Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Publish date: November 27 • Printable version    

Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Amoli resigns his position

Ayatikkah Javadi Amoli

Iran’s recent turmoil over the elections has broken the lines of support in the Islamic Republic establishment and while the state has cracked down heavily on protesters, it has moved more cautiously where protests have come from voices too close to home.

The ranks of the countries top clerics have become heavily polarized in the recent protests. Ayatollah Javadi Amoli resigned from his position as the Imam of Qom’s Friday Prayers giving his last sermon today.

Friday prayers in Iran are powerful platforms for delivering political and social messages across the country. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been effectively barred from leading Tehran’s Friday Prayers after he used the opportunity to express support for election protesters in July.

Ayatollah Amoli took his leave from his supporters and prayer followers saying; “When the Friday Imam articulates the problems that people face and those problems are resolved, it is evidence that he has expressed them well. But if the problems are not resolved that means he was not successful.”

Ayatollah Amoli also avoided the Friday prayers several times this summer in the height of protests to the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ayatollah Ostadi another Qom Friday prayer leader condemned extremism in support of the Supreme Leader. To protest such actions, he stopped his sermons and teaching for a long interval. At first Qom authorities claimed his absence was due to health complications, but once Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s aide attacked the senior cleric, a group of 19 other top members of Qom seminary issued an open letter in support of their colleague.

Ayatollah Ostadi has said in his sermons that: “Our system moves with the support of the people and we must not engage in activities that make our people lose their trust in the system.”

In the tense political atmosphere of Iran, the slightest hint of support for people’s protests against the government is picked up on and suppressed by the authorities.

Ayatollah Emami Kashani

Today Tehran’s Friday Prayers Imam, Ayatollah Emami Kashani revealed the Islamic Republic’s concern with the accusations against people within their own ranks. Like the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei who expressed support for Ayatollah Rafsanjani on his Wednesday speech, Ayatollah Kashani spoke out against making baseless accusations against prominent figures of the establishment.

In recent months, a number of pro-Ahmadinejad political figures have made various accusations against the Chairman of the Expediency Council, Ayatollah Rasanjani and his family. While Ayatollah Rafsanjani first came out in support of election protesters, since then he has taken a more cautious approach in his public statements assuming a more conciliatory tone with the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei has responded in turn to Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s toning down with sporadic statements of support.

Several Iranian Shiite clerics have spoken out against the extreme violence exercised against protesters, and others, have even gone as far as question the suitability of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, who approved the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad despite widespread allegations of fraud in the elections.

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