Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Price for Freedom and Equality

Back from a trip abroad. I left on the day the Iranian people went to the poll to select a new president. The outcome of the election is now clear. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in an election which was widely criticized as rigged and unfair.

Since the election results was announced, the Iranian capital of Tehran was caught in an endless street protests and demonstrations. Thousands of Iranians around the world have joined their countrymen by taking part in protests in their host cities.

A few weeks ago, I had written about my conversations with young Iranians during my fellowship visits in the US and Europe. They had sounded very irritated and unhappy with the regime's conservative governance. They took their freedom underground.

These Iranian youths are not any different from the rest of us. They are seeking for their rights to live as human beings who are given equal access to opportunities and freedom to pursue their dreams.

At the conferences, most the Iranians went rushing out to grab whatever they can get from the shops - clothes, cosmetics and others - claiming that these products were expensive in Tehran. Deprivation and a thirst for freedom to live life on their own terms had spurred demonstrations and protests against the election of hardliner Ahmadinejad.

Iranian women are demanding to be allowed to vote for a new leader. A request which would have been seen as unconstitutional if not granted in any democratic countries.

The protest is not about Mir Hossein Mousavi alone. Mousavi had merely given Iranians a platform to demand for a greater access to their rights and freedom.

The Iranian election fallout should be taken as a good lesson for PAS which had demanded for a ban against the Sisters-in-Islam. The earlier the Islamic party is able to ditch its male chauvinism, the better it is for the party's future and hope to promote its party universal Islamic values.

The party's inconsistency - discrimination against women and its subtle racial agenda - is not consistent with the vision the leadership was trying very hard to promote - PAS For All.

I appeal for solidarity with the Iranian youths. Many of them have taken to the streets of Tehran unarmed and have taken part in protests which were meant to be peaceful. However, these peaceful protests were met with deadly and violent reactions from the government militia. Official death toll stood at 19 but citizen journalists had reported many more unreported deaths including women and young people.

Government's brutality and the use of excessive force against its people must be severely objected and condemned.


freemsian said...

it's not only PAS. it's Muslims in Malaysia in general. they look up to Iran's Islamic regime as their role model. remember when Tehran protested against our invitation to Ebadi for a talk, Malaysia quickly agreed and brought rev Jessie Jackson.

while Iran's younger generation is struggling for change, Malays in Malaysia are dreaming of the Iran's Islamic Revolution.

Shows how back dated the minds of our people are.

Anonymous said...

I think one must learn to respect difference political view.

If Malaysian Muslim idolize the Iranian Islamic Republic, then it is our rights to do so..

Since when would a non-Muslim have the right to questions our wishes as a Muslim?

You dont like it, so tough luck!!

telur dua said...

Freedom is not free. A lot of blood, sweat and tears are shed in exchange.

nckeat88 said...

This is the problem. When a gov was elected as a legitimate gov through democracy, the opposition or whoever do not agreed with the majority wish will go to the street or resort to violence in the name of freedom and need of change.

Anonymous said...

"Since when would a non-Muslim have the right to questions our wishes as a Muslim?" - Anon 8:00 PM

If your pedagogy intrudes into anyone else's lifestyle and cramps it, anyone has the right to question your position.

30 years ago the clueless and belligerent Iranians brought this woe upon themselves ; now they will have to extricate themselves out - by themselves. Just stop blaming the kafirs for this and that. Things looks set to get much worse before they can get any better.

The problem is because of their mullahs and their theocracy and unless this is understood and faced up to, their festivities must continue. The leftist liberals in the free world are always avoiding this fact.

Anonymous said...

So much for that vaunted muslim unity!

"Many Arab governments, including the Palestinian Authority, are quietly hoping that the latest crisis in Iran will mark the beginning of the end of the radical regime of the ayatollahs and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Frustrated with Teheran's long-standing policy of meddling in their internal affairs, representatives of the relatively moderate, pro-Western governments in Ramallah, Cairo, Beirut, Riyadh and other Arab capitals are hoping that regime change in Iran would undermine radical Islamic groups such..."