The protests were, at least initially, over economic troubles, not against the Islamic Republic as such, but to chant “Death to the dictator” is getting quite close to calling for an end to the Islamic regime. Before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran was a Western-oriented, relatively secular regime, and there is no reason why it could not be again.
“The people are begging, the clerics act like God.” Well, yes. As I explain in my book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini established the Islamic Republic according to the principle of velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist). Islam, Khomeini argued, had not just given mankind a set of laws, but also “an executive power and an executor.” He declared that Allah “has laid down a particular form of government together with executive and administrative institutions.” Khomeini argued that clerical rule, which many dismissed as an unacceptable innovation in Islam, was mandated by the example of Muhammad himself, whom the Qur’an declared to be the supreme model for Muslims (33:21): “The Most Noble Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) headed the executive and administrative institutions of Muslim society. In addition to conveying the revelation and expounding and interpreting the articles of faith and the ordinances and institutions of Islam, he undertook the implementation of law and the establishment of the ordinances of Islam, thereby bringing into being the Islamic state.”
Khomeini concluded that “the fundamental difference between Islamic government, on the one hand, and constitutional monarchies and republics, on the other, is this: whereas the representatives of the people or the monarch in such regimes engage in legislation, in Islam the legislative power and competence to establish laws belongs exclusively to God Almighty.”
The mullahs in Tehran, in sum, do act like God. We can only hope that their bloody rule will soon come to an end.
“Iran: Anti-Regime Protests Erupt Across the Country as Protesters Chant ‘Death to the Dictator,’” by Callum Paton, Newsweek, December 29, 2017:
Anti-government protests have erupted in cities across Iran, including the capital, Tehran, with reports of arrests as riot police were deployed to disperse the demonstrations.
BBC Persian reported that protests, which decried deteriorating economic conditions and corruption in the Islamic Republic, also were held in the cities of Isfahan, Kermanshah, Rasht, Qom, Sari and Hamedan.
In Kermanshah, where the largest demonstrations took place on the second day, protesters shouted slogans against Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and in other cities they shouted “death to the dictator” and called for an end to ongoing Iranian involvement in regional conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
Police fired tear gas and used water cannons to break up the large-scale protests in Kermanshah’s Azadi Square, descending on the gathered crowds with batons and riot shields. The BBC reported arrests had been witnessed but did not give specific numbers.
Kermanshah, in northwestern Iran, was rocked by deadly earthquakes last month that killed 600. The widespread death and destruction in the area close to the country’s western frontier with Iraq has been blamed on poor building regulation, particularly in public housing projects.
Iran’s strictly controlled state media reported a total of 300 demonstrators gathered in the city, characterizing the protests a “call by the anti-revolution.” The country’s semiofficial FARS news agency, cited by Reuters, reported that some public property was destroyed in the demonstrations.
Protests spread Friday following demonstrations in Iran’s second-largest city of Mashhad Thursday, where at least 52 people were arrested. Videos uploaded to social media showed the demonstrators shouting, “The people are begging, the clerics act like God.”…