Human Rights for All Iranians of Whatever Religious Persuasion

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Translated: Ahang Rabbani

In a meeting with the members of a non-governmental organization, Tulu‘ Iranian Farda [tomorrow’s dawning of Iranians], a discussion about religion and superstition took place in which Hashem Aghajari stated that he considered the root of superstition in Iran rests on social norms. He stated, “In recent years, unfortunately superstition has become more widespread in our country, and the cause of this must be carefully investigated.”

According to an authorized reporter, Agharjari warned about the growing tendency of Iranians to superstition by saying, “This issue, which typically has psychological roots, has even taken hold among the educated class. In sum, superstition relates to social traditions and not to religious teachings. We have to be careful not to cross the boundary of these two things.”

He then proceeded to divide rights into two categories: human rights and the rights of citizenship. He said, “Human rights relate to the rights of all humans solely because they are human.” Aghajari added, “All the rights mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights pertain to the entirety of humanity. With a traditional reading of religion and religious texts, particularly in Islam, we can recognize the sensitivity of religion towards human rights.”

He further noted, “I believe that all Iranians, of whatever religious persuasion, solely on the ground of being human beings, enjoy human rights and the right of citizenship.”

In another portion of his presentation, this university professor argued that human rights enveloped the downtrodden stratum of society. He emphasized, “In their fights and campaigns, women and laborers were among the groups which made a profound difference and fought for democratic values. They forced the bourgeois political order to accept democratic ways.” … He continued, “Human rights and democracy do not cause colonialism by themselves. However, in the course of history, they have been used as instruments for colonization.”

[Siyyid Hashem Aghajari (b. circa 1957) is an Iranian historian, university professor and a critic of the Islamic Republic’s government. The above was a portion of an interview with him published by Norooz News on Saturday, 1 November 2008, at:]


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