Okaz daily (Saudi Arabia)
Wednesday, 9 February 2016
“Fundamentalism” is the political characteristic of Iran from Shah’s rule to the revolutionary coup d’état, and shared by these two is a history of crackdown understood and experienced by Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Her older sister, Narges, was executed under the Shah’s reign, and her younger sister, Masoume, was hanged after suffering torture during Khomeini’s era.
Extremism in Iran under the Shah was seen in cruelty and corruption. On the other hand, following the 1979 revolution Khomeini became the new face of fundamentalism and dictatorship. All his promises were forgotten after he took the helm. The true revolutionaries were unlucky as all of Iran’s prisons were filled with their members and followers. First Evin Prison in Tehran, allocated for political prisoners, became overcrowded and then Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, west of the Iranian capital, where hangings were carried out in complete secrecy. The regime went to great limits to not allow the number of those killed be identified from the number of bullets used! All of this is in addition to camps Liberty and Ashraf, and those massacres and military attacks that aimed to annihilate these dissidents.
Maryam Rajavi, a mine engineer, currently lives in France and her images are seen in the media with a headscarf and fine clothing, resembling a face of moderate Islam.
Rajavi has sacrificed two sisters for a true revolution and she herself has a long history of nationalist resistance. The issue of women and equality are matters of struggle for this President-elect, providing her the support needed in the struggle against anti-fundamentalism, which she has suffered immensely from under two regimes.
Today, Rajavi strives to unveil the realities of the current regime ruling Iran, whom she describes as the Godfather of fundamentalism. There is no relief of fundamentalism unless we destroy its epicenter in Tehran.
In a speech Rajavi delivered last year in Berlin marking International Women’s Day, she described religious fundamentalism as the largest threat against peace in the Middle East, adding the mullahs’ ruling Iran are taking advantage of the reality of 1 billion Muslims spread across the planet. She also believes the real conflict is not defined between Shiites and Sunnis, but in the face-off between freedom and despotism.
This 60-year-old woman appeared with strong self-confidence in her speech where she said Daesh, using the Arabic acronym for IS, is another face of the many facets of the mullahs’ regime in Iran. She accused Iran of being the Godfather of terrorism and Daesh… The methods used by interrogators in Iran’s prisons aimed at annihilating the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MeK) … and their expiation based on Khomeini’s fatwa [in 1988] completely resembles the methods used by those associated to Daesh.