Friday, July 15, 2005

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Open Letter to Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General

To: Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General
His excellency, Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, Despite the fact that the whole world is now aware of the saga of the Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji and his hunger strike in Iran’s Evin prison, and although all of the institutions under your auspice have protested against the unjust treatment of this courageous writer, and against a background of strong protests of the major European and American members of your Security Council, and although his lawyer, Ms. Shirin Ebaadi, the Noble Prize Laureate has begged for the cooperation of the world’s human right organizations, your response to reporters who yesterday asked for your comments in this regard was that: “I have not enough information on this case and, thus, cannot comment on it.” Dear Sir! As citizens of the planet earth who believe in the Declaration of Human Rights, we have a few questions for you:"How much information on a case is considered to be “enough” for you? Once this threshold is reached, what would you comment on such a case? And, as the head of a world organization that is created to expand peace and human rights all over the word, what will your action be beafter uttering that comment? Dear Mr. Anaan! United Nation Organization was not created to ignore the atrocities of its member governments. Such connivance actually defies the purpose of the UN mission. And you are not selected to head such a large and expensive organization only to act as a diplomat who uses an ambiguous language not to talk about the misconducts of a member of his organization. Dear Mr. Anaan! We think that, according to the mission statement of the UN and the responsibilities bestowed on you, it is now the time for you to get “enough” information about the case of this freedom-loving citizen of our planet through your numerous sources (or just by calling Ms. Ebaadi and talking with her for a few minutes). And once this information seems enough to you, you are expected not only to comment on this case but to act vigorously and effectively. Dear Mr. Anaan! If you continue to keep yourself unaware of this vital case, you will soon find that the blood of a courageous journalist who has died in a corner of a political prison has tainted your hands too. With heartily regards for an organization that is set up to protect the nations and not the government, Shokooh Mirzadegi (Iranian writer) Dr. Esmail Nooriala (Iranian writer) July 14, 2005-07-14 8593 E. Davies Ave. Centennial, CO 80112 Fax: 509-352-9630 E-mail:
The Undersigned

In the war on terror, You must be firm instead of appeasement

The deadly bombings in London last week and mullahs putting a hostage taker terrorist at the helm as a president may appear unrelated. However, both warn us of a single threat: religious fundamentalism and terrorism under the pretext of Islam, the biggest threat to world peace and tranquility today.The increasing threats posed by Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism emanating from it as well as options to deal with it must be considered seriously. May be now, 12 years after I had warned of this threat in my book, "Islamic Fundamentalism: The New Global Threat", a more realistic attempt is made to better understand this phenomenon.In post-September the 11th, thwarting terrorism has emerged as top priority world leaders have been trying to resolve. To this end, the West has adopted harsher laws, such as the Terrorist Act of 2000 in Great Britain and the Patriot Act in the United States. There is hardly any doubt today as to the necessity and the impact of anti-terrorist laws, police action and pre-emptive measures. These effects, however, are temporary and tactical and cannot resolve the problem at its roots. Because before being a security and military phenomenon, terrorism and fundamentalism are political in nature. Terrorism is the means to advance a specific policy and based on a specific ideology.Terrorism under the name of Islam and God emerged essentially with the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran in 1979. In the past quarter century, Tehran has always used hostage taking and terrorism as a means to further its foreign policy. The occupation of the U.S. embassy in 1979, the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, hijacking, the killing of pilgrims in Mecca, the assassination of opponents abroad, the bombings in Argentina and Khobar and forming, strengthening and assisting terrorist currents in the Middle East are a few examples. After the recent developments elsewhere in the region, the Iranian regime remains the only state sponsor of terrorism in the world today.It would be naïve to assume that Iran’s Shiite rulers have no links to terrorist activities of Sunni groups. The ideology governing terrorism is Islamic fundamentalism, in which the pivotal element is neither Shiism nor Sunnism, but the establishment of a global Islamic rule. Though a Shiite, Khomeini repeatedly lamented the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which was led by Sunni Caliphs. The regime in Tehran is not only the sole empowered model for the fundamentalists but also their utopia, even if it did not support them materially. Similarly, the Soviet Union was the utopia for the communists and proponents of the dictatorship of the Proletariat, regardless of their specific political leanings. With the fall of the Soviet Union, these communists gradually wilted.Fundamentalists, whether Shiite or Sunni, share enmity toward the West, modernism and democracy. They want the annihilation of Israel. This destructive ideology claims the leadership of 1.2 billion Muslims. In this context, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei considers himself the Supreme Leader of Muslim across the world and not just the Shiites. The fight against terror, therefore, is entwined with the fight against Islamic fundamentalism. Regrettably, appeasing the clerical regime, the West’s policy toward Iran in the past two decades, has had the opposite effect.

The clerical regime’s terrorist and fundamentalist activities will no doubt accelerate with the coming to power of its new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He and his accomplices are fundamentalist terrorists who actively took part in the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, in terrorist operations in and out of Iran and in the massacre of the Iranian people. Ahmadinejad has personally fired coup de grace at more than 1,000 political prisoners. On June 29, he said, “A new Islamic Revolution has arisen… The wave of Islamic Revolution will soon reach across the globe.”
To confront terrorism, the policy of appeasing the mullahs must be abandoned. 26 years after appeasing Tehran has not only failed to bring reform and moderation, but led to the ascension of the most extremist faction of the ruling clique. Terrorism under the name of Islam emerged with the clerical regime and would only go away once it is toppled. The overthrow of the mullahs would eliminate the inspiration and the driving engine of terrorism.Fundamentalist leanings have much less appeal in Iran than in other countries in the region. The Iranian people are demanding regime change. Following the recent presidential election, amounting to a major internal purge and boycotted by ninety percent of the Iranian people, the regime as a whole emerged much more vulnerable and fragile. Lack of support for the Iranian opposition represent the biggest obstacle to the realization of democratic change, which the Iranian people are demanding.The Adoption of a decisive policy against the clerical regime is not only a pre-requisite for democracy in Iran but also indispensable to the fight against terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism.