The newspaper in Iran that serves as a mouthpiece for the Muslim government has come out swinging against those in that nation who are calling for democracy and human rights, saying that such people are fighting against Islam itself.
The Jomhuri-ye Eslami daily prints only stories that serve the interests of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who finds himself increasingly challenged by those who are fighting for freedom and reform in Iran, a nation President Bush includes in the "axis of evil." The recent article was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.
The article calls the dissidents "politically backward remnants of the last century" who have "begun to implement the concept of separating religion from state." Says the paper: "Their hypocrisy and political gymnastics are a struggle that bodes ill for religion."
"Slogans such as 'religion is the opiate of the masses' and 'religion and politics are separate' were born 80 years ago, along with communism," the story contends. "Unfortunately, today they emerge from the mouths of people who have benefited from Iran's glorious Islamic Revolution ... and who have occupied positions of responsibility - thanks to the Islamic Revolution, under [Ayatollah] Khomeini's wise guidance. Yet now they question the essence of those principles."
The story continues to criticize the idea of separating religion from politics:
"The Imam [Khomeini] said: '... Islam is not just worship, not just study, not just following [edicts]. Islam is politics; it is not distant from politics. Islam is great government; it is one great kingdom. Islam is a regime [and] a political regime.' ...
"Today, those [in Iran] who spread slogans such as reform, liberty, political development, democracy [and] human rights ... are fighting [the] religion [of Islam], and ... with their demonic and colonialist theories, [they] call for separation of religion and state or support people who pursue these principles. They must realize that they are moving in the opposite direction from the path of Imam [Khomeini]. ... "
As WorldNetDaily reported, those seeking reform in Iran are not a small bank of rebels. More than 74 percent of Iranians in Tehran support the re-establishment of relations with the "Great Satan," the U.S., according to a survey by Iran's state-controlled National Institute of Opinion Polls.
"This theocratic regime is in shambles, coming to the end of its rope," said Fereydoun Hoveyda, who served as Iranian ambassador to the United Nations for eight years prior to the Islamic revolution of 1979. "People are not afraid of it anymore