Iran News ...


5/11/04

Iranian Journalist (Kadivar): Religious despotism more complicated than secular type

Tehran, May 11, IRNA -- Head of the Association for Defense of the Press Hojjatoleslam Dr. Mohsen Kadivar said here at a seminar that religious despotism is more complicated than the secular type, adding, "we have experienced both types of after the Constitution Revolution in Iran."

Speaking at a seminar titled "Toward Democracy" held at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Tehran University, Kadivar added, "Like the Constitution Revolution, the Islamic Revolution, too, failed in solving the problem of despotism in Iran."

Dr. Kadivar emphasized, "The most controversial debates (in Iran's social and political scenes) during the past one hundred years have been between the followers of two different schools of sociology, and the followers of two different interpretations of religion."

The head of the Association for Defense of the Press further elaborated, "According to one interpretation, the social affairs in the country are trusted in the hands of a single person, while based on the other, the people are trusted, and their freedom is respected."

Kadivar who was himself formerly put to trial and imprisoned for his journalistic activities, added, "Both interpretations have followers, both among the intellectuals, and among the pious."

He said, "In Iran, we have both experienced secular despotism, based on a fascistic interpretation of politics and sociology, and religious despotism, based on a fascistic interpretation of faith, but beyond doubt, religious despotism is the more dangerous one, since in it the religion would be used as a lever to exert political pressure against the people."

The renowned journalist emphasized, "Both the religious, and the secular types of despotism took shape during the Constitution Revolution in Iran, and the followers of both were after securing their own hegemony, and political power in Iranian society."

Kadivar said, "During the past 25 years, we have been witness to the manifestation of two interpretations of Islam in Iran, one of which has created serious obstacles against the Iranian nation's efforts aimed at moving towards democracy, while the other has been trying to facilitate the the nation efforts aimed at embracing freedom."

Kadivar considered democracy a phenomenon with tangible results, like philosophy and logic, adding, "In our society, democracy is a need, but it would not suffice."

He said, "Democracy that is as old as modernity itself, cannot be loved, or denounced merely because it has come form the West."

The hojjatoleslam added, "Democracy is currently the best method for ruling since it minimizes the role playing by individuals, replacing it by the rule of the public wisdom in a society."

The journalist said, "in order to establish a democratic system, there is no way, but to set its four basic foundations, namely organizing for free and fair elections, establishing a civil society, respecting the citizens rights, and having an accountable government with transparent policy making."

He said in most religious systems, the rulers argue that the people are either with us, or against us, in the later case we need to suppress the them to safeguard the divine cause."

Kadivar said, "That is the populist approach towards democracy, and in other words the other side of the coin of totalitarian approach, or despotism."

"Toward Democracy" seminar, sponsored by the Islamic Association of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Tehran University started its activities on Monday at Sheikh Morteza Ansari Hall of the said faculty on Monday and will continue at Ibn-e-Khaldoun Hall of the Faculty of Social Sciences on Tuesday.

... Payvand News - 5/11/04 ... --



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