IranModerate Ayatollah says MEK counter Khomeini’s fundamentalist ideology in...

Moderate Ayatollah says MEK counter Khomeini’s fundamentalist ideology in Iran

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London, 4 Sep – In an interview published on ncr-iran.org, Ayatollah Jalal Ganjei, Chairman of the Committee on Freedom of Religions and Denominations of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gave his account of the 50-year struggle of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI, or MEK).

He first heard about the MEK in 1971 following the news of the organization’s first martyr – Ahmad Rezai. He said that with the rise of the MEK following the “brave and heroic” defence statements heard in court, people were able to gain knowledge about the MEK’s theoretical and religious mentality. This was a crucial time when many people started to establish contact with the MEK. Even those who were imprisoned, he said, were able to maintain and establish relations with the MEK from prison.

Ayatollah Jalal Ganjei said that the MEK has always been against reactionary religious viewpoints and have supported the lower class in society, describing them as the ones who have always been the “hardworking branch”. Eventually, after the overthrow of the Shah, more groups joined the MEK.

When asked about Ruhollah Khomeini and his reasons for ordering the MEK to be massacred on numerous occasions, he said that Khomeini believed in a version of Islam that “denies rights, social and intellectual freedoms, imposes various types of old cruelties, provides sharia legitimacy for slavery, feudalism and even exploiting deprived classes of the society, and in all their preaching they encourage misogynist perspectives”. Ganjei believes that, as a result of this, Khomeini was terrified of the MEK gaining more support, even before the 1979 revolution.

He said: “The PMOI’s objectives are without a doubt rooted in the true messages of Islam, which is based on logic and scientific advances, and also founded upon a scientific perspective of the principles of evolution of the universe, that goes as far as explaining the birth and advances made by humanity. These objectives are also in support of the deprived people in today’s society. Now, if we consider the fact that the PMOI has gone a step further than just publishing and preaching its viewpoints, but actually building a social current based on its beliefs, that is where we reach an understanding about its difference from other groups and even progressive religious beliefs”.

He said that the MEK, when we look at what they have achieved thus far, is a movement that is not just “unprecedented and unparalleled” in the history of Islam, but also in the history of progressive movements.

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