Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Governing 70 Million People by 7 Million Believers

Shervin Omidvar, Rooz Online:
Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, the intellectual mentor of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, at a seminar titled “Supporters of Islamic Government”, "One cannot expect everyone in a country of 70 million people to be deserving and righteous, but 7 million believers can be raised from amongst them."

In the same light, one of the students of the ayatollah Mohsen Garavian has said, “While a think can be a non-criminal activity from a perspective, but from another perspective it cal also be a crime.” In recent weeks, some of the supporters of Yazdi have filed a legal suit against the conservative Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper which had in an article linked the ayatollah’s beliefs to be similar to Wahabism (which is rejected by Iranian Shiites) and Forgan (an Islamic group that was very active in the initial years of the Iranian revolution of 1979). Observers believe that these events indicate a new initiative by Yazdi to get elected to the Majles Khobregan assembly that votes on the performance of the leader and whose elections are coming up in the near future.

In recent week a new group has sprung calling itself the “Supporters of the Islamic Governmentand has embarked on a wide range of activities. It has held seminars around the country which have been participated by governors and members of other government bodies. During the seminars, provincial governors and other officials who espouse Yazdi’s brand of Islam, which has been labeled to be similar to the Taliban, have given speeches. In one seminar Mesbah Yazdi himself spoke of the “forthcoming” Islamic government and described ways of forming it. READ MORE

In his speech, Mesbah Yazdi inferred that the current Islamic Republic is different from an Islamic government that he has in mind. “According to the Quran, one characteristic of an Islamic government is that its members are virtuous,” implying that some of those in the current regime are not. According to him, the ultimate goal of such a regime is the adoration of Allah. The necessary requirement for the formation of such a government, according to him is the existence of a group of deserving people who “absolutely believe in Allah and in practice are willing to implement his orders.”

Some have argued that if science and literacy are improved in a society, or if the economy of a nation is improved, society will attain its ideal state. But under such a society capitalists will be the rulers,” Mesbah Yazdi has said in criticism of different theories of government. One cannot expect 70 million of a nation to be righteous and deserving, but seven million people can be trained to be devoted,” he has said. He also called on the selection and development of the youth for his ideal form of government.

Following a talk that Yazdi gave in Mashhad, Resalat newspaper which represents the views of the Iranian right published the statements of one of his students, Mohsen Garavian. Garavian argued in the newspaper article that the notion that just because a man thinks therefore his thoughts are right is dangerous. Garavian went even further and said that when a thought is expressed and “enters society” it can be criminal and thus unaccepted. His reasoning for this interpretation is that even the worst criminals have had thoughts and so every thought is not necessarily right, and thus some are in fact bad and so can be rejected and their sources prosecuted.
An important read for those interested in Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi's plans.