On the Noble Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi

The awarding of the 2003 Noble Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi has become a hot issue in the international as well as domestic political circles in Iran. Everyone knows that the decision of the Noble Peace Committee is political in the same way that giving the award to Henry Kissinger, Yitzhak Rabin and others was based on political calculations. The award to Shirin Ebadi is linked more to the policy of European governments towards political developments in Iran than to Shirin Ebadi herself.

Other candidates for this award were Aghajari, Pope John Paul and Vaclav Havel. Shirin Ebadi was rightly the best of this group. She is a survivor of the Islamic Republic of Iran's misogyny who is seeking to bring about reforms for the rights of children and women within the confines of Islamic law. She has been doing so for many years. Ebadi's selection refers to an important issue. Europe is determined to tame and maintain the Islamic Republic. The reforms and reformists have been defeated and their leaders have all acknowledged their impotence. They have even lost the staunchest of their supporters in opposition. The prospect of a radical revolution in Iran has driven the European states' Middle Eastern strategy towards an active and planned policy. As far as they are concerned, the Islamic Republic must be tamed politically and must be maintained in order to isolate and marginalize the radical protest movement in Iran. This has the added advantage of gaining political initiative over the USA. This is the root of the truth behind this decision. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to an Iranian woman while the European Union's award is bestowed on Akbar Ganji.

In reality, if there are to be any congratulations and honours in this award, it belongs to the radical movement in Iran in the universities, schools, and workplaces and internationally to those who are challenging the totality of Islamic laws - from compulsory veiling and sexual apartheid to an Islamic government. It is this movement, which worries European governments; Ms. Ebadi is indebted to this radical movement and not to the Noble Peace Prize Committee nor the reformist movement she belongs to.

Shirin Ebadi could have used the opportunity and the platform offered to her on behalf of women and children and draw the world's attention to the depths of injustice meted out against women and people in Iran and by doing so gain the respect of the people of the world. She did not do so. On the contrary, she shamelessly declared that the there is no contradiction between Islam and Islamic laws and human rights and asked the Islamic Republic of Iran, this most criminal, misogynist and barbaric government, to join her. Her action exposed her and her movement to the world. The task of exposing despicable Islamic laws and overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran is left to the movement, which has never compromised with this government, its religion and laws. It is this movement that deserves the respect and support of the millions of progressive and freedom-loving people of the world.

Awarding the Noble Peace Prize to a woman under the rule of a religious government in Iran has attracted a lot more international attention to the situation of women in Iran. This is an opportunity offered to the radical movement and its leadership to intensify its movement.

Worker-communist Party of Iran 11 October 2003

*Akbar Ganji is a former Islamic Regime Guard, the oppressive machine of the Islamic Republic.