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Iranians Are Revolting Against the 2009 Sharia-Based (Soylent) Green Movement, Too

I was interviewed Wednesday, January 3, 2018 about the ongoing demonstrations in Iran by Audrey Russo. Please listen to the full interview (approx. 12 minutes) here.

In the interview, I elaborated on why these nationwide demonstrations differ, dramatically, from what I have come to refer to as the 2009 “Soylent” Green Movement (with deliberate reference to the ghoulish theme of the Charlton Heston cult classic, and Edward G. Robinson’s final movie, Soylent Green).

The Green Movement’s chief ideologues -- political leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and “spiritual guiding force” Ayatollah Montazeri (d. 2009) -- were both full-throated, bigoted Shiite Sharia supremacists, who were pro-Iranian nukes (Mousavi helped godfather Iran’s nuke program; Montazeri affirmed it till his death in December, 2009), virulently anti-Western, and anti-“infidel.” Each also, sadly, championed Iran’s annihilationist, Shiite Islamic Jew-hatred. Ayatollah Montazeri, to his unique, and lasting shame, was the main contemporary Iranian clerical “revivalist” of the odious Shiite doctrine of najis. The doctrine dehumanizes non-Muslims as physically, politically, and spiritually “impure,” and in Iran has historically, through the present, made their very existence parlous.

Indeed, as I also pointed out during the interview, the elections of Rouhani in 2013 and 2017 represents the triumph of the Soylent Green ideology because Rouhani shares the views of Mousavi and Ayatollah Montazeri. As Iranian journalist Borzou Daragahi acknowledged in a January 3, 2018 essay, even amongst Iranian youth, “many of those who took to the streets in the 2009 ‘Green’ uprising … are sitting these protests out. They stood in long lines in 2013 and 2017 to elect Rouhani.”

Why might they be sitting out these protests? Unlike in 2009, the current protests are revolutionary.

They are directed at uprooting the entire Shiite theocratic system that was Iran’s form of governance (notwithstanding invasion and internal conflict in the 18th Century) from its founding by Shah Ismail in 1501 through 1925. Iran underwent a forced secularization/Westernization under the authoritarian Pahlavi Shahs from 1925 until 1979. The return of Shiite theocratic rule upon Khomeini’s ascension to power through his retrograde “revolution” had restored the theocratic norms of the 16th through the early 20th Centuries.

What were those (i.e., 1501-1925) “norms?” As characterized by the renowned Persianophilic scholar E.G. Browne in 1924: “The Mujtahids [an eminent, very learned Muslim jurist/scholar who is qualified to interpret the law] and Mulla [a scholar, not of Mujtahid stature] are a great force in Persia and concern themselves with every department of human activity from the minutest detail of personal purification to the largest issues of politics.”

It is precisely those Shiite theocratic norms the current protesters -- and not their 2009 Soylent Green Movement counterparts -- resoundingly reject, as illustrated below in three powerful examples (which I posted on my Twitter account):