Why don’t more moderate Muslims speak out against terrorism? There are many reasons, but one of them is no doubt physical intimidation. Certainly this is true in other contexts: “A senior reformist Iranian member of parliament close to President Mohammad Khatami was beaten up by Islamic radicals, amid rising factional tension in the country as elections approach, reports said Saturday.” This from Agence France Presse.
The main reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), accused the Ansar Hezbollah group of attacking Mohsen Mirdamadi, chairman of parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee, on Friday.
Another reformer, Ahmad Shirzad, accused Islamic hardliners of “giving Tehran’s opponents ‘the arguments for presenting Iran as an oppressive regime, that violates human rights, opposes freedom of speech and is anti-democratic.’ Well, yes. “Yas-e-No quoted a Sanandaj deputy, Kazem Jalalizadeh, as saying a military officer had told him beforehand he would go personally to the airport to ‘break Shirzad’s legs’.”
Conservatives hit back Wednesday when deputy Ali Emami-Rad accused some reformists of being ‘Zionists’ and Khatami’s government of supporting ‘counter-revolution.’
Emami-Rad’s use of the word “counter-revolution” refers to the Iranian Islamic revolution of the late 1970s, which installed the current regime. It also shows how tendentious is the media use of the term “conservative” to describe these men, who think of themselves as revolutionaries. Also note his use of the all-purpose Islamic smear word: his opponents are “Zionists.”