Sunday, May 18, 2008

The In T View: Rotten Gods: Burning A Quran In Iran

Angel by Marc Quinn

Intriguing tiny praying skeleton in Winchester Cathedral,
Winchester, UK. Taken from a cast of a 22-week old
foetus skeleton, cast in bronze, then painted white.

Iranian dissenter(s) and rights activist(s) Rotten Gods of is/are the bravest of the brave. When you think of a nation that has a dissident(s) burning Qurans to protest against Islamic supremacism, Sharia law, and religiously-inspired totalitarianism, to tell you the truth, a Muslim country like Iran is not the first place that comes to mind.

It is easy for those in the West, especially in the United States, with its rights of freedom and press, and separation of church and state, to engage in acts of dissent and protest, because the penalty is limited
for civil disobedience. Yes, perhaps the person may lose thir job, spend a night in jail, or be forced by their parents to clean the basement, but for Rotten Gods, the price is much higher.

Discovery by the Iranian regime likely means a charge of blasphemy and death, perhaps even swinging in the polluted Tehran breeze from that dark, foreboding crane, we've all grown accustomed to seeing...

MG: Hello Rotten Gods, Welcome to the In T View.

Rotten Gods: Hello MG, Thanks for having me.

MG: The Quran is considered by Muslims to be the sacred and immutable words of Allah. To light it on fire is viewed by Muslims as a horrendous act of blasphemy. Why have you done it?

Rotten Gods: My country, "Islamic Republic of Iran" (official name) is a well-known fundamental Islamic country and it's 29 years old, started right after revolution in 1979. Here Islamic rules are the main focus of everything, I mean everything will be measured with Islamic rules and teachings! Now let's take a look at stats, 180+ executions in 2006, 317+ in 2007, and 23 executions just in the first ten days of 2008. We don't have stats of torture cases, in fact there is no need for stats, because torture is part of police and prison system in Iran. It's undeniable.

Simply I have to say, if word of Allah permit such actions on supposedly his own creatures then I have to burn Allah personally which I have started with his words. I had four reasons when I started my protest against Islamic dictatorship of Iran which are:

1. Abusing Human Rights,
2. Executions,
3. Lack of freedom in society, specially for dissidents and imprisoning any of them,
4. Widespread injustice in society and specially in Judiciary system.
If setting Quran on fire is a horrendous act of blasphemy in Muslims viewpoint, I would challenge every Muslim to answer me; what would they call their Muslim-leaders-on-going-inhuman actions towards people?

If setting Quran on fire is a horrendous act of blasphemy in Muslims' viewpoint, I would challenge every Muslim to answer me; what would they call their Muslim-leaders-on-going-inhuman actions towards people?

MG: Is the Quran a sacred and holy book or is just a book, similar to all books written by the hand of man?

Rotten Gods: Yes, I believe so it's just a book like every other book. I have not seen that any holy thing come out of it while I was burning them.

MG: What has been the reaction inside Iran, and worldwide to your website?

Rotten Gods: I had lots of threats and hate messages towards myself and my family in day one that I announced it in Iranian blogosphere community. In exact same day, they censored this blog in Iran so people couldn't read my blog anymore. Due to my blog filtering, I don't have enough response from Iranian communities in Iran. You wouldn't believe if I tell you that most hate messages came to me from Muslims in England, Australia, Canada, USA, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Emirates!

It seems that Muslims in western countries tend to be more fundamental than Muslims in other countries! I am not sure yet.

Also many people have supported me with their warm messages and I am very thankful.

MG: You believe religious disobedience is the key to saving the Iranian people from ruling class of Mullahs. Can you tell us why?

Rotten Gods: Islam is a political way of life. It is a strict socioeconomic structure which enforce rules rigorously on masses including non-Muslims and non-believers. It leaves no way out of this religion and no right for people. Islam means submission or total surrender and every Muslim should surround oneself to God, so he will be a follower and there is no room to argue against its rules and instructions. And any argument against it has harsh capital punishments. Islam should separate from politics. Or simply it is better to put this way into words, Islam is totalitarian form of politics and in order to achieve to open society, Iranians should fight back with current religious dictatorship regime. So Muslims should compromise a little more during this fight although they are free to hold on to Islam while it doesn't hurt anybody.

MG: Are you under any illusions as to what will will happen to you, if the Iranian regime discovers your identity? Will they accuse you of blasphemy and hang you from that giant crane?

Rotten Gods: I wish. I mean I wish Iran was a democratic country and I was free to express my opinion without fear of terror, sudden death, or death penalty in public. In blasphemy cases, sharia law strictly orders to hang, behead, or throw convicted from height e.g. mountain.

MG: Rotten Gods, can you tell us about the significance of your name? Why did you chose this name? Are all Gods rotten or do you agree with someone like Robert Spencer that certain religions are more tolerant than others?

Rotten Gods: I guess it would be better that your readers tell us about significance of this name on the protest, what do you think?

I should mention that I borrowed this name from someone I know. This name is much relevant to my beliefs. I don't know Robert Spencer and I am not familiar with his belief but there is no doubt that there are some religions which are very much tolerant than others. I should mention that I am not religious.

: Is there a God?

Rotten Gods
: I don't think so.

MG: Frequently, Muslims will say that Islam is a Religion of Peace? Is this really so?

Rotten Gods
: No, not at all. I have seen hanging scenes in city while poor men/women were going to die, others hailed "Allah is great". There is no peace in Islam. If truly Islam was religion of peace, we couldn't see the terrorist attacks between very own Muslims.

MG: You are critical of the so-called "Moderate Muslims." Can you tell us why?

Rotten Gods: Moderate Muslims supposed to be critical of situations within Islam and Islamic societies while abusing human rights, injustice judiciary system, imprisoning dissidents in Iran (and all other Islamic states) are well-known problems, and especially executions in Iran. Not only they don't criticize these behaviors in Islamic, but many times they have supported them and consider these incidents as an internal affair of state, so the slogan has been "we should not interfere". On the other hand, these groups were so sharp to attack my protest, because I set fire on Quran, because they believe in the Quran.

It simply means they don't really believe in human rights as much as they believe in Quran. Many incident has happened in Islamic states and this brand, I mean moderate Muslims, if you will, has proved that is not functional.

And it can't be, because for a Moderate Muslim we need a moderate Islam and moderate education. Nobody can advocate for Moderate Muslim ideology while there is no moderate Islam at the first place. So these brand shouldn't call themselves Moderate Muslim while they don't have appropriate tools and moves. They have to develop a Moderate Islam which includes Quran, hadiths and many other Islamic teachings. Then, hopefully next generations can call themselves moderate Muslim, then we can drop "moderate" and it would be an Islam without barbaric teachings.

MG: Should Iran be allowed to develop Nuclear Weapons?

Lost Horizon

Rotten Gods
: Not at all, except if there is a suicide plan.

MG: Will there be a regime change in Iran?

Rotten Gods
: For sure it will. The problem is timing.

: Would you favor an American intervention in Iran?

Rotten Gods: I prefer diplomacy and simply if any one of world powers doesn't support Islamic regime of Iran, there won't be any intervention but if diplomacy doesn't work, I need to know pre-analysis of intervention before reply to your question.

If there would be some strategic analysis of Islamic regime of Iran's behavior then we will exactly know, how to deal with them, where to begin, and where to stop.

: Good Cop, Bad Cop, Iranian Style: We know that former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami is frequently portrayed as a moderate and a reformer, and the man that replaced him, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an unabashed hardliner, but is this an example of the Persian version of good cop, bad cop with both men being part of the same system?

Dragon Ying-Yang

Rotten Gods: Exactly. Although I can't call Khatami, Good Cop. Just he doesn't say same things that Ahmadinejad have been saying doesn't make him any better. As you mentioned, both of them are part of the same system, the whole notion of Reformist party which Khatami has been part of it, in front of Conservative party, is just a puppet show for masses and all of them are part of the same system. The system suggests that we do have democracy in Iran because we can choose between these two opponent (!) parties and vote for whom we want but I call it Totalitarian Islamic Democracy.

For example, secret nuclear enrichment doesn't belong only to Ahmadinejad era, it has been going on in Iran for almost 20 years. Just figure it out how many presidents and PMs were informed.

MG: What is worse, the repression of the dictator or the repression of the Islamists?

Rotten Gods: Both because they use all means and resources to do what they want.

MG: So, where do you go from here?

Rotten Gods: Continuing this protest to pass the message to as many as people that we can.

MG: If people want to get involved with your effort, how can they support you?

Rotten Gods: Regardless of which country you are, you should speak up to clean the world from this religious superstition. If you want to, set the Quran on fire, and send us your video. Also link to

Thanks MG for this interview.

Thanks to Rotten Gods for the In T View.

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