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Cyrus the Great caught up in a 'punch and Judy' political show in Iran


20 September 2010



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Ali Motahhari


LONDON, (CAIS) -- Islamic Republic's conservative MP Ali Motahhari in an open letter has criticised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for praising Cyrus the Great during a live televised interview on Friday. 

The British Museum recently loaned the Cyrus Cylinder to the Islamic Republic for a period of four months, despite the international condemnations, protests and warnings regarding its safety. The priceless artefact was put on display at the National Museum of Iran and the Islamic Republic's president formally opened the Cyrus Cylinder exhibit on Sunday 12th. 

"Although there are some positive points in the Human Rights Charter of Cyrus [the Great Cylinder], he was not a Muslim and his deeds were not in line with the [Muslims'] prophets’ teachings", Motahhari writes. 

Motahhari stated: "when Cyrus captured Babylon, he did not abolish idolatry in the name of freedom of thought." 


Motahhari referred to his father, Morteza Motahhari and his comments regarding Cyrus the Great stating: "When Cyrus issued the bill of human rights after entering Babylon, despite him being a monotheist and a Zoroastrian, in the name of freedom he permitted his new subjects to continue practicing their idol worship. That was wrong since he wanted to oppress them using their superstition-beliefs, which from a humanity point of view he should have not permitted." Morteza Motahhari was a dogmatic cleric and disciple of Ruhollah Khomeini the founder of the Islamic Regime. He was assassinated by the Forqan Group in May 1979.


Motahhari compared Queen Elizabeth II to Cyrus the Great: "when she went to India, Elizabeth acted as if she respected the Indian polytheism and their idols. She did so to ensure they are kept in chains of darkness and superstition in order to oppress them and rob their wealth, the same as what Cyrus did to the Babylonians."


"It seems that the president has made the remarks under the influence of his advisor, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaii, who has recently proposed that Iran promote the 'Iranian School of Thought' instead of the ' Islamic School of Thought", the MP said. 

He added: "the president should be aware that he is obligated to promote 'Islam' and his legion should lie with the leader and not 'Iranian culture' - and if he fails to fulfill his obligations, he will loose the support of his voters and the religious community."


Golnaz Esfandiari in her Persian Letters blog recently commented on the issue: "Ahmadinejad was apparently trying to appeal to a new constituency among non-political types and tap into discontent with the clerical establishment, while at the same time trying to keep his hard-line supporters happy."


It is apparent that the Islamic Republic's politicians criticising each other is nothing more than a 'punch and Judy' show in order to gain the support for the dying and morally bankrupt Islamic regime and particularly the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - a much needed support of Iranians who are proud of their pre-Islamic past and have a strong sense of nationalism. Ali Motahhari, Esfandiar Rahim- Mashaei as well as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are directly acting under the command of the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei; and therefore Ahmadinejad's praise as well as Motahhari's critique must have been approved by him.


In recent years Cyrus the Great historical figure and his Cylinder have been subjugated to constant attacks from the Islamic fundamentalists inside, and Eurocentrics alike outside Iran. In addition, Cyrus and his humane approach to his subjects, particularly freeing Hebrews from Babylonian captivity in the 6th century BCE and their return to Jerusalem has sparked a new wave of attacks on him by Anti-Semitics internationally. 


Back in 2008, Der Spiegel in a biased and Cyrus-bashing article mimicking the Islamic-fundamentalists' stance towards pre-Islamic Iran called the ancient Iranian king which history has given him the title of 'Great', a 'despot' and the humane contents of his Cylinder which by many scholars is considered to be the world's first Charter of Human Rights, as a 'hoax' that was 'propagated by the former king of Iran. 


A high ranking Persian Rabbi called the Spiegel's article as: "a dark coalition of anti-Semitic Neo-Nazis, [Muslim-]fundamentalists and Eurocentrics embodied in one article."



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