People's Consent

"All the people of Iran are the owners of Iran"


People's Consent
by Ari Siletz

Before his 15 Shaban sermon on the occasion of the birth of the Shiite Imam Mahdi, Nazy Kaviani and I were given the opportunity to ask questions from Dr. Mohsen Kadivar in an informal setting for the readers of Nazy and I split up the interview between us with Nazy drawing a personal portrait of Dr. Kadivar while I focused on his political thinking. Here is Nazy’s interview, which includes a background biography. Below is my interview with Dr. Kadivar. Though he is fluent in English, we spoke in Farsi. This interview is given in translation, however, so that it will be accessible to more readers.

Q: From your understanding of Islam, particularly Shiism, does it logically follow that the religion mandates democracy? I mean by democracy a government that gets its legitimacy from the people.

A: Of course I cannot speak for all Islamic scholars, but from my point of view the consent of the people is the first pillar of governance. For this reason if a ruler does not have the consent of the people, consent that these days we call democracy I don’t see it as legitimate. We don’t have words like democracy or mardom saalaari in religious literature; we do have words that are close to this meaning. At the very least I believe that no one has the right to rule over people without obtaining their consent. I have compiled a theoretical basis for this: determining the people’s destiny is the right of the people, just as someone’s property belongs to that person. The Prophet has confirmed that people have dominion over their own property and that no one has the right to seize it without the permission of the owner. Well, the public domain is the property of all the citizens of that country. This is a theory similar to what John Locke arrived at, and before me it has been mentioned by Dr. Mehdi Ha’eri Yazdi who is the son of the founder of the Qom Seminary (Howzeh e Elmieh Qom), Haj sheikh Abdul- Karim Ha’eri Yazdi, a teacher of Mr. Khomeini. He has mentioned that the ruler is the agent of the owners of the public domain. This means that all the people of Iran are the owners of Iran and any one who wishes to do anything with this country has to get the permission of the owners. The owners are just these people. And the head of government, who makes decisions, is the agency representing the people. The answer to your question is yes, this is correct. My article on “Islam and Democracy, Compatible or Incompatible?” in English will be published this year. Its Persian version is available on my website.

You extend Islamic guidance directed at the individual to the political sphere. Do you view political activism as your religious duty?

My religious duty has several facets. One facet is my ethical duty. I cannot accept any principle or religious imperative outside its ethical boundaries. Activism is also a rational imperative, as I will detail later this evening in my sermon. From this perspective, yes, it is my civil right, my religious right and moral duty. My rights as a citizen and my ethical and religious duties are intermingled because I exercise them all at the same time.

What guidance does Shiism offer as to when it is appropriate to take up arms against an unjust ruler?

We have two sets of conditions in this matter. The first is the conditions you pointed out, that are the conditions of armed rebellion. The other is peaceful change. We are in the second, not the first. In the current environment, taking the matter to the first situation is problematic. However in both cases we can utilize Islamic teachings from very distinguished sources including Shiite teachings and interpretations. In the conclusion to the first volume of his book titled The Principles of Islamic Governance, the late Ayatollah Montazeri puts the question that let’s say none of our approaches were effective in brining a ruler to the straight path, can we take up arms against him in rebellion?

Most Sunni scholars -- a near unanimous majority -- forbid rebellion against a ruler. They regard rebellion against a ruler as being similar to warring against God. Just like the statements that the Islamic Republic has been making. This Sunni Ash’arite school of thought effectively endorses any existing political condition—The dissenting minority Sunni school, Mo’tazeli, is, however, close to Shiism on this issue. The Sunni Ash’arites do not permit any sort of rebellion even if the ruler is completely unjust. They say that it’s up to God to fix things; you should just go pray. We don’t have this in Shiism theoretically therefore rebellion is permitted.

But our current position is peaceful reform because our nation is not ready for more than this, and we don’t have the potential for such action. Anyway, even if we were to resort to arms we would need an organization, and we don’t have such an organization. We would be repeating the situation of 32 years ago, and they say no generation has it in itself to carry out more than one revolution. In addition the end of revolution is not predictable. The slogan of this movement is non-violence and peace. Let’s just see if we can raise the child we birthed and see where it goes.

What aspects of Islam’s gender related doctrines are essential and which aspects are open to adaptation to the times and the environment?

I have written articles on this subject (the rights of women and Intellectual Islam) which can be found on my website for reference [see note 1]. These articles are about the rights of women and about human rights in general in English, and I have written them with frankness. That is, which parts of our traditional writings are compatible with human rights and which are not—or at least by which interpretation they can be made compatible? In our religious literature we have two different kinds of rulings regarding this subject. Some in my opinion are fundamental timeless rulings that are part of the eternal message of Islam. For example you may know that in Islam piety [Taghvaa] knows no gender. Knowledge, Piety and striving in the way of Allah (Jahad) have been enumerated as being part of the highest Virtue [Fazilat]. None of these are conditioned on gender and everyone is equal. There are sometimes bounded rules--not foundational ones-- where one observes discrimination. These discriminations matched the time and place of the first people that Islam addressed. These were conditions where women had no human rights, would be buried alive, were always under the supervision of the men. Now Islam comes along and assigns the right of inheritance to someone who herself used to be part of a man’s inheritance. Since typically we read the text outside the context we do not notice all this progress. I mean when a man died in pre-Islam time, his wife would be part of his inheritance to his male progeny. Now Islam comes along and says just as a man inherits so should a woman. It stipulated a difference because it was not possible at the beginning to do this on an equal basis. I have explained in my articles that such legal issues are part of the adaptable aspects of Islam and subject to review. In fact, these reviews have already begun. For example in the matter of blood money (diyya ) there are Islamic scholars who have issued fatwas to establish equality between the genders. In the matter of court testimony, likewise there are proponents of equality. In the matter of eligibility to preside as a judge in a court of law there are fatwas in favor of equality. In all these cases I am a proponent of equality. I also believe we should enact certain protective measures in favor of women so as to eliminate discrimination against them. These measures would assign special security to women during pregnancy, and protect them against domestic abuse. As another example that has arisen in the modern world, I believe in positive reverse discrimination so that we can establish justice in its true meaning. We are obviously unable to uphold a physical equivalence between the genders; we can only uphold legal equality.

To what extent does the United States meet the conditions of democracy and where does she fail those conditions?

Well if for example you compared it with the Middle East then democracy is much more advanced in the US. On the other hand a point we should not forget is the issue of social justice. Social justice is not at an advanced state in the US. The gap between the richest and the poorest is among the widest in the world. And in this way the capitalists can easily interfere with the vote of the people, specifically through advertisement. And in other ways cartels and trusts (corporations), powerful in the US, adversely affect this country’s democracy. If we could have a society that had the same democratic values but its capitalism was not so irresponsible and reckless we would certainly have a stronger democracy. Also, the US constitution is among the first constitutions in world, and there are now constitutions in the world that are more progressive. However there is a belief in democracy that goes to the core of the American civilization in the minds of the people and the leaders of this country. This is because the US is the only country that seems to have been created by the will of these very people—of course there were immigrations. Most other countries were already established before there was a conscious will on the part of the people to create their nation. Therefore democracy in the United States ranks among the highest, and its flaw lies in the undue influence of capitalism on the democratic process.

You admire Ayatollah Montazeri and at the same time you believe that the Iranian people admire Ayatollah Khomeini. Keeping in mind that Ayatollah Khomeini was a very shrewd politician, on what basis did he distance Ayatollah Montazeri from himself to accept a successor that you consider unfit?

This is one of the enigmatic aspects of the diplomacy of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Apparently a certain security and intelligence process was followed and some wrong information was given to him. Also towards the end of his life he was ill. And he reached a decision. The decision process is not so clear to us. In my letter [see note 2] I have clearly stated this—and this was written when Ayatollah Monatzeri was no longer alive, so that that it can’t be said there were motives behind it. Even at the time I said that God showed mercy to Ayatollah Montazeri that he did not become the Leader. Because this system has theoretical problems, meaning that the velyat faghih system--or an absolute velayat faghih system--is fundamentally flawed. It is not clear whether anyone who occupies that position can preserve himself, so to speak. Ayatollah Montazeri’s father, a very decent and pure farmer, prostrated in thankful prayer when his son was dismissed as successor. He said his son was unburdened. And really this was the case. Looking at it from another angle, no one has the right to appoint a successor for himself. Now they’re trying to argue that since the Prophet did it so can we. But we argue that Shiism believes—in the readings anyway—that for the Prophet it was a divine matter. But government is a people’s matter and a person—at least a normal individual—doesn’t have the right to impose obligations on those who come after him, such as appointing an heir. I consider this one of the mistakes of Ayatollah Khomeini, and if the atmosphere were right I would write about both his strengths and his flaws.

The difficulty is that we—at least our youth—see things in black and white. Ayatollah Khomeini was neither the saint as some think of him in Iran and neither a slaughterer as some regard him outside the country. In his report card there are services and there are faults and we should put these side by side so that we can see them together. Meanwhile the events that are happening right now show that the theory to which he subscribed had difficulties, and the perfection that they attribute to him also has its difficulties. Well these are two major difficulties, which leave room for much discussion. Of course he had many positive attributes for which I have not had the opportunity--in this environment--to perform due diligence. However, enshallah, certainly I will discuss these matters. It will, of course, be hard to defend a man in a situation where some people refuse to appear in interviews without hanging his picture on the wall behind them—inside the country. And some people won’t even listen to you until you insult him—outside the country. He would have to be man of significance such that Mr. Mousavi feels obliged to have the picture over his head at all times in interviews, and others cannot bear to hear you out unless first you prove you are against him. My criticism of Khomeini’s theory was published several years ago in English [see note 3].


1. For Dr. Kadivar’s views on the rights of women in modern Islam including a discussion of the hejab issue see here.

2. Here’s Dr. Kadivar’s letter accusing The Assembly of Experts of negligence of duty regarding their supervisory role over the vali faghih. Fasl e chahaarom goes directly to doubts about the decision to appoint Khamenei.

3: For an English summary of this critique of absolute velayat faghih see here.

4: This is a Farsi text by Dr. Kadivar juxtaposing absolute monarchy with absolute velayat faghih:


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Thank you, Ari.

by Princess on

... for doing the research for lazy people like me and spoon feeding us. :)

I would say I party agree with Mr. Kadivar. I say partly, because I would not choose the term religion, but rather spirituality.

I, too, believe that spirituality provides meaning to existence. This might seem like a minor difference, but it is not. Spiritual people are not self-righteous because they don't presume to know the answers, whereas religious people more often than not are self-righteous as they think they have found the answers. And we all know what self-righteousness can do when it grips hold of power. Spiritual people are constantly searching, whereas religious people have stopped searching.

I wonder if Mr. Kadivar ever has asked himself if he has become an "Islamic Scholar" out of convenience - ie. because he was born in Iran and presumably to Muslim parents - rather than as a result of an exhaustive search for the "Truth" and after eliminating all other possible ways to find god.

Be as it may, I still see Mr. Kadivar's work , ie. his attempts to reform Islam, as a positive development. That doesn't mean that I support him, but I don't think lumping all the cleric in one group is a useful exercise.

Thanks again for opening up this debate.


Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Thanks for reading and commenting. As you have observed we don't yet have a democratic context, a fact that both alarms and intrigues me. I'm sure you've also observed how quickly after we overthrew the monarchy we resurrected the institution in a different form--minus any of its merits. I'm inclined to think this was no accidental consequence of having despotic elements in the ranks of the revolution. All revolutions have these. But our society nurtured those despotic elements following an established pattern in our national psychology. On the historic scale, absolute rule has been our political comfort zone, so to speak.  Shiism has also been a traditional institution rivaling the monarchy in terms of our historic comfort zones. So I allow for the possibility that a secular revolution in Iran would quickly resurrect religion--minus any of its merits--in a different form. Have no idea what, perhaps a Mojahedin takeover.

 This is why I'm open to reform--precisely because we don't yet have a democratic context. Of course if a chance opportunity for a complete getaway from the pattern presents itself domestically--as in no foreign invasion of our land--I would go for it. 


Ari Jaan,

by oktaby on

I think the majority opinion is rather clear by the comments so far. I for one would ignore Kadivar except you are the author. I understand trying to put a human face on a 'political' figure. However, I don't think Kadivar is worth your talent or compassion.

IMHO, Ali Shariati, was the single most sinister 'thing' that infested Iranian mind in 40's & 50's. Like a disease that in an ascendant Iran felt like moral supremacy, purpose & euphoria. One of the best marketed products in service of bringing Iran down. It is telling when this 'thing' is kadivar's ideal.

Your example of politicians in a democracy does not apply to us. We are neither yet a unified opposition, nor we had or yet have a democracy or democratic context within which kadivar can be tolerated as a necessary evil of a democratic system. He is part of IRR even if now a rejected part, like A. Ganji, Soroush and the rest. That they all end up here in U.S or France or…, but not any Moslem country including the moderate ones or the other 200 or so countries in the world is telling, as is the absence of islamists in his support or opposition. He is most valuable as an islamist opposition to IRR not the opposition trying to bring secular democracy and normalcy to Iran.

The psychology & existence of Kadivar et al is not just paradoxical but oxymoronic. Just like Shariati. Wearing suit, hanging in Paris' west bank & Sorbonne &…. while writing pernicious Abuzar & Hossein and…

As for his role with JARAS, it is interesting how they did become a source and where they got their funding and how Kadivar ended up there and ….., while we could barely raise funds for half dozen activities of various groups I'm aware of, or some money for the shameful condition of refugees in Turkey. 

Now he says he listens to my second all time favorite Farhad? I find that offensive and Farhad would turn in his grave if he knew.

We are a disparate opposition slowly becoming united and fighting for very soul of Iran, not a democratic country that tries to uphold ideals of democracy so we need to tolerate any 'ashe shole ghalamkar'.  Reformed/evolved Kadivar et al (if that is even possible) can follow the line not lead it. We have a mortal enemy and in balance he is an enemy not just of the opposition but Iranian heritage.


P.S.: everyone please do all you can


Ari Siletz

Thanks Princess

by Ari Siletz on

Kadivar often mentions the role of religion in providing a meaning for existence. Without further editorializing, you may be able to read between the lines in the following comment by Dr. Kadivar


معنويت‌گرايان مي‌گويند اين كتاب قرآن به چه دليلي معتبر است؟ به لحاظ معرفت‌شناسي آيا شما حق داريد به گزاره‌هاي اين كتاب استناد كنيد؟ طبق علم شناخت و معرفت آيا ادله‌اي را در كتاب مي‌بينيد يا مي‌شنويد يا از طريق عقل و شهود و علم باطن يا حافظه درك مي‌كنيد؟ اتفاقا بايد پاسخ گفت تفاوت قرآن با ديگر گزاره‌ها در همين مورد است. سخن ما اين است كه حجيت معرفت‌شناختي در ميان مسيحيان مطرح شد و در آن زمان بحث اين بود كه عيسي مسيح سخناني مي‌گويد كه نه علم است، نه معقول و نه محسوس بلكه يك چيزي جداست اما برخي مسيحيان به اين نكته رسيده‌اند كه اين سخن خودش براي ما مومنانش معتبر است؛ لذا ما هم ادعا نداريم امور وحياني ما حجيت معرفت‌شناختي براي غيرمومن داشته باشد بلكه آن‌كه ايمان نياورده گزاره قرآني را باور ندارد؛ لذا براي مومن اين گزاره حجت است و همين كفايت مي‌كند. از سوي ديگر بايد پرسيد آيا همه‌ گزاره‌هايي كه شما معنويت‌گراها يا غيردينداران به آن قائل هستيد معقول و محسوسند؟ همين كه گزاره‌اي محتمل شد و در عمل نتايج نيكويي داشت و به قول شما از رنج و آلام دروني ما انسان‌ها كاست كافي است همانطور كه اعتقاد به آخرت چنين بهره‌اي دارد.


Thanks for the interesting interview, Nazy and Ari.

by Princess on

Ari, I only wish you would have also included some fundamental questions about his beliefs.

I, for example, would have liked to know if he believes the quran to be Muhammad’s miracle or god’s own word, as it is claimed to be.

And if so, how come this omnipotent, omnipresent god who decides to address  its creations, seems to be less capable than some mere mortals ( i.e. Hafiz, Shakespeare, etc…)  of conveying its message in a fashion that would remain relevant for longer than a couple of hundred years. Just refer to his reply to your fourth question, for example.

In other words, I would have liked to understand how someone like Kadivar, who no doubt seems like and intelligent person, can justify believing in myth?

Anyway, thanks to both of you for taking the time to interview him and share it with us.


Ari Siletz

benross, good question

by Ari Siletz on

As an example: one reason Kadivar's opinion matters is the important website JARAS which partly pivots on his role as a member of its political advisory committee. Maintaining an opposition publication of this influence and reputation for Iranians takes human resource. People from all over send news which has to be verified and edited. Who's doing all this?Also the site has to be protected against relentless IRI cyber attacks. Who's providing the technical knowledge to do this? The fact that this site has been kept functional is evidence of some grass roots support. Kadivar has the ears (and loyalty) of people inside Iran capable of building and managing an organization. An organization the IRI hasn't been able to bust up, despite their best efforts. 


Next year JARAS internet radio is planned, and if finances come through we will see JARAS satellite TV. I will be following Kadivar's political future with interest. 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Islamist is a Charlatan in my book. Read the Koran in full and read about Sharia and deeds of Mohammad. Then honestly ask yourself if any open minded person could believe this. 

Now I am fine with people who want to practice it in a private way. I am opposed to all who want to mix it with politics in *any* shape or form.

In addition people like Kadivar who led the people to this path are failed guide. We should be weary of guides who have led us astray.


Ari, just because this man spent time at Evin due to internal

by fooladi on

power struggle does not change anything. I know of bright young men and women who went to evin whose mothers do not even know of their burial place twenty years after their murders...

I gave you the evidence for Kadivar's charlatanism; I quoted his defence of Khomeini, giving lame excuses for the mass murderers behaviour such as "he was old" or "he was ill". He would not condemn khomeini for who he was, as it would be an attack on the foundations of the islamist system.

I realy think that charlatans like him are a lot more dangerous than blatent mass murderers like khamenei or mesbah yazdi. These charlatans have one agenda only: maintaining the stattus quo of islamist regime. They must be exposed for who they are and their true agenda.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

I agree Benross

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The opinion of Kadivar and his ilk is irrelevant to me. Why should I care about a failed Islamist. Or his ideas or the failed left for that matter? These people had their chance and blew it. They bring nothing to the table but sour grapes.

We are all educated and many of us know a lot about politics. I dare say many including me know more than Kadivar does. Besides we are not polluted by Islamic ideology. We may as well make our own mistakes and not bother with theirs.

Remember people followed the Islamist and the leftists and were led to hell. It would be the height of folly to pay much attention to them now. The only attention they deserve is to be remembered as the path to not take and what to not do.



Existential question

by benross on

Why Kadivar opinion should matter?

There was a time that the clergy was the bulk of our intelligentsia -1900. Then there was a time that the clergy was the mover and shaker that the body politics should have always been wary of them -1950. This part of clergy is now in power. The part of the clergy that remained concerned about intellectual matters, could only play a part in that system as a foot solder -cultural cleansing for example- or be rejected. It had never a say or an influence in moving or shaping the minds of the mass.

Any defection from IRI is welcome although I don't think he actually defected. But this is not the question. The question is why Kadivar opinion should matter?

You can replace the name of Kadivar with the name a lot of other people in this question. The pertinence remains.


Ari, I am not waiting for a good sheep

by divaneh on

I just don’t trust the wolf. He is part of the problem. If you listen carefully to his creative memories and justifications for his actions and statements, you would see that he is not part of the solution. I don’t see likes of him and Soroush as green movement leaders and he should not be promoted as one.

No politician is honest and they all lie. That I agree. I think the best measure is a politician’s core beliefs and values. Someone with belief in creating a secular Iran and separating religion from the estate is much more trustworthy than this mola, and we are not short of such people.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Kadivar spent 18 months in Evin prison-- three months in solitary--for his opposition to the velayat faghih system in line with the legacy he inherited from his teacher, Ayatollah Montazeri.  Please don't pull your punches and cite the evidence which has led you to believe he is a charlatan. Asking "why he could not come out strongly against these crimes like Montazeri did?" assumes a premise contrary to evidence.  Why be so easy on him?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Likes of

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Souroush and Kadivar are truly vile  scum of the world. No punishment is enough for them. I like to see them spat upon and kicked for the rest of history. 

No good will come out of these rotten freaks not now or never.

Louie Louie

Please forgive me, but

by Louie Louie on

You really need to read this then you know why, if you did not know already!


I wish I could look at the world like this but I can't.


The Islamist Charlatan should had been interviewed robustly...

by fooladi on

To expose him for what he really is; the counter revolutionary parasite trying to maintain the status quo of Islamist mayham and murder at any cost. E.g: When he says the following about Khomeini trying to white wash his murderous behaviour towards opposition:

"Apparently a certain security and intelligence process was followed and some wrong information was given to him. Also towards the end of his life he was ill.", Why was he then not asked about his own (Kadivar's) position on the matter and why he could not come out strongly against these crimes like Montazeri did?

But I guess once a Charlatan, always a charlatan


Ari Siletz

Divaneh, no such animal as sheep...

by Ari Siletz on politics that is. It's a wolf eat wolf arena as our experiences inside the US democracy has shown us. Do politicians lie? Do they break promises? I'm sure I don't have to ask that from someone living in a democracy. The hardest and most important task in a representative democracy is to tie our politicians to their promises so that it becomes costly for them to back out once they're in power. This is where Iran's weak democratic know-how failed with Khomeini. To a large extent a politician's hidden beliefs or intentions are less important than how good he/she is at motivating people and selling ideas to the masses.  Keeping him in line is the people's job.                                                       Also, waiting for an honest to goodness sheep leader is as messianic as waiting for Emam Zaman. 



Darius Kadivar

Something Strange in the Neighbourhood ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

I'm Afraid of No Ghost ...


Ari Jaan Interesting Interview nevertheless !


A wolf in sheep's skin

by divaneh on

But you can still see his fangs. This man eats and breathes religion and his brain is infected with dogma and religious fairy tales such as the 900 years old saint.

That's so daft that they first rule out the freedom and equality and then search in the fading pages of an old book to give us a little of what they have taken away.

Honestly Ari, you are a good interviewer but could you not find some better questions than the "US democracy" to ask the hallucinating dreamer who thinks Khomeini is loved by all Iranians inside Iran. What about the subject at hand and his belief in the Imam Zaman? What about his view on copy cat business (marja taghlid)? What about Ghasas, maiming and stoning?

I wish I could at least say "Gorbeh shod Aabed o Mosalmana".

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

1. The goal was a Kadivar 101 interview. In my pre-interview conversations with a sample of Iranian expats I realized that despite all the discussion many still aren't aware of Kadivar's stated positions (never mind a critique of these positions). They associate the turban and mantle with something akin to Khamenei's IRI. This information starved reaction works against our contributing to a strong opposition movement.   



2. Here's a hardball question which I did not ask, and will explain why:

Kadivar says: "I cannot accept any principle or religious imperative outside its ethical boundaries." 

In explaining his VOA comment regarding ghazeh/lobnan he also says:

 علیرغم اینکه این شعار در روز قدس سر داده شده است، و با اینکه در قصد خیر بسیاری از سردهندگان آن هم تردیدی نیست، من این شعار سلبی را صحیح نمی دانم، زیرا این شعار نه اخلاقی است و نه اسلامی.

Here's the question: suppose through the democratic process of a Kadviarian Iran the people--either through a referendum or a parliamentary process-- decide it is in the best interest of Iran to recognize Israel. As you state you do not accept any principle outside of ethical boundaries and you have emphasized the ethical component of the Israel/Palestine issue. If you were in an official position of power in Iran, how would you react in response to this hypothical event?

Why didn't I ask a question along these lines? 1. Not a Kadivar 101 question.    2.  Journalistically unfair unless Kadivar was on a panel with other notables in the opposition so that the audience can gauge the difficulty of the problem by comparing his answer to the others.  It would not help the opposition to lead one of its key players to a potentially damaging statement while leaving his rivals--and enemies-- untouched.


3. As a side note the VOA interview was weak journalism. After Kadivar made his weird comment about ghazeh/lobnan, the interviewer should have confronted him with the facts so that the interviewee could explain. As it was, VOA took the statement and ran with it, coming across as a gorbeh dozdeh though I feel this was not the intention of the interviewer.



اسلام ناب محمدی، دُم باخته و یال ریخته



اينچنين شيری خدا كي آفريد؟


Every Day We Get A Little Bit Closer!


حاجی ما آخر خطيم


Darius Kadivar

Did I hear Someone Call Me ? ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Everything is Tickety-Boo - Danny Kaye (DK):



Ari - sorry to be skeptical about Kadivar

by MM on

but, the likes of Soroush and Kadivar were part of the gang that promised Iranians a haven for democracy.  However, when they got in the office, they got rid of opposition and imposed Shari'a as the law of the land in Iran.  Even if Kadivar(s) were ordered by Khomeini to write the constitution in a certain way, these guys still revere Khomeini and that just irks me to the nth degree.

I would also want a clear answer from Kadivar with regards to the separation of the 7th century Shari'a laws from civil laws that respect the rights of human beings as opposed to a certain group.  Secondly, why should we trust Kadivar(s)when his first round as managers and composers of Iranian constitution ended in disaster?



by Pahlevan on

این جوابیه اش که عذر بدتر از گناهه. کدیور یه دروغه شاخدار تو روز روشن گفت بعد بجای اینکه عذرخواهی بکنه در جواب به دروغگویی بیشتر و بلغور کردن تفکرات گندیده و پوسیده ای که باعث و بانی بدبختی و فلاکت ما در ۳۱ ساله اخیر هست می پردازه. کدیور با کمال پستی و وقاحت در مصاحبش با صدای آمریکا گفت: "مردم در خیابانهای ایران فریاد زدن که هم غزه هم لبنان جانم فدای ایران"، در صورتی که این یک دروغه محض است و حتی یک ویدئو هم که در آن مردم همچین شعاری را داده باشن در هیچ کجا یافت نمیشود، در حالی که ده ها ویدئو از مردم در حاله دادن شعار "نه غزه نه لبنان جانم فدای ایران" وجود داره: 

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خیلی جالبه که کدیور در جواب به انتقادهایی که از دروغگویش شد باز دوباره به دروغ میگوید "شعار نه غزه نه لبنان جانم فدای ایران در روز قدس در تهران توسط جمعی از جوانان ایرانی فریاد شده است"، در صورتی که، همانطور که از ویدئوهای پست شده مشخص هست، این شعار توسطه تعداده زیادی از هموطن با شرایط سنی متفاوت در روز قدس داده شد.

آری جان، به هر حال به نظره این حقیر، اگرشما تحقیق بیشتری کرده بودی و با روحیه ژورنالیستی با کدیور مصاحبه میکردی باید در مورده دروغهای این شیاد اسلامگرا ازش سوال میکردی. 

Ari Siletz

MM, on separation of religion and state

by Ari Siletz on

From the sermons and writings I gather that in a Kadivarian universe the clergy would have the same rights to participate in politics as any one else who is not clergy ie. run for office, get appointed to official posts etc. The clergy would have no special privileges over non-clergy, however. In this scenario the clergy's religious beliefs may affect his (her?) decisions, just as any other politician is affected by his belief sets--presumably a large enough constituency liked these beliefs, which is why he got elected. If things don't work out between him and his constituency he would lose his seat in the next round of elections, possibly to a non-clergy.  

 In this scenario, religion is not banished to the domain of private beliefs but can remain an active politial force. For a close up on one aspect of this complicated scenario see the following excerpt (I have bolded the core issue) :


حجت الاسلام دکتر کدیور (موضوع مصاحبه: نقش مردم و نهادهای مدنی در توسعه فرهنگ دینی) آقای دکتر کدیور در جواب به سوال "دخالت یا عدم دخالت دولت و حکومت در امور دینی چیست؟ " اظهار داشتند: در حوزه اقتصاد کتابی هست که بحث آن درباره دولت حداقل است . در تجارت نیز مطرح می کنند، که دولت تاجر خوبی نیست ولی می تواند ناظر خوبی باشد . به نظر من این دیدگاه را می توان در حوزه فرهنگ هم وارد نمود . یعنی در حوزه فرهنگ به یک دولت حداقلی قائل باشیم و بگوییم، دولت نه تنها تاجر خوبی نیست بلکه عامل فرهنگی خوبی هم نمی تواند باشد . لذا ضمن اینکه دولت باید از ورود به حوزه فرهنگ دوری کند بایستی سازمانهای دینی دولتی را نیز به بخش خصوصی واگذار کند . بنابراین دولت نباید خود عامل فرهنگی باشد و به خصوص در حوزه دین مساله ای را راسا برعهده بگیرد . من در حوزه کار فرهنگی بیشتر به نظارت و حمایت دولت دینی معتقد هستم نه به دخالت مستقیم دولت در امور دینی . همچنین ما به جای اینکه دولت را بزرگتر کنیم باید جامعه مدنی را در بین مسلمانان تقویت کنیم . تقویت جامعه مدنی به معنای درست آن، نکته ای است که غالبا در سیاستهای دینی ما مغفول مانده است . مراد از جامعه مدنی، جامعه ای است آزاد و مستقل از دولت که با اراده آزاد شهروندان دیندار شکل می گیرد و بودجه شان را نیز خود می پردازند . اینجا بر روی این نکته تاکید می کنم که بودجه سازمانهای دینی بایستی خودجوش باشد . ضمن اینکه به شدت از الگوهای سنتی دفاع می کنم و معتقدم اگر ما الگوهای سنتی مان را اندکی با روشهای مدرن مخلوط کنیم، پرسش ما را جوابگو خواهد بود . به نظر بنده بهترین الگوی سنتی ما، عزاداری است که اکنون تبدیل به فرهنگ شده است چرا که سیستمی کاملا خودجوش و الگویی سنتی است که می توانیم الگوی جامعه مدنی را بر روی آن تطبیق کنیم . همچنین نهاد مرجعیت که هم سنتی است و هم مدنی . بودجه مرجعیت و عزاداری بایستی کاملا مردمی باشد . به نظر من چنانچه دولت، بودجه را به امری اختصاص دهد، در پی آن دستور هم خواهد داد . این دو با هم تلازم دارند . الفبای اولیه دولتی شدن، گرفتن هزینه از دولت است و من به شدت این کار را نهی می کنم . در هیچ شرایطی نهادهای دینی نباید بودجه گیر از دولت باشند .


Mouse, you wrote::

by Rosie. on

'BTW JJJ ur free 2 say "man chemidonam!" LOL! 4 old time sake ;-)'


Now I'm really starting to worry. This is the second time in a week that I agree with you. So let me express that agreement in a rodent-like way. And I do mean rodent in the finest sense of the word.



Ari jaan it depends on what you wanted to accomplish

by Mehrban on

 Man are you tossing him some soft balls.  It seems to me that the questions of the interview knowingly or unkowingly provide him an opportunity to restate his ideas as oppose to establish their validity vis a vis a secular Democracy or even defend their failure in what we see in Iran.  

Also, Democracy is not a government with the consent of the people, it is a government of the people (I know he says that too).  But Islamic rule will preclude an Iranian Jew or Armenian for instance to govern even if he has the solution to the unemplyment and the inflation problems that have gripped Iran.

If your goal was for him to like you and grant you future conversations, I think you acheived that but if the goal was to make progress in the Iranian political discourse, well......   

"Ayatollah Khomeini was neither the saint as some think of him in Iran and neither a slaughterer as some regard him outside the country."   Outside the country Mr. Kadivar?!!! 

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Kadivar's response to his ghazeh/lobnan comment has been: 

اولا. شعار "نه غزه نه لبنان جانم فدای ایران" در روز قدس در تهران توسط جمعی از جوانان ایرانی فریاد شده است و در وقوع آن تردیدی نیست.


ثانیا. این شعار عکس العملی در مقابل استفاده ابزاری از مسئله فلسطین از جانب حکومت ایران بوده است. بسیاری از سردهندگان این شعار سوء استفاده حکومت از آرمان فلسطین برای سرپوش گذاشتن بر ستمی که بر ملت ایران می رود را صادقانه محکوم کرده اند. هر چند از بیان مناسبی برای نیل به این هدف انسانی استفاده نکرده اند.


ثالثا. علیرغم اینکه این شعار در روز قدس سر داده شده است، و با اینکه در قصد خیر بسیاری از سردهندگان آن هم تردیدی نیست، من این شعار سلبی را صحیح نمی دانم، زیرا این شعار نه اخلاقی است و نه اسلامی. ظلم به هر ملتی ناپسند است چه ایرانی چه غیر ایرانی. هر چند اولویت در نبرد با ظالم خانگی است و اول باید خانه را از لوث ظالم پاک کرد ، آنگاه به دفاع از دیگر مظلومان پرداخت.

 full text of his response to the question is here.



I felt there would be no new information in a repeat answer to the ghazeh/lobnan question. Instead I brought up the US democracy question partly to see if Kadivar would immediately connect the question to Israel, imperialism, etc. He did not go there. My impression is that tackling this aspect of Iranian foreign policy is not his forte--as his slip up on VOA suggests. 


Thank you Ari

by aynak on


for the interview and clarification.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on


It may work better to copy and paste the links below (my browser goes to Kadivar's home page rather than directly to the article)

1. Bottom line on the hejab issue Kadivar has said:

 يعنی وقتی زنی پذیرفت که مسلمان و مومن است این حد را باید رعایت کند اما کسی حق ندارد به خاطر عدم رعایت آن ديگری را مجازات کند يا ايشان را مورد سرزنش قرار دهد.

He goes into much more detail here as to what "hadd" means:



2.Below is an excerpt from a review of Kadivar's book on Velyat Faghih (I have highlighted main points in bold. Also note that he is rejecting absolute and appointed Vali Faghih. In his sermons I heard him mention an elected and temporary--10 year term--form of VF that (I gather) he may consider--though not insist on:


"To begin with, the writer emphasizes that velayateh faqih is not an indispensable necessity of the Shiite faith; it is within the minor domain of this faith and to prove its validity, one would have to resort to the traditional four resources of fiqh, ie the Koran, tradition, unanimity, and reason. The writer reviews all major reasons within the four resources and concludes that appointed and absolute velayateh faqih is not validated by the tradition and sayings of Prophet Mohammed and the 12 Shiite Imams. Furthermore, it has no Koranic documentation, it is not achievable through unanimity, and lacks substantial rational reasoning. Hence, he maintains that the jurisprudent velayat of a faqih is not based on reason or sayings of the Prophet and Imams. Public domain, consequently, remains beyond the realm of velayat, that is, faqihs do not have jurisprudent velayat on people. "