The Iranian regime, since its inception, has tried to impose its control on people’s lives, beliefs, choices, and faiths, in as many barbaric and inhumane methods as one can imagine. Restrictions on ethnic and religious minorities, gender segregation of classes and educational institutions, separate entrances for men and women in shops, stores, and public places, prohibiting people of different ethnic backgrounds from celebrating their own customs and traditions, are just a short list of an ever-growing list.
The arrival of the month of Ramadan every year is accompanied by a host of warnings, intimidations, and formation of suppressive groups by the authorities to ensure their self-acclaimed rules and regulations regarding this holy month are strictly observed by the people, even if you are not Muslim and do not observe Ramadan. In any other democratic or even half-democratic country on the globe, religion and religious practices are arbitrary, and no authority is allowed to force others into believing and practicing one religion or another. That is, in fact, the essence and spirit of religion; it is purely a choice.
Warnings by Iranian authorities
On the eve of Ramadan, the Attorney General of Iran, in a letter to the commander of the police force, declared “not fasting” in public a crime and called for “legal action for non-fasting people” even if they may be seen eating, drinking or smoking in their own cars.
Mohammad Jafar Montazeri published a letter on Saturday, April 2, one day before the beginning of Ramadan in Iran, to Hossein Ashtari, the commander of the police force, urging those who do not fast for any reason but pretend to fast to take action. The necessary legal action should be taken against the “obvious crime.”
Montazeri further emphasizes that his warning also involves the vehicle’s occupants because, according to him, “the car is not considered privacy,” and eating, drinking, and smoking, in the vehicle will also be considered illegal, and the occupants could be arrested and charged.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the General Disciplinary Command of the Islamic Republic of Iran issued a statement urging citizens to “refrain from any pretense of fasting in public, unconventional clothing, the discovery of hijab, and the unconventional mixing of men and women in trade unions and public places.”
The Islamic Penal Code does not explicitly mention the punishment of fasting in public, but the law states that “it is a crime to pretend to commit any unlawful act in public.” According to this law, anyone who openly pretends to commit a “sinful” act in public and in public places will be sentenced to 10 days to two months in prison or up to 74 lashes.
A look at the past
Every year, the security forces detain those who may not observe the laws regarding Ramadan and punish them for their so-called sins. A few years ago, according to the Deputy Public Prosecutor of Shiraz, the Basij and the police in Shiraz arrested 500 people since the beginning of Ramadan as part of a one-month plan to “combat norm-breaking and fasting.” Ali Keshavarz said in a meeting of the Shiraz city administrative council that during this period, the Basij issued 2,699 verbal warnings and 261 written warnings, sealing two “offending places” and confiscating two vehicles. Accordingly, out of the 500 arrested, 20 were remanded in custody, and the rest were sentenced to “be sentenced within 24 hours.” In 2015, at least two people in Shiraz and at least five in Kermanshah were flogged in public for “fasting.” News of the execution of the flogging sentence in public for the same “crime” was published in Qazvin.
According to a report by Borna News Agency from Kerman, in a press conference on the subject of fasting and its punishments, Dadkhodasalari, Kerman Public Prosecutor, wished everyone to accept obedience and worship during Ramadan and said: “Legal actions will be taken.” He stated: “Not fasting is one of the obvious crimes, and the police can take action and deal with the non-fasting people.” Referring to the formation of three special judicial teams to deal with fasting by the Kerman Prosecutor’s Office, the judicial official added: “Religious and Islamic values should be considered during the holy month of Ramadan and judges in the form of teams in public thoroughfares, shops, streets, and bazaars.” They are present, and if they see people breaking the norm and fasting, they will take the necessary action and file a case, and they will be dealt with legally.
Religion, means of survival for the regime in Tehran
In the regime of ayatollahs, where personal property and private space have no importance or legality, even religious occasions have become tools of suppression, humiliation, and intimidation. Just imagine that the police and security forces are going around spying on people to find out who might be eating, drinking, or smoking during Ramadan. This is a regime that uses religion for its survival at any cost and by any means and passes laws and bylaws to legitimize its anti-Islam and anti-god actions. The religious dictatorship of Iran neither represents the noble philosophy of Ramadan nor any other teachings of Islam.
Source » irannewswire