Leaving Islam



 Murder of a Young Iranian at the Metro

Potkin Azarmehr


Dictatorships seem to have many things in common. One of them seems to be the insatiable enthusiasm of the offspring of those in power to openly and baldly flaunt the most basic laws - Even if this means publicly taking an innocent person’s life in cold blood.  It’s a reminder to the public that hey, there is one law for you and one law for me, I am connected, I can get away with murder. 

Saddam’s sons were a good example of such impudent offspring who committed crime after crime. Uday beat up his father’s valet to death with a club, yet he was spared justice because the victim’s parents appeared on Iraqi TV saying their murdered son deserved it.  Appointed by his father as the head of the Olympics Committee, Uday used his position to cane the soles of the Iraqi soccer team after they lost a match! Uday also was reported to rape pretty girls he fancied at random. The list goes on.  

Islamic Republic of Iran too has had its own share of audacious law breaking offspring who rely on the protection of the powerful daddy and the family connections. 

Right in the early days after the revolution, Ayatollah Montazeri’s son brought the entire airport to a standstill by aiming his revolver at the public and the officials who had dared to question him for smuggling antique artefact in his luggage. The public gave him the nickname of “Mammad Ringo” after a film character in the Wild West movies of the time. 

Four years ago, Mohsen Fallahian, son of former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian killed a police officer in the open.  The charges against Mohsen Fallahian, were however dropped claiming that he had acted in self defence against the police officers!

Again the list goes on. 

The latest of such blatant crimes happened last week in the Islamic Republic. The public witnessed a young 20 year old, Ali Ahmadipour, being murdered in the Karaj Metro station in front of the commuters. The killer Asgar Najafi, is a cleric and the director of the Law Enforcement Forces training, as well as the political deputy of the Moral Guidance department in the Law Enforcement Forces.  

According to the eye witness accounts, Najafi put his revolver against the young victims’ temple. The young 20 year old Ali, his mother’s only child, was holding a bag containing her medicine which he had just been sent to buy. He was shaking and afraid, pleading with the cleric to spare his life and let him take the medicine to his mom. Some people in the crowd dared and pleaded with the cleric to spare the young man’s life.  ‘Let him go, don’t kill him’ those who dared, begged the cleric.  Najafi however, oblivious to the pleas of Ali and the crowd, and true to his Islamic teachings about the worthlessness of a human life, was intent on showing what he could get away with. Perhaps Ali’s desperate cries gave him even more pleasure in carrying out what he was about to do.

Najafi pulled the trigger as if he was carrying out a routine every day task, bang! Ali fell in a pool of blood in front of the startled eyes of the commuters. Women and children going about their every day business suddenly had to witness a heart wrenching scene which will last with them forever.

Ali’s mother who had toiled for twenty years raising her only child was now without a son. Ali will no longer be there to get her medicine. She will not see his only son wed and she will not take pleasure in watching her grandchildren in the twilights of her life. All is gone by the indifference of one man for human life, in clerical robes with a high power job, family connections and the confidence that he can get away with murder, even if witnessed by hundreds. 

The first public statement was made by Major Toorang, in charge of LEF Public Relations. In a statement given to one of the Iran dailies, it confirmed the killing, saying “The attacker is a cleric and a close relation of one of the presidential candidates” but the statement did not reveal who the presidential candidate is and did not attempt to justify the act. 

 Following the public outcry and the swift spread of the news by witnesses, the LEF Commander for Karaj , Saeed Kasravi-Behrooz issued another statement attempting to justify the attack and calm the brewing public outrage. The statement said “The attacker who works for LEF, came across two youngsters who were fighting on the platform, he attempted to carry out a body search on the victim but the victim ran away and did not stop when the stop command was issued.” 

Later statements by the authorities tried to tarnish the victims’ character by saying he was a drug addict. But the victim’s mother, Parvaneh Bahari, has vehemently denied this accusation and has refused to give permission to bury his son, demanding an autopsy to confirm that Ali was no drug addict. 

The authorities eager to tarnish the victim’s character then issued other desperate statements, saying ‘The LEF officer, had noticed Ali flirting and whistling at female commuters and had acted to protect them’. 

The public outcry continues however. Even if Ali was flirting with female commuters, did he deserve to be shot in the head in public? The public still remembers how only recently one of the accomplices of the hideous Pakdasht murders of little children, was only sentenced by the Islamic judiciary to a prison term. Could flirting and whistling be more punishable than being an accomplice in killing children and selling their body organs? 

In the Islamic Republic which promised a just Utopia, justice is as inconsistent as the morality of its privileged selected ones. The select few who are profiting from the economic demise of the Iranian masses, the select few who have no fear of the law, the select few who are chosen for public office and who run the country like Mafia godfathers






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