April 24, 2000
Age of Reason vs. Dark Ages
I enjoyed reading Charles Kurzman's article in relation to the American
support for democracy in Iran in the 20th century and the 21st century
opportunities"]. I should, however, like to state the following
1. It would be misguided to compare Iran's Constitutional Movement
(1904-1909), which was progressive and modernist in nature, to President
Hojatoleslam Khatami's attempt to prolong the life of the Velayat-e-Faghih
through revisionism. Whilst the former ended centuries of autocracy, the
latter is an attempt to prolong two decades of theocracy.
2. Moreover whereas Iran's Constitutional Movement was founded on
the spirit of Enlightenement and Age of Reason, the Islamic Republic is
founded on the principles of the Rule by Divine Right and the Dark Ages.
3. Finally the present-day Iranian democracy movement (which is comprised
of a wide specturm of differing political view points), is founded on the
principles of secularism.
It seems to me that the question to be asked remains, "Will President
Hojatoleslam Khatami accept to disband the Constitution of Rule of the
Faghih in favor of a secular constitution founded on the principles of