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Persian Letters: The Similarities Between Iran's Basij Force And The MKO

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Basij militia members on face off against protesters in Tehran in July 2009.

Blogger "Freedom Fighter" believes members of the pro-government Basij force and the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) that is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Iran share common traits. Basij members have been accused by the opposition Green Movement and rights groups of responsibility for postelection human rights abuses and the ongoing crackdown:

Both are terrorist and they're proud of it.
Both are a blight on Iran.
Both call each other sister and brother.
Both are religious extremists.
Both are ready [to die for their leaders].
Both are used to taking orders rather than thinking for themselves.
Both have participated in the killings of innocent people in this country.
Both believe the domination and leadership of Iran is their genetic right.
Both groups enjoy massive wealth.
Both are an obstacle to freedom in Iran.

I will soon write about their differences, but without any doubt a Basij member is more honorable.

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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