15th September marks United Nations International Day of Democracy. Sadly, we are living through an age of peak hypocrisy in the name of democracy. Any country in the world, not just America, which prides itself on its democratic principles could hold up a mirror and discover dark, unsavoury activities concerning voter suppression, lobbying by the wealthy, misdirection and unaccountability of politicians and bias in the media.
But, even a superficial observation of the known flaws in these democracies renders the MEK response to this day super ridiculous. The MEK, which ironically introduces itself as the ‘Viable Democratic Alternative’ in its English language sites, used this day to claim in Farsi that Iran is not democratic. In spite of holding a presidential election in June, Iran doesn’t describe itself as a ‘democracy’, so there may be something in this. But then, let’s see what MEK democracy looks like.
In its 57-year existence, the MEK has never held an election among its members to choose its leaders or its policies. Massoud Rajavi destroyed all sense of normal opposition structure when he announced his sole leadership in 1985 and then converted the group into a mind control personality cult. Later, in a session with one candidate and open ‘voting’ resulting in 100% agreement, he appointed his wife, Maryam Rajavi as ‘president of the future Iran’ – a position she will hold “for life”. Not very democratic then.
Every time that Iran holds elections for president or parliament, the MEK call for a boycott. According to the MEK, people should not use the vote they do have to express their preference even among the limited range of candidates. Every year, the MEK anticipate mass uprisings against this limited democracy. It never happens. Every year, the MEK incite violence and insurrection against the country’s leaders. Apparently, the public prefer to vote rather than take part in performative violence.
This year was particularly revealing about the MEK’s sense of democracy. In the west, where they actually have a presence, they physically attacked Iranians who visited polling stations in Iran’s embassies and consulates and other stations. They threw paint, threw punches and jeered and harassed ordinary voters as they went to exercise their democratic rights.
The MEK version of democracy is that nobody is allowed to vote for a person or party that is not of its choosing. But, even then, the MEK itself does not hold internal elections. So, that’s it. No votes, no democracy. Just hypocrisy.