Honestly, the Iranian flag is a beautiful flag design and I love that there’s a nation that displays “Allah” and the Kufic takbirs on their flag. Whether or not the government lives up to the aspirations indicated by such a powerful emblem is another question altogether.
Removing the key emblems is disrespectful and there should be some consequence attached to those who did it. Although I’m sure a more quietly amicable settlement will be reached with dialogue between the two parties.
As for those protesters who display the monarchial flag, which I believe was also used by the people’s mujahideen are hurting their own cause. Protesters, who have many legitimate concerns, are deluded if they think the majority in Iran want to see a return to the Shah’s time.
Any connection to the MEK (which seems to be active in the protests) is a cause for real concern. And protesters seeking assistance or interference during protests from foreign governments like Israel or the US will destroy the legitimacy of the protests in most eyes.
Certainly yes, changes need to come, but we’ve seen the horrors resulting after regime change in Libya, and attempted regime change and foreign interference in Syria, Afghanistan, and the ongoing debacle in Yemen and thmonths of online news and social media propaganda that precedes these actions. If that’s what the protests in Iran are now after (destroying Iran’s government) then support will dwindle, since no one wants to see Iran become another attempt to inflict and destroy a nation with an idiotic regime change project.
No one wants to see Iran become another Western casualty to fulfill their ongoing attempts to bring down a nation that has been on their target list for years. And we certainly don’t want the protests to become an excuse to pursue such a course.
If protesters are looking to bring change from within then stop carrying monarchical flags and have nothing to do with wishful monarchists, or the MEK, or any outside groups trying to bring about Iran’s destruction or a coup or spread general chaos.
Symbolism and alliances can make or break a movement and at the moment the symbolism at play and the blatant outside interference is dangerous and disconcerting. Every monarchical flag displayed, every use of MEK or MEK tactics delegitmizes the protests.
The Iranian flag is beautiful, leave it alone. But the government has not lived up to its promise and aspiration. There are extunating circumstances that have made them overly paranoid and belligerant. But belligerance and unjust, excessive harshness towards their own citizens over the years is an unfortunate misstep. Corruption and abuse of their citizens is an ongoing harm that is long past the time for correction.
“Nothing is more conducive to good government and trust with subjects than kindness towards them, lightening burdens and abandoning coercing them. Attain a situation in which you can confidently trust your subjects, for trusting (them) will sever strain in society”
“Infuse your heart with mercy, love and kindness for your subjects. Be not in face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey….”
“Never be regretful of pardon or rejoice at punishment, and never hasten (to act) upon an impulse if you can find a better course. Never say, “I am invested with authority, I give orders and I am obeyed,” for surely that is corruption in the heart, enfeeblement of the religion and an approach to changes (in fortune)….”(Qur’an 7:189)
“See that justice is done towards God and justice is done towards the people by yourself, your own family and those whom you favor among your subjects. For if you do not do so, you have worked wrong. And as for him who wrongs the servants of God, God is his adversary, not to speak of His servants….”
“Let the dearest of your affairs be those which are middlemost in rightfulness, most inclusive in justice and most comprehensive in (establishing) the content of the subjects. For the discontent of the common people invalidates the content of favorites, and the discontent of favorites is pardoned at (the achievement of) the content of the masses.” (Imam Ali’s letter of advice to Malik Al-Ashtar)