by Mahmood Hakamian
The main political opposition to the Iranian Regime is a group dedicated to bringing freedom and democracy to Iran: The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The MEK differs from the Regime in both their interpretation and implementation of Islam, with the MEK seeing Islam a modern and tolerant religion, which is perfectly attuned to modern society, and believing that this is the only true interpretation of Islam.
In 1982, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi, said: “The Islam we want is nationalistic, democratic, progressive, and not opposed to science or civilization. We believe there is no contradiction between modern science and true Islam, and we believe that in Islam there must be no compulsion or dictatorship.”
It is from this that the MEK derives its political beliefs, which directly contradict the intolerant and extremist Sharia Law of the mullahs, and why the MEK has widespread support among the Iranian people and people all around the globe.
Let’s look in more detail at how the MEK’s interpretation of Islam and how it shapes their political beliefs.
Islam is a dynamic religion
The MEK believe that Islam is a forward-thinking religion that embraces the future and does not stand in the way of social progress and that Islam welcomes scientific and technological advances that can improve the world.
The MEK explains that during Prophet Mohammad’s 23-year mission, some Quranic verses were declared “resembling” and thus enterpreted to reflect the social advancements that had taken place. Therefore, Islam is not a religion that is stuck in the past but rather, one very much rooted in the present.
The MEK also do not see Islam as a prescriptive religion with the Quran as some sort of legal text that overrules a judicial system put in place by humans. The MEK point out that less than 10% of verses in the Quran are edicts, thus humans must be free to make their own laws for the time that they live in. The MEK advise that the Quran even emphasises that these edicts can change over time.
On the other end of the scale, the mullahs see edicts as unchangeable dogma, which must be obeyed. This is something that the MEK see as un-Islamic.
Islam is a democratic religion
The MEK believe that democracy is inherent to Islam, pointing to verses in the Quran and teachings of the Prophet Mohammad that say that free will and individual responsibility is how we separate humans from animals and that God’s will is only realised through democratic governance.
In 1980, Massoud Rajavi said: “Freedom is a divine blessing…Anyone trying to restrict human freedom has neither understood Islam nor mankind and the [anti-monarchist] revolution.
reedom is indispensable to the survival of mankind as human beings. Otherwise, human beings would be no different from animals and could not be held responsible for anything.”
That is the reason why the MEK see the ballot box as the only stipulation for holding political office, as a free and fair election is an expression of the free will of the people.
The mullahs, on the other hand, rig their elections, have an unelected head of state, and promote a version of Islam that rejects free will, individual choice, and democracy, which the MEK sees as undemocratic and un-Islamic.