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Iran: “Death to Russia” at Friday Prayer

Photo from Mehr news site in Iran

Photo from Mehr news site in Iran

At a Friday prayer service today at Tehran University, former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani called for the release of the many protesters arrested since the disputed June 12 presidential election where Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner.

Rafsanjani is a firm supporter of Ahmadinejad's main contender Mir Hossein Mousavi. He led the Friday prayer for the first time since the election.

Members of the Iranian opposition movement took part in the prayer, some wearing green, the colour that has come to symbolize Mousavi's movement.

“Death to Russia”

Traditionally at Friday Prayer, people are encouraged to chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” but today, they defiantly shouted “Death to Russia”, in referring to opposition accusations that Russia has been involved in training repression forces of the regime.

In the following video, recorded from a short distance of the outdoor gathering, you can hear a male voice over the loudspeaker screaming “Death to America”, “Death to the hypocrites” and “Death to England”, while the crowd roars “Death to Russia!” in response EVERY time.

Saminejad refers [fa] to this incident, and says that new taboos were broken today.

Iraneema tweeted [fa] that protesters burned a Russian flag.

Security forces repressed green-clad protesters at the prayer by launching tear gas at them. After the prayer, protesters chanted “Allaho Akbar” (God is great) and “Down with the dictator”.

Here is a compilation of seven films from today's protest in Tehran:

Bittersweet victory

Iraneema tweeted [fa] that dozens were arrested by security forces today in Tehran.

Hadi Nili tweeted” (in response to @onlymehdi) “Police attacked the prayers! I think Iran is among very few governments who ever attacked to Prayers.”

POLICE attacked the prayers! I think Iran is among very few governments who ever attacked to Prayers!

ABC News correspondent Jim Sciutto tweeted that Rafsanjani's speech was not aired on Iranian state television.

Jomhour says Rafsanjani's speech was beyond expectations and criticized the way protesters were repressed… “Today was another victory for Iranian green movement,” he says.

Mollah Hassani writes [fa] that Rafsanjani was a little bit better than expected. “He did not praise Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, and did not say anything negative about the green movement.”

3 comments

  • didi

    Isn’t it high time to shout something else than DEATH to fill in … any country, person?

    Long live peace for exemple?

    God is not only remembered as Great, but also as the Compassionate, the Merciful One

    Russian involvement in training securtiy forces BUT : who has been trained to shout Death! even during prayers?

    Don’t be influenced by man made directions, don’t let yourself be used for man made gain

    Focusing on an outside enemy weakens the cohesion inside. Divide and rule, remember?

    Instead of focusing on enemies, focus on the Friend and act as a friend of Him

    • azmat mall, sialkoti

      Didi,
      Please don’t be confused if I may explain why. You should know by now that in Islam the word peace is a figure of speech. It doesn’t mean much because it is not taught as a doctrine of Koran or elebrated upon as instruction of faith. If it did Islam will be looking like another Christian denomination. On the other hand, “Death Chants” are a very much part of teachings of Koran, “kill in the name of Allah the most merciful. When you have teachings like this, Islam becomes opposite of peace. That is why Muslims have a very hard time negotiating peace with anyone even their own muslim brothers. Sectarianism voilence and hatred is a living proof of that. Islam is a religion of fundamentalism. There is no room for moderation. Beleive it or get your head cut off. Even when they pray they don’t forget to raise their holy death chants towards all the infadels, freinds or not. According to Islam, a good friend infadel is still the most hated enemy, not to be trusted. Furthermore, there is no existence of pluralism in Islam. I thought I better clear this point with you.

  • […] liike” kohdisti raivonsa perjantain rukouksissa Venäjää vastaan. Global Voices Online käänsi perjantaina Iranissa perjantaina kaikuneet rukoushuudot, jotka tallentuivat YouTube:n kautta […]

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