From Cinema Rex  to Charlie Hebdo
On January 7th 2015, the people of France and rest of the world witnessed the savage attack of the Islamic terrorism against the symbol of freedom of expression and thought in Paris. On this day, two individuals who were deceived by the Islamic ideology attacked the office of Charlie Hebdo and brutally murdered 12 persons including the most famous French caricaturists. There have been, and still are, good analysis about this tragedy and proper reactions have been shown by people and the governments of the free world, including the government of France that has done all in its power to neutralize the individuals responsible for this crime.
Terrorism in all its shapes and forms is condemned and it is the responsibility of every freedom-loving individual to take a stand against terrorism at all times and all places, because terrorism, specially Islamic terrorism tramps on human rights values and freedom openly violates individual and social freedoms that are fundamental, universal and in essence invariant to time and place. To kill caricaturists just because they have made fun of a religious leader or a prophet is inexcusable and is a clear violation of human rights and freedom of expression and thought.
If we want to analyze this incident and find the root of this crime, we need to beyond the borders of France and Europe. It is clear that the individuals who were responsible for this crime committed this atrocity under the instruction of others.
Considering the background of these individuals, it is clear that they themselves were not capable of carrying out this attack. This principle applies also to all other European Islamist. The flood of propaganda by the Islamic states of the Middle East and especially those of Islamic regime in Iran, which inappropriately calls itself “Islamic Republic”, is a clear evidence that Islamism is not born and bred in Europe.
In this extremely rapid search, we remember who ordered the murder of Salman Rushdie and caricaturists of Muhammad. We can see the footprints of Khomeini and his political Islam in all these evil doings even to this day.
Recently, Iranian scholar named Majid Ahmadian  has written a book in Farsi about the fire in Cinema Rex of Abadan  . I, together with other fellow opposition activists published the book free of charge on the internet. The book, entitled ‘The Rex Cinema disaster: Fire Islamic Revolution “is available on the Internet and it is hoped that it will also become available in other languages too.
We and many researchers and historians believe that the starting point of deceiving Iranian people of the tragedy and triumph of the Islamic Revolution of Khomeini and his followers in Iran started with this event.
Knowing the full details of this event is necessary to confront the Islamic terrorism.
I am personally, due to my family connections, very well informed about the details of this event. During the revolution, my father as one of the Islamic revolutionaries but soon after the establishment of the Islamic republic became an opposition to the Islamic regime of Iran. Khomeini himself appointed my father as a revolutionary prosecutor in order investigate the fire incident at Rex Cinema. During the investigation, it became clear to my father that contrary to the rumors, heads of the previous regime had nothing to do with this incident and the tragedy of Rex Cinema was caused by the direct order of a few religious leaders of the city Qom.
Khomeini and other heads of the Islamic regime of Iran did not accept my father’s revelations. However, since my father did not want to be an unjust judge, he resigned from his position.
After my father, a mercenary by the name Mousavi Tabrizi became appointed to the position and he ordered the execution of a group of people, including the owner of the cinema, who had nothing to do with this tragedy.
In this book, various strong evidences point to the same conclusion and the reader will have no doubt about who is responsible for that tragedy.
For the sake of clarity, it is necessary to give a brief explanation about this event as it is written in the book.
In the southern city of Abadan and in the summer of 1978 no uprising against the regime of Shah had taken place. Street protests had started in many other cities in the country and even in some cases, revolutionaries and leftists had torched some nightclubs, restaurants and theaters.
The purpose of these attacks were to combat corruption and weaken the government; but these small attacks usually resulted in no loss of life.
A group of mullahs in Qom , who established a group called the “Council Islamic of Qom”, decided to spread the revolution to the southern part of Iran.
They were certainly aware of the importance of the oil industry and the need of the refinery workers of Abadan to participate in the uprising.
The Council, with the aid of religious forces selected a group of four persons in Abadan and asked them to carry out a tangible action in order to promote the uprising in the city; clearly an order to destroy an anti-religious center, nightclub, theaters and such.
These four persons first chose another cinema but found out that the liquid they used to torch the cinema did not work. Therefore, they went back to their safe house and brought back a better burning liquid and chose cinema Rex which was full with people. The cinema was showing the popular movie “The deers” .
This film is both a social revolutionary in nature. Number of audience in the cinema when it was it on fire was more than 500 people and of the four young men who torched the cinema only one survived.
This incident happened on August 19th 1978, and after that, one could say that even while it was happening, since these rumors were planned to be spread, among people it became known that SAVAK the secret police of the Shah was responsible for the fire. And even while the cinema was burning they rumored that police had used chain and locked the doors of the cinema so people who were trapped inside could not escape the fire!!!
This summary is not intended to describe the event, in order to know the details of this disaster one must referred to the book itself.
Political situation at the time of the disaster and its consequences are described in detail in the book.
The purpose of mentioning that event is the lessons that we can learn from this disaster, which reveals the obvious parallels with the recent terrorist acts.
It is clear to most people that every day in the world and especially in the middle east we are witnessing the brutality of the Islamists toward people who have the same religion, their countrymen or other people in the world. Beheading of journalists are being carried out by a savage group called ISIS in Iraq but the same type of crimes are being carried out in Iran for decades, however in more systematic and more complex manners. Many lives have been taken in the name of Islam and only in order to protect the interest of a few in the society.
It is natural to ask how a person or a group of people be can deceived and carry out such crimes? What is the root of the political Islam’s ideology and hegemony seeking Islamism? And how can we finally get rid of this pest and save the property and lives of people world wide?
The story of Cinema Rex and Charlie Hebdo might be separated by time but they have something in common nevertheless; that they were carried out by people who even before committing the crime were living in another world and saw it as their duty to carry out these crimes; individuals who were deceived by a group of people who had only their own interest in mind.
We should not forget that Germans were also deceived by Hitler and fell victim to his populist speeches and voted for him.
Before his rise to power, Khomeini also made several similar speeches. Ideology and religion are convenient tools for spreading propaganda and demagoguery.
History has shown that the tragic events and wars have always been rooted in religion or ideology. Especially a religion like Islam that considers itself superior to all other religions.
In this context, it is important to recognize that in the modern and civilized intellect, religion answers only personal quests of an individual about its existence, beginning and end.
But for Islam and specially the political Islam that was established by Khomeini that is not enough, and it turns that need and quest to a duty and requires every Muslim to not only to follow those religious orders but also force others to do the same through “enjoining good and forbidding wrong” doctrine . Murdering anyone who insults the prophet of Islam is a religious duty and in some fundamental Islamic circles in Iran is a mean of worship!
One might argue that most of today’s Islamic groups including ISIS are Sunnis while the mullahs in Iran are Shias and these two groups are in disagreement and war with each other. This reasoning is wrong since their disagreement is insignificant and is only about controlling their domain of power.
Shia mullahs sole reason to preach against Sunni Muslims is to keep their jobs as preachers and not because they are observing some religious duty against non-Muslims!
When it comes to confronting and declaring Jihad against non-Muslims, both fractions use the same language and same ideology.
It is obvious that the leaders of the Islamic regime of Iran give their Jihad orders in all secrecy in order not to jeopardize their power establishment, while the likes of ISIS and Al-Qaeda with no clear spatial establishment openly declare and carry out Jihad.
Islamic regime of Iran’s conflict with other countries of the region such as Saudi Arabia is not due difference in religious school of thoughts but rather the desire to increase its political influence in the region.
When Saudi Arabia and Qatar were aiding their Sunni brothers they could not see the hidden hand of the Islamic regime of Iran at work, and did not realize that unlike Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Hafez El Assad of Syria, the main concern of ISIS and Al-Qaeda is not Arab nationalism but it is to follow the Islamic regime of Iran, Hezbollah of Lebanon and Hamas in order to establish an Islamic empire and a religious hegemony in the world.
The free world and people who measure civilization in terms of human rights stand opposed to a group who not only consider their religious hypothesis and delusions as absolute certainty but also consider them as duties.
They are here to destroy all those who do not think like them and establish their middle-age laws as religious laws in their own society and everywhere else.
Is there anyone who does not know about the execution statistics in Iran? Is there anyone who has forgotten the savagery of Taliban? We do not need to search long and hard; look at what the faceless ISIS have done to Iraqis and Syrians; in the name of religion they have beheaded, whipped and thrown old and young men from high buildings!!! Delusional groups of who believe that their God has given them a duty to perform an imaginary justice.
This group of people are delusional, but what about their teachers?
In order to counter the threat of Islamism, the free world and especially the European community carry a huge responsibility on their shoulder. Values of human rights and democratic principles are at risk and are in need of protection. Due to the complexity and difficulty of social problems in Europe, Islamists can quickly destroy all that Europe has struggled to build in the course of centuries.
It is clear that the European community is always awake and Europeans are committed to protecting their values but let’s not forget that indifference and complacency caused two world wars and history can always repeat itself!
I believe the international community should be active and defend itself on two fronts; first goal must be to neutralize fundamentalism at its core and second goal should be to institutionalize the values of human rights and democratic principles.
As long as development, training and instruction of the extremist leaders of the Islamic Republic exists, the risk of ignorant people being deceived by extremism will remain high.
Ali Khamenei is using large sums of money for advertising and lobbying; not only in religious circle but also in opposition communities so that he can neutralize the true opposition and draw a picture of an ineffective opposition.
Some western intellectuals could be tempted to modify or justify the religious doctrines that are being preached by the mullahs in Iran. However, Islam was not written in Europe and we cannot hope to modify or justify it in Europe.
People take notice of Islam where it was born and grown; representatives of Islam are there and it is there that the word of Islam is law without having to be justified in any way.
As unpleasant as this might be to some intellectuals, what is needed now is to neutralize fundamentalism at its core and then moderately adjust what is appropriate for today’s society.
Iran’s theocratic regime has no place among Iranian people, and if it were not a regime of oppression and violence, the regime would be overthrown many years ago and many times over.
Undoubtedly removing the Islamic regime of Iran is the duty of people who 36 years ago experienced the bitter taste of fundamentalism.
Among Iranians, especially those who live outside Iran, there are forces, no matter how small in number, who have the power to create a strong and proactive opposition. They need to be discovered, encouraged and allowed to solve this problem according to their own plans and abilities.
The second front where the involvement of intellectuals and even politicians is essential is the institutionalization of human rights and democracy, not only for their own community but also for under developed communities.
Unfortunately, many of those who are deceived by Islamism, consider these values as inventions of the west that are being preached only to solidify the dominance of Imperialism.
We all know that this kind of thinking is a result of propaganda of regimes like the Islamic regime of Iran that talks about great and small Satan and considers everything from the west, with the exception of military and suppression equipment (!), as taboo.
Western communities and specially their intellectuals should instead of trying to confront or guide fundamentalists that has never given any results, keep on advertising the universal laws of human rights and democracy and do not let the public think that these values are the tools or a part of a few societies.
Europe has gone through a lot of pain and struggle in order to make a society that is aware of its human right, a society that is worthy of humans and for humans.
We should not let the high values of humanity be endangered, here or anywhere else.
Dr. Mahmoud Moradkhani