Student Day (16 Azar) in Iran


Sayeh Hassan
by Sayeh Hassan

December 7th marks the National Student Day in Iran. The student movement is a power to be reckoned with and has been for many years. Students in Iran have been actively and consistently working against the Islamic Regime for many years.

We all remember the pro-democracy student demonstrations in July of 1999, as well as numerous anti Regime protests and demonstrations we have witnessed in the past 10 years. Since the elections students have once again been very active and very involved in asking for a secular/ non religious, free and democratic government. As a result the number of arrests and imprisonment of students has increased in the past few months.

Iranian students have marked the National Student Day with protests and demonstrations every year to show their opposition against the Regime. This year will not be any different.

As the Student Day approaches numerous different groups and organizations including many student organizations have organized protests and gatherings in solidarity with the Iranian students.

A protest was organized today (December 5th) by the students of University of Toronto in front of the Hart House building. This event was extensively advertised on Facebook, which gave me the opportunity to write to the organizers on their discussion board, and openly ask whether this was a Anti-Regime or a pro-reform or another kind of gathering. The answer I received from one of the organizers was that this was NOT an Anti-Regime event and that it was organized in support of the students in Iran.

I truly want to believe that some or most of these students had the best of intentions, however they were either grossly misinformed or are being taken advantage of by Islamic Regime Agents who are amongst them.

The students in Iran are not protesting in a vacuum, and for no particular goal. They are protesting against tyranny and for a secular and democratic Iran. Things that will clearly not be possible until the Islamic Regime in it's entirety is removed from power.

It is difficult to understand how anyone can claim to support the Iranian Students ( who are risking their education, their freedom and ultimately their lives to fight against the Regime) and yet organize an event that is NOT anti-Regime.

If an event is not Anti-Regime then what can it be? Pro Regime? There doesn't seem to be a middle ground. If one is not part of the solution one is part of the problem, as it has happened in the case of these students.

The irony is in the fact that students in Iran cannot fathom how anyone can live in a free country such as Canada and not be openly against the Islamic Regime. However we must keep in mind the fact that many of the Iranian students in Canadian Universities are bursary students, and the Islamic Regime funds their education. This of course does not come easily as the Regime will not give a bursary to anyone until they do extensive research on their backgrounds to make sure they are loyal to the Regime! This explains at least in part why these students would not want to organize anti-Regime demonstrations. Another explanation is the fact that many students have no problem with the Regime, are not politically active and want to be able to go to Iran for their summer vacations, therefore they would never risk that by organizing anything that may even be perceived as anti-Regime. This leaves the other group who probably have the best of intentions and who really want to help and support the students in Iran but are misinformed about what the student movement in Iran wants and what the students are fighting for.

Perhaps these students should first focus on doing some research and speaking to some of the students inside the country and informing themselves about what the students in Iran want, before organizing demonstrations which clearly and openly are NOT against the Regime, to supposedly support students in Iran.

It's interesting that students at Waterloo University have gone even a step further by stating in their advertisement in Facebook that "The Police would not allow for anyone to bring flags to the demonstrations!" It seems that these students do not realize that we live in Canada, where people are entitled to freedom of speech and expression, rights that are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The police are not allowed to take these rights away from the people. Now if the organizers themselves have asked the police to not allow for flags, in fear of having any Lion and Sun flags present, that is a different story.

These very students have promised to provide protesters with green bracelets to wear during the protest. it is very clear that these students have no respect for people's freedom of expression and they have done everything in their power to make sure their demonstration is a pro-reform, pro-Regime event, and not surprisingly they've threatened people with police and arrests to make sure things go exactly as they have planned.

According to a famous saying "The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions." It seems as though students in Toronto and Waterloo at best lack clear perspective and knowledge about the student movement in Iran, what it stands for and what it seeks to achieve. Perhaps they will be in a better position to help their compatriots in Iran (if that is in fact their goal) once they realize the goals of the student movement in Iran. Otherwise they only open themselves up for criticism and harm, instead of hurting the very same people and the movement they are trying to support.

Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran


more from Sayeh Hassan


by benross on

There is no consensus amongst these groups on how they think the regime should fall and what form the new government should take.
Some advocate a bloody revolution and mass uprisings while others see through non-violent means.

I think this lack of consensus is misleading the discussion. The lack of consensus is caused by the lack of any coherent political body, representing this fight. Any activity against IRI -by definition- is confrontational. And the level of this confrontation is not defined by the opposition, but by the regime itself. All the demonstrations until now were within the most peaceful possible avenues available to the movement. Yet it didn't stop the killings and torturing and raping of peaceful demonstrators.

I don't think anybody, outside some irresponsible by-standers outside the country, is advocating a bloody battle. The confrontational nature of this movement inherently puts the safety of freedom fighters in danger. I would argue that by focusing on what is really lacking, an organized political body, we will substantially reduce the risk of bloodshed, while making it plausible to achieve our goals through a very peaceful process such as a referendum.

arash Irandoost

The Many Shades of Iran's Movement

by arash Irandoost on

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Many Shades of Iran’s Green Movement

New Media Journal

Arash Irandoost

December 5, 2009


As Iranian demonstrators are
quietly gearing up for the next uprising and as the regime is nervously
and secretly devising strategies and scare tactics to keep
demonstrations under control for the upcoming December 7th, the color
Green manifests itself in various forms by various groups to signify
their cause.

Green was the color chosen by Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi during the 2009 presidential elections. However the “Green Movement” refers to uprisings which have been taking place since June12th elections in Iran.

part, the Green Movement was conceived after hundreds of thousands of
supporters of Mr. Mousavi took to the streets to protest their votes.
Demonstrations were met with a brutal crackdown and
instead of deferring to the demands of the people, resorted to
violence, giving birth to the Real Green Movement of Iran.

that there might have been strong initial support for Mousavi and his
Green campaign. But seizing the opportunity, the campaign quickly
transformed itself to the real aspirations of the Iranian people and
can no longer be considered as an expression of support for Mr.
Mousavi. Mousavi’s Green officially came to an end when he formed a new
social front called the “the Green Path of Hope.”
Several Mousavi sympathizers have been trying to resurrect the Mousavi
Green, but it seems that it has lost traction among the Iranians.


Notwithstanding, there are still many shades of Green lurking inside
and outside of Iran, but can be categorized into three:


1) There are those (so-called Greens)
who advocate a theocratic political system, and do not want to see the
current "regime" overthrown, but "reformed" through peaceful means and
by using the current system's constitution to effect change. Last thing
like Moussavi, Karuubi, and Khatami,
who are deeply loyal to the ideals of Khomeini and were themselves
leaders of the 1979 revolution that resulted in the creation of the
current political system, want is for the system to collapse. They
think that the current system, specifically the current constitution,
has enough tools in it to allow the system to reform itself. In their
view, power needs to be transferred to the people gradually. What
should be noted here is that the so-called Green leaders are concerned
with correcting the wrong direction the revolution has taken.


There's good reason for the so-called Green leaders to seek a gradual
transformation of power. The fact is, they, at one time or another,
have taken part in brutal repression of the Iranian people themselves
and are worried that their own criminal activities will be exposed once
the regime is toppled. As the people who helped shape the current
constitution, the so-called Greens fully believe in Islamic republic
and are fully aware that Islamic republic has intentional safeguards to
prevent any meaningful reform and return to democratic rule.


question for Iranians to ponder is whether real reform can take place
by the so-called Green leaders. To answer it, a critical examination of
background is a must. Even if Mousavi had come into office following
the June 12 presidential election, he would not have challenged the
political order. Like other reformist, Mr. Khatami, he would have tried
to fix the Islamic republic's internal and external crises through
slight policy tweaks. Mousavi's rivalry with Ahmadinejad has more to do
with internal power struggles and economic policy. No Iranian president
could fundamentally change Iran's position on nuclear policy or its
regional role because it is fully understood that foreign-policy
decisions fall to Iran's supreme leader.
Furthermore, Mr. Mousavi advocates “the full execution of the
constitution and a return to the Islamic Republic's original ethics
(Khomeinism). He demands “Islamic republic, not a word less; not a word
more." Some of Mr. Khomeini’s “original ethics might be useful here:

who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole
world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the
future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live
under [God's law]. Khomeini: Islam Is Not a Religion of Pacifists (1942)

who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war.
Those are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they
would kill you all! … Islam says: Kill them, put them to the sword.
People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! Khomeini: Islam
Is Not a Religion of Pacifists (1942)

who have blindly joined the so-called Green are strongly advised to
examine Mousavi’s past before they jump on his bandwagon, otherwise
they will be greatly disappointed as many 1979 demonstrators have been
after witnessing 30 years of broken promises.

2) There are Iran’s Pro democracy Movement (Real Greens)
that completely oppose the totality of the Islamic republic and a
theocratic regime. For them, the idea of "the Islamic Republic" is
repulsive, and they advocate nothing short of total eradication of the
Islamic republic. They believe that Islamic republic cannot be reformed
and regime change is the only viable option. A significant
characteristic of the Real Green Movement is that it does not have any
specific leader. Its leaders are men and women on the streets. The
alternative that these groups propose is quite diverse, and includes
the monarchists, leftists, socialists, plus some religious and minority
groups. There is no consensus amongst these groups on how they think
the regime should fall and what form the new government should take.
Some advocate a bloody revolution and mass uprisings while others see
it through non-violent means.


3) Finally, there are those who believe in a true Islamic (Caliphate) state, and return to 7th century pure Islamic principles. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei belong to this shade of Green. Despite the fact that Amnesty International
has ranked Iran second to China in human rights violations, they
constantly brag about the liberties bestowed to Iranian women under the
banner of the Shariia law, and hope for exporting their system of
theocracy to other countries. The color green is deceptively used by
the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Intelligence and plain clothes Basij
militia not as a separate movement but to infiltrate demonstrators in
order to identify and arrest its leaders, subvert the movement and
prevent it from gaining strength.


Since June 12th, the political leaders in Iran for a variety of reasons
have belonged to either of the three opposition groups at one time or
another and have switched sides to suit their purpose.


Today's demonstrations, the people who come to the streets are Iranian youths, university students,
women, human rights and political activists who form 70% of the Iranian
population and are desirous of a free, independent and secular Iran.
They are conscious of failures of past reforms and do not believe that
Islamic republic under a supreme leadership that controls both the
Islamic and national law can be reformed. The Real Green movement is
fueled by the desire for democracy, human rights and secularism, all
absent in Iran current constitution. This is why both Ahmadinejad and
Mousavi who pretend to lead their respective greens fear the success of
the Real Green Movement.

true democracy and reform cannot be realistically achieved under the
Islamic republic banner and by those who give pretense of reform and
see Khomeini as the ultimate revolutionary and source of aspiration. It
seems that the Islamic regime has entered a phase that whatever tactics
it adopts and whatever shade it puts on, it only brings its demise
closer. This is the beginning of the end of one of the most brutal,
heinous regimes of the 21th century. No doubt its demise will have
far-reaching effect on the Middle East and political Islam.


Great blog Sayeh.

by benross on

Great blog Sayeh.



by yolanda on

I learned a new phrase, bursary students. Thank you! 

I hope all the students are safe and sound. I hope they won't get reprisal from IRI!


Delaram Banafsheh (Yolanda)

"Cactus in the Desert"