Maryam Rajavi, Voice of the Voiceless People of Iran

Maryam Rajavi, Voice of the Voiceless people of Iran

By Azita Carlson

In a book published in 1993, titled Islamic Fundamentalism: The New Global Threat, the Iranian Resistance warned the world about a rising monster. After being defeated in its eight-year war with Iraq, the mullahs' regime ruling Iran leaped across the region, from the Caucasus to the Middle East to the Horn of Africa, while retooling its organizational capacity to carry out suppression within Iran's borders and to export terrorism beyond those frontiers.

“Fundamentalism has turned into the greatest threat to peace in the region and the world. The mullahs ruling Iran are pursuing their expansionist agenda and exporting crises and tensions by exploiting the religious beliefs of over a billion Muslims,” said Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 1995 at the Oslo City Hall in Norway.

Sadly, at the time, governments, think tanks and intellectuals ignored these warnings, which had stemmed from the Iranian people's struggle with religious tyranny.

20 years later, the world witnessed the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East through terrorist groups like ISIS and attacks carried out in Europe and the United States.

The Iranian people have a harsh experience of struggling against Islamic Fundamentalism ruling in Iran. Thousands of freedom fighters, in particular, female members of the main opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), have died in the struggle for freedom. Since the onset of the mullahs' rule, women have played a key role in resistance against this regime. The women's pioneering role in the Resistance movement has spread the idea of equality in society.

The MEK has found out that the Ideology of Islamic fundamentalism is based on discrimination against women. For this reason, women must be the leading force of the struggle against fundamentalism.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition whose members include Iranian opposition organizations and prominent personalities, elected Maryam Rajavi, who was the Secretary-General of the MEK from 1989 to 1993, as the President-elect for the period of transitioning power to the Iranian people.

The older sister of Maryam Rajavi, Narges was killed by the Shah’s secret police, SAVAK, in 1975. Her other sister, Massoumeh, who was an industrial engineering student, was arrested by the clerical regime in 1982. She was at that time pregnant and ultimately hanged after undergoing brutal torture.

“The issue of women and the equality movement is linked to the struggle against reactionary ideology and fundamentalism. Women are not only pioneers in the equality movement but also the main force for progress, peace and social justice. In my view, humankind can only rid itself of the evil phenomenon of reactionary outlook and fundamentalism if women would assume their leading role in this global campaign and employ all forms of democratic struggle to shut the door on all forms of appeasement of and compromise with the misogynous and inhumane mullahs in Iran,” said Maryam Rajavi during her speech, titled, “Women, the Voice of the Oppressed,” delivered at a conference in London’s Earl’s Court.

Maryam Rajavi summarized the mullahs’ crimes against women and said:

The mullahs’ rule came down on women’s rights, liberties, culture, family and private lives like a huge avalanche.

– Executing thousands of female opponents, which is unprecedented anywhere in the world;
– Torturing tens of thousands of women political prisoners;
– Executing pregnant women, the torture of mothers in front of their children;
– Degrading women’s social and economic standing to second class citizens;
– Imposing gender apartheid;
– Controlling women’s presence in the streets;
– Imposing compulsory veiling, controlling the color and forms of women’s attire;
– Lacerating and splashing acid on women’s faces because of their clothing and makeup.
– Systematic assault on women in prisons;
– Denial of the right to divorce and the right to custody of children;
– Promoting polygamy and temporary marriage, justified by the mullahs’ disgraceful Sharia;
– Applying medieval and painful punishments such as stoning, whose victims are primarily women;
– Injustice and discrimination in economic participation, employment, and education;
– The sale of small children by impoverished families and their trafficking to other countries by the mullahs’ criminal gangs in a country as rich as Iran;
– Selling innocent girls’ body parts due to impoverishment, hunger, and many other calamities;

She also added that the Iranian Resistance believes that the common answer to all these problems is freedom and equality. “Not just equality and not just freedom. But both freedom and equality,” she added. “The women not only will free themselves but also their societies at large,” Mrs. Rajavi emphasized.

Yes, this was and will be the mission of Maryam Rajavi, and she is determined to carry it out.

On the issue of coexistence of different religions and sectarian war she has a clear message: “Nor is it between Islam and the West, and nor between the Shia and the Sunni. The conflict is over freedom versus subjugation and dictatorship, between equality on the one hand and oppression and misogyny on the other.”

For this reason, Maryam Rajavi believes that the misogyny lies at the core fundamentalist mindset, which by suppressing women oppresses and intimidates society as a whole.

Maryam Rajavi represents an outline of the Iranian Resistance’s viewpoints on women's rights in tomorrow’s Iran. She declared a ten-point plan on women’s right which recognizes fundamental freedoms and rights; equality before the law; freedom of choosing one’s own clothing; equal participation in political leadership; equality in the economic sphere; equality in the family; prohibition of violence; prohibition of sexual exploitation; repealing the mullahs’ Sharia laws; and social benefits.

The charismatic leadership of Maryam Rajavi attracted a lot of support and attention for Iranian people’s struggle against Islamic fundamentalism. In recent years many international personalities, dignitaries, members of parliaments and politicians around the world have praised Maryam Rajavi’s commitments and the tireless struggle for freedom and equality in Iran:

Bandana Rana, Vice-Chair of UN CEDAW Committee

Today, today I see a leader, Maryam Rajavi. She earns so much of joy, respect, warmth, love that you give to her. And I feel so proud to be a woman, to see this leadership. I think the resilience, the power, the solidarity, of the Iranian women are inspirational to other women in the world as well.”

 

Senator Joe Lieberman, former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate

“Maryam Rajavi is a principled, visionary, selfless leader and cares for every one of you… Ashraf 3 is the best proof that this movement is a viable alternative to the ruling mullahs in Iran.”

Senator Joe Lieberman, former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate

 

Senator Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator, and Presidential candidate

“Madame Rajavi, you are the force of change, the beacon of change, you are the phoenix rising from the ashes of devastation of the mullahs. Maryam and Massoud Rajavi, you are the guarantee of peace and democracy in Iran and the world.”

Senator Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian Senator, and Presidential candidate


Dr. Somaya Al Jowler, a former member of the Bahraini Parliament

“From you, I learned about being patient and giving to others. I learned from you that endurance is the answer to everything, and how we can add to our belief and our faith.”

 

Rama Yade, former Human Rights Minister of France

“Iran is always the face of Maryam Rajavi, the first of all resistance fighters targeted early in the uprising as the number one enemy.”

Rama Yade, former Human Rights Minister of France

 

Linda Chavez, American author, commentator, radio talk show host, syndicated columnist – Chair of Center for Equal Opportunity – USA:

“Women must be the force for change, and we see in Maryam Rajavi and her movement the force for change for a better future for Iran.”

Linda Chavez, American author, commentator, radio talk show host, syndicated columnist – Chair of Center for Equal Opportunity – the USA


Robert Torricelli:

freedom in Iran is known by the name of Maryam Rajavi.”

29 prominent American former officials declared their solidarity with the goals of the gathering: Maryam Rajavi, a Muslim woman standing for gender equality, which is an antidote to Islamic fundamentalism and extremism.

 

Tom Ridge, former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary and Governor of Pennsylvania:

“There is only one popular, organized, magnificently led an organization that can provide a democratic alternative to the existing regime. Only one group with proven leadership. Only one group with an exciting and clear vision for the future of Iran. A group led by an inspiring Muslim woman who mirrors the aspirations of the Iranian people who seek a secular republic with gender equality, separation of church and state, respect for human rights, and peaceful coexistence with its neighbors. A new Iran, a force for good, for human rights, for stability, and for peace. She is Madame Maryam Rajavi.”

In an interview with Reuters, Maryam Rajavi said that the overthrowing of the mullah regime in Iran has never been closer.

The nationwide uprising in December 2017 showed growing opposition towards the government and the end of the illusion of moderation. Iranian Resistance repeatedly mentioned that “the viper will never give birth to a dove.” But Western countries thought this regime could work out, although it was a justification for their policy of appeasement. But the people of Iran last year rejected this idea by chanting in the street, 'Reformist, hardliner, the game is over.'

Mrs. Rajavi addressed that the mullas are not capable of containing social uprisings and protests. “The mullahs and their IRGC will not be able to overcome this victorious uprising and regardless of the ups and downs, they will not be able to get away with it,” said Mrs. Rajavi on the anniversaries of the anti-monarchic revolution in 1979.

Since 2011 the world witnessed a lot of movements in the middle east. But unfortunately, not many succeed. The different in Iran is that it has a voice. It has a viable alternative and an organized and independent resistance movement which can echo the desire of Iranian people for regime change and freedom and equality. Maryam Rajavi represents this aspiration. She symbolizes the struggle of a nation that suffered a lot during the Shah and later by Khomeini. A nation that has 120.000 fallen for freedom and is still ready to pay the price. On the anniversary of her election as the President-Elect of the NCRI, we must praise Maryam Rajavi’s commitments. She represents a solution to an assurance for Iran’s future and peace in the middle east.

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