Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fearful Mullahs Clamping Down

The post below, on the Knighting of Salman Rushdie 18 years after the Iranians called for his death via a fatwah, is nicely supplemented with this news from Iran:
Iran is in the midst of a sweeping crackdown that both Iranians and U.S. analysts compare to a cultural revolution in its attempt to steer the oil-rich theocracy back to the rigid strictures of the 1979 revolution.

The recent detentions of Iranian American dual nationals are only a small part of a campaign that includes arrests, interrogations, intimidation and harassment of thousands of Iranians as well as purges of academics and new censorship codes for the media. Hundreds of Iranians have been detained and interrogated, including a top Iranian official, according to Iranian and international human rights groups.

The move has quashed or forced underground many independent civil society groups, silenced protests over issues including women's rights and pay rates, quelled academic debate, and sparked society-wide fear about several aspects of daily life, the sources said.

Few feel safe, especially after the April arrest of Hossein Mousavian, a former top nuclear negotiator and ambassador to Germany, on charges of espionage and endangering national security.

The widespread purges and arrests are expected to have an impact on parliamentary elections next year and the presidential contest in 2009, either discouraging or preventing reformers from running against the current crop of hard-liners who dominate all branches of government, Iranian and U.S. analysts say. The elections are one of several motives behind the crackdowns, they add. (WaPo)

Of course there's another motivation: Keeping the people in chains. As Francis Poretto of Eternity Road said in a C-SM comment posted earlier in the week:
[Iran's imposition of the death sentence for those involved in making porn] is a perfect illustration of why Christianity is a religion and Islam is a political program. A religion relies upon the pressure of conscience to mold people's behavior; a political program sticks a gun in your ribs and says "conform or else." Anyone who doesn't grasp this at this stage is either deluded or willfully blind.
One rather large group that "gets this" is the people of Iran. The myopic Mullahs who force their severe will on people who just want a bit of freedom to go along with their religion are destroying Islamism for millions.

Iran is a tinderbox and the Mullahs are throwing sparks like pyromaniacs. If ... when ... the explosion comes, the free world and the U.N. (ha) best be ready to support it, because you know the Chinese and the Russians and the Islamic dictatorships will be doing all they can to keep the powers of repression and subjugation in control.

hat-tip: memeorandum

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