Leaving Islam



The Forouhars: 
Victims of Islam and Heroes of Iran 

By: Potkin Azarmehr 

The Daughter of the Late Slain Iranian Dissident Couple Asks for Justice but Not Revenge 

On Sunday 23rd November, Iran’s lionesses were once again at the forefront of the struggle against the current Islamic dictatorship in Iran. 

For the fifth year running the anniversary of the murder of Iran’s secular dissidents, Daryoosh and Parvaneh Forouhar, turned into a protest against the medieval rule of the clerics over our motherland. 

If Jack Straw, Dominique de Vilpen and Joschka Fischer thought they had disheartened the Iranian people by their treacherous act of providing nuclear technology to the Islamic Republic, the cries of “Iranians will die before they accept dishonor” should once again remind them that throughout the turbulent Iranian history, our deep rooted passion of nationalism, and our deep rooted sense of duty for guarding the continuity of our nation has always inspired us in our darkest hours. 

The Islamic regime rightly fearful of the show of dissent on the anniversary of the murder of Iran’s Sun and Lioness, tried in several ways to confuse the public. First by sending out false rumors about the place and time of the ceremony and then by banning it from the usual more accessible Baharestan Square, the very heart of Iranian democracy movement. The Islamic regime’s last desperate tactic was to close off the Highway exit leading to the Shariati Ave, where the ceremony was finally allowed to take place. But despite all this, the building, the yard, and all the surrounding streets were swarming with people who wanted  to pay their respects to the Late Forouhars. 

Soon after Engineer Shahveisi’s speech, from Iran Nation Party, the crowd started chanting ‘Free All Political Prisoners’. The chairman tried to calm the crowds by saying the people of Iran should all be freed from a prison the size of the whole of Iran. 

Then Moinifar a veteran nationalist, although not normally known for his outspoken remarks in the Islamic Republic, pointed out all the futilities of elections in the Islamic Republic; how the unelected Guardian Council selects and vets the candidates and vetoes the bills passed by the vetted parliament and then asked the crowd if it was right to participate in the next Islamic elections? The crowd roared back with cries of ‘Never, Never!” and “Taking Part in These Elections,  is Treason to Our Nation” 

Taken back by the crowds fervor in so zealously condemning participation in Islamic elections, the chair and Moinfar both asked the crowd to calm down so that the ceremony wouldn’t be interrupted. 

Finally a woman of steel determination with the genealogy of  Gord-Afarid, Iran’s mythical female warrior, took the stage. The crowds unanimously shouted her name ‘Parastoo, Parastoo, Parastoo!’,  while the chair kept urging the crowd to calm down, so that Parastoo could make her speech. When the daughter of the late Forouhars started her speech, the crowd were all ears, mesmerized by her un-trembling and uncompromising voice of valor. 

‘ …The last time I saw my father’s face was when I pulled back the shroud from his face at the morgue. I wanted to see his beaten face for one last time. As I stroked his beautiful hair with my hand, I felt the iciness of the many bitter winters he had had to struggle with. And next to him was his comrade, his friend Paravaneh. On my mother’s hands of courage and on her lips there were bruises and scars of her last struggle with the killers and her last cries against despots. Scars and wounds were all over her once warm body which was fuelled by her kindness and affection. But her eyes were still full of zeal and enthusiasm, looking at the far horizons, as if despite the last violence she had to endure, she was still dreaming of her aspirations. Her aspiration of a free Iran! ….But from their death and their courage they left behind for our people a barricade,  a barricade behind which we will continue the struggle….’ 

Parastoo then went on to name the other victims of what has become known as the “chain murder” victims and she continued the link to Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian born photo-journalist who was battered to death in the Islamic dungeons. 

“…Let us not forget these martyrs! We have endured our pain and suffering on our broad shoulders and we have kept alive the flames of hope for justice deep within our wounded hearts. This pain we suffer with our love for the motherland and this pain is our common pain…We have carried this pain along with our quest for justice, in a country where justice has been crushed under the chains of despotism…” 

Parastoo then continued saying how the regime, taken back by the public outrage, promised to deliver justice but how the real culprits were kept protected behind closed doors and missing files.

“Instead of justice, every voice seeking justice was silenced and the newspapers were closed down one after another and even our legal representative, Nasser Zarafshan, was sentenced to prison…”

At this time the crowd who had tears running down their faces, once again led by the women, shouted ‘Hail to Zarafshan, Hail to Zarafshan…” 

“…And those who had promised “reform” to our people, left us halfway in the doldrums, … but you people who are the owners of this land do not forget our martyrs and continue to demand justice. But do not mistake this quest for justice and truth with the outdated violent response for  revenge.  For revenge bears violence and violence is only the pretext for despotism and oppression….Let this humanistic struggle for justice give birth to a society cleansed of violence and cruelty at last…

Long live the memory of those who lost their lives for Iran, Victory to the people!” 

Thus our 21St century Gord-Afarid stirred the passions and once again planted the seeds of hope for a free Iran in our hearts. As the chair declared the closing of the ceremony, the crowd stood up and sang the banned national anthem ‘Ey Iran, our glorious frontiers…”. They then followed by singing the Iranian students anthem of solidarity. 

Outside the chants became more and more radical, and inevitably clashes took place with the organised hired thugs, always on the payroll to attack and injure those who raise the voice of dissent in the Islamic Republic. Many plain clothes secret agents were seen filming the protesters and one was attacked by the crowd. Even the photographer from the official student news agency website, ISNA was briefly arrested by plain clothes agents, but the continuous chants of ‘Let him go, Let him go’ by the people insured his release. 

Although there were many foreign journalists including a Japenese film crew, as usual there was no sign of the BBC correspondent  in Tehran, Jim Muir, who prefers the causey tea parties with his “reformists” friends, rather than reporting real news.  

Today the Islamic Republic and her allies were once again reminded in the futility of the regime. For the Iranian nation are like an ongoing stream seeking to join the sea of liberty. For each one of us that falls, our sons and daughters will rise and carry the banner.  The Arab invaders may have got the windmills going with the blood of our forefathers in Istakhr and destroyed our libraries and fire temples, they may have publicly mutilated the heroes of our resistance to their unwelcome stay, as they did with Babak Khorramdin, but the fire within our hearts for liberty and the continuity of Iran will never die.  






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