If one looks at the Iranian movement for change of IRI, thinking of traditional political parties, thoughts, groups, etc., basically one will end up seeing nothing in horizon not only to challenge IRI but also to replace it. 99% of the movement to challenge IRI has had nothing to do with any of these groups.


The truth of the matter is that in opposition to the *theocracy* in Iran, a strong *secular* movement for a new republic has been forming in the last three decades and this movement encompasses journalists, writers, students, teachers, and other social groups of Iran which are coming forward one after the other without any calls of any of the traditional groups, personalities, etc. Frankly anytime any of those traditional groups and personalities made any calls, nobody showed up.


The organizations of writers, journalists, lawyers, students, teachers, and workers, organizations such as kAnoon-e nevisandegAn, are creating leaders who are the main threat to the IRI and this is why we saw the Saiid EmAmi killing of Foruhars and the writers not because Foruhars' own organization was that important but because he had lined up with this new trend in Iranian politics.


I do not know how each individual in this movement, from Simin Behbahani to a lot of lesser known other writers, journalists, teachers, students and others will end up having what role in this movement and in Iran's future but I think Hoviatis had seen it coming that they picked someone like Mohammad MokhtAri to assassinate, because exactly such individuals are the ones who will replace the IRI leadership, one way or the other.


This is what I wrote on this topic a while back:


I think we should *not* lose sight of the requirement for *secularism* and we should *not* be lenient on half-Islamism in the future system to make the mellimazhabis happy. The same way the Czech people did not make the mistake of being lenient and picking half-Communism to make the democraticMarxists like Dubchek happy. MelliMazhabis already know that all they can get from IRI is the boot and they will not support the secular movement because of democratic movement to give concessions to Islamism. They will support the secular movement when they see it is *strong* and *is* a real alternative and that is when they will try to come to terms with secularism.


The author Alexis de Tocqueville has best described it how religious people and clergy will come to terms with secularism if it is addressed clearly by secularists, as it was done by American movement, rather than being willy nilly as we have unfortunately witnessed in Europe and in Iran. Even our Khatami has read Tocqueville but our secularists have seldom read him. I suggest all Iranians to read it.


And again I think the ones outside Iran are better off to focus on an alternative to pro-IRI lobbyists and create an independent secular democratic organization of Iranians abroad to be part of the pro-Democracy movement of Iran and Iranians:


Sam Ghandchi, Publisher


April 1, 2002





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