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Blogger Mohammad Nurizad, who used to be a columnist with the hard-line "Kayhan" daily, reacts to the recent controversy in Iran over the alleged tearing up of a picture of the founder of the Islamic republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, during an opposition protest:

I personally take all the responsibility for the tearing up of the Imam's [Khomeini's] photo, so that whatever is going to happen in the coming weeks as a result of it becomes clear.

I confess: I made a mistake. I got emotional. When I saw all of you tearing up things related to the Imam, I was stupid enough to tear up his picture. You shattered the dignity of the Sepah [the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], the Basij, and the Imam, but to me just his photo was enough.

I saw that you tore up the road map of the Imam, which comprised respecting people and was a safe harbor for their dignity, but I could only get his photo.

I saw you tear up the Imam's will, a will that emphasized the welfare, benefit, dignity of the nation, while the Imam's photo became my share of it.

I saw his holy face with my very own eyes that smirked towards your attitude; I heard his voice echo around all of you, saying: "Oh you all who mourn the tearing-up of my photo, why did you not shroud yourself and failed to raise harsh slogans for the insult to the intellect, Islam, and the path of Khomeini, the day when my children's blood was spilled in response to their peaceful protest against the outcome of the elections?"

Actually it was me, Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, who told Mohammad Nurizad to tear apart my photo so that God Himself, intellect, history and the future could witness the misfortune of a group that does not possess the ability to make up a simple lie.

In a country where the intellectual, political, and social products of the Imam are reduced to sarcasm, tearing up his photo is in fact a sign of respect.

I see two leanings from this comedy staged by our friends: the second one prepares the ground for the first.

Firstly, our friends' fear and, second, their need for publicity. That is, our clergy, who all along insisted on the enrichment of our people's intellect after the revolution, are no more capable of using such childish tricks to bring the people into the streets in response to the tearing-up of a photo, or on the other hand, keep them indoors on the martyrdom of our youth.

Our friends' sense of fear is tied to quite a long story. They are even stricken by fear at the mere thought of the fall of the leaders, not to mention the reality that is far bleaker than that.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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