It’s been reported that Mousavi’s campaign has called for another round of mass rallies on Saturday.
There are also indications that the security forces of the Islamic “Republic” and paramilitary Basij, notorious for their brutality, have been green-lighted to put down the demonstrations with extreme prejudice now that the “Great Leader” has said the last word.
In the past 30 years such face-offs in Iran has consistently resulted in massive bloodshed.
The atrocities on 30th Khordad of 1360 are within our living memory, when hundreds were killed in Tehran and many more were executed in the bloody summer that ensued.
Back then, many of the current leaders of the so-called reform movement were on the other side. The chickens have come to roost for these ladies and gentlemen but the people, middle-class or otherwise, are caught in the middle.
In the past week, several major ayatollahs have criticized the handling of the election and the subsequent harsh response by the government to pro-Mousavi demonstrators.
Some of these gentlemen happen to carry the title of “grand” (al-ozma), including Sanei and Montazeri.
Most of them carry much more religious cache than Khamenei whose religious credentials are laughable.
The Khomeinist concept of Velayt-e Faghih of course is strictly a political concept with very little if any credibility in actual Shi’a sharia. And because of that, many in the religious establishment have resented it.
The question is this.
Do any of these Ulama have the courage of their alleged convictions?
Are they willing to come down to Tehran and march at the head of the young people?
Are these old men willing to put their lives on the line?
Anyone with a cursory knowledge of Iran’s history knows that the Shi’a clergy has played a progressive role in the people’s struggles on certain historical moments. This is a historical fact.
Of course there have been plenty of reactionary clergies too; that is also a historical fact.
Take Khomeini’s mentor Sheikh Nouri. This is the hour of reckoning for Shi’a Islam in Iran.
Slaughter of unarmed demonstrators even if they are just middle-class (which is not a sin punishable by death as far as I know) will be a blight on the face of this regime.
Mostazeri to his credit has realized the danger this regime poses to his faith and has stood up for his convictions. But sitting at Qum is not enough.
If there is any trace of decency is left in the Shi’a clergy and establishment, this is the time to show it.
They must confront the dictator and his attack dogs.
Let the black-clad Special Forces and thuggish Basij point their guns at these religious leaders.
Messrs Mousavi, Karrobi and Khatami and their alleged backers in Qum cannot send the young people to their slaughter while they sit in the safety of their sanctuaries. Let the thugs shoot an ayatollah or two. That would the final nail in the coffin of the regime’s legitimacy, even its religious legitimacy.
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