Imam Rauf's Love of 'Iranian Democracy'
Imam Rauf is a fan of the tyrannical Islamic Republic of Iran. He said so in the Huffington Post within a week of the phony "elections" of June 12th, 2009, when thousands of protesters were being tortured and killed all over the country.
He proclaimed that calm had returned to Iran, and that the "official" results -- Ahmadinejad in a landslide -- were correct. Indeed, the whole system, according to Imam Rauf, is admirable:
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was in part to depose the shah, who had come to power in 1953 after a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq. And in part it was an opportunity to craft an Islamic state with a legitimate ruler according to Shia political theory.
After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles.
Actually, by traditional Shi'ite standards, Khomeini's totalitarian doctrine -- the Guardian Council ensures that only politically correct candidates can run for office -- is a heresy, as grand ayatollahs from Montazeri to Sistani have ruled.
Imam Rauf's grasp of "Shia political theory" is a bit shaky. But his desire that the United States should endorse the rigged election is luminously clear:
(Obama's) administration understands that what is going on now in Iran is an attempt by the Iranian people to live up to their own ideals. Just as American democracy developed over many years, the United States recognizes that this election is part of the process of an evolving democracy in Iran.
That's pure appeasement of Iranian tyranny. If you have any lingering doubts, here's his recommendation to the president:
He should say his administration respects many of the guiding principles of the 1979 revolution -- to establish a government that expresses the will of the people; a just government, based on the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, that establishes the rule of law.
Rouf's notion of bridge building is simple and straightforward: applaud the murderers in Tehran.