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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Break the Body, Break the Body Politic

Hashem Aghajari [is] an old revolutionary-turned-reformist intellectual who became famous when he was sentenced to execution, in 2003, for saying that Muslims were not monkeys who should follow a Supreme Leader. (“We have a saying in Farsi,” Aghajari told me in 2005, the day Ahmadenijad’s Presidential-election victory was announced. “‘There is no shade darker than black.’ The worst they can do is execute me. I have prepared myself for that. If I am worried, it is not for myself. It’s for the Iranian people, for young people, today’s generation and future generations. My freedom and my life, and those of one or two people like me, don’t matter.”) Student demonstrators succeeded, back in 2003, in pressuring the judiciary to commute his sentence to two years in prison. Did I know, my friend asked, that Aghajari had lost a leg in the Iran-Iraq war? There he was, among the protesters at Azadi Square on Monday, holding his wooden leg under one arm.

link: Laura Secor: Optimism and Anger in Tehran: News Desk: Online Only: The New Yorker


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