Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Iran and Hossein Ali Montazeri

Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri (1922 – 19 December 2009)

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was considered a thorn in the side of the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, branded the disputed elections in June fraudulent and denounced the clerical establishment as a dictatorship. He died on 19-12-2009 at the age of 87

Born in 1922, Montazeri was from a peasant family in Najafabad, a city in Isfahan Province, 250 miles south of Tehran. His early theological education was in Isfahan. Montazeri then went to Qom where he studied under Khomeini and went on to become a teacher at the Faiziyeh Theological School. While there he answered Khomeini's call to protest the White Revolution of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in June 1963 and was active in anti-Shah clerical circles. After Khomeini was forced into exile by the Shah, Montazeri "sat at the center of the clerical network" which Khomeini had established to fight the Pahlavi rule. He was sent to prison in 1974 and released in 1978 in time to be active during the revolution(source: wikipedia)

Montazeri was one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic and remained a top arbiter of Shi'ite law. But his criticism of what he saw as authoritarianism and human-rights abuses led to his being dropped as successor to the nation's Supreme Leader.

The ayatollah continued his opposition from Qom, where he spent 5 years under house arrest for his outspoken views, until 2002. This year he played a critical role in condemning the government after the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a subsequent crackdown on opposition supporters. He had branded June’s disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s hardline president, as “fraudulent” and proclaimed the ruling establishment a “dictatorship”. For almost three decades, Hussein Ali Montazeri had been one of the main critics of the Islamic Republic's domestic and foreign policy. He had also been an active advocate of civil rights and women's rights in Iran. Montazeri was a prolific writer of books and articles. He was a staunch proponent of an Islamic state, and he argued that post-revolutionary Iran was not being ruled as an Islamic state.

He played his role as a leading opposition voices until his death.

His death will enhance his stature as an important figure who battled the ruling establishment – which he proclaimed had lost its “religious and political legitimacy”. The timing of his passing has added emotional, symbolic and political resonance, coming just days into the religious mourning month of Moharram, which marks the death of Imam Hossein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammed and Shia Islam’s quintessential martyr. Ashura, the culmination of the Moharram mourning ceremonies, falls on December 27,2009. Iran's opposition loses a mentor but have gains a martyr.

The video below uploaded from youtube is a photo review of political life of Ayatollah Montazery before and after his house arrest and a tribute to his struggles during the past 60 years since he undertook the resistance to the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah. Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri is the most prominent Iranian Cleric, One of the Pillars of the Islamic Revolution and was the Heir Designate to Imam Khomeini in 80s.


Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri at the age of 87.


Iranian Cleric's Funeral Turns Into Anti-Government Protest. Thousands of Iranians attending the funeral march for Iran's top dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri on Monday shouting condemnations of the authorities and raised their voices in support for opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Tow leading opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, called for a public day of mourning on Monday and for their supporters to take part in the funeral, in a joint statement on Mr Mousavi’s website, “Following a call by some grand ayatollahs to mourn the death ... we announce tomorrow, Monday, December 21, a day of public mourning,” they said.

On the 22nd, December, Ahmadinejad continued his quest to strip his opponents of their last vestiges of political power. He interrupted a visit to Shiraz to return to Tehran and remove Mir Hossein Mousavi, the main opposition leader he defeated in the presidential election, as head of the state academy of arts and culture- a post he had held for ten years. Hardliners also want Mousavi arrested for his role in inciting unrest since the disputed June election.

22-12-2009 to 26-12-2009

Tension was running high at various rallies in which protesters were chanting anti-government slogans in various places. Clashes were reported in cities including Isfahan, Kermanshah and Shiraz, as opposition supporters used the Tasua and Ashura ceremonies to take to the streets.

26-12-2009 & 27-12-2009 TASUA and ASHURA

TASUA and ASHURA are two days which Muslims (SHI'A) mourn for Saint Imam Hossien who is the grandson of Muslim prophet Mohammad. In about 1350 years ago Imam Hossien martyred in a war in a place known as Karbala (in Iraq). Tasua is the 9th Night of Muharram (Tasua) Ceremonies. Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram. This year's Tasua fall on 26-12-2009, and Ashura fall on 27-12-2009.

Dec 27 2009, Ashura of 1430 AH, millions of Iranians gathered in many cities to mourn for Imam Hussein. It was also seven days after the passing away of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, the most respected scholar of Shi'a faith and also a vocal critic of Islamic Republic. Coincidence of these events and also people's anger over the fraud election in June and its aftermath resulted in mass demonstrations against the theocratic establishment. Regime used Basij para-militia to suppress the people. Iranian security forces injured many and killed few people. In the same day nephew of Mir Hossein Mousavi, leader of opposition, was killed by security service. Due to brutality of regime in such a day, Ashura, Iranians called that day Iran's Ashura(source: wikipedia)

No matter what happen to Iran or Persia politically, the ordinary people of Iran/Persia will suffer from the latest political development. This is another event when politician fight for their agenda, the people suffered. No matter what type of political system, people is still the most important, and main concern of political system. Politician is for people, without people, any political system is meaningless.

We hope that the latest development in Iran will never developed into global issue, another Iraq.......let Iran people decide for themselves what they want....

We hope and pray for the future of the people of Iran, that soon they will see peace and have political system that will take care of them and the country, that will make Persia great again.....

Persia, Persia, Persia.......where is thy greatness....

Related articles:

1. Hussein-Ali Montazeri,
2. Day of Ashura,
3. Battle of Karbala,
4. Shia Islam,

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