Sahar Family Foundation: We continue with the question, in all aspects of the discussed suicide operations, what were the ideological foundations and historical backgrounds that theorized and justified application of such operations? Were there any reliable historical facts to refer to or Rajavi relied only on his own inferences to justify such deeds? As Rajavi usually theorizes anything before putting it into action, it has to be necessarily true in this case as well. I believe these are key issues, hardly discussed in detail, to help develop a better understanding of such reprehensibly ideological mannerism. So I think you can better disclose untold aspects since you have been so close to the nucleus of decision makings.
Batool Soltani: Naturally, as they stated, anything was founded on and done according to a series of presented justifications. That is to say, any resolution had to be justifiably fitted in an ideological apparatus to be practically conceivable. I myself believe that we cannot possibly develop an understanding of the mechanisms that are products of an egocentric will, and in many cases self-instigated, unless we can well analyze fundamental principles. Concerning your question, I will give some details of what I have observed in the different levels and in the level of the Leadership Council in particular.
Regardless of many subjects already discussed, once in 2002 we had a long discourse on the subject you broached. I have to point out that there was a especial book of the Leadership Council wherein you could find the questions, duties and responsibilities of the members of the Leadership Council. Particularly, an article exclusively concerned the subject. Of course, the book was only circulating among the members of the Leadership Council and none of the lower ranks were permitted to touch it. It was exclusively edited for the members of the Leadership Council and would be also referred to as “the Book of Guidance”. The book contained extended degrees of responsibilities as well as the limitations and whatever was considered to be an act of sin. In one of the meetings of the Leadership Council it was enthusiastically debated about the mentioned subject and the historical backgrounds of the suicide operation. In his speech Rajavi underlined that the act of suicide in itself was a big sin and homicide in Islamic teachings. He would say if according to Quran suicide was known to be a big sin then, why we were stressing on suicide and related operations as a working approach. Of course, it was before the widespread self-immolations of June 17.
He would continue focusing on the point that while it was a big sin then, why we took advantage of it for organizational interests and to defend Ashraf. In answer to his own raised question some stood to justify that the suicides were ideologically rooted and done for organizational and revolutionary interests that eventually benefitted masses. He taunted them all about whatever they thought to be serious remarks. He explained that it was all beyond our understanding since we lacked the sound political-ideological capacity needed to reach the accurate answer. The rationalized answer to his own posed question was that in all the wars and battles to which the prophets and imams dispatched their disciples to and also the armed struggle the organization was engaged in some people were inevitably killed. Then, was there any difference between the former warriors called martyrs and the latter combatants killed in the course of suicide operations? Both of the groups he explained to be of help to their leaders to carry out their responsibilities to affect their societies and the revolution they led. He meant that there was no difference between the two groups since both were killed in a battlefront to which they had been dispatched by the order of leaders who intended to accomplish the same cause.
Giving further explanations, he focused on Ahmed Rezai’s suicide act as a sacred feat beyond any regular suicide operation saying his act was sacred and distinguished because he, as the suicide-man, had reached a point where he had detached from his own self and had attached himself to a source without. Any act in any form, being suicide, self-immolation or else, done when the suicide detaches himself from his within and relies on a pivot without not only distances himself from any territory of sin but also transcends himself to a status even above the martyrs. He would interpret that the Quran regards suicide an act of sin because the perpetrator does it in the sphere of observing only his own self and as a result of failing to satiate his own personal will and whim. Then, it would be considered no sin if committed far from selfish tendencies and for a sacred causes to achieve some social and historical ends.
The Quran condemns suicide when motivated by individual urges and the suicide sees no obligation to follow the orders of a leader who intends to alleviate social problems and solve social controversies. It is no more a sin as it relies on and is guided by a pivotal element without who controls deflection when attached to. In fact, Rajavi was commenting on the application of one of the articles of his forced ideological revolution referred to as article F, Fardiyat (individual). The article in particular asserts the relation between the individuals and the leader meaning that it is the leader who legitimizes anything said or done by the individuals. He is the pivot on whom the individuals have to relay and attach themselves for interpretation of anything that happens to be practical and the criterion to assess the accuracy and soundness of thoughts.
SFF: What did Rajavi actually mean, attachment to leadership or ideology? Since it is the ideology, however, that crystallizes the values than the leader whose main role is to interpret and foster them. What did he really mean?
BS: He exactly intended attachment to leadership himself. There were controversies at the beginning on the ideological aspect and some would say that suicide draw its legitimacy from the ideology while Rajavi had a different opinion stressing on the leader as the matrix to which the individual had to secure a liaison. Although it may generally be considered the very same ideology, Rajavi believes that it is the leader who is the spirit without whom anything lacks legitimacy. It is main cause of his strife with the Islamic Republic regime. Attachment to ideology in his opinion is a general perception that actualizes by attaching to the leadership. Then, the matrix one attaches himself to far from his own self is the leader rather than the ideology since from the very beginning the leader has crystallized the ideology itself. As a matter of fact, both are regarded identical with the priority of the former over the latter to justify suicide tantamount to a de facto recognition of a sacred act wherever and whenever the leader wills. Looking it from the angle of Rajavi’s interpretation, the leader is the criterion and the grounds to judge what is lawful, permissible, prohibited and ideologically acceptable. That is where one’s suicide turns to be a big and unforgivable sin if it is unauthorized by the leader regardless of him being directly or indirectly attached.
SFF: What do you mean by directly or indirectly?
BS: By directly I mean a reaction against any direct attempt on the leader’s life when an individual risks his life to save the leader. Any reaction to protect the interests of the leader anywhere on the earth by risking one’s life is an indication of indirect attachment, a responsibility the individuals claim to defend the leadership, his security and interests. In both cases, whether the leader is exposed to direct attempts of assassination or indirect character assassination, one has to protect and defend the leadership and sacrifice himself. To actualize his justifications, he did not even shrink from identifying himself with the prophets and imams. He would say the one who sacrificed himself to protect the Prophet against the harms of the adversaries was identical with the same faithful follower who committed suicide or self-immolation away in the distance to defend his status and interests. Again the criterion was the leadership and his unlimited protection directly or indirectly.
I believe that Rajavi intended to completely remove the doubts formed in the minds of the members of the Leadership Council that suicide was in no way an act of sin and even sacred and glorified if it was committed under the command of the leadership in any form. The suicide who sacrificed himself for the cause of the leadership and his interests anywhere in the world would be rewarded far beyond that of a martyr who had been killed under the command of the Prophet or the leader of the organization.
SFF: At the first look, it seems that the priority is first to guarantee maintenance of the leadership’s interests and then survival of the organization. Can it be the basis for all justifications?
BS: Of course, in one aspect that is to guarantee the interests of both leadership and the organization. But there is one important point to notice, that is, the two are intermingled and inseparable with the priority of the former. The organizational interests can never be discussed separately unless accredited to the leader just as it is with the ideology that draws its legitimacy from the leadership.
To be continued
Translated by Mojahedin.ws