The Mullahs' Achilles heel: Iran's youth
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Pretty much technology, mainly the internet has become for the most part Islams bane of existance as interent savy youth with internet access to the world at their fingertips are just not buying what Islam is selling. Persian Youth are using the Internet as their own "Weapon of Mass Destruction" as Mass Weapon that may become the Death Knell to the Old Guard of Islam in Iran.
Iran's Nobel Peace Prize award winner Shirin Ebadi states Iranian Youth may be making a distinction of what is true and what is insane babbling by clerics and politicians desperate to cling to power, but as the Iraian youth are now outnumbering the hard liners, perhaps in the next generation the World will see a more democratic and less susceptiable youth whose cynicism is tempered by a "live and let live" philosophy. One can only hope.
For the time being perhaps the World should hoslter their "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and "Let Nature take it's course" from within, by Iranian Youth who want no part of Islams Destructive Bent or Rants of War from Leaders whose only goal is their total annihilation of the Middle East regardless of the consequences.
The Mullahs' Achilles heel: Iran's youthPayam Akhavan,
National Post Published: Saturday, April 19, 2008
This week, Iranian Nobel peace laureate and renowned human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi announced that death threats against her have intensified. Most recently, a shadowy group calling itself the "Association of anti-Baha'is" warned her to "watch your tongue" and stop "serving the foreigners and the Baha'is" -- a reference to Iran's largest religious minority, whose faith has been described by the government as a "heresy" and vigorously persecuted. Particularly disturbing is the warning that because her daughter is involved in the "un-Islamic and Baha'i based faith we will kill her."
For me, these shocking statements have immediate relevance, both because Dr. Ebadi's daughter is my law student at McGill University, and because this legacy of hatemongering and violence continues to haunt me as an Iranian Baha'i many years after adopting Canada as my home.
My solace is that the recent intensification of attacks against the exponents of a burgeoning Iranian civil society -- human rights activists, labour union leaders, student movements, intellectuals, journalists, religious minorities, even dissident Islamic clerics -- is a sign of the Islamic hardliners' desperation to cling to power amidst the disillusionment of the vast majority of Iranians with their oppressive rule. It is an admission that the biggest threat to their power is not "the Great American Satan" or a "Zionist conspiracy," but, rather, the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people expressed in the call of those like Dr. Ebadi for free and fair elections.
Notwithstanding the Mullahs' pretensions, the Islamic Republic is built less on the sublime spirituality of religion and more on the profane temptations of power. In placing so much focus on demonizing the peaceful Baha'i minority and threatening human rights champions, such as Dr. Ebadi, the hardliners betray the emptiness of their beliefs and ideals, which must be imposed through violence and intimidation.
Instead of celebrating the transcendent values of compassion and justice, which inspired a glorious and pluralistic Islamic civilization for centuries, Iran's self-appointed clerical rulers promote a hateful and ignorant totalitarian ideology. Some of the most vigorous dissent against clerical rule is by clerics themselves, both orthodox and reformist, calling for separation of religion and state, consistent with 500 years of Shia tradition. Many Islamic clerics are persecuted and there is even a special court for the prosecution of dissident clergy.
A regime that does not enjoy a democratic mandate, and which is unresponsive to popular demands for a prosperous and open society, desperately needs foreign conspiracies, heresies and other enemies within to legitimize its rule. But time is not on the hardliners' side. The reality is that 70% of Iranians are less than 30 years of age, many are Internet-savvy, glued to satellite television and have very little toleration for the Islamic utopia promised by their leaders when the evidence of national decline is apparent everywhere.