Some claim that the 40 million participants in the election were those who believe that reforming the Islamic Republic is possible and therefore the chanting of slogans against the Islamic Republic is unacceptable. Not all those who participated in the elections believe that reforming of Islamic Republic is possible or believe that reform of the Islamic Republic means we shouldn’t demand a different system. But before analyzing these two points it’s essential to explain an obvious point. Most of those who participated in the elections do not believe in the regime and they are against it from the bottom of their hearts and want the Islamic regime to be overthrown.
In the 2005 elections, a significant number of people did not participate in the elections and it was obvious that they have no interest in the Islamic Republic. But what’s important here and even the reformist are well aware of, is that the majority of those who participated in the elections or attended the election campaigns of especially Mr. Moein and Mr. Hashemi, had no interest in the Islamic Republic. The reason for the large turn out participants in elections was that people had to choose between living under a retarded monster or someone who at least could make living in this prison a little tolerable, exactly that: Tolerable. It is important to remember that the majority of educated seculars supported the reformists in these elections, it’s not that they were also
Some might say if they don’t believe in the Islamic Republic why do they participate in elections? It’s a good question, just like some green supporters of freedom have stated if you want an Iranian Republic you had no right in participating in elections - worse than the supreme leader and Ayatollah Jannati, they make decisions for people! It’s pretty simple, people and political parties did the maths and knew that by participating in elections their situation may improve a little, and the re-election of Ahmadinejad would destroy and corrupt the country further. They participated because they had no other choice, and in the hope for a better tomorrow. Participating in the election for people and the majority of political parties has nothing to do with giving credit to the Islamic Republic, since the state has a direct effect on everyday life there were more critical issues for people to deal with than giving legitimacy to this regime or not. Today, many are forced to serve their time in the Revolutionary Guard (instead of the army). Does this mean they believe in the legitimacy of the Revolutionary Guard or that they are forced to join and serve their time? People are forced to go to the judiciary to report issues and resolve problems. What does this have to do with believing in reforming the Islamic Republic or the judicial system?
Did all those participants believe in reforming the Islamic Republic? No, but many, I insist many, believed that by participating in elections to demand basic needs and in the case of the victory of a reformist candidate, that there would be more opportunities to organize social and opposition groups to bring more desirable change. Such things were spoken of many times prior to the elections, and historically this type of cheating and fraudulent result is pitiful.
Does believing in reforming the Islamic Republic mean that no one wants anything but the Islamic Republic? No, for instance the freedom movement has never endorsed the Islamic Republic and has demanded a democratic Islamic Republic. The freedom movement has always been reformist so what does this have to do with wanting an Islamic Republic? Recently Dr. Yazdi asked for the appeal and annulment of the Supreme Leader’s role. Dr. Yazdi is reformist, but his ideas and views are about major changes in the Islamic Republic, namely a republic without a supreme leader, a republic without special privileges for clergymen, a republic without discrimination against women and religion. And if all these exist, there will be no Islamic Republic. What kind of logic is this? For instance, if someone accepts to work for a low salary during economic decline does that mean that he or she should receive the same salary for the rest of their life?
All the sacrifices and people’s revolt was not for Ahmadinejad to go only to be replaced by Moussavi. Have you not heard the Death to Khamenei slogans? Our people did not revolt for Khamenei to go only to be replaced by some other spiritual leader. The problem is not the person; it is the place of despotism and institutionalized discrimination. The further they get from that place, the closer people will come to a healthy mind, the closer they get to that place, the more insane people become. The scholar, Ayatollah Montazeri is a unique exception taking the test ring of power, throwing it away and saving his faith. But almost all others who are active in the green movement, have failed the test of this ring. This magical test ring of power has deceived and infected them. Even if they don’t have blood on their hands, they have kissed bloody hands. Even if they haven’t tortured anyone, they have embraced the torturers, or with their steps and pencils have supported suppression, or by their silence have approved the murdering machine and suppression. These people are as guilty as the system and the magical power ring.
Some claim that many have lost their lives for the Islamic Republic, and we must therefore all accept it as it is. Such statements are more suitable for people like Jafari, Jannati and Masoud Dehnamaki. With regard to losses I will only refer to three points. The majority of martyrs’ testamonies (only those published by regime) have asked their families to support the supreme leader. Secondly, if a regime stays in war out of stupidity and without thinking it through and causes the loss of lives of many young adults, how can this be explained as its legitimacy? If this is the case then Hitler’s regime was the most legitimate regime in history since many German soldiers died out of loyalty to him. The third point is that were Basij and Revolutionary Guards the only ones killed in the war? Why do those innocent conscripts and unknown soldiers who were not enamoured with the Islamic Republic remain unknown? Why does someone not delve into what was in the hearts of these people for their country? It’s certain that they did not want the regime that brought a lengthy unwanted war and caused them their lives.
The Islamic Republic has no place in our slogans because the Islamic Republic was built on human skulls. The Islamic Republic has no place in our slogans because of its extensive human rights violations. The Islamic Republic has no place in our slogans because instead of equality it focuses on discrimination: discrimination between Muslims and non-Muslims, Shiite and Sunni between believers and infidels, between men and women, between believers of Islamic ideology and those against it, between the spiritual and non spiritual.
The fight ahead is certainly a long one. So we must unite. But unity is not assurance for some to distort history. Using the current dangerous situation as an excuse to tell others what to do and with the slogan of Not East or West, only the Islamic Republic, the unity of the movement will be kept and those who don’t want the Islamic Republic have no place in this movement, when this is the same people’s slogan against the Islamic Republic and a demand for an Iranian republic, one against the Yes to Gaza and Lebanon, chanting Not Gaza not Lebanon only Iran. Unity of the movement’s forces is not guaranteed when the reformists insist on being the spokesperson for the secular, traditional and those opposed to Islam. Unity will be granted when the reformists present their true social base as defenders of political Islam with democratic reading, regardless of its success. If the reformists are truly thinking about a democratic society, they better speak their minds. The temporary position gained by the reformists by taking other groups out of the picture violently and becoming the representatives of parts of the society with the logic of “it is what it is, take it or leave it”, is about to change and it’s impossible to continue in the same way. Insisting on the indiscriminate use of the capital they temporarily hold, will not only destroy the unity of the movement, but also withdraw the reformists for good. It is better for each of us to not forget the experience of the 2005 elections. A large number of those who didn’t participate learned important lessons. Reformists meanwhile, have not learned anything and continue with the same proud tone of voice which caused them the re-election of Ahmadinejad.
In the end, regardless of all discussion, this slogan is even wrong in the demonstration tactics. In protests where the government chants the Not East or West only the Islamic Republic, asking people to chant along with the regime with such slogans, is the same as supporting the government to seize this day.