September 20, 2011

The Story of Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi

Levantinetimes: Given that it has been a mullahcracy for the last 32 years, the concepts of separation of mosque and state let alone religious tolerance, are the last things that come to mind when one thinks about Iran. It has proven to be a place where even those within the political establishment who dare to dissent are suppressed or jailed.  Many do who in fact speak out against the government, still do not speak of Iran getting rid of its theopolitical structure altogether. Yet there is one such dissenter who has and continues to speak out from behind prison walls, and ironically enough, he is a Twelver Shiite cleric, who comes from the same school of Islam as President Ahmadinejad and his spiritual advisor Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who has issued a fatwa calling for the murder of opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi following the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.

Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi first expressed his opinion openly in 1994, that religion be taken out of the political arena in Iran, stating that: "Iranians believe that they are loyal to the fundamentals of the true religion and the Prophet's mission, but they are opposed to the politicization of religion and its exploitation by a group that has nothing to do with true Islam. Islam is the religion of tolerance, forbearance, and mercy, to the point where [the Qur'an] emphasized to us that 'there is no compulsion in religion." After having been sentenced to 11 years of exile in the city of Yazd in 2007 for "waging war against God", Boroujerdi continued to back up his sentiments by offering Hanukkah and Christmas greetings to Jews and Christians alike from inside his cell.

An even bigger irony is that Ahmadinejad, Yazdi, and others like them wish to bring about the coming of an Islamic version of the messiah, namely the Mahdi or the Hidden Imam, via the death of millions of Jews, Palestinians, and anyone else who happens to be within range of a nuclear fallout. Yet, Boroujerdi's message and ideas seem to be more akin to the Jewish version of the messiah, when all the nations will be united not via the sword, but the knowledge and understanding of a creator. In a time when a lot of what we hear from the Muslim world is aspirations of empire, conquering, and subjugation of non-Muslims, those like Ayatollah Boroujerdi are a breath of fresh air.

In this video shortly before his imprisonment, Boroujerdi leads a night time protest:

(Videos are courtesy of 


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Anonymous said...

Freedom for Mr. Boroujerd─▒, the brave leader of swcular─▒sm and freedom