Monday, December 28, 2009

New Martyrs for Iran

It isn't over in Iran.  In fact it may just be beginning. The creation of martyrs always galvanizes any movement, social, religious, or political, but what is happening in Iran is a perfect storm of martyrdom.

For starters, tens of thousands of protestors have chosen Ashura,  one of Shia Islam's holiest festivals to mount massive demonstrations all over the country.  Ashura is particularly important for Shia muslims because it marks the moment of their split from the Sunni majority and commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, son of Imam 'Ali and grandson of the Prophet, on the 10th of Muharram, AH 61 (October 10, 680), in Karbala, Iraq. Ashura in Iran is all about martyrdom.

Even as an American of Christian background, with virtually no exposure to either Islam or Iran, I can see that this confluence of protest and martyrdom is proving very very powerful. Since the disputed election last summer, the movement has been growing. Iranians who at first just wanted their votes counted now want regeme change. They march in the streets. They risk severe reprisals incuding torture, jail, even death. I am profoundly moved by the tweets, videos, and blogposts coming out of Iran to chronicle this event.  This is more than a protest and it goes far beyond pollitics.,  This is a real revoloution and a genuine expression of  faith. The harder the regeme cracks down on the protesters, the more martyrs are created and the more powerful the dissent movement becomes.  The regeme has a tiger by the tail.  Can't say that I am sorry.

There are no impartial foreign journalists  recording events in Iran-- just thousands of citizens flooding the internet with videos, blogposts, text messages and tweets. They bear witness to what is happening. The protests are growing. The list of martyrs is growing. The nephew of opposition leader, Mir Hussain Mousavi, is the latest addition according to reports.

The world is watching and holding its breath.  History is being made in Iran by Iranians, but the outcome will affect us all.  I am particularly talking to you, my fellow Americans.  Check out  CNN on TV or online. They are doing a good job of covering the action and checking facts in a traditional journalistic way. Follow #Ashura #iranprotest and #iranelection  hashtags on Twitter. Set up a google alert for Iran protest.  You will be amazed.

Web Sources for Good Iran Info in English

homylafayette Iran News in English-- excellent ongoing up to the minute news, photos and videos plus knowledgable personal commentary in English.

Anonymous Iran   a wonderful forum with lots of excellent information and commentary about Iran and the protests from all over the world

Enduring America  -- an American intellectual blog doing a good job of analysis of the situation

The Huffington Post  -- not only articles, but also great recent photos and a live twitter feed for #iranprotest

Tehran Bureau -- absolutely the best single source of thoughtful articles, up to date information, photos and videos.  An American based website run by Iranians with sources on the ground in Iran.

Keep your eye on this situation, say a prayer,  and may God help the good people of Iran.


French Ann said...

Can't help but wonder what would have happened after 9/11 if we had just turned the other cheek.

Hopefully, the Iranians will have another revolution. I support self-determination!

pinkpackrat said...

Actions always have consequences and hindsight is always 20/20--whatever happens in Iran, the tenacity and courage of these young Iranians is amazing.

Thanks for reading and commenting