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Maryam Rajavi, ludicrous testimony in a “historic hearing”

Appearance of the self-claimed president of National Council of Resistance, Maryam Rajavi in a hearing in US Congress indicates the absurdity of the claim of fighting against terrorism. Although the credibility of this so called leader is questionable getting support among some US congressmen for her presence in the congress is interesting and creates doubts in everybody’s mind.

The support is basically due to multi—million dollar lobbying campaign over years which includes paying good money for speaking and providing first class flights plus fancy hotel for those congressmen who support this terrorist organization.  These are the true motivation behind supporting this cult like group.

The hearing was hosted by Congressman Ted Poe, chairman of the congressional subcommittee on the threats posed by ISIS. Why did Poe and the Republican majority on the terrorism subcommittee decide to invite Maryam Rajavi while main victims of ISIS terror acts are mostly among Iraqi Yazidis.  However, no one of the Yazidi community was invited to the hearing!  The reason is crystal clear since we know that Yazidis do not have such financial resources to attract any congressman.

“Poe received $17,900 in campaign contributions from supporters of the MEK between 2009 and 2014, according to an analysis I conducted of campaign finance data,” Eli Clifton writes. ”Surprisingly, nearly half—or $8,600—of the total flowed into his campaign while the group was still on the State Department’s terrorism list between 2009 and its delisting in 2012.”

Clifton adds,” In 2013 and 2014, the group also paid for $19,671 in travel expenses (including business-class plane fare) for Poe’s travel to MEK events in France.”

Indeed, it is so unusual to have Maryam Rajavi to testify in a hearing about ISIS.  It is as if bringing Stalin to testify about Fascism, or asking Hitler to testify about Nazism. It seems money is everything in the US Politic. “Money talks” is an appropriate phrase here. 

Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman for Poe, told Joshua Keating by email that Rajavi has a “long history of speaking against what she calls ‘Islamic fundamentalism,’” and “can speak to how ISIS’ ideology is both similar to and different from the mullahs leading Iran.” Asked if there were any concerns given the MEK’s history, Hynes replied, “the administration does not consider them a terrorist group and neither do we.”

Hynes might be right to say that Rajavi has a “long history of speaking against what she calls ‘Islamic fundamentalism,’” but he should notice that “actions speak louder than words”.  In other words, this does not mean that she herself is a moderate Muslim or she is pro-democracy.  As it has manifested in her cruel treatment of its own members.

As Sean Nevins of Mint Press News asserts, “the MEK is a kind of cult, according to the FBI, Human Rights Watch, the Rand Corporation, and just about every other organization which has investigated the group.” He correctly writes that the MKO is “precisely the kind of organization that should not testify about Islamic extremism.”

Jeremiah Goulka, author of “The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum,” a report published by the Rand Corporation in 2009, told MintPress, “At the MEK camps, there’s a whole set of practices that are all textbook out of cult theory – sleep deprivation, make-work projects… forced celibacy, forced divorce, [and] gender segregation.”

Nevins also interviews Masoud Banisadr, a former member of the MKO, who had served as the group’s representative to the United Nations and the U.S. Banisadr confirmed that forced divorces were common in the group. Banisadr told MintPress: “All members were forced to divorce their spouses, and later they have to send their children abroad to Europe and United States to be adopted by supporters and other members.”

This is Eli Clifton’s description of the MKO: “The group has long faced criticism from Iran specialists and rights groups such as Human Rights Watch that it has devolved into a cult based on devotion to Maryam and her long-missing husband, Massoud Rajavi. According to numerous accounts, the group exerts a high degree of control over its followers, going so far as to mandate divorces and celibacy for their soldiers.”

According to the report by Julian Pecquet  the congressional correspondent at Al Monitor, “Other lawmakers, including ranking member William Keating, D-Mass., ignored Rajavi and directed their questions only at the other witnesses. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., who also isn’t a committee member, was the only one to challenge her to explain why the United States should put its trust in a group that was kicked out of Iran in the early 1980s and fought alongside Saddam Hussein against Tehran.

"Over the past 30 years, the United States has been drawn into some serious diplomatic and military dead-ends in the Mideast by mistakenly backing individuals and organizations claiming popular support, which turned out to be exaggerated and somewhat manufactured," Davis told Rajavi. "Would you please tell us about the role of the [MEK] … and its place in the current Iranian political life?"

Rajavi’s reasoning in responding to Davis just included the same old fallacy that “regime’s "fear" of the group and its efforts at "demonizing" was a strong indication of the MEK’s "strength." However, her claim has been numerously rejected by international investigated report that clearly acknowledge that MKO has hardly any support among Iranians. 

By the way, could the event organizers really define the enemy and the threat of ISIS by listening to the MKO cult leader? In conclusion, what can be achieved by listening to the MKO’S cult leader? Can the threat of ISIS be eliminated?

Mazda Parsi

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