Infighting Among Allah's Soldiers in Iran
18 Oct, 2006
- It is the nature of the beast. The Shiite sect of Islam, as is the case with all other Islamic offshoots, is a conglomerate of many feuding factions. Even before the last spade of dirt covered Muhammad’s grave, jockeying for power began in earnest among his chief disciples. Muhammad’s son-in-law cousin Ali felt that as the boss’s kin he should take over the family business. Other more powerful and cunning contenders elbowed Ali out of the way and Ali got to run the business after three others in succession held the office. Ali’s turn was very short, since some of the believers who had been angry at him for allowing himself to be kicked around by the ones who preceded him—the usurpers of the mantle of Islam, as they saw it—daggered the man to death while he was on his way to pray at a mosque.
So, the rest is history. Feuding, infighting and blood-letting are the standard operating procedure in the religion of peace that aims to do whatever it can to snare the world into its fold.
Historical precedence aside, the present Shiite Iran is home to over 300,000 Mullahs. The most descriptive term for Mullah is parasite. A Mullah begins his career as a parasite, lives as a parasite and dies as a parasite, simply because he contributes absolutely nothing to the necessities of life, yet gobbles disproportionately more of whatever resources he can grab.
As a true parasite, a Mullah’s very survival depends on others. It is critical for a Mullah to procure and maintain docile obedient host. A flock of gullible ignorant fanatics make excellent host and the Mullahs’ main task is to keep the sheep in their pen by hook or crook. They scare the flock by horror stories of hell and entice them by the promise of unimaginable glorious paradise if and only if they behave and keep on supplying them with milk, wool and meat.
So, the infighting is all about survival. One bunch is having it all while another is sidelined. We must understand that there has never been one united house of the Mullahs. Mullahs are like packs of wolves. Each pack hunts and eats its prey. Packs of wolves fight one another for valued prey, particularly in the face of scarcity.
The coffer of the Islamic Republic of Iran is flush with the extortion-high oil revenues. A reasonable question is: why don’t the Mullahs simply share the wealth and attend to the business of fighting the external enemy? When it comes to money, enough is never enough. “There is enough to meet everyone’s need, but not enough to meet everyone’s greed,” observed Gandhi. And greed is in the very bones of the Mullahs, since it is the only way that parasite know how to live.
The present Mullahcracy is in the form of a pyramid. The Mullahs in the game at the top have skimmed and continue to skim inordinate amounts of the national income. Mullah Akbar Rafsanjani, a past president of the Islamic Republic, and his family, for instance, have reportedly stolen enough to give the Wal-Mart’s Waltons a run for their money. And there are hundreds of lesser Mullahs, like Rafsanjani, who are pocketing huge sums.
The ruling Mullahs—the in-boys—are master practitioners of the trickle down economics. Except that by the time they are through with pocketing some of the national income and paying off their supporters, there is little left for the out-boys—the sidelined Mullahs.
The in-boys Mullahs must pay for the loyalty of the military, the police, and the thugs to keep them in power. Furthermore, in contrast to their mastery of machination, treachery, and cruelty, they are inept at managing the affairs of the state.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a unique creature—it is best described as Theocratic Patronocracy. The “divinely-ordained” rulers maintain themselves in power by an elaborate system of patronage. Lucrative positions, contracts and valued privileges are distributed by patronage. The result is that the ruling Mullahs enjoy a significant number of supporters in all strata of society—the civil service, the military, the powerful Revolutionary Guards, and the hooligans and thugs who are ready to unleash their vicious attacks on anyone or group that dares to challenge the in-charge men of Allah.
Another seeming anomaly is that proportionately there are more Mullahs in prison in Iran than any other class of the society, including university students who have always been political “troublemakers.” The reason is that these are the out-boys Mullahs—the parasites that are deprived of the dole—their very means of livelihood. Their mosques are often shut down, their flocks are harassed by the system’s agents and their sources of income are dried. And as we said, it is the nature of the beast, for parasite can only live from the products of others.
The out-boys Mullahs hate the in-boys Mullahs not only for looting Iran’s oil money, but also for badly impoverishing the masses who had traditionally fed and pampered them. The per capita income in present Iran is about two-thirds of what it was before the catastrophic Islamic take over of 1979. The flock of ignorant fanatic fools, the Mullahs traditional source of sustenance, can barely feed itself and has very little to spare for the leeching Mullahs.
Another point that needs clarification is the myth widely circulated by the mainstream media and the ivory tower pundits: the claim that there is a major division among Shiites regarding the relationship of the mosque and the state. Let this myth be dispelled once and for all.
There is absolutely no such a division among the Shiites. The perceived difference is in fact a strategic one. One camp, led by the late ayatollah Khomeini, believes that it is admissible for the Mullahs to rule the state directly, as is the case in the present Iran. The other camp believes that the Mullahs should only supervise the civilian government. In other words, one group wants to be the king, while the other wants to be the king-maker. The difference is academic. As a matter of fact the latter camp led by the grand ayatollah Al-Sistani of Iraq can have its cake and eat it too, so to speak. It can have all the say and power it desires by proxy and, at the same time, absolve itself of any responsibility for governmental wrongdoing or failure.
In conclusion, there is nothing new in Islamdom. Feuding, infighting and killing are longstanding practices of the religion of peace. If and when the non-Islamic world solves its myriad problems ranging from dealing with a pompous lunatic playboy with nuclear weapons to that of endemic hunger, disease and environmental degradation, it can embrace Islam to avoid the boredom of peace. “Peace is boring, war is exciting,” is an old saying. And Islam has never been boring.
Amil Imani is an Iranian born, pro-democracy activist who resides in the United States of America. He is a poet, writer, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. Amil Imani's Home Page: www.amilimani.com.