For the past thirty years the government organized Friday prayers throughout Iran have always been the bastion of the Islamist cutthroat republic. Week in, week out nationwide coordinated slogans of wishing death on real or perceived enemies have been repeated ad nauseam by mostly bused in clench-fisted attendees.
The occasion is the nearest thing to gauging the mood of the ruling Islamists, finding out in general terms what is on their mind and what they’ve cooked up for the upcoming week. But more than anything else it has always been a time for the Islamist regime to boast about its grassroots popularity and the unity of its cadre, an Islamist chest-thumping ritual.
Ever since the brutal suppression of the peaceful demonstrators which included government sharpshooters on the rooftops randomly picking off demonstrators and raping, torturing the ones they detained everything things including the Friday prayers have changed.
Gone are the days when the government sloganeers could expect the prayer attendees repeating their usual litany of death wishes, in one occasion people pointedly supplanted their own slogans. Also are gone the days the regime could boast about its unity and grassroots popularity.
According to his office, Rafsanjani, the undisputed pillar of the regime, a person who no one can challenge his Islamist cutthroat republic’s pedigree, has had to withdraw from leading this week’s Friday prayer in Tehran because: “"in order to avoid probable (political) confrontations in the (prayer) ceremony of Friday,"
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