Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ali Karimi, a mere excuse for opposition to the system

The latest episode of Ali Kairmi, Iran’s famous football player’s expulsion from his club, Steel Azin F.C., on the pretext of “breaking his fast in public” (Roozeh Khari) shines light on another shameful and dirty facet of the Islamic republic and that is the impunity with which people are accused in the country by anyone who wields some power or is related to any of the power structures.

Karimi criticized his club manager, M. Ajorloo, an IRGC elite commander, in relation to some shortcomings at the club, which was met with the order of expulsion. But Steel Azin, being owned and led by IRGC (explains the absurd amount of money flashed around by their officials) did not stop there and true to the nature of the Islamic regime, had to put their fundamentalist stamp on the affair by stating the breaking of his fast in public as the reason for the expulsion.

Apparently, this regime is hell-bent on proving they are incapable of learning from experience. Within hours of the news appearing in the media there was a whirlwind of internet activity, with fans as well as regular people from all over the world objected to the news and pledged their support to the star player. And the more media outlets like Fars news or IRGC’s Javan news, with even the state-run television chipping in, tried to paint an impious and agnostic picture of the player, the more support poured in. Although Karimi did provide a precedent for this attack by the state-run media as he was among some of the national team players who wore a green wrist band during last year’s World Cup qualifiers which coincided with the presidential elections and its subsequent events.

Another miscalculation

Here was the full force of regime propaganda apparatus at work and yet they were oblivious to the depth of people’s opposition to all things related to the regime. They still have not grasped the fact that people look for and will support any and all acts of defiance. It may not be the individual(s) who do the act, but the ‘idea’ of defiance and standing up to the regime is what finds purchase with the people.

This may have escaped many observers, but is a smaller example of the absolute arrogance of the regime that feels they are not to be held accountable for any of their acts and that they can use Islam and religious sentiments to accuse and indict anyone with impunity. Recent Jannati’s unfounded accusation of the leaders of the green movement receiving a billion dollars from the United States for overthrow of the regime without an iota of evidence is another example of this trait in a larger scale.

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