October 16, 2003

Human Rights, Not Politics!

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I wasn't the only one who used the name of Shirin Ebadi in the same sentence with the words; future President of Iran. However, some did not use another word I also used there in referring to a President coming from a FREE future presidential election. Most recently, Hoder picked up the cause for example, advocating she should be a candidate in this very upcoming elections. Yes, this next term, coming up shortly. This to me is a futile and destructive exercise. Here's why;

Let's just assume for a minute that by some miracle she is allowed by the conservative body that vets candidates to run and of course she will then win. What she has achieved in short will be:

1 . Adding to the legitimacy of the charade that is the process of elections in Iran.

2 . Obligating her to upholding a constitution that recognizes the ultimate power remains with not the people but an unelected figure, selected from within a very specific religious dogma.

3 . To hand over all her newly-found influence and muscle to an arrangement where President is essentially a powerless figurehead.

4 . Eliminating her credibility by becoming head of a government already condemned by most international bodies as a leader in violating the most basic human rights of its citizens.

I imagine Shirin will make a great candidate one day. That will be when being a President will actually mean something in Iran. The first step for that is to have her win the mandate in a free and democratic campaign. Also to have her actually gain some power, not lose it by winning.

The best role for her right now is not a President, not even a political leader. I believe she will be far more effective continuing a role as a human rights advocate. In that role, her demands will be mainly political anyways, but not sectarian or divisive. A political leader needs to take positions that will not be accepted by all and will naturally divide people, based on their outlook and opinion. This natural divisiveness is the least desirable factor Iranians need right now.

Shirin Ebadi is in a very unique position to unite many generations and ranks of Iranians. Her human rights platform provides her with this ability, and to be the strong yet loving mother figure a nation needs to heal its wounds and find its new path.

Posted by Pedram at October 16, 2003 01:13 AM
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