Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Coming Change in Ahmadinejad's Iran

The reports coming out of Iran indicate an increased boldness of the protesters in the streets. Reports of Basij militia members being stripped of clothes and weapons, police cars being burned and prisoners being freed from police custody by demonstrators are becoming more frequent.

There are a lot of factors that are working against the Ahmadinejad regime.. The majority of Iran's population was born after 1979. On the one hand, there are young people who might want to listen to Western music, watch American films and even attend parties with mixed dancing. Then there are other people who are traditionally Islamic in their outlook who see the need for personal choice in the area of religion. It is interesting that green ribbons are being used as a symbol of the opposition movement. Green has always been an Islamic colour. Its appropriation as the colour of the opposition almost seems to be an assertion that it is the opposition that is the custodian of Islamic values.

It is well known that many people high in the government have enriched themselves by using Islamic courts to expropriate the wealth of their opponents and to take it for themselves. Most Iranians are disgusted by "sighe" which is a form of "temporary marriage" that has become an Islamic form of what amounts to legalised prostitution. When this is juxtaposed to Ahmadinejad's imposition of sexual segregation during his second term. The Jerusalem Post reports as follows on the Ahmadinejad regime's plans for Iran during his second term.

"Since Ahmadinejad was elected, the government has made various moves to further segregate office buildings, hospitals, public parks and primary schools and in the half year since the president was reelected a number of Iranian ministers and religious leaders have called for a more strict adherence to sex segregation in various aspects of public life. "There has definitely been a concerted effort to rekindle the kind of policies that enforce gender segregation," Dr. Mehrdad Khonsari, a senior research consultant at the Centre for Arab and Iranian Studies told The Media Line. "There are efforts to have separate dining areas in universities, to close co-ed places, the atmosphere is just generally different."

I would imagine that a lot of people might juxtapose the temporary marriages, the financial corruption and the rapes of prisoners in Iranian jails with the "modesty campaigns" and come to the conclusion that the regime has put a shiny veneer over a deep and profound rottenness.

Then there is Iran's minorities such as Iran's Arabs in the Khuzestan region who sit atop Iran's oil wealth and live in poverty.The Iranian government has been very generous in funding instability in Lebanon and across the Middle East. How much better would Iranians in impoverished regions be living if the government had used the money that went to war for developing Iran? The question has been asked by Iranians many times.

The world is watching as Iran moves towards developing its own atomic weapons. At the same time, Iranians pay high prices at the gas pump for gasoline, all of which must be imported. Although Iran is a leading producer of crude oil, it does not have its own refineries. Iranians pay about the same as Americans pay for gasoline out of incomes that are a fraction of ours. How much better off would the average Iranian be if Iran had raced for its own refineries instead of its own bombs?

Ahmadinejad can attempt to point his finger at the US and at Israel/ But his expensive adventurism is costing his own people dearly.It appears as though the Iranian people have lost their fear of the corrupt and violent regime that embitters their lives. People with computers and cell phones, twitter and instant messaging are smuggling the truth out to the West, where it is being beamed back into Iran. Hopefully, the many parties and organisations of Iranians that are fighting its corrupt and violent regime will soon be able to sit together in a free parliament.

Iran's people are way ahead of its government. Change seems to be in the air. May it come speedily and peacefully

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