Changing Iran: An Interview With Akbar Ganji
Boston Review / Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow
02-Aug-2008 (4 comments)

What is the status today of the reform movement in Iran? Are you optimistic about its prospects?

The confrontation between Iran and the Unites States over nuclear power, terrorism, politics in the Middle East, and Iran's increasing influence in the region, has greatly overshadowed internal opposition activity. The specter of war, together with the regime's repressiveness, has pushed aside the struggle for democracy and human rights. Moreover, the regime in Iran uses the pretext of an "impending war" to crack down more severely on its opponents. Resistance under such circumstances is very difficult.

In this way the government of the United States has harmed reformist forces in Iran. When President Bush says that Iranian reformists do not have a better friend than he, his words are both factually inaccurate and practically useless to the reform movement. But they provide a convenient excuse to Iran's fundamentalist rulers to paint their opponents as "American agents," and, under the pretext of fighting American intervention, proceed to crush them.

Given such circumstances, many of the reformist groups have placed their hopes on formal periodic elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran. What these reformists do not realize is that democracy and human rights will never emerge from the ballot box of the Islamic Republic. Other political activists have shifted their focus to civil society. This is the only way for... >>>

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AmirAshkan Pishroo

Ganji is a good example

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

It is not much of an exaggeration to say that Ganji resembles Heidegger, who seems seriously to have thought, when he was wearing his Nazi uniform, that he was carrying out a transcendental project. As an Islamist, Ganji has done just that.

Yet Heidegger, who happened to be one of the century's most original thinkers while being a pretty nasty guy, managed to forget what he had done. But Ganji succeeded in overcoming his past by not living up to it, by recreating himself, giving birth to himself as one of the Iran's most prominent liberal reformists.

Ganji is a good example of view that there is such a thing as moral progress.


Mr. Rashidian, I recommend

by insightful (not verified) on

Mr. Rashidian, I recommend that your email your response to Boston Review to Rebacca T Durbow. You might want to provide her with links to substantiate your statements otherwise, she won't take you seriously. Thanks. It's always good to read your insightful comments.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Bearded Ex-pasdar

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Mr. Ganji has sincerely worked with the repressive organs of the IRI in the first decade of bloody repression. He was engaged in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Ministry of Information, Iranian Consulate of Istanbul, all in a time when the most brutal atrocity of IRI's authorities took place against the opposition. He was a high ranking authority when the death-fatwa of Khomeini was issued in 1988 and brought in death many thousands of political prisoners.

In his second decade of service to the IRI, he became a victim of power struggles within the regime and had to spend 6 years in prison. Mr. Gangi has not mentally been changed, he remains the same lunatic Islamist who still believes in the competence and adaptability of political Islam. Apart from some superficially opportunistic and demagogic forms of rhetoric, he remains a bearded Islamist with a controversial past and a "modern" Islamist plan for the future.

The future of Iran will be democratic and secular and must be ruled by the true seculars and democrats. Free Iran does not need Islam and the bearded ex-pasdars or the outsiders of this regime to re-establish another Islam-based "democratic / secular" regime.


Ganji is unrepentent about his past

by Free Thinker (not verified) on

When he learned to say "sorry" that is his first lesson passed in democracy. Anything short of this is pure hypocracy.