By: Bahram Rafiee
Mesbah Yazdi from Ayatollah Khamenei’s Office.
Hardline Shiite cleric and the spiritual and religious father of members of the administration said during a speech he delivered at ayatollah Khamenei’s office in the city of Qom that opponents to the rule of the Islamic republic supreme leader are “moharebs” [enemies of God] and that “Democracy, freedom, and human rights have no place” in Islamic theology.
The religious leader of the Shiite Taliban, who has resumed delivering speeches among military and paralimitary forces and his followers after several months, said, “Today, if people came and surrendered and submitted to the rule of the guardian of all Muslims, others who disrupt, make trouble or seek to carry out a coup must be stopped with the use of force.”
Mesbah Yazdi, who is also a member of the Association of Teachers of Qom Theological Center (Jame Modaresin Hoze Elmie Qom), declared that the imposition of “Islamic laws are mandatory following submission,’ adding, “Some say, we are Muslims and want to implement Islamic laws. Executive work and management also requires an Imam, and when people submit to their Imam, and an Islamic government was established, and the holy order has materialized, if, after that, someone protested, he must be confronted and put in his place. Also, implementing Islamic laws requires implementing Islamic penal laws. If someone is a thief, his hand must be amputated, and this is not a place to back down for cultural reasons against people who promote corruption.”
This hardline cleric who is referred to as the “theoretician of Shiite violence” said in another part of his speech: “Another one of the Islamic government’s duties is to protect Islamic principles; because an Islamic society must have a proper appearance, and sexual or moral deviants or promoters of any other kind of corruption must be suppressed.”
Mesbah Yazdi also clarified his definition of a “mohareb,” noting, “Private behavior is a separate topic, but if they openly come to the streets and scream, or if someone attacks people with a weapon, here there is no more room for advice; because someone who carries a weapon and is attacking people is a mohareb, and a mohareb is punished by death or amputation of hand and feet or exile, depending on the ruler’s determination. Here we can’t bring in … freedom or democracy or human rights, because this is not the place to talk about those things.”
Earlier, Mesbah Yazdi openly supported Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even elevating him to God’s level, saying, “When the president received the supreme leader’s confirmation, obeying him is like obeying God.”
Many Shiite grand ayatollahs, including the late ayatollah Montazeri, have challenged Mesbah Yazdi’s interpretation of Islam, especially since last year’s post-election crackdown.
Since last year’s presidential election, which pitted ayatollah Khamenei as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s supporter against the reformists, Mesbay Yazdi has repeatedly and openly supported Ahmadinejad and the office of the supreme, increasing his activities and speeches with the supreme leader’s approval.
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