Free Thoughts on Iran
Front Page | About FToI | Authors | Archives | Comment Policy | Disclaimer
e-mail

bra.gif As they count the VOTES! (1) | Main | Disasters, Despair and Decision Makers ket.gif

February 21, 2004

Why the election was rigged
Mehdi Yahyanejad  [info|posts]

I am going to compile the list of reasons on why this election was rigged based on reports by news agencies as well as on what is written in weblogs. I am doing so because it seems some naïve international news agencies are reporting the big win of conservatives in Iran without clearly stating that this was a sham election.

Here is the list of violations:

  1. Wide spread disqualification of well-known reformist candidates by the Guardian Council (GC). This disqualification included 80 members of current parliament. GC is a body with 12 members who are appointed by the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
  2. There is no well-known opposition figure running in this election. They have already been disqualified by being executed, jailed or exiled.
  1. The time for casting vote was extended by the Guardian Council from 6p.m. to 10p.m. on Friday. Based on the election law, extending the time is under jurisdiction of Interior Ministry, which was not happy with the extention.
  2. Mohammad Reza Khatami, a reformist, accused hardliners of printing 2 millions Iranian national IDs in Pakistan. There is no way for me to verify his accusation. However, contarary to all the past elections, the Guardian Council announced that in this election picture ID is not required for casting a vote. This doesn't have any lawful justification since almost all IDs were replaced 9 years ago with photo IDs.
  3. The Guardian Council announced that the eligible population is 43 million to increase the announced percentage of participants in the election, while Interior Ministry, which is in charge of organizing the election, said that there are 46 eligible voters.
  4. There are reports that soldiers doing their two-year compulsory military service, have been told to take a day off but come back with a stamp in their national ID proving that they have voted.
  5. Tehran municipal government interfered in the election by mobilizing all its facilities, such as billboards, to help the propaganda of getting people to vote.
  6. A gossip was spread that youth who wouldn’t vote would not be permitted to enter in public universities. This gossip was denied by the government but nonetheless it influenced some to vote. Some people have still memories of 80s when people were barred from universities merely for not going to Friday prayers regularly.
  7. The flow of information was disrupted. Two major reformist newspapers were shut down last week. There was a larger degree of filtering Internet in past week.
  8. The seizure and closure of Mosharekat Party’s headquarter. Mosharekat is the biggest reformist party, which has vowed not to participate in election.

Please write any other violation you know in the comment section with reference or without.

Poll:
Do you think election was rigged?
Comments
Borghan N. Narajabad at February 21, 2004 12:10 PM [permalink]:

Mehdi,
you have written:"Contrary to the elections in the past, the Guardian Council announced that this time picture ID is not required for casting a vote"

as I clearly remember, at least for the past 8 years, having photo in ID was NEVER required for voting. That is becuase lots of Iranians have not pictured their IDs, beside one can vote at the age of 15 but would rarely add photo to his/her ID before age of 18! (Just recall how much your face have changed since you were 15? would you like to have your picture at age 15 on your ID?)

Overall, I agree with the fact that there was some fraud during election, but I don't think it could have changed anything.

However, the disqualification of dominant reformosit figures, were much more important; since it caused low turn out, which always leads to victory of conservatives.

Roozbeh Pournader at February 21, 2004 12:10 PM [permalink]:

"[...] This doesn't have any lawful justification since almost all IDs were replaced 9 years ago with photo IDs."

That is not true. Not all the younger voters had IDs with a photograph. One cannot get a photo on his ID until he/she is 15.

AliS in Wonderland at February 21, 2004 01:49 PM [permalink]:

I do not remember if a photo id was ever required for voting.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at February 21, 2004 07:32 PM [permalink]:
An example of how BBC reports and the way it should be percieved by the viewers. Here is the personal blog of a BBC reporter (Stuart Hughes) who was in Tehran for the elections. He writes: "...At one point, we turned up at a polling station to do some lives on our videophone, only to find it virtually deserted. As we set up the camera, the police officer on patrol herded up a gaggle of women in black chadors and made them queue outside – to make it look like the Great Iranian Public was itching to cast its collective vote. At the polling station, I met two sisters who were a dream for me. Not only did they speak good English but they were also poles apart politically – one conservative, the other reformist. I made them the centrepiece of my election day report, which you can hear here. It’s a .wma file, is 400Kb in size and is 3’18” long." Do you think there is ANY mention of this 'fabrication of long queues' in his report? No chance! actually in the official report that is sent to the world for the viewers to listen to, this is what he (the same guy who wrote the above lines in his PERSONAL blog) says: "...Of course the figure everybody has been looking towards has been the turnout...early indications, although again this figures are unofficial, suggest that maybe up to around 50% of voters turned out, now that is not as high as 4 years ago when 67% of voters turned out, BUT CERTAINLY IT'S A RESPECTABLE FIGURE and it will bring no comfort to the reformists..." (emphasis is mine) Note that this is the report he sends along the interview of the two sisters in the very station where he mentiones the fabrication by the police. (You can here the official report on the same blog in audio or see it as a video file as well) He writes more things in his blog that you NEVER hear in any of these 'reports': "...I tried to log on to Hossein Derakhshan's site because from the stats it looks like he's also given me a mention. He's an Iranian living in Canada who's done a lot of work promoting and helping his fellow Iranian bloggers. My browser gave me a stern message -- "THE REQUESTED PAGE IS FORBIDDEN. I tried a proxy server instead. Same message..," "...Being able to interview people openly in public places is unusual enough in Iran. But the paranoia of the authorities over it would be laughable, were it not so serious for the ordinary Iranians who have to deal with the invasions of their privacy every day. As soon as I took out my microphone and started talking to people, a plainclothes intelligence officer sidled up alongside. He didn’t say anything, he didn’t stop us, he didn’t take notes…he just stood there, as if poised to step in should anyone dare to criticise the regime. It was all extremely bizarre – but because we’d been rigorous beforehand in ensuring we had the right accreditation, everything was above board. On any normal, non-election day we’d have been hauled off to the nearest police station – or at the very worst subjected to the breathtakingly pointless questioning and permission checking that makes you want to tear your hair out. For the elections, though, we had our special papers – and no one could stop us. As the day went on, the constant shadow of the authorities began to feel almost normal. Men in sunglasses followed us from a distance whenever we went. To be fair, I would have been very surprised if they hadn’t..." "...On any normal day, gauging opinion on the streets of Tehran would instantly attract the attent ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Klimanjaro at February 21, 2004 09:24 PM [permalink]:

This election was a big lie. They basically appointed all the candidates, there was no election; it was an appointment party!! It was like the fake elections that were taken out before the revolution during the Monarchs (The Shah) and the elections of the communist party of the USSR. Very fake.

reza at February 21, 2004 09:54 PM [permalink]:

The spineless pu**ies that were called reformists are gone. That can't be bad. Oh what am I saying? of course it is bad. Is there anybody among you wise friends who is hopeful about the future of Iran?

Saeed S at February 21, 2004 11:20 PM [permalink]:

Reformists did a very bad job in delivering what they promised and I think they deserve to be left alone. The reformists are the real losers of this from every angel you look at it. The rest are details...


Arash Jalali at February 22, 2004 11:45 AM [permalink]:

Dear Mehdi,
Here are a few points I should like make:

1- I do not think it was necessary for you to strike out the point about photo-less ID's. The mere fact that they allowed for it (with or without precedent), especially with so many fake ID's discovered by the police itself, means that the whole process is questionable. Some 30,000 fake ID's are said to have been discovered by the police in Saaveh (a town south of Tehran) alone.

2- Regarding the contribution made by the municipal authority in Tehran, I should say it was way more than just billboards. A few days before the elections, they gave a number of 50,000-Toman (approx. 60USD) gift vouchers to the school teachers of Tehran. It was mentioned in the newspapers, but I do not recall whether they gave it to every single teacher in Tehran or just a select group.

3- I think you could also mention the IRGC (a.k.a revolutionary guards) reported by some newspapers to have offered very low interest loans to newlywed couples a few days before the elections.

4- Based on truely democratic criteria, which mandate absolute freedom of choice with no preconditions whatsoever, I believe this so-called election is not the only spurious one held in Iran during the past 25 years. For more than two decades, the candidates have been and still are being filtered, based on whether or not they are willing to express, in writing, their loyalty to and belief in the so-called "principle of absolute guardianship". The religious-nationalists have so far been disqualified by the Guardian Council in all elections simply because they refuse to recognize that very despotic "principle". I believe such preconditions, and filterings will automatically make any such undertaking, in any part of the world, devoid of any democratic value, and therefore unworthy of the title "election". It could at best be called a game of voting.

Roozbeh Pournader at February 22, 2004 12:05 PM [permalink]:

Something to add: the two newspapers were only closed the day before the elections, when they were even allowed to run ads for the candidates. I really believe this doesn't have much to do with the election results or even the turnout.

Yaser at February 22, 2004 12:29 PM [permalink]:

The election was rigged or not, the result clearly shows that there are more people supporting "Islamic Republic" than many of us thought. It is not the majority but far more our expectation. It wasn't fair and free election, but it doesn't mean that the outcome has no meaning. It has many meanings to me the most importantly the fact that there will still be "Islamic Republic" coming years. That's why I think still reform is the ONLY solution.

Marjan at February 22, 2004 03:08 PM [permalink]:

Unfortunately you didn't have the chance to watch IR TV the days before the election.
Actually Larijani's final policy was to abuse the words of American politicians talking in favor of boycotting the election, interpreting that to America's aim to change Iran to another Iraq, and causing many people to vote by making them afraid of another War or chaos.
And we really should admit that the number of voters wasn't as less as what we expected.

Saeed S at February 22, 2004 04:46 PM [permalink]:

Marjan,

If your analysis is true , that many people have voted because of the White House statement, it shows the simplicity , if not stupidity, of Iranians who voted for that reason.

I personally think this analysis is not true (maybe true for a very small fraction who only listen to IRIB!). Iranians have become more sophisticated specially people of Tehran.

I can not guage 30% vote in Tehran with these kinds of analysis.

Western Baseej at February 22, 2004 04:54 PM [permalink]:
Salam, I've read this website previously, it's interesting because it gives a glimpse of a certain strain of thought on the Islamic Republic. Why everyone is so pessimistic about the elections and the future of Iran? I have read plenty on the situation of the Islamic Republic and it doesn't appear as cataclistic as some unduly paint it. It's specially appalling to see that several comments prophesizing a grimm future, when the Coalition of Builders of Islamic Iran in no way has any intention to ruin the country. I think it's necessary to let some time and wait until the new cabinet takes over. To me appears that a brilliant times lie ahead, enshallah. Some comments wrote of 'jungles mullahs', very pathetic. As if this new era will act out irrationality. They are extremely pragmatic who have studied the situation for two Khatami's terms and learn from previous mistakes, on top of that they are not stupid and act with wisdom and tact. Some important things will happen. The Reformist agenda will be thrash out in order to let the new thinking emerge, then the people to act tune wit the the new program. Reformist had too many vulnerable point open to the predacy of Zionist-West. The western press gave reformist more than generous safe passage and pretext for different kind of interventions. This pretext was expressed at home as well, giving people to pinn their hopes on western satanic sympathy, while reformist tried to coordinate taccitly with other plots. What looked even more vulnerable to Western-Zionist attacks was the new wave of reformist, or extremist, joining the ranks of Participation Front. Luckily the snake was beheaded on time. For Reformist is time to do a intense soul-searching and find a more moderate position. Those comments who spell a grimm future, especially the smart people, have to think harder and not to fall into temporal history trap. The assumption that the present defines the future. Many cries are expressed by passionate youth, and because they are a considerable portion of the population it translates in general discontent. However, this is only temporal, as a person grows up and matures those ideals will appear unappealing. When this young bastion advances in age and learn to take responsibilities no such a period will emerge. No country has a ever lasting either reformist or liberal spirit, there is a conservative side as well, that is more in tune with the adult. This has historical perspective, when deeply idealistic periods shocks a nation, those same person participating there later on become conservatives. Such was during the Romantic period in Europe when poets wrote of the a meaningless life and so on. Back then those poems would inspired the youth who in turn became emotionally arrested and despair about life and take their own lifes. Then those same poets later in life bacame businessmen and adopted a more conservative outlook. Another paralel example ar the 60’s in the US, (which from a Islamic perspective is appalling): drugs, free sex, tune with nature, live the moment, and many other distortions of life where the order of the day. Such a movemenent, such a chaotic time in no way would be able to lead a country. I am not downplaying the positive face of that time like the civil movements , anti-war, etc. But that those times of experimentation and chaos plunged the moral level of US and now the long term effects are felt in terms of social degradation. In the Islamic Republic this perido shoul ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
An Iranian Student (AIS) at February 22, 2004 10:48 PM [permalink]:

This election was like all the other elections since 1979 a sham and a theater. The turn out was NOT 50%. God knows how the 'counting' has gone through, howe many false extra ballots have been cast and the like. The Boycott did takle place as anyone who lives in Iran can tell you from the condition of election posts in Friday. This is all theater. Stop aknowledging such obvious nonesenswe, because the other side has doen this to gain propaganda advantages. This thing is pathetic.
Just look at the comment before mine in which that baseeji 'entity' (I am being VERY polite here)is already taking adavntage using the usual lies. (I just wonder how this...'entity' is in the West). I just gave an example of how BBC and the likes of it are ABSOLUTELY unreliable when it comes to places like Iran.
Reading his(?) comments should be a lesson for everyone here as to what kind of creatures we are faced with, and why no single concession has to be made against this cattle.

As for the 'reformists', this is supposed to be the speaker of the 'reformist' government:
"Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi described the turnout as "remarkable", according to a report on the state news agency IRNA."
veeeery interesting!

Here is another example, this time from the CNN (who can forget the Amanpour Enetrprise of Khatami propaganda, eh?)
"Some analysts and intellectuals have started to openly complain that Iran is BECOMING a religious dictatorship, little different from the monarchy deposed 25 years ago." (Emphasis mine)

All of these are irrelevant. With more oand more of Nuclear secret programs coming to light and people's HATRED of Islamic animalism the Hardliners ("conservative"? this is a joke, right?) have begun their final collpaseof their end by their own design. This is the beginning of the end for this system. It may take many years or not, but the countdown has started.

yaser at February 22, 2004 10:55 PM [permalink]:

"the countdown has started" An Iranian Student (AIS)

I have been hearing this for years. I think the count down has been started from trilions.

An Iranian Student (AIS) at February 23, 2004 08:07 AM [permalink]:

Yaser,
you've got me there! You are right,it is premature to claim such things (and this particular one is an outworn cliche!)
But I still think there is hope and that their action of finishing off the reform , which they were using (and tolerating) for all the international and internal gain and control that it provided them shows that the times have changed and they can't risk that anymore. This to me is a sign of weakness. The nuclear case is not going to be forgotten either. To me this show of harsh seizure of power is a sign of insecurity and that is positive. What that would bring is uncertain though and can never be taken for granted. You are right on that one.

Wessie at February 23, 2004 08:41 AM [permalink]:

". . .Just look at the comment before mine in which that baseeji 'entity' (I am being VERY polite here)is already taking adavntage using the usual lies. (I just wonder how this...'entity' is in the West). I just gave an example of how BBC and the likes of it are ABSOLUTELY unreliable when it comes to places like Iran.
Reading his(?) comments should be a lesson for everyone here as to what kind of creatures we are faced with, and why no single concession has to be made against this cattle. . . "

Ever wonder why many Westerners don't come to this site? Well, you probably don't since you prefer for FToI to be an exclusive Iranian club. . . Not that anyone is banging down the door to get in here. ;-)

Iranians behaving like global adolescents. The vote as a "slap in the face of America" indeed. It is a slap in the face of freedom—which the Iranians clearly don't want to work for. They would rather party undercover and not think about politics.

Postcards from Iran: Tehran partyhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3486779.stm

The sixties, Khoda hafez, in the U.S. were all about politics. The youth were instrumental in social change from civil rights to stopping a war. What are you guys doing besides partying and carrying yourselves with "elegance and dignity?"

Elegance and dignity. Amen!

Wessie

(a "filthy anglo-saxon")

Arash Jalali at February 23, 2004 04:08 PM [permalink]:

Dear Iranian Student,
I just noticed your comment about that BBC reporter. It is indeed pretty shocking how irresponsible that reporter has been. I should say this form of journalistic practice is totally unbecomming an agency like BBC. I guess these are the kinds of reporters that are supposed to take the place of the people like Andrew Gilligan. I think I will follow this lead, and will probably post an article on it. I would appreciate any more information on this matter.

Babak S at February 23, 2004 05:07 PM [permalink]:

Western Bassej words are typical of what is broadcast on state-controlled media in Iran. Filthy they think, filthy they act, and with incredible isolence label others as such. Their insolence is the hard-liners' major diplomacy, in the absent of any viable free speech, in keeping the power.

Didar at February 23, 2004 06:57 PM [permalink]:

This nation will survive.
In Western Baseej's wrods, one would notice a more realistic, long term perpective. This is history, and Iraninas have survived a myriad of challenges they faced. We better accept that we are experiencing and growing up, as West did in the past. Being too optimistic or pessimistic will not solve our problems:Instead we have to be realistic.
We better take alook at the recent years, and examine how we have experienced so many obstacles. First, we need to understand ourselves in relation to the outside world.

-Didar

An Iranian Student(AIS) at February 23, 2004 07:26 PM [permalink]:
Arash, There isn't much more that I can add at the moment. The link to the blog is in my comment, where you can hera the audio file or see the video. It also has a link to BBC website where there is a mention of Ali Samee' being accosted by an official and a mention of the difference in interviewing freedom in election day compared to normal days. But that's it. No mention of deserted polls, fabrications,... not even the presence of an official during the entire interview time. As you agree, the video report is the one that gets most international attention, inclusing that of the Iranians who have access to Satellite TV in and out of Iran and many still consider the BBC a thrustworthy news agancy. In the video report even this much is not mentioned. Even if mentioning of the fabrication would cause him trouble while still in Iran, he could at l;east comment on 'the deserted polls', or relay what he witnessed after coming out of Iran. I am not surprised by this kind of 'reporting' by the BBC. I remember other examples myself, but I have no links or evidence there of. For example, after each football match in the Asian tournament sporadic celebrations would turn in to anti-government demonstrations especially in Tehran-Pars area, and that became more and more intense as the days went by, followed by Baseej and plain cloth militias attacking people, and gunshots being fired. Until Iran lost in semi-finals. The next Friday, mullahs rallied a state demonstration "to throw a punch in the face of the US" yet again, clearly as a response to the unrest of the last weeks. The BBC broadcast this state demonstration in its top news, didn't mention a single word about the unrests of the previous weeks that were the main reason of this state show and portrayed it as 'Iranians showing their anger to Bush's comments on Iran being an axis of evil' or something like that. there are definitely many other examples. This time I just got to the reporters blog by chance so that one at least is documented. Here is also what Iran va Jahan has to say about 'unreported incidents after the election' We are not the only ones who complain about BBC: Subdued Reactions to the Iranian Protests (This one concerns the coverage of the unrests this summer) ---------------------------------------------- Biased BBC a weblog dedicated to this subject Search result on Reuters and Bias BBC WATCH.com "The BBCWATCH reports demonstrate how the BBC consistently fails to adhere to its legal obligations to produce impartial and accurate reporting" (it has no entry since June 2003, but is very meticulous) BBC bias, again Still Too Lenient With The BBC Hutton's verdict The BBC Is Tacky? Dishonest Reporting Awards (Reuters, BBC et al.) honestreporting.com Reuters-Watch More Reuters Watch (read the comments as well) Unfortunately there is no Iranian outspoken media watch (that I know of), so most of the above concentrate on other biases in these media, the current fiasco in the BBC or their biased reporting on the middle-east conflict. I hope this helps. Yaser, as an update look at the following news: Straw: "Election flawed" Bipartisan US Senate Support for the People of Iran US Criticizes Iran Parliament Election (Notice it comes from the State Department) Toughening of EU-Iranian relations follows elections And you can check more of the reactions and analysis here and here Again, as you said, these alon prove nothi ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Wessie at February 23, 2004 08:12 PM [permalink]:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." - Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights ---- In light of these "elections" and their many steps backwards— decided to look up a few sayings by the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Looks like these should justify the right of the Islamist mullahs to rule Iran and the whole world for that matter: • Islam is the religion of those who struggle for truth and justice, of those who clamor for liberty and independence. It is the school of those who fight against colonialism. Moslems have no alternative, if they wish to correct the balance of society, and force those in power to confrm to the laws and principles of Islam, to an armed holy war against profane governments. • Holy war means the conquest of all non-Moslem territories. Such a war may well be declared after the formation of an Islamic government worthy of that name, at the direction of the Iman or under his order. It will then be the duty of every able-bodied adult male to volunteer for this war of conquest, the final aim of which is to put Koranic Law into power from one end of the earth to the other. • The Friday prayers were the means of mobilizing the people, of inspiring them to battle. The man who goes to war straight from the mosque is afraid of only one thing – God. Dying, poverty, and homelessness mean nothing to him; an army of men like that is a victorious army. • We have no recourse other than to overthrow all governments that do not rest on pure Islamic principles, and are thus corrupt and corrupting, and to tear down the traitorous, rotten, unjust, and tyrannical administrative systems that serve them. That is not only our duty in Iran, but it is also the duty of all Moslems in the world, to carry the Islamic political revolution to its final victory. • Europe (the West) is nothing but a collection of unjust dictatorships; all of humanity must strike these troublemakers with an iron hand if it wishes to regain its tranquility. If Islamic civilisation had governed the West, we would no longer have to put up with these barbaric goings-on unworthy even of wild animals. • The army must be under the control of the clergy in order to be efficacious and useful. • We affirm that music engenders immorality, lust and licentiousness, and stifles courage, valour and the chivalrous spirit; it is forbidden by Koranic laws and must not be taught in the schools. Radio Teheran, by broadcasting Western, Oriental and Iranian music, plays a nefarious role by introducing immorality and licentiousness into respectable families. • When the imperialists, the traitorous and tyranical governers, the Jews, the Christians and the materialists have all gotten together to distort the truths of Islam and mislead the Molem [sic] peoples, it is more than ever our duty to carry out an active propaganda campaign. • It is written that "the clergy rule the sultans". If the sultans are obedient to Islam, then they should also be obedient to the clergy; they should ask the clergy for laws and regulations and advice on how to apply them. In this way the clergy are the real leaders and power belongs to them, officially. • In certain cases deception is necessary for the maintenance of Islam and of rel ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Niayesh at February 24, 2004 03:30 AM [permalink]:

Wessie,

Once again you used unwarranted generalizations to scorn the diverse beliefs of more than one billion people. Charismatic figures like late Mr. Khomeini come and go, and although their ideas might make a big impact at their times, in the long run, eventually, almost all of them only affect the history books. For example, the Spanish inquisition might have been much more brutal and inhumane comparing to the practices of the Islamic Republic, but it came to pass and few people may discredit Christianity today, due to the practices of Christians in the Middle Ages. So I think you'd be making a fool of yourself by judging a religion from quotations by one/few of its advocates.

A side note: Mr. Khomeini was famous for his decree to legalize (some) music (along with many other things, of course!). So may be you should quote also the source of your quotations, as they may not be very accurate.

As to the "... hegemonic, imperialistic, fascistic, misanthropic plans of the mullahs ..."

,I am pretty confident that there is no such thing. The basis of your conspiracy theory is the readings of one (set of) cleric(s) into Quran and Hadith. This changes by person, and by time, too fast, and too randomly to amount to a "plan".

And yet, I agree with you that there is a real danger there. Unlike you, I don't want to alienate one billion Muslims by calling it "Islam", but rather call it a destructive strand of Islam.

I think you'd mentioned that you dealt with science as a part of your job. Well, in science we prefer to be pragmatic and practical. Trying to reform Islam into a peaceful and tolerant religion through re-interpreting its sources may be practical (as has been done in Christianity, and is continually being done in Islam). Trying to convince a billion people to abandon their religion is not.

JFTDMaster at February 24, 2004 08:11 AM [permalink]:

I think the point here is removing the illegitimate Iranian dictatorship, which is taking away people's freedom. The point is to bring democracy to Iran. The state can be a real democracy, while all religions in Iran (Islam, Bahai, etc) can be part of the cultural tradition of the nation, with full freedom to practice their religion as Iranians, regardless of being a majority of minority. And you can leave it at that.

Wessie at February 24, 2004 10:40 AM [permalink]:
[comment removed based on the Rule 2 of the comment policy ] • "Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given ... and do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued." (9:29) • Slay those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and his apostle have forbidden, and who do not embrace the true Faith, until they pay jaziah out of hand and are utterly subdued Surah Al-Tawbah (Repentence), Ayah 29, It is you who are making a fool of yourself by claiming this is not so. The mullahs, muftis, ayatollahs and imams quote the Qur'an every single day of the week—especially on Fridays. We have the translations in the West of how they call for "holy" jihad to murder Jews and Westerners by quoting the legitimacy of that from the Qur'an. ". . .I am pretty confident that there is no such thing. The basis of your conspiracy theory is the readings of one (set of) cleric(s) into Quran and Hadith. This changes by person, and by time, too fast, and too randomly to amount to a "plan".. . ." The "plan" was Muhammad's and the Islamic clerics are carrying it out just as it is mandated in the Qur'an! Khomeini's quotes were from a book by Muslim: Taslima Nasrin, Bangladeshi who is now under a death fatwa. "SAYINGS of the AYATOLLAH KHOMEINI" Bantam Books, INC.(ISBN 0-553-14032-9) Another nice tenet of Islam. "Say we are the religion of peace or we shall kill you." ". . .Unlike you, I don't want to alienate one billion Muslims by calling it "Islam", but rather call it a destructive strand of Islam.. . " Sorry, Niayesh, you don't know what you are talking about. Islam is Islam! Any Muslim on these boards will tell you that. There may be different sects, but, they all believe in the Qur'an as the IMMUTABLE word of allah and the hadith as the basis of Islamic sharia. That word is pretty clear as to what is to be done with the "infidels." Muslims who pick and choose their phrases are apostates! It is the Islamic terrorists who are following Islam at it is written—as it is supposed to be followed—to the letter. ". . Well, in science we prefer to be pragmatic and practical. Trying to reform Islam into a peaceful and tolerant religion through re-interpreting its sources may be practical (as has been done in Christianity, and is continually being done in Islam). Trying to convince a billion people to abandon their religion is not. " Exactly! The scientific method is the scientific method. Islam is Islam. It is unchangeable and uninterpretable according to Muhammad! Islam is not reformable as was Christianity BECAUSE it is the literal word of allah. Christianity does not have world domination and murder of the "other" in most of its tenets. Jesus preached "love and peace" not "kill the infidel." Christianity does NOT NEED to be reinterpreted! Islam cannot be! As for trying to "convince a billion people to abandon their religion" —I could care less. They can believe in the Tooth Fairy for all I care–as long as they don't come to the West and want us to believe their BS and as long as they don't commit Islamic terrorism against innocent "infidels." As for "alienating Muslims"— Islam has alienated itself by its violent, misanthropic behavior through the ages and especially recently. "And yet, I agree with you that there is a real danger there." Muslims may abandon their 7th century death cult all on their own once they are educated. But, of course, Islam may des ["Toooo long!" editors say, "Here: click to read the whole thing!"]
Marjan at February 24, 2004 03:01 PM [permalink]:

Saeed wrote :"Iranians have become more sophisticated specially people of Tehran."
I do not know wheather you live in Iran or not, but I believe that Iranian students who are living in US (for instance), have become so optimistic about society's level of knowledge, just because of living in an unreal atmosphere they have made by gathering with their intelligent friends.
Actually not only people have not become more sophisticated today, but also they are moving forward to a level of high stupidity.
Watching your group of friends as an example of Iran's society, is utterly incorrect, and faking.
(It kinda reminds me of students who go to Sampad (Tizhooshan) affiliated schools )
Just move in Tehran,and listen to what people say in Taxies and metro, you will fall into a "sophisticated" kind of stupidity till the end of the day...!!!

An Iranian Student (AIS) at March 2, 2004 05:00 AM [permalink]:

More, more and still more reasons why we should pray for Bush to get elected for Iran, America and for the whole world, because the alternative (that is Kerry) seems to be worse than Carter. (and that is REALLY some accomplishment, doing worse than Carter is almost a contradiction in terms!)
(all limks from Allah -it is a great site!)

An Iranian Student (AIS) at March 8, 2004 08:56 PM [permalink]:

And still MORE reasons. This one is a great analysis of Kerry's responses in his interviews.