You Hate. MEK & Hezbollah

Post by omid »

Will the MEK run in the post-overthrow elections, in Iran?

The MEK was an opposition group during the time of the last Shah. In the 1978-9 revolution, they enjoyed a lot of support. They eventually diverged from the new, clerical rulers, becoming hated by the latter. But, since they sided with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, invading Iran alongside his forces, they have lost all support within Iran. Now, they seem to have significant, foreign funding and support, frequently featuring established American and European politicians in their glitzy events. They frequent Twitter with many accounts which seem to work in concert--and, reputedly, from a base in Albania! Historically, their ideology comprised a blend of Islam and Socialism, but they have long been described to be more a cult (in terms of their disturbing effects on their followers) than a movement.

When, inevitably, the theocracy falls in Iran, will MEK candidates get to run in elections? So long as they accept the secular, democratic constitution, they must.
Likely, they won't get any votes--being as despised as they are. But they must be allowed to run. To decree otherwise is to defeat democracy.

If an argument of _principles_ fails to convince you, a look back at 1978 _ought_ to! By not allowing different voices to speak, to run, and to vie for people's votes, the Shah created a vacuum which only the hoi polloi's magical superstitions (aka faith/religion) could fill, in lieu of an ideology. The Left, too, would have had to compromise on their theories--had they been allowed, electorally, to come to terms with the pragmatics of popular support.

Similarly, will a Hezbollah party get to run?
I've heard that, by the regime's own account, about 7% of the populace support it. Other figures I've heard go as high as 10% to 20%. After the overthrow, these people will vote. For at least the short term, they will vote for Islamist candidates/parties. It is very likely that a Hezbollah ("Party of God") will be formed--but one which will have to accept the secular constitution in order to run for office.
This, too, must be allowed to run. These people are citizens; they will have the right to representation. And, like any other's, their candidates will have to negotiate and compromise--to legislate, to get media coverage, to get things done. The inevitable convergence towards a mainstream, or mainstreams (depending on the electoral system), is frequently a corollary of democracy.

The late, great Dr Homa Nategh, said it best: You're not freedom-seeking, if you're not seeking freedom for the other.
Everyone thinks of him/herself as freedom-seeking, but you're not freedom-seeking if you're not seeking freedom for your [ideological] opponent.

omid
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Trust...and Freedom for the Thought That You Hate

Post by omid »

The following is the original, English form of a post which I made, months ago, in Persian, to the main Telegram channel that is frequented by the resistance within Iran. It touches upon the political culture of trust-relationships, 'betrayal' and exclusion (aka cancelling). As is common in chat programs, the immediate responses missed the point; let's hope that it impacted a few of the lurkers.
I have been reading this channel for 1+ months. I had thought that it was for organizing the resistance, but it often becomes a place for discussion. So, I hope that you will let me express an opinion.

I left, as a child, before the revolution. I can read some Persian, but this note is a translation from simplified English.

Occasionally, I see jabs at various people. (This also happens in the disunited opposition that lives abroad.) For example, Reza Pahlavi, Masih Alinejad. (And I saw criticism of Victoria Azad, though that may have been on another channel.) I ask this question:

If you cannot work with each other when you do have a common enemy, how do you expect to work with each other after the overthrow of the government?

No-one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. Every one of us commits sins. And everyone has a different opinion, and those opinions and choices change as time passes. And all of us have hypocracies or contradictions in both thoughts and actions. All of us!

And when the Islamic blight inevitably ends, you will have to co-operate with all of these people. They will get votes. In the parliament, they will have to sit next to you, and both of you will have to compromise.

My guess is that at least 10% of the population will continue to want an Islamic government. The new constitution will not let them. These people will cast votes, and democracy means that their voices must play a role. An Islamic party will get votes, as will an atheist party. Both will have to sit next to each other, and must negotiate; otherwise, the parliament will not be able to create new laws.

Don't wait for the overthrow. Start now! Work with each other now. If they reject you, find a way to help them to accept you. Make compromises. Do not focus on their mistakes, but on what they can do for you.

Even if that person is funded by Israel or Saudi Arabia, work with them! You are not subscribing to a religion; you are only co-operating on a single step. You can disagree with them on future steps. If you co-operate with a person on 1 step, it does not mean that he is the true prophet for your religion! It is only 1 step.

This culture of 'purity' must end. Co-operate with people less devout than you! Create those alliances now. Extend your hand to those you disagree with. You cannot wait to create a proper civil society after the overthrow; you must start to create them now.

After the overthrow, people will vote for a monarchy, and they will vote for Masih, and they will vote for Islam, and the millions of atheists will vote for school books to be stripped of religion. How will you work with them? Well, do that now!

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