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Save Ayatollah Boroujerdi

July 21st, 2013 - 11:42 am

A brave and good man is dying.  Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeini  Boroujerdi is incarcerated in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison, as he has been since 2006.  He is routinely tortured, denied medication for his grave ailments (including heart disease), and under 24-hour surveillance by officers of the Intelligence Ministry.  This sort of treatment is reserved for Iranians judged to be a serious threat to the tyrannical Iranian regime.

Ayatollah Boroujerdi threatens the regime for two reasons:  he advocates toleration of all religious (and non-religious) beliefs, and, in keeping with Shi’ite tradition, opposes the involvement of religious leaders in politics.  Years ago, he said  “the regime is adamant that either people adhere to political Islam or be jailed, exiled or killed. Its behavior is no different from that of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar.”

He has repeatedly criticized the fundamentalist doctrines of the Iranian theocratic state, and has dramatically spoken about the most explosive issues in the Muslim world, including anti-semitism.  In 2010 he sent Hanukkah greetings to the Jews of the world, saying “any religious belief that brings us closer to the Source (God) is the truth. This force will lead humanity towards enlightenment. On this great day, we celebrate the unity among the believers of God’s light.”

The regime has not executed him, fearing public protest.  He remains one of the most revered men in Iran.  At the time of his arrest, he operated a hundred telephone lines to assure ongoing contact with his followers and allies, and his public meetings were so well attended that he was forced to hold them in a public stadium.  The regime would undoubtedly prefer that he die in prison, so they could claim he succumbed to medical problems.

According to his family and supporters, Ayatollah Boroujerdi is indeed in critical condition.  In the past, prisoners in death camps have been treated better if their captors were aware of widespread attention and concern.  Even in the Nazi death camps, inmates slated for execution did better if they regularly received letters and packages (the Danes were particularly good at organizing such campaigns), and if their names were on requests for clemency from foreign governments to the officials of the Reich.

The popular press is full of upbeat forecasts about the new Iranian president, and more than a hundred congresspeople have called for greater open-mindedness in American negotiations with Tehran.  We should have learned by now that a state’s treatment of its own citizens is a reliable guide to its international behavior.  The treatment of men and women like Ayatollah Boroujerdi gives us a grim picture of Iran’s global ambitions.  Those who want the West to so largesse to Iran should call for greater largesse from the regime towards its own people.  Boroujerdi is a good place to start.

Our negotiators should go to the next round of talks with an appeal for the release of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, an appeal that should be reinforced at the United Nations by Samantha Power (who has often campaigned on behalf of oppressed peoples).

Meanwhile, we should all write to our elected and appointed officials–anywhere in the world–asking them to publicly appeal for Boroujerdi’s release.  It’s both the right thing to do, and a useful test of the intentions of the new Iranian government.

Free Boroujerdi!

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All Comments   (47)
All Comments   (47)
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Michael, how comfortable are you in asking this question of your Iranian sources: What do you make of those who have left Islam for the Christian faith tradition?

It adds more to the collection of words you communicate, than changing names, but the circumstances remain the same.

Thank you, because doing the same thing, over and over again, still brings about what Einstein said it would bring about.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, it is one of the great ironies that Jews, Christians, and Moslems are all waiting for the Messiah...When Joseph exposed himself to his brothers as their brother when Joseph was a big shot in Egypt, the brothers, who had been totally confused by what was happening to them said: now we understand....same likely to occur in Messianic times among Jews, Christians and Moslems: now we understand.

What is your take on the EU contract attack on Israel?
What is your take on John Kerry and the talks...that Hamas is not even interested in? Charades?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
usually we only "understand" after the fact, quite right.

i don't "do Israel." It's hard enough to keep up with the US, ITaly and Iran...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Last month Canadian MPs (Members of Parliament) began an "Iran Awareness Accountability Week" -- some MPs wrotes articles detailing the civil rights abuses of the Iranian regime, and others "adopted" political prisoners (advocating on their behalf, detailing their circumstances and so on -- lots of innocent Baha'ia in Evin prison). More attention needs to be paid to the abuses going on in Iran.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Since foreign governments' representatives are invited in August's Presidential 'inauguaration' in Tehran (according to Presstv.ir) this is a wonderful opportunity to submit signatures by various nations' representatives to The Speaker of the Majlis (Ali Larijani) to hand over to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on behalf of Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeini Boroujerdi's being set free for medical reasons. Sufism is all-tolerant- it used to be that way also at Al-Azhar's teachings. Iran today is like the old USSR under Kosygin/Breschnev/the KGB in Hungary 1956 person (cannot recall his name). Same will happen in Iran- most people in Iran yearn to be free- to think free- to assemble free and Ayatollah Boroujerdi has given them the reason to believe in toleration amongst Iranians, hope for better tomorrow .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr ledeen . for those people who attack ayatollah boroujerdi in prison in Iran or out side of Iran does not want the truth to come out and they do not want peace between each other and on this planet khomaini was the only one to bring this mess to our life and boroujerdi is the only one who can clean this mess up and bring back peace on this earth and that's why the Iranian regime kept him in prison and do everything in they power not to let him go so no one can act for nor behalf of him unfortunately the corruption is spreading faster than truth so please wake every one up let them know what's going on let's save this man who is doing everything he can to save us. may god help us all from this evil regime in the name of islam
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
tks mr bareta. my concern is simple enough: i believe the Iranian regime wants to do to us what they are doing to Boroujerdi and many others. i'm worried about America's future, and Iran's role in it. Boroujerdi is a brave man who hates theocracy, and I think it's worth my time to try to save him and others like him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Good to see that Sistani's name came up. Traditional Shia Muslims like Sistani and Boroujerdi are not the exceptions - it is the radical Mullahs running Iran that the exception in Shia Islam historically. That said, the radicals seem to have the upper hand for now. It is interesting that in the Iraq war no one met with Sistani - they had a meeting set up but the helicopter had a mechanical failure and trouble broke out in Najaf and they never did manage to set up a meeting. As pointed out above the current administration has had an absurdly hands off policy toward Iran. Perhaps our State Department is Shia incompetent, and neither Bush nor Obama are really as dumb as they look.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
yes, by traditional Shia standards, Khomeini was a heretic and the Islamic Republic is heretical.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
...Dictators parading as religious (Iran's leaders)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is something annoyingly and persistently wrong with Mr. Ledeen. Although admittedly the history of the Ayatollahs is complex and in general the world is not that even, nevertheless the rise of all the Ayatollahs stemmed from the loss of the Arab States to Israel in the Six Day War.

It was then that the Ayatollahs injected themselves into government as their take was that the Arab governments were corrupt and had betrayed the Prophet and thus lost the war.

Not very encouraging whatever their otherwise disagreements among themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The suggestion that the 1979 Islamic Revolution resulted from the Arab loss in 1967 is simply rubbish. Iranians had no skin in the game. And, by your logic, they should have contented with the Arab "victory" over Israel in 1973. (Well, they call it a victory.) As it happens, I was in Iran in 1976, and met some of the Israelis then working in the country.

The ayatollahs had their own grievances against the Shah - that his land reforms targeted land held in religious trusts, that he was over-tolerant against Jews and Baha'i (considered infidels and apostates respectively), that he was too close to the West (there were some 20,000 Americans in country in the mid 1970s), that he promoted increased rights for women (often dressed "immodestly" on the streets of Teheran), modernization and the "secular" universities, etc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Iranians had no skin in the game. "

?????

No skin in the game?

ALL Muslims have skin in the game of destroying Israel. It's a very important part of their religion.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"ALL Muslims have skin in the game of destroying Israel. It's a very important part of their religion.

No, it's not. The religion predates the state of Israel. It's been made to be that for political reasons. Animosity between Arabs and Persians predates Islam.

Both Arabs and Iranians use under the table threats of aligning with Israel against the other. For the moment, most Arab states quietly side with Israel because the Iran's regime is seen as a greater threat. If you hadn't noticed, when there's been talk about the Israelis taking out Iran's nuclear capability, the Arabs are strangely quiet. When Israel took out Syria's reactor, the other Arab states gave muted protests (Syria's "sponsor" is Iran).

When you add the Shi’ite vs Sunni animosity overlaid on far older animosities, you wind up with a situation far more complex than most Westerners realize.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Maybe Mark V should have said Israelites instead of the country Israel. As in Jews or Zionists. Either way most Muslims consider the land theirs and the Jews as interlopers that should be killed or at the very least thrown out of their territory. Then again, many Muslims feel the same way about Spain, Italy, ect, ect, ect. Anyplace they have set foot they consider theirs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Maybe Mark V should have said Israelites instead of the country Israel."

Same thing, really. The state gives a sharper focus to the hatred, but the hatred LONG predates the state.

Actually, it predates Islam.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What is your point? Israel should have surrendered in the Six-Day War? Or, having won it, they should have immediately given back the high ground to the enemy? Say it plain like a 'Palestinian' why don't you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem he will face is the koran, hadiths, and suras.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Says you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No, says the koran.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As you read it. Sorry, but I think I'm going to go with the guy who actually knows what he's taking about.

Now have fun. I do however have a small question to ask you. If what you say is true, what does that really mean our relationship with Muslims should be?
The thing is too many people (Left & Right) don't really think what the ramifications are or the reality of (?) the situation is inside Islam. They read 1 or 2 writers and assume they are correct. Always a bad move in general and particularly when we are talking about a religion with a 1400 year history.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"As you read it. "

No, as it reads. It's not ambiguous.

As to what our relationship SHOULD be... Well, it doesn't really matter what it SHOULD be.

What it IS has been decided by Islam. We are enemies. That's unilateral decision on the part of Islam. We didn't ask for it, and we can't change it.

What we CAN do is to pretend it's otherwise, or face reality.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Then it is clear that you have never read the Qurán, the Hadiths & their interpretation, etc. Don't just assume that "1400 year history" equals wisdom/enlightenment.

Read them first, study them. Like I did.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To be sure, there are those in the Muslim world who understand that their co-religionists are simply bigoted and vile creatures. However, when it comes to the leader of the free world, regarding propping up human rights, who does he rage over freeing? Morsi and his Brotherhood Mafia!
In fact, when the only true freedom movement in the Muslim world, attempted to break free of the their shackles, back in 2009 in Iran, what did he do? NOTHING!

Therefore, the best way to help this man is to shame the Islamist-in-Chief - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/26/the-white-houses-revolving-door-for-muslim-radicals-courtesy-of-the-islamist-in-chief-addendum-to-the-muslim-mafia-their-overarching-plan-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
People often ask, "Where are all the so-called moderate Muslims and why are they not protesting against the radical Muslims?" Now we know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, all of them are in prison somewhere?

From which we can conclude that all of those NOT in prison are the "extremists", right?

Which would include all Muslims currently living in western countries, of course, since clearly they are not in prison.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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