Maintaining a Free Ashraf
by Professor Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker
International Analyst Newwork.com, American Chronicle.com, 27 December 2008.
The following text was delivered as a speech on the 104th day of the vigil being held for Camp Ashraf, and was delivered at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, DC, on December 24, 2008:
It is Christmas Eve today—a time when most of the civilized world pauses to commemorate the birth of the one that the Christian world terms “the Prince of Peace”. Most of the world stops and marks this time with family gatherings and a general attitude of toleration and hospitality. It is a time when strangers tend to be kinder, more gentle, and nicer to each other.
However, it appears that the government of Iraq—led by Prime Minister Dr. Nouri Kamal al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani—doesn’t understand the sentiments of this season. Influenced by the radical fascist regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its anti-democratic, misogynist mullahs, al-Maliki’s national security advisor, Dr. Mowaffak al-Rubaie, earlier this week visited Camp Ashraf—the home of 3,800 members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq—the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, as it has been for over two decades, to announce that the members of the PMOI very soon are to be expelled from Iraq without recourse to prolong their stay in Iraq.
It seems that history repeats itself; al-Maliki’s government is repeating the Christmas story. If there is a Maryam and Yusef among the members of the PMOI—Iraq is saying to them and their compatriots: “There is no room at the inn. In fact, there isn’t even any room in the manger!” Once more, the princes and princesses of peace—and those of us familiar with the tenets and beliefs of the PMOI know how apt this comparison really is—once more they are being assigned the role of sacrificial lambs. If President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have their way, Iraq will receive blood-money—out and out bribery from Iran’s supreme leader, the faqih, Ayatollah—or I should say Aya-Shaytan—Ali Khamenei and his puppet-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Two thousand years ago, no one stood with Jesus of Nazareth to protect him from a Roman sentence of capital punishment on the cross. We, however, are gathered here before the White House to stand with our brave brothers and sisters in Ashraf. We are here to call the world to focus on a potential travesty of justice. We are here to call the Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration to honor the commitments made to the PMOI when it signed a disarmament agreement with the United States government in May 2003. We are here to remind the American people that—despite the eleven year American political fantasy that labeled the PMOI as a State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization—despite that fantasy—every single member of the PMOI in Ashraf passed an extensive 16-month investigation by seven American government security agencies, including D.N.A. samplings—and everyone was cleared of any involvement in any terrorist activities whatsoever. We are here to remind the White House and the State Department that in November 2004 every member of Ashraf’s population received “Protected Persons” status under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which thus guarantees them the right of non-refoulement—that means they are not be expelled against their will from their homes in Ashraf.
This past summer, Dr. Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, stated that the residents of Ashraf qualify under International Humanitarian Law for protection against refoulement. So, too, several months ago, United Nations Secretary General Dr. Ban Ki-Moon reiterated the report of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugee Affairs Antonio Gutierrez that stated that the residents of Ashraf are to be guaranteed full protection from “any action that could endanger the life or security of these individuals, such as their forcible deportation from Iraq or their forced displacement in Iraq.”
We are gathered here today to remind Congress and the American people that it is the PMOI—the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and its umbrella organization, the N.C.R.I.—the National Council of Resistance of Iran—Iran’s democratic parliament in exile—that has supplied the world with much of the intelligence on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. It is the PMOI which has led the longest and most popular opposition and resistance the theological tyranny of the Aya-shaytans Khomeini and Khamenei. It is the PMOI which has suffered more casualties at the hands of the Pasdaran—the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps—than any other group within Iranian society—120,000 fatalities in the course of under three decades. And it is the PMOI that the mullahs of Tehran fear the most as the PMOI represents the polar opposite of these medieval mullahs. The mullahs want to establish a Shiite caliphate and Iranian domination of the Middle East, while the PMOI wants to lead Iran to form a secular democracy at peace with its neighbors and the world.
Madeline Albright, Jack Straw, Jacques Chirac, Collin Powell, Jacqui Smith, Gordon Brown, Condoleezza Rice, and Javier Solana all have been fooled by the diplomatic envoys of the Islamic Republic of Iran into believing that the current Iranian government is willing to act responsibly and aid the West in the “War on Terror”. Washington, London, and Brussels: WAKE UP! The ayashaytans of Tehran are the god-fathers of terror. From Lebanon to Iraq, from Afghanistan to Darfur, from Eritrea to Kurdistan, from Gaza to Bosnia, from Nigeria to Venezuela, Columbia, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, it is Iran’s Sepah-e Qods—the IRGC Qods Force—which organizes, trains, supplies and pays its terrorist proxies such as Hizballah, Hamas and FARC, to carry out its wicked agenda. The sooner that the world comes to recognize that over 60% of world-wide terror has Iranian—that is, Islamic Republic if Iran—fingerprints, the sooner it will realize that it is time to aid the Iranian people to depose the mullah regime once and for all.
The high court of the U.K. this past May, and the E.U. Court of First Instance this past week removed their respective blinders and withdrew the misplaced “terrorist” label from the PMOI. President Bush and President-elect Obama: Please do the world a favor and do the same thing on this side of he Atlantic. Eleven years of kissing Ali Khamenei’s backside has given the world a bad case of herpes! And if one waits much longer, it will give the world a very bad case of radiation poisoning!
I haven’t elaborated on the nuclear dangers emanating from Iran, or on Iran’s abysmal record of human rights violations. Suffice it to say that Khamenei’s Iran is the antithesis of everything that we stand for in this country. And, since the PMOI is the antithesis of the Islamo-fascist Tehran regime, it is not only simple logic, but also fact that the PMOI and this nation share common core values. That indeed being the case, let’s stop fighting our friends and aiding our enemies. Take the PMOI and the NCRI off of the terror list, and finally show the Tehran mullahs that their shell game is over.
Let me quickly mention that it is the PMOI that has been responsible for bringing Iraqis of different backgrounds together to form an anti-fundamentalist coalition. Since 2004, Ashraf has been the center of reconciliation between Iraq’s non-fundamentalist Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish populations. It is in Ashraf that the Solidarity Congress of the Iraqi Peoples–led by former Diyala Province governor Dr. Abdullah Rashid al-Jabouri—was organized and gathered 5.2 million anti-fundamentalist supporters—nearly one half of the Iraqi electorate—organized to oppose Iran’s interference in the politics and internal affairs of Iraq. No wonder the Iranian-backed al-Maliki government wants the PMOI out of Iraq!
And now I turn to address the Government of Iraq, as led by Prime Minister Dr. Nouri Kamal al-Maliki:
Mr. Prime Minister: we are watching you—your treatment of the residents of Ashraf and the maintenance of their Human Rights as guaranteed under the Fourth Geneva Convention and International Humanitarian Law is a test of your commitment to the ideals of a united, democratic Iraq, as well as to the maintenance of the international standard of Human Rights and civil society. Your treatment of Ashraf’s residents will determine the world’s view of the nature of your society. Have you built a just Iraqi nation, or are you simply an Arab puppet of the Tehran mullahs—a Mafia-like government dressed in galabia and kaffiyeh? Does Nouri al-Maliki believe in a free Iraq, or is he helping Tehran to turn Iraq into a clone of Iran? Remember, Mr. Prime Minister: we and the world are watching!
Now I sound the ancient Shofar—our common ancestor Ibrahim’s ram’s horn—to call the wind of freedom to blow away the Ahiram-dark clouds of intolerance from Iran and Iraq, and to cause the light of freedom to shine upon all in Iraq and Iran—to shine forth from Ashraf! Nur azadi mi-ayad—the light of freedom is coming; nur azadi mi-ayad—the light of freedom is coming!
Azadi emruz, azadi emruz, azadi emruz. Khoda hafez, azadi emruz!—Freedom now, freedom now, freedom now. Great God Almighty, freedom now!
Moteshe keram, mercí, thank you.