Do we really want absolute democracy?


by tabar

Hello everyone,

this is my first blog post so I apologise if the entry sounds amateurish or anything like that.

My question is, in Iran we're fighting for a secular democracy. However, do you believe that there are certain rules that have to be implemented no matter what?

The reason I ask is that at my university me and some fellow Iranian students created a commitee called "Students Association for Democracy in Iran" and our job was to raise awareness in our town and university about what is going on in Iran right now. There was a rally for human rights in Iran that we were organising and my job was to create a short message to say before the rally itself to talk about our organisations and our demads [as Iranian people]. So I wrote about our organisation and the day that we were rallying on and what our demands were. I brought it to the other members to show and some disagreed with some rights. For example, I wrote "we demand complete and total equality for all regardless of gender or sexual orientation". Many said we should take the "sexual orientation" out because "that's not what they're fighting and dying for" and "that's too much to ask for right now" [The rally was in November by the way]. 

I also wrote "an immediate halt to all executions, torture and detaining of political prisoners". They suggested that I add to the end "without a fair trial". Since when do we legislate torture and execution in a fair trial?!

I have introduced myself to other members [sometimes rather hot-headedly and I apologise for that] on this website as a Turkmen, but I haven't talked about queer rights yet. I'm "gay" and obviously the majority of Iranian people do not agree with anything outside the heterosexual norm. However, if our revolution is to succeed and we do obtain a secular democracy for Iran, should we include legislation to say "complete and total equality for all regardless of gender or sexual orientation", even though most Iranians would disagree on the last part? I'm not asking for anything like gay marriage [yet] but I think we should at least have civil unions. Or what about executions? Many people would like to see the mullahs killed and/or tortured. Does Iran really need the death penalty or torture? Are we fighting for human rights or are we fighting for any other government, no matter what it may be?

Given the majority of Iranians disagree with anything outside the heterosexual norm and given that many [maybe not most] want to see the mullahs endure physical pain, does the new government of Iran have the right to push these rights on a populace that disagrees with them? Or should things like equality and no torture be "voted in"?

In my opinion human rights can never be voted in. My right to not be killed on the street for kissing a guy or my right to have access to employment, government benefits and the protection of the law should not be voted in whenever Iranian people feel the need for it to be "appropriate". In my opinion things like human rights must be implemented onto the populace no matter how much they disagree because these rights are universal and no one can take these rights away from anyone. Who's to say other rights won't be taken away? We need to have a standard, either human rights for all or human rights for some.


maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

 yes I saw the  heavy  long constituition formats drawn or sugessted by Mr.David E it will work in a FREE IRAN with majority of free minded Iranians But what about the majority of close minded one? because of that long old ties to eastern values and 1400 yrs old Iranian believes ? you know it can not be denied.

don't ask don't tell is the best.

thanks for your time.

** checked with my turkmani friend PALTA =axe (tabar)   Maziar


hey everyone

by tabar on

First off I would just like to say thanks for commenting :)

Abarmard and David ET I agree completely. I think that if we enforce these rules and also do like an "awareness" campaign of sorts we can help end the prejudice much faster than if we ignore it and let the people do what they want. It's beneficial for all three ends - the people in majority, the people in minority, and the government.

VPK, I agree, I saw David ET's Interim Constitution and it's great! Actually I'm glad to see this because as we all know the revolts in Iran are also fueled by online stuff so if we can get this constitution in the mainstream before 22 Bahman I think it will be great as it will give all of us a good direction as to where we want to head and what our demands are. It really is that important!

As for the US, omg lol words cannot describe my contempt for that country. I don't consider them at all to be a beacon of humanity and dignity, rather the exact opposite. Not saying all Americans are evil but their federal government and certain states certainly are. As for execution I'm against it wholly, as is Amnesty International. But yeah this isn't the biggest thing to worry about. My concern when I mentioned execution was the execution of political prisoners [people with different opinions] for which I am 10000000% opposed and this can't be accepted under any circumstances.

Hamsade I also agree, I don't mean to badmouth these people but some are bursary students from Iran and while the people in the group are alright people there are certain ones from Iran that really worry me. I'm not close to those particular people anyway :D

Maziar I agree but we should be clear in demanding what we want. Last time we just said "oh get rid of the Shah", for what? I think we need to be clear in what we want, democracy, human rights, etc. That's why I brought this up; certain things are being ignored. Have you had a chance to see David ET's Interim Constitution? I think personally that because this constitution brings up all ideas we can get everyone to join us as certain sectors of society are still not participating as much [workers, sexual and ethnic minorities, etc]. However Maziar in terms of Western vs. Eastern values, homophobia is actually a western idea [I'll post an article about this later, but basically it says that homophobia is a product of the West brought to us by European wannabe's and some Marxists. We didn't have this homophobia until like 150 years back [same goes for China and India] but the West [Arabic world, European world] did for thousands of years. Anyway, I got side tracked. I don't think we can just vote in things like this! Should we do the same for certain parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan where there's Islamic fundamentalism rampant? Should we vote in basic womens rights and etc? Are human rights negotiable; isn't the whole point of human rights to make all humans equal and universal? [Also what's Balta Khan, I tried searching it with no result? And no, Tabar is the name of the village my parents are from :D]

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

To stablish a democratic Iran(I don't  go for absolute) But How about focusing FIRST on getting rid of mullas from the power and as religiouse DALLAL from our motherland,then put general vote on what western or eastern values majority vote for,I mean the DON'T ASK DON'T TELL could work in Iran as well; be it a person's believes or prefernces.  

* I think Balta Khan means TABAR*     Maziar

hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

i think that united nations declaration of human rights (30 articles) would be a good model to follow.  i'm appalled by the reaction of your friends to your simple demands for equal rights of homosexuals (article 2), and ban of torture (article 5).  although i'm against capital punishment, i think that it's still a hot button issue (especially when the fate of certain people are discussed).  but the other two are no-brainers.  as a starting point, why don't you bring up u.n.'s model to your friends and see what else on that list they don't agree on.  if they agree on everything except these two issues, then they might reconsider.  frankly, i would reconsider these people as my friends.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You bring some very good points. No nation has absolute democracy. Not in the sense of majority rule.

Democracies by nature are subject to tyranny of the majority. Therefore we need a bill of rights. For a good document see DavidET's interim constitution. I think you will like the rights it guarantees.

Many things including day to day issues like tax rates; how many power plants to build; where to put a new railroad should be majority vote. Other things like foreign treaties would require super majorities. People's rights would be guaranteed and are impossible to take away.

Now to address your specific points:

Regarding torture:  Since when do we legislate torture and execution in a fair trial?!

Well it is done in the US :-) The eminent American legal scholar Alan Dershowitz (sarcasm on) openly advocates legislating torture! Personally I am opposed to it.

Regarding executions: Many nations have or have "legal" executions so I am not sure why this is a question. In the US the Federal government and some states do while other states don't. The ones that do require a "fair trial". I think post IRR we are better off banning executions. I know to many people this is a hard pill to swallow. I am pretty divided myself but am leaning towards outright ban of executions. Maybe we can make an exception for some of the worst of the IRR pigs. 

Regarding the gay rights issue. You are right. Many Iranians are not open to gay rights. But the new generation is more open minded. Many of us have lived in the West and realize that guaranteeing gay rights is just; fair and necessary. We all know of many great patriotic Iranians in recent history who were gay. Time is on the side of gay rights. I personally support it. Post IRR it would be wise to get it in the new bill of rights. It is wrong to discriminate based on sexual orientation.


sorry Tabar

by Fatollah on

there is no such phenomenon as "absolute", but to answer your question, yes we need democracy where the principles such as "by the people and for the people" should apply and be practiced. with this as a framework, we will be able to develope institutions that are independent and also functioning ones. as for the human rights, it should apply to everyone. this is where all begins, one step at a time and hopefully we will get there!

David ET

Human Rights are non-negotiable

by David ET on

or we will be back where we started.Secularism is not a guarantee to democracy (as there are and have been many secular dictatorships) but secularism is a pre-requisite to a true democracy.

All humans are equal and some are not more (or less) equal due to gender , color, ethinicity, family, religion or sexual orientation.

Human Rights should NOT be negotiated and yes Iranians are more than ever ready for that.


We need freedom and proper laws

by Abarmard on

Democracy in the true meaning of the word would mean a popular demand, which in case of Iran would not translate to equal opportunity. Iranian society, similar to many other countries has ways to go. However Iranian people can learn and respect humane laws quickly. Humane and just Laws therefore would play an important role given that Iranian society has reached the level of civility to obey them.

Thanks for the blog and welcome.