Date: Friday, January 1, 2010
In the name of God, the Merciful and the Compassionate,
“Greetings to Hussein, the third Imam; Indeed, I am a friend to those who are your friends, and I fight against those who fight you. I am companion to those who accompany you, and an enemy to your enemies. I wish I were with you; if this were the case, my success would be a glorious victory.”(A Hadith)[i]
Despite numerous requests, neither Hojatoleslams Karoubi and Khatami, nor I, nor any of my friends, issued any statements for the rituals commemorating Imam Hussein. Nevertheless, pious people went to the streets, proving that the vast social and civil networks that people themselves formed during and after the election do not wait for us or our statements. People took to the streets even while lacking a newspaper to accompany and encourage them, or a fair and impartial national broadcasting channel. Yet again, every nation and, indeed, the whole world, witnessed the mourners of Imam Hussein walking the streets and speaking the name of Hussein. They marched non-violently, without any radical slogans, down the roads and avenues of their own choosing. But, yet again, the people were provoked. This time around, they were faced with unspeakable violence: people were run over; they came under open fire from plainclothes police, whose identity (as well as the identity of their leaders) is now known to everyone. This was a tragedy that will echo in our political arena for years to come.
The heartbreaking videos from Ashura ceremonies indicate that slogans and movements radicalize when innocent people are thrown off bridges, gunned down, run over, and assassinated. Interestingly, some of these clips show that beneath the masks and gadgetry of the security forces and Basij, people see their own brothers. And, in those critical conditions, they even try hard to remove them from harm. If State TV had the least bit of honest blood in its veins, it would at least broadcast some of these scenes to calm the situation and bring people together. Sadly, what happened after Ashura – namely, massive detainments, and so on – revealed that he officials [responsible for the well-being of the people] just repeat the same mistakes in larger numbers and on a broader scale. They think that using the politics of fear is the only possible solution.
Suppose you silenced the whole nation with detainments, violence, threats, and the eradication of newspapers and media – what would you do to change the nation’s opinion of the establishment? What would you do to solve the loss of legitimacy of the whole system? What would you do to change the international surprise and reproach towards the brutalities that [our] government has directed at its own people? What would you do to deal with the economic problems of the country and the financial issues that people face in their daily lives; the issues that are worsening every day due to the government’s persistent incompetence? With the help of whose competence, and with which [national] unity and foreign policy, will you take our country away from the shadow of sanctions; away from the greed of [other nations]?
[The people responsible] think that by chasing intellectuals, capable thinkers, university students and other activists away from the political arena, they can restore things to the way they were before the election. However, those who have studied history and are familiar with the complexities of society, know very well that such methods of thinking are illusory and unreal; they are merely based on sheltering [society] with shallow and deceitful tactics. Puny
I will say this clearly and with utmost certainty: calls for the execution, murder or imprisonment of myself, Karoubi and the like, will not resolve our problems. Last Wednesday’s speeches at revolution square and, prior to that, at Friday prayers, by the speakers of the establishment associated any consequence of acts of terrorism directly to the movement. This would only make the deadlock in the current crisis impossible to resolve. Pathetically berating a large group in our society, calling them dirt and dust, and considering it religiously tolerable to spill the blood of the mourners of Hossein, are tragedies caused by certain people within State TV. What kind of speaker from the government would call on people to fight one another, naming one group as the party of God, and another group as the party of the Devil? [These speakers] repeatedly asked people to pay attention, declaring that we are at war! Are these words not an invitation to wage war and civil riots? Are there religious scholars or sources of immolation who can tell [us] how to react to these people?
As one insignificant member of this immense society, I welcome any attack on Islam or on our dear nation [because of the opportunity for martyrdom.] The kind of talk mentioned above reminds me of the words of the great Imam [Khomeini]: “Killing us will only make us stronger.” I am not afraid to be among those who have been martyred for expressing their religious and patriotic rights after the election. My blood is no different than theirs.
I repeat with utmost shrewdness: we cannot solve these problems until the existence of a severe crisis is not recognized within the country. Abstaining from doing so will justify the continuation of repressive solutions. Admitting [our] critical condition can realize a solution that is not based on repression but on national reconciliation. [The authorities continue to make] accusations of irreligiousness, alliances with oppressive foreign powers and relations with individuals of ill-repute (referring to notorious groups like the MKO). Thinking that such accusations could actually remove a number of public servants of society and Islam is the same as turning a blind eye to the nature of our nationwide problems. I talk about this as someone with the best interests [of the Islamic Republic] at heart. The MKO is dead [to people] because of the atrocity and treachery they have committed. Do not revive them to gain political points and induce hatred.
Before I make my own recommendations about exiting the current crisis, I feel a burden of necessity to emphasize the Islamic and national identity of the green movement, its opposition to foreign rule, and its loyalty to our constitution. We are the followers of Imam Hossein. We are the devotees of the path that was led by that oppressed Imam. We are the devotees of the path that was led by that oppressed Imam. We are the followers of the first Imam of the Shi’ites, who could not tolerate taking something valuable from even one member of a minority in the vast Islamic nation. We believe in a compassionate reading of Islam that views people as if they are all equally religious [in worshipping one God, may it be Christian, Jewish or Muslim] or as companions in creation – a reading that promotes the innate dignity of humanity and does not tolerate for criminals to be fed differently than their victims outside the prison, or to be tortured during imprisonment.
Alongside with many of my friends who are currently in prison, I am strongly committed to the independence of this country. We grieve when we see our Islamic market flooded with foreign products. We strongly oppose the current levels of corruption upheld by incorrect policies and incompetence. We stress that if institutions like the Revolutionary Guards participate in financial matters like the stock market, they cannot be defenders of the country, or of its national resources. They will fall into corruption and bring the country down along with them. We stress that today, the blue- and white-collar workers, the laborers and the oppressed, as well as all other layers of this nation – everyone’s benefits and rights are drowning in intense corruption. The green movement is against lying and views it as a harmful disease for this nation. This is why we view political lies, as well as lies in the affairs of security, economy, and culture, as a great danger to our country.
What we want is a government and a system that are honest and supportive, and based on the people’s votes; that look at diversity in votes and ideas as an asset, rather than a threat. We consider the invasion of privacy, the violation of ideas and private spaces, the shutting down of newspapers, and the enforcement of media constraints as against our advanced religion of salvation and at odds with the constitution that arose from our religion. It’s a sin for us to put even a Rial of taxpayer’s money to waste by spending it on personal and partisan purposes. What we are stressing on is that the document [of the constitution] that creates a vision for the future of Iran and has been approved by all the pillars of the establishment is now nothing but a worthless paper. Let us warn you that new economic powers are rapidly rising in the region, growing stronger everyday while unfortunately we are incapable of bookkeeping the annual budget and treasury reserves. We are even incapable of providing the appropriate response to the questions regarding government expenditures from people and accountants, auditors of government and members of the parliament.
We are neither American nor British. We have neither sent any congratulatory letters to prominent leaders [as accusations claim], nor are we hoping for their help. We are very familiar with the mechanism of power on the international stage, where every country acts based on its own national interests. We despise those who do not respect their own nation’s religious beliefs and traditions. Accusations of the desecration of the Qur’an, of Ashura, or pictures of the Imam, are ridiculous. Needless to say, if any desecration had taken place on the day of Ashura, we do not approve of it. However, to emphasize: the worst kind of desecration is killing innocent mourners on the day of Ashura and during the months of mourning.
My proposal to solve the crisis at hand will follow shortly. The current condition of the country can be likened to a wild and massive river, muddy and disturbed with the waves of recent events. Calming this great river and clearing the water is not quickly done. It is not possible to do in a one- or two-stage solution. Requesting things like confessions and negotiations, hoping to solve the problem with some quick back and forth, is not acceptable for something of this magnitude; in fact, these proposals deviate from real solutions.
My proposal involves allowing smaller rivers and springs of clear water into this great river, leading to a gradual change in conditions. I believe that it’s not too late. Our establishment has the power to commit to this important task, if it relies on competence, as well as on a kind and respectful attitude towards people coming from all social layers. Below, I have enumerated some suggestions that could act like springs of clear water and influence the country on a national level, shifting the existing environment, and allowing us to escape this crisis:
1) The government should ensure that it is directly accountable to the nation, the parliament and the judiciary branch. This should be done in a way that prevents it from receiving unusual support for deficiencies and weaknesses. The government must be held directly responsible for the trouble it has caused. Rest assured, if it is competent and just, it should be able to answers to the concerns of the people and the parliament. If it is dishonest and incompetent, the parliament and the judiciary branch should react within their constitutional powers.
2) Propose transparent and credible regulation of the election process to guarantee that the nation has free and fair elections, without trickery and interference. This regulation must ensure people’s participation in elections despite their differences of opinion or affiliations. This regulation must further put an end to the interference of officials based on their political affiliations or tastes. The administration processes of the first few governments after the revolution can be referred to as models on how to handle this properly.
3) Free and exonerate all political prisoners. I am confident that this act will not be read as a sign of weakness, but will in fact demonstrate the visionary nature of the establishment. We are also certain the demising political currents [who are against the establishment outside and inside the country] are against this solution.
4) Among the essential elements that can contribute to a solution are freedom of the press and media, along with the releases of confiscated newspaper licenses. There should be no fear of a free press and in this regard, the experiences of other nations can be of great help. The expansion of satellite networks and their impact has clearly demonstrated the deficiencies of older broadcasting techniques, as well as of our State TV. Wave-interference and internet restrictions can only have a short-term effect. The only solution is to have a sound variety of free media that is well-informed and operates within the country. Is it not time now to rely on thinkers and creative elements, in a brave act that establishes trust and brings together our creative, political, cultural and social forces?
5) Abiding by article 27 of the constitution to recognize the people’s right to form legal congregations and to establish political groups and parties. In just a few months, promotion of this solution could work to replace the atmosphere of conflict within the public, the Basiji and the security forces with an atmosphere of friendship and national reconciliation. This can be performed with astuteness and with the cooperation of all those who have an interest in this country’s future.
More suggestions are welcome. In my opinion, even a thin stream of clear water can be beneficial. It is not necessary to execute all of the above-mentioned solutions simultaneously. Merely observing good intentions will help to lighten up the horizon. Finally, I would like to state that all of these suggestions can be carried out in the absence of agreements, or negotiations. Instead, they can be acted upon from the standpoint of wisdom, competence, and compassion.
-Mir Hossein Mousavi
السلام علیک یا ابا عبدالله. انی سلم لمن سالمکم و حرب لمن حاربکم و ولی لمن والاکم و عدو لمن عاداکم فیالیتنی کنت معکم فافوزا فوزا عظیما