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Iran: A Blogger Who Prayed to See Protesters Beaten

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Iran, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Politics, Protest, Religion

Protests were held in Iran on February 14

After widespread protests in Iran on February 14, Iranian cyber-activists flooded the internet with videos [1], photos and tweets from the demonstrations. Meanwhile, a different interpretation of events exists. Iranian pro-government Islamist bloggers are also prolific when it comes to sharing their thoughts online.

One pro-government blogger Mehdi Fatemi Sedr wrote a detailed post [2] in Farsi about how he and others, including Basij militia [3], engaged in violence against protesters on February 14.

From Enghlab street, I moved to Azadi street and made my chain ready. I was sure that we would be engaged in a fight. In Azadi street, there was no sign of police, everyone was surprised. A protester chanted “Down with the dictator” and another said “Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, Iran, Tunisia and Egypt….” We can expect nothing from our soldiers, I prayed for God to send Basijis from the heavens, and it seems our prayers were answered.

According to this blogger, Valentine's Day [4](February 14) is an “international day of prostitution”. By choosing this shameful day to protest, the blogger says the opposition movement of “Green male and female hypocrites” has already lost face by demonstrating to everyone that they have no religion.

Ahestan, another active Islamist blogger, considers what is happening in Iran as mere turbulence and nothing like the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. The blogger writes [5] [fa]:

The main problem with the so-called “Green movement” is that they always try to clone the [Iranian] Islamic Revolution, or the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. Unfortunately it's not ordinary people but green movement leaders come to these conclusions alone, expecting the Iranian army to turn “Green” like the Egyptian army who joined the masses.

In another post, the same blogger made fun of the Greens and by writing [6] a fictional satirical story where the main Iranian opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi [7] has become the president and holds a press conference on February 14 telling all the reporters that all revolutions in the past, present and future have roots in Green movement's experience, but that they themselves based their movement on Egypt's experience.

The blogger also claims that some February 14 videos on YouTube are fake and that new audio was added to old films where protesters are wearing short sleeve shirts, which is unlikely attire for the middle of winter in Tehran. Ahestan also writes that some tweets falsely called the February 14 demonstration a million-strong protest.