Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Basiji’s Protest across Dutch Embassy

Protests against Movie “Fitnah” in Tehran ‎

‎The gathering in front of the Dutch embassy in Tehran that was supposed to convey ‎protests to the Dutch film Fitnah turned up a mere 70 Basiji para-military personnel, ‎while the pro and semi government media gave it its full coverage. ‎

On Saturday prior to this, Salam Hamvatan daily appeared on newspaper kiosks in the ‎morning with this headline: Students from Tehran University Will Gather at 3pm on ‎Saturday in Front of the Dutch embassy in Tehran to Protest the Anti-Islamic Movie ‎made by the Right-wing Dutch Parliamentarian. But on Saturday morning there was no ‎sign of any Tehran University student presence across the Dutch embassy. There were ‎merely a few more diplomatic security police in the area. Around 12 noon, anti-riot ‎police and law-enforcement officers took up positions around the embassy and about 2 ‎hours later, protester began to show up. They carried banners indicating that they were ‎Basiji students, Daftar-e Tahkim Vahdat (Shiraz branch) students, the Association of ‎Independent Islamic Societies (Etehadie Anjomanhaye Islami Mostaghele Daneshgaha), ‎the Association of Islamic Society Students (Etehadie Jame Islami Daneshjuyan), and ‎Jonbeshe Edalatkhah Daneshjuyi students. They were all Basiji students with their usual ‎ways. The gathering finally began after a 30 minute delay at three thirty pm. The ‎protestors carried written notes that were their slogans some of which read like this: ‎‎“The Light of Islam Would Not Remain Behind Clouds, (while) the Western World Shall ‎Remain Forever; The Love for Mohammad is Boiling, (while) the Heart of Europe is ‎Stunned; This is Our Request: Expel the Dutch Ambassador; Islam Shall Conquer the ‎Key Trenches of the World; The Zionist Ambassador Must be Expelled.”‎

Some of the protesters carried placards that had nothing to do with the movie and a ‎reporter quipped that they must have brought the sing by mistake. “Death to the Hired ‎Pen”. Among the protestors there were also some women fully covered in the official ‎Islamic attire who carried a placard with ayatollah Khomeini’s words: If not observing ‎the Islamic Hijab is a sign of modernity, then animals are the most modern.”‎

Towards the end of the gathering, the protestors requested that the Iranian president ‎provide the means for the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador from Tehran. Shahbazi, a ‎protestor from Tehran University Basij said, “To confront Holland, we shall first strike at ‎the Dutch business companies in Iran. We wish to expel the Zionist Shell oil company ‎from Iran, otherwise Iranian youth will have to experience what Nigerian youth went ‎through. Phillips is another Dutch company in Iran. We request from the security and ‎intelligence agencies to deal with these companies and request from the government to ‎make its decision over the fate of Shell and Phillips, whose connections to Zionism are ‎well known, while also deciding on the remaining business companies.”‎

Of significance is the explosion of sound bombs which interrupted the speakers at the ‎rally. Some of the participants threw eggs at the building of the Dutch embassy, while ‎chanting “Death to Israel”, and “Death to the US”. Law enforcement officers present at ‎the scene intervened to protest this behavior.‎

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