Foreign Policy Blogs

Iran's Day of Solidarity?

You cannot imagine a stronger mix of religion and politics than the news out of Iran today. According to the LA Times, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been prevented from leading the Friday Prayers in Tehran on the occasion of Quds Day. The alleged reformist leaders are being warned to avoid protesting tomorrow, and apparently Rafsanjani’s sermon may well lead to more demonstrations. It is always remarkable to watch when the power of government steps in and prevents religious speeches. Of course, Quds Day is really more of a political statement in support of the Palestinians and a demonstration against Israel’s policies. Nonetheless, it is religion that suffers if sermons are restricted – particularly at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Finally, the LA Times breaks down the rest of the week’s incredibly important news about Iran:

A Sunni cleric loyal to Ahmadinejad was shot dead early Sunday morning in the city of Sanandaj, in western Iran, where he led Friday prayers. A prosecutor in Sanandaj was shot in the neck this morning in an apparent assassination attempt, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Another prosecutor in the mostly Kurdish city escaped an assassination attempt a week ago.



Karin Esposito

Karin Esposito is blogging on religion and politics from her base in Central Asia. Currently, she is the Project Manager for the Tajikistan Dialogue Project in Dushanbe. The Project is run through the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies with the support of PDIV of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the project is to establish practical mechanisms for co-existence and peaceful conflict resolution between Islamic and secular representatives in Tajikistan. After receiving a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law in 2007, she worked in Tajikistan for the Bureau of Human Rights and later as a Visting Professor of Politics and Law at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research (KIMEP). Ms. Esposito also holds a Master's in Contemporary Iranian Politics (2007) from the School of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran and a Master's in International Relations (2003) from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (GIIDS) in Switzerland.

Areas of Focus:
Islam; Christianity; Secularism;


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