Tuesday, April 30, 2002

IRANIAN CLERIC CONDEMNS SUICIDE BOMBERS: OpinionJournal notes this report by Michael Leeden on NRO of a fatwa issued by one of Iran's "most prestigious and revered religious leaders, the Grand Ayatollah Montazeri."
His message was directed far beyond the boundaries of Iran, to all members of the Shia faith. It was a powerful and politically important message: Suicide terrorism is antithetical to the teachings of Islam, and those who practice it, and kill women, children, and babies, are doomed to eternity in hell. The struggle between the Palestinian people and Israel must be resolved by other means, above all by negotiations. A tumult broke out when the import of the statement became clear, but the parliamentary president permitted the deputy to read the fatwa in its entirety. The proceedings were broadcast live throughout Iran. Therefore, although no Iranian publication and, to my knowledge, no foreign-news service reported the event, the Iranian people were able to hear it in real time. This is an event of enormous importance, for it is the first time that a leading Iranian cleric has condemned suicide terrorism, and it is an explicit attack on the Iranian regime, which has praised the terrorists and called upon Iranians to volunteer for suicide missions. It is even more significant against the background of the latest efforts of the Iranian people, who are trying desperately to free themselves from the mullahs and ayatollahs.
Leeden has been arguing for months that Iran is ripe for revolution, pro-American revolution this time, and asking why our Government isn't out in front urging it on, instead of trying to cut a deal with a despotic, American-murdering, terrorist-sponsoring regime. Read the rest.

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