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Rajavi at Ramadan Gathering - Religious dictatorship is center of Middle East sectarian violence

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Maryam Rajavi
Maryam Rajavi Website, 26 July 2014
Sisters and brothers,
Greetings to all of you.

On the occasion of the momentous month of Ramadan, which is coming to a close, I hail all the sisters and brothers who have been fasting and praying.

At the start of Ramadan, I said that Ramadan was a month of solidarity with the people of Iraq, Syria and Iran who have arisen to liberate themselves from the clutches of the most ruthless dictatorship in the contemporary world.

This month is also a month of solidarity with the nations of Palestine and Lebanon, who have fallen victim to the betrayals of the ruling theocracy in Iran.

I express gratitude to all the personalities, parliamentarians, Muslim leaders and sisters and brothers who have joined us in this call.
Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, due to the calamities and the extremism under the banner of Islam, which have emanated from the ruling of the velayat-e faqih regime in Iran, the Islamic World is grappling with a major crisis, in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere in the region.

As such, allow me at this conference to reiterate several points on behalf of the Iranian people and Resistance:

1.    We have condemned the bombing of the defenseless people of Palestine, especially women and children, by Israel. We call for immediate action by the world community to stop the carnage and attacks against civilians. We support the efforts of President Mahmoud Abbas to reach an immediate ceasefire. These attacks, which divert international attention from the crises in Iraq and Syria, serve, first and foremost, the interests of the Iranian regime and disrupt the process of ending the partition of Palestine and the formation of a national unity government, about which the regime is extremely annoyed.
2.    The Iranian regime’s dispatch of weapons, equipment and war planes to Iraq and Syria to preserve Maliki and Assad dictatorships is a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The world community must end its silence in this regard and force the clerical regime to stop sending weapons.
3.    The United States must not fall into the trap of taking sides and cooperating with the Iranian regime by providing support for a regime in Iraq which the mullahs are trying to prop up. This would be another major blunder in Iraq and will have no outcome other than plunging Iraq into civil war. As various sectors of Iraqi society have declared, the only way out of the crisis in Iraq is to oust Maliki, evict the Iranian regime and set up a national unity government.
4.    The lies by the Iranian regime about the Mujahedin-e Khalq supporting and having links with ISIS is absolutely false and the continuation of a decade of lies about cooperation between the MEK and Al-Qaeda. The purpose of these lies, as in the past, is nothing but to set the stage for the massacre of the Mujahedin and a repeat of humanitarian catastrophes. As far as the Iraqis are concerned, the spokesperson for the Military Council of Iraqi Revolutionaries has repeatedly said, “This revolution is not an ISIS revolution, it is a revolution by the tribes who have risen up against oppression. This revolution is Iraq’s new spring to end oppression. It has no links to terrorism.”
5.    While we voice our abhorrence over the oppression and aggression against the Christians in Mosul, we support the position of the Association of Muslim Scholars and Iraqi tribes in condemning the forced displacement of Christians. This was a responsible, Islamic and humanitarian stance in the face of backwardness and extremism under the guise of Islam. The Association of Scholars has correctly characterized the suppression of Christians by the ISIS as “crimes against the innocents and departing from a path put forth by the Prophet of Islam in treating Christians and other followers of other religions.” The Association has also called for the return of the Christians to their homes.
We condemn firmly the explosion of Nabi-Allah mosque at Mosel that for centuries was the symbol of coexistence of Muslims and Christians.

 
As has been the case in the past four decades and in diametric opposition to the monopolistic and despotic behavior of Iran’s ruling theocracy, we insist on respect for the rights of our Christian sisters and brothers as well as other faithful.

6.    We have declared that the P5+1 appeasement of the Iranian regime regarding the nuclear issue and allowing itself to be dragged into the endless marathon of talks will bear no fruit other than giving this regime the opportunity to engage in further deception. Contrary to the prevailing propaganda, so far the ruling regime in Iran has not agreed to sign a comprehensive document that would prevent its bomb-making capacity. Instead, it is stalling and is trying to buy time. The international community must demand the full implementation of Security Council resolutions, specifically a complete halt to enrichment. Nuclear talks must be coupled with holding the religious dictatorship to account as regards the flagrant violations of human rights in Iran, and the genocides in Syria and Iraq. Nuclear concealment, the abuse of human rights and the export of fundamentalism and terrorism are three indispensable attributes of the regime.

If the regime’s leaders are really not interested in taking advantage of nuclear energy and are not seeking to threaten and blackmail the rest of the world with nuclear weapons, they must before all else halt the flagrant violation of the Iranian people’s human and political rights and abandon the export of terrorism and expansionist designs through massacring the native populations. 


7.    We urge the Arab and Muslim countries in the region to sever their political ties with the mullahs’ regime in protest against its export of terrorism and fundamentalism to Syria and Iraq as well as its incitement of sectarian conflict in the Arab world, from Bahrain to Yemen and Lebanon. Eviction of the Iranian regime as the epicenter of extremism and terrorism is the only way to establish peace and democracy in the region.


Time has come for the recognition of the Iranian people’s Resistance, which has risen up to bring down the ruling theocracy in Iran.

Dear Friends,

By inciting religion sectarianism and the Shia-Sunni discord, the regime ruling Iran is trying to subvert the momentous developments in Iraq that are occurring today.

The crux of the matter in Iraq is an uprising by an oppressed nation against suppression, massacre and occupation; the people of Iraq have arisen to liberate themselves from the domination of the Iranian regime and its puppet government in Baghdad. This uprising began peacefully in 2011, but was crushed by bullets, torture and executions.

The catastrophic US invasion in 2003, in whose initiation the Iranian regime played an integral role, handed over Iraq to Tehran on a silver platter. Subsequently, the brutal suppression of the Sunnis, widespread government corruption, and especially the mullahs’ domination of Iraq, led to the massive popular revolt. 

Unbridled dictatorship and discrimination and the world powers’ standing with dictators set the stage for the rise of extremist groups.

If it were not for the mullahs’ oppressive domination of Iraq, the Iraqi nation would have been able to move on a democratic path and establish freedom, peace, national unity, real security and rebuild the country. That would have left no room for the emergence of extremist groups in Iraq.

Before the meddling of the Iranian regime, millions of Shiites and Sunnis lived alongside each other peacefully for years and had strong and deep ties through marriages and familial relationships. One of the symbols of this friendship and understanding is the protection of the shrines of Shiite Imams in Samarra by the Sunnis.

According to the Islamic school of thought, Islam and the Quran have ushered peace, coexistence and fraternity with the followers of all religions.

So, where is the problem? The problem is the criminal rulers who have incited sectarianism and enmity in order to preserve their grip on power.

In the past 14 centuries, the Shrines of Shiite Imams have been destroyed by the ruling despots several times. But Khamenei was the only tyrant who blew up the shrine of the Eighth Shiite Imam in Mashhad, Iran and destroyed the Shrine of two Shiite Imams in Samarra.

Truly, never in its history, has Islam had an enemy bigger, more destructive and more sinister than the ruling mullahs in Iran.

 
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Evicting the Iranian theocracy from all countries in the region is a practical solution and is within reach, because the Iranian people’s democratic alternative to this regime exists and guarantees a future based on peace, tolerance and democracy.

The mullahs discredit any opposition to their despotic rule by labeling it as American and Western agitated. But they are frantic in the face of the Iranian Resistance. Owing to its pivotal force, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, the Iranian Resistance is an intellectual and cultural antithesis to the regime and has exposed Islamic fundamentalism in Iran and in the Middle East.

Three decades ago, in the face of Khomeini’s deceptive Islamic pretense, Massoud Rajavi hoisted the banner of a democratic Islam and showed that in all arenas the teachings of the Quran and Islam run counter to what the mullahs profess.

He showed that any compulsion and imposition is alien to the spirit of the Quran because Islam is a religion of freedom.

With such an understanding of Islam, the Iranian Resistance, particularly the MEK, consider the notion of an Islamic Caliphate and Empire, first invoked by Khomeini, as a medieval, expansionist and bellicose idea. As such, the Resistance has led the way in exposing it in the past three decades.

With such an understanding, we defend the separation of religion and state and the principle of freedom of religion.

Through a distorted interpretation of the verses of the Quran, through remarks falsely attributed to the Prophet of Islam, through fatwas, compulsion and intimidation the mullahs have imposed a state religion. But Islam is a religion of freedom.

Islam has come to “relieve  them [the people] of their burden and the shackles which were placed upon them.” (Al Araaf: 157)

 It has come to unlock what people can say; it has come to ensure that people can think freely.

“Those who listen to the Word, and follow the best (meaning) in it.” (Az-Zumar: 17)

Indeed, Islam has come to elevate mankind to the pinnacle of freedom and dignity.

So, there is a world of difference between Islam and extremism, violence and murder under the banner of Islam.

There is a world of difference between the genuine Islam and arbitrary murder and persecution of citizens under the pretext of implementing Sharia law.

There is a world of difference between Islam and subjugating women and compulsory veiling.

There is a world of difference between Islam and demolishing mosques and pilfering public property.

Do all verses of the Quran not begin with the words, “the most compassionate and merciful?”

So, why have you labeled your savage ideology Islam?

The peddlers of religion and all those who have mimicked Khomeini’s limb amputation, eye gauging and stoning of women. For they have returned to the very same ignorance for whose eradication the Prophet (PBUH) was given the mandate.

And cursed be upon the mullahs ruling Iran, who amputate the hands of deprived and hungry youth for getting what they need to survive, but give free reins to their accomplices in pilfering the enormous wealth of the Iranian people.

 
May curse be upon them for turning God’s religion into the means to quench their lust for power.

And may curse be upon those who keep silence in the face of this regime’s heinous crimes.

And may curse be upon those who do not utter a word when our nations are massacred, bombarded, pounded and repressed.

Truly, the spirit of Islam abhors such power-hungry Sharia.

Islam has come to herald tolerance, peace and coexistence among different races, ethnicities, religions and faiths.

Say: “O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between us and you.” (Al Imran: 64)

And what has primacy is the work that is righteous, whether by faithful of this or that religion.

“Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord.”  (Al Baqara: 62)

So, what do religious sectarianism and Shia-Sunni conflict, a brainchild of Khomeini, have to do with the truth of Islam?

In Iraq, the Sunnis have been deprived of their political and social rights. In Iran, a large number of our Sunni compatriots have been imprisoned. And right now, dozens of them are on death row.

But, in the face of this regime, we have these eloquent words of Imam Ali, who told Malek Ashtar (whom he appointed as the ruler of Egypt) that “there are two types of people: either your brethren in religion or your brethren in creation.”

And in the face of this regime, we consider the Sunnis as our dear sisters and brothers, and whether in Iran or in Iraq, they must enjoy equal political and social rights, including equal rights in governance. Peace, freedom and democracy in the whole of the region are predicated upon respecting their rights and those of the followers of other religions and faiths.

As a Muslim woman and in unison with all those who defend the genuine message of Islam, namely mercy and freedom, I reject all the lies and slanders levied at Islam. From our point of view, anything thing based on compulsion is not Islam. 

“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.” (Al Baqara: 256)

Islam’s unique message is freedom.

Islam’s message is one of freedom, not religious subjugation.
Islam’s message is freedom, not gender apartheid.
Islam’s message is freedom, not fascism and dictatorship.

In virtue of an unprecedented perseverance, the Iranian Resistance and its main component, the MEK, have paid the highest price to confront extremism, fundamentalism, warmongering and bloodshed invoked under the banner of Islam. This is why the mullahs are intent on exterminating the MEK and have waged a massive campaign of misinformation and demonization against the Resistance. 

 
Nevertheless, on behalf of the Iranian Resistance, we say we are proud to be at the frontline of this struggle at a time when the region and the world are being threatened with the misfortune of violence, destruction and extremism under the veneer of religion, with an organized movement which espouses the true Islam is prepared to sacrifice and pay the price to confront this misfortune and, through its steadfastness, has succeeded in hoisting the banner of the bright and tolerant Islam in the face of fundamentalism, ignorance and barbarism.

Indeed, if it were not for this movement, if Massoud Rajavi had not presented such a solution and such guidance, the Middle East would have had to pay a price hundred times more than now.

Standing up to the beast of fundamentalism and the central banker of terrorism bent on obtaining nuclear weapons is of course enormously difficult. Fortunately, however, in their  progress towards freedom, nations of the world, especially in Iran, have risen up to meet this historical imperative.

The combatants of freedom at Camp Liberty are today the vanguards of this struggle and have paid the heavy price of this showdown.

For the past 12 years, the Mujahedin-e Khalq at Camp Liberty have been under house arrest and in the past five years they have been victimized by an inhumane siege, including a medical blockade.

In the past eight years, Ashraf and Liberty were attacked by Maliki’s forces 26 times, in which 136 have been killed, 1,375 wounded and seven taken hostage.

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Eternal Light offensive, which took the Iranian Resistance to the gate of the largest city in Western Iran, Kermanshah. And two days from now, will be the fifth anniversary of the Iraqi forces’ attack on Camp Ashraf, at the behest of Khamenei. We pay homage the martyrs of this perseverance and these unforgettable epics in Iran’s history.

The lives of those in Camp Liberty have been at greater risk since last March, when Iraq became engulfed in a war and the security situation deteriorated.

The Iranian regime and its Iraqi puppets are trying to exploit the current situation in Iraq to set up the stage for suppressive and criminal actions against them.

Under such circumstances, the United Nations and the United States must immediately transfer all of them either to Europe or to the U.S. consistent with their commitments and international law. And until then, they must undertake urgent measures to ensure their protection at Camp Liberty by stationing UN observers and a unit of the Blue Helmets permanently there. They must also compel the Iraqi regime to free the seven Ashraf hostages.

Dear friends,

On the advent of the Eid al-Fitr, we pray to God Almighty for the establishment of peace, freedom, tolerance and solidarity in all countries in the region.

God Almighty, lend the nations of this region the hand to create a Middle East devoid of the velayat-e faqih, extremism, fundamentalism and dictatorship.

God Almighty, bestow upon our political prisoners steadfastness, perseverance and strength in the dungeons of Khamenei in Iran

God Almighty, bestow upon the Mujahedin-e Khalq ever-greater resolve and bring upon them victory.

God Almighty, bring closer the day when Iran will be free. 

“Our Lord, forgive us our sins and the excess [committed] in our affairs and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (Al Imran:147)

Thank you very much!