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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com

AN ISLAMIC STATE IS INCAPABLE OF RESPONDING TO IRANIANS DEMANDS

Published Wednesday, June 16, 2004



PARIS, 16 June (IPS) It took four years for Mrs. Fatemeh Haqiqatjoo, a reformist lawmaker to reach the conclusion that an Islamic theocracy is not what the Iranians expect.

“The greatest lesson I got from my years as a parliamentarian is that an Islamic State is not capable to respond to Iranian expectations”, she told the French centrist newspaper Le Figaro, adding, “ to see our nation go forward, one has to separate religion from politics”.

An outspoken representative of Tehran in the outgoing Majles, or the Iranian Parliament that was dominated by the reformists, the Iranians knows the 36 years-old Haqiqatjoo for her bold and uncompromising positions in favour of the rights of Iranian women, students and political dissidents.

The lecture of an open letter to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic in which she criticised the system of the Islamic Republic for ignoring equal rights for women, suppressing free speech and closing independent and pro reform newspapers cost her ten months of suspended prison term.

Courageously, she used the sentence to demonstrate that under the laws of the Islamic Republic, even lawmakers are immune from the regime’s despotism.

“I resigned because they (the ruling conservatives) do not want an Islamic Republic, but a Taleban system”, she told Ms. Delphine Minoui, Le Figaro’s correspondent In Tehran.

Born to a religious but tolerant family, Fatemeh Hqiqatjoo joined the Office for Consolidating Unity (OCU), Iranian students largest organisation when studying psychology at Tehran University and the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the coalition of several reformist groups supporting Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Khatami after his landslide and surprising victory in the presidential elections of May 1997.

Contrary to many Iranians political analysts and pundits like Dr Qasem Sho’leh Sa’di, a former lawmaker or Mr. Mohsen Sazegara, a journalist and dissident politicians who reiterates that the reformists, despite their control of both the Executive and the Legislative, are “dead, guilty of not been up to deliver the reforms promised by Mr. Khatami”, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo believes that the reform process is not dead, but “has changed its form”.

The reformists claims that if they failed to carry out the limited political, social and cultural reforms Mr. Khatami had promised the Iranians, mostly the young ones during his election campaign it was mostly because the minority conservatives who control all the State’s major and key organs prevented them, and above all the leader controlled Council of the Guardians, the 12-members body in charge to see if laws approved by the Majles are in full compatibility with Islamic canons.

“If Mr. Khatami, who was elected thanks to more than 20 million votes, would have been a bit more a strong personality, he could have defeated the conservatives. But the fact is that he was a liability for the reform movement from the outset”, Mr. Sho’leh Sa’di told Iran Press Service during an interview immediately after the crushing defeat of the reformists at the latest legislative race.

AN ISLAMIC STATE IS INCAPABLE OF RESPONDING TO IRANIANS DEMANDS-Body

It is true that the Council of the Guardians, that is also in charge to check the conformity of the credentials of all candidates to all elections with Islamic rules had rejected the candidacy of more than a thousand of reformist runners to the 20 February Majles elections, including a hundred lawmakers, one of them being Mrs. Haqiqatjoo, “but anyhow, voters had decided to punish the reformists for their failure”, echoed Mr. Sazegara.

To protest the disqualifications, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo and other reformist deputies staged a month-long sit-in in the premises of the parliament. But facing with a popular indifference, she decided to resign from her seat as a Tehran representative and member of the Foreign and National Security Affairs Commission.

“Iran is a country where one has to cultivate the art of patience”, she said, making clear that her struggle was not limited to the legitimate rights of the women, “but the rights of all human beings, the human rights”.

“I resigned because they (the ruling conservatives) do not want an Islamic Republic, but a Taleban system”, she told Ms. Delphine Minoui, Le Figaro’s correspondent In Tehran.

Daring to compare the present theocracy with that of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Iranian Monarch who was toppled in 1979 by the Islamic Revolution, she told a gathering of students that “the disqualification of thousands of reformist candidates demonstrated that everything is decided by people sitting high above”.

One of the very few reformist deputies to openly defend the struggle of the students in particular and the intelligentsia in general for a more open society, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo was arrested briefly last year after she showed up at student’s demonstrations protesting the crackdown of the regime on the dissidents of all walk.

“Iran is a country where one has to cultivate the art of patience”, she said, making clear that her struggle was not limited to the legitimate rights of the women, “but the rights of all human beings, the human rights”.

Looking back at the four years she represented the Iranians at the Majles, she expresses some satisfactions at the fact that with other female lawmakers, she scored some successes in having the Majles approving laws giving Iranians women some of their rights, including one allowing young single girls studying abroad.

However, in a regime where women, no matter of their social or political status, are barred to travel outside without permission of their husbands, fathers or the brothers, even if they are younger, the outspoken former lawmaker was reminded of the limitations Iranian women have under Islamic laws “when she was not authorised to take a flight to London to attend a conference”, the paper said. ENDS HAQIQATJOO INTERVIEW 16604.

 

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As of January 2009, this site is definitely closed, but you can follow Safa Haeri on his new blog: DAMAVAND at http://wwwdamavandsafa.blogspot.com


AN ISLAMIC STATE IS INCAPABLE OF RESPONDING TO IRANIANS DEMANDS-Main
An outspoken reformist lawmaker, Mrs. Haqiqatjoo is now teaching at Tehran University



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