News : Iranian opposition
- Published: Friday, 06 March 2020
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) was founded by university students in 1965 who opposed the Shah’s regime. They used their democratic and tolerant interpretation of Islam to shape how they thought Iran should be: a true democracy.
The MEK, which is the largest organized resistance movement in the Middle East, seeks the establishment of a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic in Iran, based on the separation of religion and state, gender equality and abolition of the death penalty.
In the 1970s, the Shah had MEK members arrested, tortured, imprisoned, and executed. Only one member of the leadership, Massoud Rajavi, survived, thanks to an international campaign led by his brother from Switzerland.
However, the Iranian people, inspired by the MEK and other revolutionary groups, overthrew the Shah in 1979, which led to the release of political prisoners, including Rajavi. Sadly, the revolution was usurped by a new brand of dictatorship: the mullah.
The MEK fought back hard during the first two years after the mullahs came to power, challenging the mullahs’ malign actions, but soon after the regime ordered a bloody crackdown on a 500,000 strong MEK rally in Tehran and banned the group, the MEK was forced to go underground.
This did not stop their resistance against the regime. It made it more intense. Rajavi set up the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition of pro-democracy groups determined to bring freedom to Iran. The NCRI is still the parliament-in-exile, which warns the world about the dangers of the regime.
Over the last 55 years, the MEK has lost at least 120,000 activists to the guns, blades, or nooses of the Shah or the mullahs. Yet still, they rise, like a phoenix. They burn brighter because of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are not afraid of dying, but of living without freedom.
The MEK, with its modern and progressive interpretation of Islam, is a threat to the mullah’s regime because it is widely supported by the Iranian people, who want nothing more than democracy, nothing less than their human rights. This can be seen in the nationwide protests of the previous few months, where the people have been chanting MEK slogans of “Hail to Rajavi.”
The mullahs seem to think that they have the sole right to interpret Islam, which is how they maintain clerical supremacy, but their reactionary fundamentalist interpretation of Islam is rejected by the people and the world. Thus, the mullahs need violence to keep their power. But how powerful can you be, if you need force to bend people to your will?
MEK represents freedom and democracy. The Iranian people want freedom and democracy. The regime will be defeated because the arc of history always bends towards justice.
It is the responsibility of the international community to support the MEK and their fight for a free Iran or, at the very least, not stand in their way. This means that the world must stop appeasing the mullahs, must investigate them for their numerous crimes (including terrorism and the 1988 massacre1 of political prisoners).
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