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Rumi - Quotes
 
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
― Rumi

  
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

 
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
― Rumi

 
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
― Rumi

 
“What you seek is seeking you.”
― Rumi

 
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi

 
“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”
― Rumi

 
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
― Rumi

 
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
― Rumi

 
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”
― Rumi

 
“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”
― Rumi

 
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

 
“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”
― Rumi
 
“Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
― Rumi

 
“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live. Destroy your
reputation. Be notorious.”
― Rumi

 
“My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
― Rumi

 
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
― Rumi
 
    

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Constitutional Reform & Our battle for posterity
 
Why we should abolish Iran’s Islamic Constitution and adopt a new Secular one

By Freydoon Khoie

Government of the people,
by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the Earth


Abraham Lincoln

Our Constitution should be the most important document that protects the rights of all Iranian citizens, irrespective of their religion, creed, sex or physical appearance. A Constitution is the fundamental framework of system of government. A constitution, thus, can be safely say to be a social contract between the government and the people it governs.

Unfortunately, the constitution of the (Islamic Republic of Iran) is a confusing hybrid document between an Islamic state and a republican form of government that was written by few with clear intent to deceive the people of Iran. It has many articles which comply with ‘Islam’ but then there are other articles which are in conflict with it. It is
   
important to point out that for a constitution to be Islamic, not even a single article or part of it can contradict Islamic Sharia law. And at the same time, for a constitution to be ‘Republican’, not even a single article can contradict or reject democratic principles. For these reasons Iran’s Islamic Republic Constitution is neither ‘fully Islamic’ nor ‘fully Republic’ and thus it must be dissolved and in its place a new, secular constitution must be adopted.

Our beloved country, Iran, under the current constitution is a true tyranny, petty, corrupt, and weak, with a few unelected, mentally deranged, septuagenarian mullahs having the final say on all Iranian affairs. They call themselves Guardian council headed by Ali Khamnei that meets in secret and decide on all issues with no accountability to the people or to parliament.

The original framers of the constitution back in 1978-79 had no confidence that they could succeed in overthrowing the monarchy and secure popular support for an Islamic state, so they had been very careful in drafting a type of constitution that was minimally democratic but Islamic at the same time which was the underlying reason for the whole revolution to begin with. But once they consolidated power and in essence, hijacked the revolution, Khomaini was persuaded by his leftist comrades to close the door on democracy and crush them all in the name of Islam and label the opposition leaders as apostate while the masses are still frenzied with the apparent victory of the Islamic revolution. Secret hands at work ignited the Iraqi war which diverted the national attention from domestic politics to the war with the enemy who had dared to attack Iran. Khomaini and his partners in crime deliberately prolonged the war until the local agents completed the consolidation of their power centers and the ugly seed of a terrible tyranny was planted through sheer violence and naked brutality in the name of ‘Islamic Revolution’. Whoever raised questions about democracy was labeled as enemy of the Islamic revolution and thus enemy of Allah (Mohareb) and was executed. Many left the country in fear, others went underground, yet others joined the regime to survive and wait for the right opportunity to strike. A cold civil war pursued with sporadic student demonstrations, expanding into other uprising but there was no contest between heavily armed and lawless revolutionary guards who fought for their own survival and the unarmed civilians. The previously peaceful society turned into a brutal society in which survival of the fittest was the rule. While big powers were busy stealing the oil in secret deals with Khamnei and his partners in crime, the nation was very much left on its own with regime’s only concern to hire street fighters to spy on the citizens and crush any opposition through arrest, rape, torture, imprisonment and executions.

The people of Iran took time to organize and in 2009 after the rigged elections they showed the regime and the world that despite the heavy propaganda Islamic republic was neither popular nor powerful and must come to an end and that is where we are now and I believe that 2014 is the final year for Islamic republic regime as they are faced with two choices: either allow a national referendum in which they will be voted down but will live, or refuse holding a referendum and peaceful political reform and expect nation’s wrath in a civil war after which mullahs will have no place in Iran for a thousand year. This is where Iran going and no power on earth going to be able to prevent it because the time for this idea has come.

The current Islamic Republic Constitution is a fraudulent and confusing document that is neither ‘Islamic’ nor ‘Republic’. It is not Islamic, because if that was the case then all its laws should have been based on Sharia and Tradition, ruled by an authoritarian Sultan similar to what was for many centuries an Ottoman Empire. Some political scientists have put Iran’s political system in the same basket as Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. By this view, Iran is fundamentally an authoritarian regime run by a small circle of clerics and military officials who use mock and carefully engineered elections to legitimize their otherwise illegitimate rule.

Others think of Iran as a medieval theocracy. It’s 1979 constitution vests sovereignty not in the people, but in Allah, and establishes Islam and the Quran as the supreme sources of law and the supreme leader is given the divine right to rule.

As I mentioned, Iran’s Islamic Republic Constitution is a curious and confusing hybrid of authoritarian, theocratic and democratic elements. Articles One and Two do vest sovereignty in Allah, but Article Six contradicts Article One and Two because it mandates popular elections for the presidency and the Majlis, or parliament. Articles 19-42 are similar to a bill of rights, guaranteeing, among other things, freedom of expression, freedom of public gatherings and marches, women’s equality, protection of ethnic minorities, due process and private property, as well as some “second generation” social rights like social security and health care, but the authoritarian nature of the regime only allows some of these rights to be practiced by its own handful of supporters only and not by opposition parties and the nation as a whole which makes a mockery of the constitution.

The important part is that many Iranian thinkers and political leaders, myself included, have serious problems with Section Eight (Articles 107-112) of the Islamic republic constitution which is referring to the Guardian Council and the position of an unelected man called “Supreme Leader” who is given enormous unchecked powers. All the democratic procedures and rights in the earlier sections of the constitution are qualified by certain powers reserved to an unelected council of senior clerics, a so called “Supreme Leader” who picks them. This is like hijacking a plane, shooting the pilot and sitting at the captain’s seat and ordering the co-pilot to fly the plane but only to the destinations determined by the supreme hijacker and any passengers who dares to object to this criminal behavior is either shot or thrown out of the plane.

The vast and enormous powers, specified in Article 110, that is given to the unelected “Supreme Leader” include control over the armed forces, Foreign Policy, the ability to declare war, and appointment powers over the judiciary, heads of media, and a host of powerful and wealthy religious foundations and shrines. Another article lays out conditions under which the Supreme Leader can be removed by the Guardian Council. But that procedure is hardly democratic or transparent and kept completely outside the roam of the public intervention. Supreme Leader is the one who chooses the members of the Guardian council.

The closest precedent and parallel we can find to this type of illegitimate, legitimacy would be the German Constitution adopted after the country was unified in the 1870s, that is some 143 years ago. Pre-World War I Germany had an elected parliament, or Reichstag, but reserved important powers for an unelected Kaiser, particularly in foreign policy and defense. This type of constitution got Germany into big trouble. The unelected part of the leadership controlled the armed forces. Eventually, though, it came to be controlled by the armed forces itself and this is what we are afraid that it is unfolding in Iran today if we, the people of Iran, do not take action to change the constitution and end the current Islamist regime.

Compared to Section Eight, the references in the Iranian Islamic Constitution to Allah and religion as the sources of law are much less problematic. They could, after the introduction of a secular constitution, be the basis for Iran’s judicial evolution into a moderate, liberal democratic and law-governed country. The rule of law was originally rooted in religion in all societies where it came to prevail, including the Christian West.

The great economist Friedrich Hayek noted that law should be prior to legislation. That is, the law should reflect a broad social consensus on the rules of justice. In the eye of any Iranian, harassing a citizen because of her dress code violates the said rules of justice no matter what the source of that law may be. In Europe, it was the church that originally defined the law and sanctity of personal liberty and acted as its custodian. European monarchs respected the rule of law because it was written by an authority higher and more legitimate than themselves.

Something similar happened in the pre-modern Middle East. Up until Iran’s 1906 Constitutional revolution, there was a functional separation of church and state. The ulama were legal scholars and custodians of Shariah law while the sultans in Turkey and Kings in Iran, exercised political authority. The sultans conceded they were not the ultimate source of law but had to live within rules established by Muslim case law. There was no democracy, but there was something resembling a rule of Sharia law, but the sultans ended up appointing the ruling clergy and the net result became the Ottoman Empire which established the ugliest form of tyranny in the whole region of West Asia for several centuries and this is what the mullahs in partnership with revolutionary guards have been trying to unsuccessfully I must say in Iran.

This traditional, religiously based rule of law was most unpopular and was destroyed in the Middle East by arrival of the Europeans and popular demand for transition to modernity. In Iran it resulted in our 1906 Constitutional revolution which ended up replacing the absolute, incompetent and corrupt monarchs with a constitutional that made them marginally accountable and an executive authority like Prime Minister, but authoritarian culture, illiterate and politically immature citizens, sell-out by the treacherous few working either for the Colonial British or expansionist wild Russian Czars gave way to new forms of dictatorships that accepted no constraints, either legislative or judicial, on their power.

The legal scholar Noah Feldman has argued that the widespread demand for a return to Sharia law in many Muslim countries does not necessarily reflect a desire to impose harsh, Taliban-style punishments or oppress women. Rather, it reflects a nostalgia for a dimly remembered historical time when Muslim rulers were not all-powerful autocrats, but respected Islamic rules of justice—Islamic rule of law. Something that has not happened and cannot happen in Iran even though it is called ‘Islamic Republic’ in name for 34 years. The leaders of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and much of the Arab world are not inherently bad or evil people who wish to establish tyranny like Khomaini and Khamnei has done in Iran. The fact is they simply don’t know better and they don’t realize that they cannot rule 80 million Egyptians in 21st century with Sharia Law.

So what kind of future should we wish for our beloved Iran, in light of the gross injustice being imposed upon our people in the name of Islam? The only answer is to dissolve the current Islamic republic Constitution and adopt a new, secular constitution guaranteeing religious freedom, a secular state, and sovereignty vested firmly in the people, rather than Allah.

The problem with the Green Movement for example, is that both Karubbi and Mousavi are couple of fools and members of the Khamnei’s regime inner circle, and since Khamnei knows that the present generation of young Iranians soon or later, are going to rise up and overthrow the whole system, they have created this loyal opposition in the body of Green Movement so that when the day of reckoning arrives it can save their skin. But a considerable amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that democracy is not necessarily the agenda of the leaders of the Green Movement. Mousavi and Karubbi have repeatedly said they want Iran to remain an Islamic Republic. These two, leftist, socialist impostors have been a member of the inner circle of the regime from day one so how could any Iranian fall for their claims that they have come to liberate them? They just want power and they want to keep the same Islamist constitution.

What Mousavi and Karubbi pretentiously claim is that the democratic features of the present constitution to be better respected, and that the executive authorities, including the Guardian Council and the military and paramilitary organizations stop manipulating elections and respect the law. But we all know that none of these reforms are possible without a new constitution because the present constitution have clearly given these powers to Guardian Council and Supreme leader. If Mousavi and Karubbi are honest with the people of Iran, then they should openly join the Liberal Democrats and Nationalist forces and demand a new, secular constitution, as we do.

Iran could never evolve towards a genuine rule-of-law democracy within the broad parameters of the 1979 Islamist constitution. To establish a rule-of-law democracy in Iran it would be necessary not only to abolish Article 110, which gives the Guardian Council control over the armed forces, media, and Foreign Policy, but to abolish the entire constitution and adopt a new and secular one. Keeping the ‘Islamic’ constitution will always be a problem because the vast majority of the young Iranians today do not wish to live under Sharia law that severely limits their personal liberties. They want to abolish the Islamic Republic Constitution and adopt a new, secular constitution and live a European life style. This is our God given right and no one should blame us.

When I speak of Secular Constitution, I am not suggesting that we plan to eliminate religion altogether from the future of Iranian Constitution. The rule of law prevails not because of its formal and procedural qualities, but because it reflects broadly held social norms. If future Iranian rulers are ever to respect the rule of law, it will have to be a law that comes from the hearts of the Iranian people based on common sense and tradition yet completely within the frame work of a secular constitution. In my view, the government’s function is not to tell the citizens what religion to follow, what clothes to wear, drink beer or not, which country to travel, what television channel to watch, what books to read and how to socialize with opposite sex. Furthermore, the function of government is not to run business, import and export, manufacture cars and trucks, mobile phones and packaged food. That should not be the function of any government. Government’s function is to provide safety and security for its citizens, provide an independent judicial system so that all are equal before the law, provide the best of quality education and health for the whole nation, keep a watchful eye on our land, sea and air borders and maintain adequate armed defense force and through the parliament provide rules and regulations that all citizens live with one another in peace and harmony regardless of their race, religion, creed and social and economic status. That is the function of the government that I hope for the post Islamist Iran.

Without abolishing the Islamic Republic Constitution we will never get to have what I described above. Unless we dissolve this regime and its constitution, the clerical-military dictatorship clique exercising power is likely to drag our country into conflict and wars with other countries in the region just as they did it in 1980 with Iraq to consolidate their false legitimacy and power. Therefore, we, the people of Iran, have no other alternative but to push for an evolution of our political system towards genuine rule of law and democracy and for that to happen we must first dissolve the present Islamic constitution and introduce a new, secular constitution similar to that of Turkey and start building a new and modern Iran. If Not Now, When? If Not Us, Who?

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