Monday, December 28, 2009

Exhorting the Iranian people, denouncing the regime

An opposition leader finds "proof of life" in the Iranian people's protest:
As we are gathered here, according to the information reaching us, all the major cities of Iran are closed down: Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Qum...

The people have identified the true criminal. It was obvious before, it is true, but some people didn't recognize him as such or didn't dare speak out. Thanks be to God, this barrier of fear has collapsed and the people have discovered the true criminal and come to understand who is responsible for the misery of our nation.

The center for religious learning in Qum has proven its vitality; the people of Qum and the respected students of the religious sciences have fought the government...with their bare hands, with a courage rarely equalled in history, and yielded their martyrs. When the agents of the regime spilled into the streets and alleyways of Qum and attacked the people--according to the reports we have received--the people resisted them to the utmost degree possible, both before and after the massacre, thus proving how alive they are. They proved that they were alive, not dead!
- Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
  "In Commemoration of the First Martyrs of the Revolution"
   February 19, 1978


Compare excerpts from the statement of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi issued on Monday, Dec. 28, 2009.  According to AFP,  Karroubi  
condemned what he termed the "despicable violence" and accused the government of "dipping its hand in people's blood and unleashing a savage group on the people."

"Defiance and disrespecting the law and people's rights have inflicted irreversible costs for seven months on the country and people," Karroubi said in a statement carried by Rahesabz opposition website.
Enduring America adds these fragments (the statement apparently has not been translated in full):
“The sins that you have committed today cannot be forgiven by God. If you don’t have a belief in God, at least be a human.”
One more piece of Karroubi's statement is relayed by Borzou Daragahi of the LA times:
"The dictatorship regime of the shah was respectful to Ashura and avoided killings, punishment and arrest of opposition leaders," he said, according to an opposition website, Rahesabz. "Why is it that a government, which had risen from Ashura riots, orders the killings of people and causes horror among society during the holy day of Ashura?"
Karroubi was in at the birth of the Islamic Republic and knows full well how Khomeini (whose pupil he once was) framed resistance to the Shah.  He is by now a veteran of protest against the excesses of the current regime. He accused Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of rigging the 2005 Presidential election, in which he finished a close third. In the wake of this past June's election, which he also denounced as fraudulent, he has accused the current regime of  torture, rape and murder of  prisoners. Thus far, he has not echoed Khomeini  in calling for overthrow of a government that he has called illegitimate (nor have the people reached the critical stage of general strikes, as they had when Khomeini delivered the speech above). But he is edging close. As the regime edges close to arresting him, Mousavi, Khatami et al.

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