As surely as the sun rises and sets everyday; one day the sun will set for the Theocratic Regime in Iran. Hopefully that day will be soon.
But, when that day happens, and once Iranians are truly liberated, you can bet it will be the end of Islam as we know it …in Iran. Women will openly flaunt western attire and reject He jab. Iranians will put the ‘60’s, flower power and Woodstock to shame.
The problem with mixing religion with politics and power is exactly the same as mixing royalty with politics and power … when the power diminishes (for whatever reason), religion (like royalty) will be threatened. And the power may diminish for reasons completely out of the hands of those in power …there could be large scale economic disaster, large scale natural disaster (earthquake, flood, etc.), large scale political disaster (in a neighboring country or region) that spills over into Iran…. When some is in POWER, they are seen as RESPONSIBLE for the disaster whether or not they had anything to do with it.
While power can be intoxicating, if he was alive today, he would probably have agreed that it would have been better for the Shah to play a much more symbolic role and release the reigns of power sooner and assist in the democratization of the country much earlier. He exposed himself to his danger by staying in power too long. It’s like telling a soccer player to not take too many touches and pass the ball earlier. They should have taken on the Chairmanship of the board and handed over the CEO’s job to someone else sooner. Those with true wisdom understand that influence is more important and enduring than power.
The essential point is that it is the very same power and influence that the Mullahs enjoy today, that will be their actual downfall. And with this downfall, we will witness the recession of religion in Iran. They are thus the very enemies of what they believe they are defending.
Depending on your point of view, this might be a good or bad thing. In my view, religion has utility in society, and any recession of a religious base will in the end create new social problems – which can be very difficult to address. Religion can a social bond, a unifying force, a symbol of righteousness, provide a moral compass … a foundation stone for families and quality social values. Iranians should not abandon their religion.
But, the desire for freedom and democracy are powerful forces and they will, in the end, conquer the Mullahs’ grip on power in Iran. This war will inevitably polarize Iran and place religion in one corner against freedom fighters.
Liberators will expose the hypocrisy of the Mullahs and with that eliminate their credibility. They will expose their use of torture and killings in Prisons – which is completely against all Islamic teachings. They will expose their incredible wealth and corruption – which is completely against all Islamic teachings. They will expose their oppression of the population – which is completely against all Islamic teachings. They will expose their secret fidelity to Western (non-Islamic) powers in secret Iran-Contra dealings, supporting the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and giving away our rights to large sections of the Caspian Sea.
Religion, like everything else has to be sold – not imposed on people. This is the very essence of the Shia faith. People must freely choose to believe. In fact, it is interesting that because of the very pressure the Mullahs have placed on Iranians, there is widespread flight away from Islam by Iranians in the West. The Mullahs have smeared Islam, and made it an embarrassment for people to even ‘admit’ they are Moslems outside Iran.
Ironically, the great center of Islamic learning Al Azhar University in Cairo, has not up to today accepted that the regime in Iran is in fact Islamic. Apart from their self made claims, there is no international basis for calling Iran an Islamic Republic. It is also interesting to note that while in my living memory prior to the “revolution”, there was NO squabble with Sunni Moslems, the Mullahs in Iran have not only waged a war on Islam inside Iran, but they have also polarized Muslims and antagonized the Sunni’s inside and outside Iran.
Going around town and handcuffing women for un-Islamic attire, is oppressive. Imposing religion on the population by forcing people to attend prayer meetings, obtain religious education credentials before being admitted to college, etc. are all oppressive. And in the end makes educators, the police, the military, the judiciary, and the ‘pre-selected’ political candidates’ surrogates for the Mullahs and their oppression. The Mullahs will not be able to hide behind their coat tails and pretend to play only symbolic roles.
Depending on the ferocity of the war to liberate Iran, it is possible that many leaders like for example Rafsanjani may end up being hung in the streets like Mussolini. But their deaths will in the end be remembered as secondary to death of the Islamic faith they will have caused. And you can bet the war to liberate Iran will be fought more ferociously and won.
In the end, they will be exposed as symbols of corruption, greed and evil. And with that exposure, their religious teachings will be discredited. Islamic teachings will suffer. And Iran’s social fiber will unravel. Not good.