Tag Archives: clerics

What Now Nigeria After Bloodshed?

The days of violence which swept northern areas of Nigeria apparently have come to a quiet, if not controversial conclusion. Armed forces crushed the militant Boko Haram sect with severity and decisiveness. Governors of Nigeria met to discuss the situation which has left hundreds dead and scores wounded. They issued a public statement “we ned to be bold, courageous and decisive on matters that affect the security of lives and property of the citizens.”

governor Ali Sheriff who heads the state of Bono that a major cause of violence was the presence of clerics who preached violence in mosques and schools. He announced formation of a “preaching board” which would “ascertain that only qualified and reliable clerics would be allowed to preach in mosques and other places.”

Perhaps, the clerics are symptoms rather than causes of the riots. Failure on the part of Nigeria’s educational system and business community to create a spirit of multiculturalism has caused people to cluster into Christian and Muslim groups. Most probably, security forces killed the leader of the sect, but, if the past holds true there will be other clerics preaching hate. Confront the causes which lead people to hate is the only way to curb their power.

Ahmadinejad Is Man In The Middle

When President Ahmadinejad turns to the left the sight of demonstrating thousands greets his gaze, when he turns to the right, faces of bearded angry clerics shouting in his direction compel attention to their demands. He is now caught in cross-fire from liberal reformers and hard-line clerics who disagree with his economic policies as well as his choices for the Cabinet. Right wing cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told the president, “before naming individuals for ministries, the government and parliament must co-ordinate.” In other words, check with us before you select anyone. Most probably as he is inaugurated for a second term, there will be demonstrations all over Iran by liberal reformers who want a democratic Iran in which the voice of the people is respected.

Ahmadinejad in the past few weeks even received criticism from the Supreme Ayatollah who is also chief man in the Iranian nation. Ahmadinejad denied there was a rift between Ayatollah Khamenei and himself. “What they do not understand is that the relationship between us and the Supreme Leader goes beyond politics and administration. It is based on kindness, on ideology, it is like that of a father and son.”

Perhaps, attacks on his competency have made Ahmadinejad, at least for the present, abandon any thoughts of using the army to usurp power from the clergy.

Iranian Deaths May Range In Hundreds!

The official Iranian government position is about twenty people died during post election riots, but new evidence suggests this figure is grossly underestimated. Aaron Rhodes of the International Campaign for Human Rights argues, “it is hard to put a figure on it (dead) because most of the families involved are scared to talk.” On June 30, 2009, the Ahmadinejad government stated there were only 20 dead people, but that same day, hospitals listed 34 dead from the riots. Parvin Fahimi of Mothers for Peace says she was summoned to a Revolutionary Court session where she was shown the pictures of about 50-60 dead people, but was unable to identify her own child in the group. Another Iranian woman claims she was searching for her son at a hospital and someone opened a door in which there were dozens of dead people.

No historian can use this data to decide how many died in post election riots. It appears government figures are not accurate, but at this point we can not state for certain whether twenty or hundreds died. The accurate figure eventually will emerge.

Haishemi Rafsanjani, who in the past was a hard liner, but today is supporting Mousavi, is expected to preach tonight and may make statements that will anger Ahmadinejad. It is rumored thugs will attempt to hinder his speech. What is now clear is the presence of division within the ranks of Iranian clerics.

NEDA — Human Face Of Life In A Tyranny!

She went for a walk to protest the fraudulent election in Iran that resulted in the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his merry band of thugs and so-called religious leaders. A bullet came through the air and landed in the body of Neda Agha-Soltan, the woman who has become a world symbol of what happens when religious fanatics gain power in any society. In America, religious fanatics believe they have the right to kill opponents, and while they are few in number in comparison to Iran, they elicit the same spirit of intolerance and hate. A crowd of about 1,000 gathered in a central Tehran square only to be clubbed and forced to flee by security forces including the infamous Basij. However, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can not suppress the face of Neda nor her death agony which has now spread to every corner of this planet.

Ahmadinejad has “triumphed” and his supporters like Khamenei believe this is best for Iran. But, in gaining this victory, the clerics have lost the support of a large number of young Iranians. They will become “iip service Muslims” who smile when ordered but in their hearts will remain the picture of their dead comrade’s last hours on this planet.

What price salvation for Muslim clerical leaders, what price salvation? They have gained a temporal victory and lost their religious souls. In Heaven, the Prophet’s head is bowed in sorrow at the loss of his child, Neda.

Khamenei Denies Recount And Ends His Power!

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threw his support to the obvious fraudulent presidential triumph of President Ahmadinejad, and in so doing may well have ushered in the end of clerical power in Iran. During the past few years, Ahmadinejad has slowly but surely replaced clerics in government with members of the military as he works to redesign the Iranian government into a full fledged dictatorship. Khamenei argued: “If the difference was 100,000 or 500,000 or 1 million, one might say a fraud could have happened. But how can one rig 11 million votes? Perhaps, the Ayatollah might check out “elections” in Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, five million was easy to rig or even ten million. Khamenei has unleashed a monster who will devour the clerics and drive them from power. One day, the Ayatollah will regret his failure to support the people of Iran who demonstrated in favor of democracy.

The tragedy is the destruction of a potential democracy because some clerics feared the right of people to express their views. Khamenei can blame the United States or the UK for the street demonstrations, but President Obama has been very careful to avoid making provocative statements. Ahmadinejad may push the buttons until he pushes the one which results in retaliation, a retaliation which will damage the people of Iran.

Clerics Attacking Ahmadinejad

President Ahmadinejad is fighting for his political life just days before the election of a new president in Iran. The mouth that spews anger and hatred directed it towards important clerics such as Rafsanjani, a former president, which elicited furious reactions and letters directed to the Supreme Leader Khamenei urging him to intervene and halt the ongoing verbal assault by Ahmadinejad against anyone who dares oppose him. In a recent debate, the Iranian president accused past leaders of being corrupt and even charged the wife of his opponent had used false credentials to become a college administrator. There is no doubt millions of young people, particularly women, are fed up with the authoritarian rule of Ahmadinejad and want someone who is in tune with the future of their country rather than a leader who seeks to return life to what it was in the early days of the glorious revolution which drove out the Shah.

There are three possible scenarios as a result of the presidential election. If reformer Mousavi wins, intellectuals, urban groups, and college students will be invigorated with the hope of change. If Ahmadinejad wins, he will confront a radicalized youth which is prepared to go into the streets with mass demonstrations in support of their right to individual liberty. A third scenario is the intervention of clerics to establish stability in society regardless of who is the president. Hopefully, youth can achieve their goals in the coming days for the right to enter the 21st century and share the new world along with their fellow students all over the world.

Terrorist Attack In Saudi Arabia!!

A massive terrorist attack struck the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, but no bombs were thrown or guns fired except for the weapon of laughter. For the first time in decades there was a public showing of a film. Police had to hold back a band of determined conservative clerics who warned allowing this film to be shown would unleash the anger of God leading to earthquakes and other unknown disasters. In order to lessen the threat to the security of the nation, a male only crowd of about 300 sat in the massive theater of the King Fahd Cultural Center where they enjoyed such delicacies as popcorn and soda. Naturally, no women could be allowed into the theater which showed, “Menahi,” a film about a country bumbkin who winds up in the big city.

A young student heralded the comedy as the “beginning of change” while a businessman said “I don’t want my son to grow up in the dark.” Of course if his son goes to the movies, he will be in the dark, and God forbid, he winds up sitting in the same row as a young girl!! Is this comedy the beginning of a revolution?

Riots Sweep Across Denmark After Cartoons Printed

A wave of vandalism swept through Denmark as cars were burned and fires set in schools in response to the reprinting of the famous Mohammed cartoons by about 17 Danish newspapers. The press was angry because of a reported attempt by two immigrants to murder the man who made the original cartoons. There is also the probability youthful anger could have stemmed from alleged police harassment of young immigrants. Most of the unrest took place in Copenhagen with a reported 15 fires beeing set. Part of a school was damaged when fire swept through staff rooms and administrative offices.

Muslim cleric Mostafa Chendid blamed the Danish media for causing the riots and destruction saying they deliberately angered Muslims by reprinting the cartoons. He also told young Muslims that Mohammed “did not teach you to burn schools, cars, and public buildings. He taught you to behave in a civilised manner.”

It is one thing to become upset at police harassment which is certainly grounds for anger, but a continuing problem is an inability to understand the nature of freedom of the press. Neither the Danish government nor any cleric has the right to dictate what newspapers print. From day one of this “controversy” this has been a problem. The Muslim press continually prints caricatures depicting Jews unfavorably but no Muslim clerics protest such publications. There apparently is a double standard in which the Muslim press can print distorted versions of history or depict its enemies in a cruel manner, but no one can print anything that some clerics consider to be insulting. Rioters conveniently forget many Muslims most probably accepted the caricatures and went along their daily lives with a shrug. A central issue is can a group of Muslims assume the role of “speaking for Muslims?” We think not. A central issue is freedom of the press. We believe it must always be defended regardless of whether we personally agree with what is being published.