The True Face of Iranian Clerics
It is very hard to interpret news from a different part of the world in a way that your audience would truly understand what is going on. Different world views and other such barriers prevent people in the west from realizing the true nature of a news report unless they have had experienced the culture it is coming from. I’ am an Iranian and while reading the Huffington post’s news segment about a Muslim cleric gathering in Qom in Iran to combat and deface ISIS, I get a different view as someone who is not familiar with the region.
To start with, the “holy city of Qom” as the article calls it is a decadent city of corruption which breeds incapable mullah’s who are inefficient in both theology and governance and yet are given supreme religious and political authority in Iran. All the high level clerics in Iran study in Qom and move on to fill high government positions even though they are not elected to their positions and only use their power to fill their bank accounts with the country’s national exports.
The best comparison I could make would be to compare the city of Qom to Bethlehem. Bethlehem still has a positive ring to it in the west as it was the birth place of Jesus Christ, but in today’s world it has fallen to prostitution rings and other criminal activities. But a person reading about Bethlehem in the west seldom knows of that fact and so views the city in a completely different way than it is. Same applies with Qom where once it was the place of highly respectable clerics, but today it is a place of criminal activity. But since most people in the west do not know this when they read “holy city of Qom” they believe that the people in Qom have some authority and legitimacy to be discussing the issue at hand.
Iran is a theocracy not a democracy, spiritual leaders have teeth unlike the spiritual leaders here who are mostly symbolic and can only ‘advise’ people to act in certain ways, in Iran the mullah’s have access to the entire country’s military and financial force to tap into. These clerics are in control of one of the most advanced militaries in the middle east and the Ayatollah posses’ supreme control over the largest voluntary militia the Basij which is an army separate of the official military designed specifically to fight threats to Islam, it has over 12 million members all of whom could be mobilized to fight ISIS in a real war and protect the Shia’s from dying as these clerics claim they want to do.
The truth of the matter is that these Iranian clerics do not want to fight ISIS until their nuclear negotiations with the west are settled. These ‘clerics’ are serving their political agenda first before their religious duties and are willing to allow thousands of Muslims to be killed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria so that they can accomplish their political goals. The fact that they ‘held a conference’ is irrelevant, it is a façade to trick people into thinking that they are on the side of the just and trying their best to combat fanatics.