Date: Thursday, March 18, 2010
Kalemeh reports the complete transcripts of this message as follows:
In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful,
We wish our countrymen, inside and outside the country, no matter where they may be, a happy Norouz. Norouz, this ancient, eternal holiday.
[new year prayer] O savior of hearts and sights, guide of night and day, you who can transform our being, transform me to the very best.
How strange that this ancient ceremony has been so elegantly woven with an Islamic narrative, and not only with a beautiful Islamic narrative, but with the modern society we live in today, and at a time when the green movement has engraved its own beautiful signature on it.
Transform me to the very best is the very wish of the green movement. The green movement wants to work for the betterment of its own condition, and the circumstances of its nation. And evolution in any effort is a beautiful symmetry. The green movement is not a movement that works to overthrow. It is a movement that seeks evolution, an evolution from the status quo to a better circumstance. But allow Hafez to light the way, and let us use the trust we have in him every day of our lives:
To thy complain, love reacheth, if like Hafez
Thou recite the Koran with the fourteen traditions
These fourteen traditions, of which Hafez speaks, and has united with love, tells us that it is something in which we can trust. It is not fortune telling, I don’t believe in fortune telling, and the Holy Koran states: “you are what you are” – do not put the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders. Rather, we take inspiration from him:
Arrived the glad tidings that grief’s time shall not remain:
Like that remained not; like this shall not remain.
Although, I am, in the Beloved’s sight, become dusty and despicable;
Honored like this, the watcher shall not remain.
Since the veil-holder striketh all with the sword,
Dweller of the sacred territory, a person shall not remain.
Of the picture, good or bad, is what room for thanks or for lament
When, on the page of existence, the writing shall not remain?
O candle! reckon union with the moth of a great gain;
For till dawn, this commerce shall not remain*
Dear Hafez, who is our trusted guide on those cold, winter nights and in celebrations, when we are pained and sad and when we are joyous, who “to our complain, love reacheth” – we are encouraged to love one another. We have said before too that the green movement is an enemy to no one, it only has a vision and a demand.
In the midst of the new year, we want a return of freedom to our country. We want the rule of law, which has been, in its modern form, a human effort of the past few centuries, to return to our country.
We want deceit and darkness to end, we want an end to discrimination, be it class discrimination, financial, cultural or discrimination against women. We want respect for personal freedoms, and this doesn’t mean we do not pay heed to the collective and its concerns, but that we believe the individual too has a right. And usually, in highly ideological systems, the individual is not allowed to have an opinion or desire of his own. But this is what the green movement is asking for.
Our people are the very creators of the green movement. The green movement is not like a library where a few books have been placed. The green movement is the very people and their visions. We are all together, we are countless. Our country, in terms of ethnicity, language and geopolitics is one of the most complex. But we thank god for the Koran which states: let’s respect this reality – which states that if there are numerous tribes and clans, they should make an effort to get to know one another. Color and language, they are holy. They are signs of god. This plurality is indeed quite beautiful.
The Green Movement is a collection of other movements such as the workers’ movement, teachers’ movement, women’s movement and others. It is also an assembly of different social and professional sects such as artists, athletes, human right supporters that includes all of us in the movement — this unifies us all — as well as other groups. The Green Movement is like a prism that focuses the light shone by every Iranian star — every citizen of this country — on a beautiful canvass that is the Iranian society. The Green Movement demands freedom, it demands change from the current state of affair in realization of greater Islamic morals. The Green Movement is benign, not violent. We don’t want to stress the old saying that says: “You can’t penetrate a solid rock with an iron nail”. Rather we want to go beyond such mentality. We want to say that in this story, there is no solid rock or iron nail – just citizens of this nation, calmly moving forward. I also want to wish our people and the establishment success in realizing the higher ideals.
I would also like to talk about women. The highest ideals for women are freedom and putting an end to discrimination. This is not only specific to women of Iran , it is an ideal women across the world struggle for . In certain countries [women] have had more success [ in removing discrimination] but we have not been successful . This is a reality. I have always said that the Islamic Revolution is an incomplete project. We were hopeful that the great ideals of Islamic Revolution and its great leader Imam Khomeini would substantiate in the Islamic Republic. Since the revolution succeeded very quickly we expected ideals such as freedom, rule of law, equality, public welfare, eliminating class discrimination and others will be realized in Islamic republic. But it did not happen. Pursuing these very same ideals particularly women issues is the goal of green movement. Our women suffer numerous discriminations such as legal, cultural and so on.
Some imagine that when the subject of ending discrimination and seeking equality comes up for discussion that [gender] roles are forgotten, that we are talking about a violent society of a Stalinist sort, where everyone acts in the same way, where heads are cut off so that everyone can be the same size as everyone else. This is not at all what I am talking about. The Green Movement recognizes these roles. Not only the Green Movement but all anti-discrimination activism across the world knows and recognizes these roles. It is not the case that in the Green Movement when we talk of ending discrimination, we forget kindness, the qualities of motherhood, creating love, bringing into being passion and excitement, the continuation of human life. In fact, ending discrimination means we want to make use of our religious teachings and customs in a certain way as far as women are concerned. Like sweet basil, not in a heroic manner. What I mean is that we should behave with kindness and in an enlightened manner, not try to be heroes in the way we act.
Of course what I mean by “hero” here is not the meaning it has in our Persian literature; here its meaning is [to act] angrily and violently. Wherever there is discrimination, the odour of sweet basil is taken captive by this angry heroism. That is to say the anger and excesses that the culture or a [particular] system is liable to bring to bear on it. We are in fact pursuing this matter very seriously alongside the [other] ideals of the Green Movement, so that we can separate the bestowal of freedom on women from the areas of authority in which it is currently entrenched (whether these be legal or otherwise) and we can then raise women to the dignity and status that they have in all the noble and valued cultures of the world, including our own beloved Islam. And we want to raise women to that dignity both from a cultural and from a legal perspective.
Finally I would like to congratulate all those fine human beings who have, at a high cost, preserved the great revolution, brought about victory in the Imposed War [with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and his Western backers], and who have bestowed nobility on the Green Movement. I would like to congratulate most humbly the families of those in prison, the families of all the martyrs fallen in the history of Iran, especially during the last thirty years. I hope that the prisoners are free and that they are able to sit beside their families and their ‘Haft Seen’ (Seven ‘s’s) tables at the New Year celebrations. I hope that they alongside their families beside the Haft Seen table they bind the different ‘s’s in an eternally green chain made up of the green shoots of the Green Movement: besides the seven splendid ‘s’s, the ‘s’s of pride (sarfarazi), happiness (saadat), health (salamat) and other wonderful ‘s’s. And we are without number, we are together, we stand firm.
The Green Movement has paid a high price and stood firm in defense of its ideals. Ultimately these are the ideals we want, these are the demands that must be realized. It is not important who puts this into practice, what is important is that these ideals be realized with pride, these ideals that are the very same ideals of the great Islamic Revolution. I know that this will come about and I hope that all of us will find contentment and happiness.