03/13/2012 05:27 EDT | Updated 05/13/2012 05:12 EDT

A "Celebration" in Iran Means Avoiding Arrest - and Death

I want to share a secret with you: The western world leads a more Islamic lifestyle than countries like the [un-]Islamic Republic of Iran. The reason is quite simple. There are only two rights in the religion of Islam: God's rights (i.e. Haghollah) and the people's rights (i.e. Hagholnas). Western countries are not perfect, but at least most of their governments operate on the concept of acknowledging and respecting the rights of the people. I can't say the same for the Iranian regime.

For example, in many western countries women have the right to wear a hijab or the right to show their hair. In Iran, women have no choice but to cover their hair. For another example, in western countries people of varying religions have equal rights to education and life. In Iran, Baha'is are not allowed to enroll in public universities. Baha'is are forced to operate underground universities not officially recognized by the Iranian government. If Baha'is protest against the violation of their rights, they are locked up behind bars and issued outlandish prison sentences.

In Iran, the oppressive "Islamic" regime has stripped the people of their fundamental rights, and they abuse the name of God and religion to do so. For example, in the context of executions, the Iranian rulers believe that it is their right to kill who they wish because that is what God would want. But the Iranian rulers are ignoring one main point: that person being executed has the right to life.

The Iranian rulers, if they truly are religious, should know that Islam states that God is able to forgive any violation of the Creator's orders against the Creator, but God will not consider a request for forgiveness if one violates the rights of another person. However, Islam states that even the violator of people's rights can be redeemed, if he or she asks for forgiveness from the person they violated.

Tonight the people in Iran and Iranians around the world celebrate Chaharshanbe Soori -- an ancient, non-religious Persian festival where people jump over bonfires to be rid of the bad and invite in the good on the eve of the last Wednesday before Persian New Year (Norouz or Nowruz), the celebration of spring and new life.

It is already nighttime in Iran. The people have headed to the streets to celebrate -- albeit as discreetly as possible. The regime's agents are out in full force and are waiting to crack down on any dissent. Already there are reports of arrests of people who were playing their music "too loud" in their cars.

Last year during Chaharshanbe Soori, Tehran became the scene of numerous widespread anti-government protests. Chants of "Death to Khamenei" echoed through the city, which resulted in severe clashes among the people and security forces. At least 500 people were reportedly arrested. In addition to the arrests, the Iranian regime also beat some people to a pulp until they died.

One of these people is Behnoud Ramezani. He was born in 1992 and was a second-term university student. His body was eventually delivered to his family two days after his death, under the condition that he be buried outside of Tehran. The two initial forensic reports described the cause of death as "multiple blows to the head by a hard object." Regime security forces banned any burial ceremonies for Behnoud Ramezani in Tehran, but allowed him to finally be buried on March 18, 2011.

Following Behnoud's murder, his close friend told a Persian-language student news website: "[Behnoud and I] believed that everything should be based on humanity. Neither of us were particularly religious. In our discussions we would reach the conclusion that we wished to behave like decent human beings without harming anyone. Whenever we had discussions we reached the conclusion that in this country we will never be able to do the things we like. There will always be obstacles and problems. There will always be people who won't allow us to live how we like to live. All in all, it is impossible to do anything here."

The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the most sorry excuses for Islam I have ever observed in my life. Butwhat is more shameful than the Iranian regime are Muslims around the world who remain silent to the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime in the name of religion.

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