A sociologist in Iran has characterised the Islamic Republic a “fundamental evil,” describing the nationwide uprising as “the revolution of good against evil.”
Iranian Academic Mostafa Mehraeen said at a gathering of sociologists that Iran is facing an implosion and a civilizational revolution because of the people’s experience in the years before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He called on officials to think about why the Islamic Republic has been turned into a fundamental evil during the past four decades.
Many Iranian academics and commentators have become increasingly vocal in their criticism of the authoritarian regime, its mismanagement of the state and deadly violations of human rights in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Mehraeen criticized some of his peers and firebrand cleric Ahmad Alamolhoda for saying that no one was killed by security forces during the uprising and that the movement in Iran was motivated by sex and alcohol. He said those who have made those false comments are “ignorant.” Mehraeein further accused Iran’s rulers of dishonesty and said: “They have been lying for 40 years.”
He added that claims by officials about the protest movement being a riot by gunmen was also a lie.
Mehraeen questioned the Islamic Republic for regarding itself as a "sacred order" and said, "Yes, you were sacred only in the first year after the revolution."
The sociologist can well put himself in danger of getting arrested, as dozens of journalists, artists and writers are currently in prison.
Iranian sociologist, Mostafa Mehraeen
In another sharp remark, Mehraeein spoke about IRGC Commander Hossein Salami ordering Iranians "Not to take to the streets from tomorrow!" Mehraeein addressed Salami: "Do you own the nation? Do you own their bodies? Do you own the streets? Who are you and what is your status?"
He also recalled a move by members of the Islamic parliament who asked the hardliner Judiciary to execute detained protesters and said: "You foolish members of the parliament, you are supposed to be representing the people. What do you mean by saying that they should be executed?" He reminded the regime: "A political system is not all about the noose and hanging. It is not all about police, batons and repression!"
Mehraeein pointed out that one of the characteristics of the current protests is that they do not seek to disrupt the social order. "The protesters love their country and do not wish to start a civil war. That is why the conflict in restive provinces never turn into civil war because the ethnic people in those provinces seriously avoid any armed confrontation with the security forces. They want a revolution without bloodshed," he said.
During the past weeks, the Iranian Sociological Association has been holding several conferences to discuss the implications and the outlook of the Iranian protests that have been rocking the country for four months.
In his discussion about the pathology of civil protests, Iranian sociologist Ali Jafari separated the notion of culture from the idea of fabricated culture. For instance, when women reach a consensus on an issue such as hijab, that is culture, but ideological governments fabricate their own ideas as some kind of culture and try to impose that on the people. This is what we call fabricated culture, he said, which damages the society's cultural and social order.
The Association's website also featured an article by jailed sociologist Saeed Madani, written before the current protests, which argued that some social movements start without pre-planning or coordination.
Iranian sociologists had warned for years about the chances of protests similar to the Woman, Life Freedom movement, suddenly flaring up, but the regime never believed them. Even now when they have realized the predictive nature of sociological studies, they still keep academics such as Madani in jail and continue interrogating them and asking: How come you knew this and we didn't.