Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ayatollah Montazeri's fatwa: it is the religious duty of the people, and especially people of social influence, e.g., clerics, to remove unjust rulers

Ayatollah Mohsen Kadivar, formerly a student of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, asks a series of questions to which the 87-year old cleric responds in unequivocal terms. The gist of his fatwa, made public on July 10, 2009, is that those rulers who breach their contract with the people must be removed from office. He does not refer to Leader Ali Khamenei, but there is no mistaking the target for his finding, which is translated by Tehran Bureau. The fatwa was first noted on Anonymous Iran and first reported by the NYT.

In this earlier post, from June 2009, I discuss the influence of Montazeri and his blunt critique of the flawed June 12 election. Montazeri's is arguably the most respected Shi'i cleric in Iran. In my experience, he retains a broad following among the educated middle class in Iran, despite the attempt of the state to stifle his influence and isolate him.

Montazeri's website, which includes sections in English and Arabic. [at 0400 GMT July 13, the website was down.]

Also noteworthy:
On July 17th, according to PressTV, Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani will lead the Friday prayer at Tehran University. This is the first time he has done this in two months. Prior to the election, he wrote a letter to Khamenei warning that of dangers of election-rigging.

1 comment:

William deB. Mills said...

A highly placed Ahmadinejad supporter who criticized him a few days ago for his post-election attitude, has come out in support of Mousavi's idea of forming a political party.

Habibollah Asgaroladi, secretary-general of the Islamic Coalition Party, is a member of the Expediency Council and former head of the Iranian Secret Service and Homeland Security Agency. It would seem difficult for the regime to label him as a traitor.

I would think his attitude can hardly help but buttress his boss, Rafsanjani, who heads the Expediency Council and make the effort to paint Mousavi as seditious all the more difficult. More serious for Ahmadinejad is the implication that Asgaroladi’s sudden disenchantment with the man whose candidacy he supported might herald a broader revolt within Ahmadinejad’s own coalition.

This man does not seem to fit neatly in with Montazeri at all, so could we conclude that his remarks and Montazeri's remarks coming at the same time indicate a significant intensification of the opposition to Ahmadinejad's hardline attitude toward the protesters?