Do not forget Iran. Remember Neda. If there are green-clad protests in Tehran this weekend, to mark the first anniversary of the election that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole, they will doubtless again be crushed with casual brutality by the thugs of the basij militia, secret police and Revolutionary Guard. Imprisonment, torture, male rape and execution are the offerings these henchmen of the Islamic Republic bring to honour Allah, the compassionate, the merciful.
Faced with such violent repression, the Green movement is a long way down – but not out. Iran will never again be the country it was before the election of 12 June 2009. In the great demonstration three days later, one of the largest in recorded history, everything was changed, changed utterly. In the subsequent repression, a terrible beauty was born. The historical process may take years, but one day, as the economy worsens and discontent spreads to more sections of society, the movement will be back in force, though perhaps in a different form. Eventually, in Iran there will be statues of Neda Agha-Sultan, the young woman shot in one of the early mass demonstrations, and memorials to the martyrs of this struggle for freedom, as there are now memorials to the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war.
We should also never forget that this is a self-generated movement from within a Muslim society, dedicated to transforming the contemporary world's longest-running and still most formidable Islamist regime ... >>>
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