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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


May 3, 2000

Ban on discussion

In response to your letter's section "Newspaper ban is right" by Mr. Murtaza Sarwary, I would kindly disagree.

What the newspapers did was a service to the people and helps educate everybody and find religious solutions to problems and changes in a modern world. religious beliefs have always been questioned and adapted over time to comply with new necessities. That has been the streangth of Shia Islam.

What is happening now in Iran is not only trying to ban ordinary people and journalists from discussing religion, but also closing the tradition of "Ijtehad" among our religious scholars. If your Ijtehad is not in line with the few in the power mafia and you are not "khodi" then even if you are an Islamic scholar you can't question religion. This act will only be harmful to our religion.

Khomeini died 10 years ago; and I ask God to have mercy on his soul. However, we should not confine ourself to a cage and not allow any new and modern interpretations of our religion. We only have to look at other faiths in this area to see what is the correct path.

One other point of disagreement: The war with Iraq was not a Jihad to protect Islam. It was a war to protect IRAN our COUNTRY and our people (so I agree with you on the people). Islam was only used to mobilize people. The goal was to protect IRAN. Islam has been around for 1,400 years and we can only help it if we leave a good civilization behind us. Islam will survive and propagate in peace and kindness, not in war and hate.

Mamad Rastgoo


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