MEK: Harbinger of hope for a democratic future in Iran
Fifty- four years ago, the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), was founded by Mohammad Hanifnejad and two other young intellectuals, Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan. The three wanted to establish a Muslim, progressive, patriotic, and democratic organization. They were determined to pave the way for a democratic government to replace the Shah’s regime.
.@Maryam_Rajavi: By founding the #PMOI/#MEK three great men of Iran’s contemporary history –Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen & Ali Asghar Badizadegan–did away with everything that was regressive, out-of-date and oppressive & replaced them with the progressive ideas.#Iran pic.twitter.com/5O5oljhged
— Iran Freedom (@4FreedominIran) September 6, 2018
In the first six years, the MEK succeeded, for the first time, to introduce a new, systematic and comprehensive vision of Islam that was entirely independent of what was espoused and advocated by the fundamentalist mullahs who considered the interpretation of Islam their exclusive domain.
The 1950s and 1960s in Iran were marked by repression against dissidents. After the 1953 coup against the popular Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq, the Shah, and his notorious secret police, the SAVAK, suppressed all political opponents and forced many others into silence.
Under these circumstances, MEK (also referred to as Mujahedin-e Khalq) was founded on September 6, 1965, and eventually became the most enduring Iranian opposition movement.
In a series of raids in August and September 1971, the SAVAK arrested all MEK leaders and 90 percent of its cadres. On May 25, 1972, the founders of the MEK (PMOI) along with two members of its leadership, Mahmoud Asgarizadeh, and Rassoul Meshkinfam, were executed by firing squad after months of imprisonment and torture. With their sacrifice, they became the pioneers in the anti-Shah struggle.
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) June 13, 2015
The Iranian Resistance’s Leader Massoud Rajavi was among the MEK leaders arrested by SAVAK. He, like his colleagues, was tried before the Shah’s military tribunals and sentenced to death. His older brother, Prof. Kazem Rajavi, who was renowned for his academic and human rights work in Switzerland, launched a major campaign to save Massoud Rajavi’s life. Several prominent European leaders intervened, including Amnesty International, Francois Mitterrand, and the prominent French Philosopher Jean-Paul Satre, forcing the Shah to commute Massoud Rajavi’s death sentence to life imprisonment.
While in prison and following the execution of MEK’s founders, Massoud Rajavi assumed the leadership of the organization and declared the reactionary and backward interpretation of Islam, espoused by Khomeini and his band of clerics, as the most serious threat to the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.
Now, 54 years later, the MEK, as the largest, best organized, and most capable Iranian opposition organization, has emerged as the harbinger of change and hope for a democratic and prosperous future for the people of Iran.