While the world’s media is focussed on the vile deeds of the Islamic State and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is at the UN asking for Iran to be allowed to enrich uranium, back in Iran the authorities are engaged in a spate of executions and mass-arrests.
In the midst of this there is one man who stands out from the crowd. There can be no question that Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi is a brave man and one that deserves international support. Anxious that the heady cocktail of religious and political Islam continued to pose an enormous risk lead the Ayatollah to publicly call for the separation of religion from the political state. We have seen how dangerous this is with the religious fanatics of the Islamic State, who seemingly justify and excuse their heinous actions by religious doctrine. If you believe your next step leads you to eternal paradise, then there is little restraint on your actions.
Mohamad Mohavadi, Iran’s Prosecutor of the Special Court, has publicly condemned Boroujerdi, saying that the punishment for ‘sedition’ is execution. He also vowed that those who assisted Ayatollah Boroujerdi in publishing his papers about the separation of religion from state will also be sentenced to death. The threat to execute Ayatollah Boroujerdi came within 48 hours of his most recent letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.
According to Boroujerdi’s family, he was placed in solitary-confinement cell with his wrists and ankles shackled, with his hands and feet shackled to the wall so he can not move. This is a procedural step towards imminent execution, possibly within 24 hours.
“Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hand of madmen, who now spare no one,” Rouhani told the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. But he didn’t mention the mass executions that are taking place in Iran, nor the arrests of dissidents – and certainly not the fate of Ayatollah Boroujerdi.
Iran is demonstrating to the world that it can execute the Ayatollah without any protest from the western world. This is the country that is asking to be allowed to enrich uranium, a step in the process to developing nuclear weapons. Please retweet this article in support of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, a religious cleric and man of freedom, who is about to give his life simply to forward his belief that religion and state should not rest ultimately in the same hands, something atheists have been saying for decades. Atheists and those of faith who believe in peace should support the actions of such a courageous man.
I saw a piece on the BBC today about Respect Party founder George Galloway, who is calling for a planned march through Tower Hamlets on Saturday by the English Defence League (EDL) to be banned. That may or may not be necessary, I have no idea, although I am sure the appropriate authorities will have their opinion and hopefully take the appropriate action. I am not an EDL supporter as you will know if you give this blog anything more than a cursory glance.
To give you a small background perspective, I have now started to follow Tweeters that I would usually rather not read about. Two days ago I started following Nigel Farage, reasoning it was better to know your ‘devils’ than ignore them. I duly received a tweet from UKIP’s leader this morning saying that today is the 20th anniversary of the foundation of his party. I sent a curmudgeonly tweet back saying that this milestone served to demonstrate the tolerance of the great British public. Well I hope Mr. Farage has a better sense of humour than his understanding of foreign affairs, or I will feel his wrath no doubt. Incidentally, why do so many people call Mr. Farage a ‘kipper’ when he is much better suited to ‘flounder’?
So when I read about garrulous George’s latest march – well George is certainly energetic, even if a political stooge to Islam’s peace-loving followers – I decided to follow him on Twitter, hoping to ask him why he was always banging on about Islamophobia, after all, I am an ex-Muslim and I ought to know his reasoning. I didn’t get the chance because garrulous George has banned me, yes, banned me! Back came the message “You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user”. A pre-emptive strike no less. Maybe old gee-gee is learning from Obama.
My point is that people have a right not to like Islam, don’t they? In the same vein they have a right to free speech. I mean, I detest the Catholic church but I don’t see the followers of the Church of Rome yelling Catholiphobia, a word I coined about a decade ago, at atheists like me. Roundly I detest all religion really, although I am not nasty about it. The other day an old lady approached me in the town as I was getting into my car with my 12 year old son. “Would you like to read these two magazines?” she asked. “Sure” said I, but as soon as they were in my hand I saw that they were religious matter. I approached the group that she was with, some two or three yards away, handing back the magazines whilst asking them “rather than inviting people to read these magazines, why don’t you hand them over whilst meekly observing ‘if you don’t join us you’re going to burn in hell’?” The old lady and one of her companions laughed. They clearly have a sense of humour, which is more than we can say for garrulous George.