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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why doesn't anyone hear about this guy?

Why has no one outside of Iran ever heard of Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi?
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has been held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison since 2006.

Boroujerdi, aged 50, is an heir to a distinguished Shia clerical family. He was born in Tehran and educated in the Shia religious center of Qom. Like his father, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Ali Kazemeyni Boroujerdi (1924-2002), Boroujerdi preaches the pre-Khomeini interpretation of Iranian Shiism, which calls for religion to be kept apart from politics. His health has been badly affected by the conditions of his imprisonment, yet he has continued, from his cell, to denounce the regime of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Unlike the competing clerics who challenged the ruling duo in last year’s challenged balloting, Boroujerdi has become a consistent champion of secularism. He has declared, “the regime is adamant that either people adhere to political Islam or be jailed, exiled or killed. Its behavior is no different from that of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar.”


Boroujerdi and his group have lately issued a message to the world’s Jews, congratulating them on the Hanukkah holiday. Their knowledge of Jewish customs may be faulty – their statement confused Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights commemorating the liberation of the Jewish Temple from foreign dominance by the Maccabean revolt some 23 centuries ago with the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, which fell during September of this year. But their sentiments were manifestly sincere and clearly repudiated the anti-Jewish demagogy of Ahmadinejad.

As posted here on another pro-Boroujerdi blog, the message explicitly condemns Jew-baiting by the Tehran tyrants: “We join in the celebration of all religious beliefs and traditions ... We come to this joint celebration through our common vision for freedom and peace.” The group contrasts its attitude with that of “the current anti-Semitic regime of Iran,” which it accuses of sowing animosity and hatred between the descendants of Abraham, the common ancestor of Jews and Arabs, and the progenitor of monotheism.

Boroujerdi’s own message describes the lights of Hanukkah as divine, specifying, “We celebrate the light (Hanukkah)… My belief about different religions and creeds in different countries is that any religious belief that brings us closer to the Source (God) is the truth. This force will lead humanity towards enlightenment. On this great day, (Hanukkah) we celebrate the unity among the believers of God’s light.” His disciples added, “All followers of Mr. Boroujerdi join in this celebration of light with all Jewish people around the world. With hope that the sunlight of truth will free us from the darkness of injustice and ignorance, we hope for a world full of peace and brotherhood among God’s children.”
Why isn't the West sticking up for this man? Why is no one demanding his freedom?

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