14 December 2009

Iranian Photo Battles ~ Sin in Public

Anti-government and pro-reform Iranian students holding pictures
of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, as they cover
their faces to avoid to be identified by security, during a demonstration
saying the clip on burning of picture of Ayatollah Khomeini shown
by state TV was fabricated, at the Tehran University campus in
Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Dec. 13. Photograph © AP (via CSM).

The conflict over images continues on a second front. The Guardian [1] npr [2] and The New York Times [3] all report that the regime has accused members of the opposition of desecrating pictures of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. According to the npr report several activists have been arrested under this pretext. Lest liberals get overly enthusiastic about the Iranian opposition, it seems clear that they, like the regime, revere Khomeni and condemn desecration of his photograph. (I, for one, tend to get deeply worried whenever the language of "sin" is injected into politics.) There is considerable suspicion in opposition circles that the government is fabricating the entire matter. And whether this is a strategic maneuver or not, the opposition pressed the regime to issue them a permit to protest against such "desecration."

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