ایرانی جدا دین و مردم سالار (سکولار دموکرات) بر مبنای بیانیه جهانی حقوق بشر
Last week CTRL + Click to follow link">The People Speak Radio interviewed Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian Human Rights Lawyer activists and Nobel Peace Laureate. Ebadi has long been criticized by some for being a revisionist who recognizes the constitution of the Islamic Republic, but demands it to be properly implemented with reformed amendments and provisions. In order to clear any ambiguity I sent this question to the radio station which was asked from Shirin Ebadi during her interview:
Q. “The Islamic Republic has been in power for 30 years. Do you think with its current constitution which gives absolute power and say to the spiritual leader and the council of experts, there is any hope for the true democracy in Iran?”
"When we speak about reform, we are thinking of the gradual improvement of the situation. If we want everything to change overnight, that is called a revolution and not reform....There are certain rights recognized in the constitution of Iran, but unfortunately they have never been enforced. For example with regards to the political prisoners, there is a constitutional provision that they must be tried by a jury. However this law has never been enforced and there has never been a Jury trial.
Therefore in the first stage we must demand implementation of those rights which are to the benefit of the Iranian people and have already been recognized in the constitution. Thereafter and in the next stage, we should think of amendments to those parts of the constitution which prevent progressive democracy in Iran such as the Guardian Council who has the veto rights over the bills passed by the Iranian parliament.”
The following is my view of the two-step "gradual improvement" and "reform" in Iran as defined by Shirin Ebadi in her answer:
The constitution of the Islamic Republic is not based on the secular view of the separation of the religion from the state and it fundamentally gives priority to the rule of God, enforced by the Islamic Government. One has to either accept the priority of God's laws (as interpreted by religious experts) over the will of the people (democracy) or must deny the possibility of the coexistence of a democracy and a religious rule as defined by the oxymoron of the Islamic republic.
In essence, Ebadi's revisionist views either shows her acceptance of a non-secular constitution and a religious government or represents an unrealistic belief that the current system can be reformed to secular government from its present religious format.
As I brought up in the very beginning of my question to Ebadi, Islamic republic has been in power for the past 30 years. Experience has shown that all the prior attempts by the revisionists even by those in power such as Bazargan and Bani-sadr to moderate mullahs such as Khatami have failed. In fact today every branch of the Islamic Republic from the Supreme Leader and the Guardian Council to the office of the presidency and from the parliament to the judiciary are under the full control of the ultra-conservative Islamists. However, after 3 decades, the reformists still refuse to abandon their ideological and political fantasyland to face the repeatedly proven reality that the Mullahs have no intention of losing their God-given gripe of the power. Mullahs and their Mafia have often shown that they stop at nothing including murder and imprisonment of the reformists and opposition in order to maintain their power.
As Ebadi stated there are already some provisions in Iran’s constitution (and laws) that people can benefit from, however expecting that the ruling regime may implement those laws to its own disadvantage is a mirage that is still shared by Ebadi and other revisionists.
Presuming that the Islamic republic someday will implements its own laws, Ebadi fantasizes that in the 2nd stage of the gradual reform "parts of the current constitution" such as the veto powers of the religious leaders, will be "amended". The irony of this fantasy is that on one hand Ebadi recognizes that even the existing laws are not being implemented, but at the same time she promotes passage of new progressive laws. Although struggles such as the one million signature campaign by the Iranians at the grassroots levels demanding equal gender rights are highly admirable, however the unanswered question to those such as Ms. Ebadi remains to be: How can we expect the Islamic Republic to recognize and implement new progressive laws while the regime does not even respect the laws that are already in effect?
Aren’t the experiences of the past 30 years including the 8 years of Khatami enough proofs that the Islamic Republic is not reform-able nor will it comply with any progressive laws including its own if such laws would jeopardize its control of power or its existence? Isn't it time that the Iranian reformists face the ideological, political and personal reality check and recognize that at this “stage" any more attempts to "revise". "Reform" and "amend" the current system is the denial of the obvious facts and the experiences of the past 3 decades? That the dreams of a reformed Islamic Republic in Iran have resulted in nothing but more nightmares and disappointments?
While demanding human rights and exposing the current regimes’ crimes and violations, in order to make the ultimate leap towards a democracy, Ms. Ebadi and all of us must be honest with ourselves and each other that the existing system is not reform-able and the path to the “true democracy” in Iran is not probable until the collapse of the road-block of the Islamic Republic. It is only then that the formation of a new constitution which guarantees a secular democracy is possible.
It is time that the reformists such as Ebadi recognize that one can not live in a home built on a shaky foundation by simply adding extra walls and a fresh paint job. (keh een khaaneh az paaybast viraan ast)
(You can listen to the full interview with Shirin Ebadi CTRL + Click to follow link">HERE.)
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