The Situation of Darwish Minority Warrants International Attention

All religious minorities are repressed to some degree in Iran. I think the Bahai and the atheists have it worst, as they are barred from all social rights and they could face unusual punishments, and also Sunnis, who have it better on paper only but are actually persecuted mercilessly, and then also Jews, Zoroastrians, and Christians. However, you know of all of this, one minority you might not know about are the Darwish minority. They are Muslims, and Shiites, and they are not a different sect, but they only represent a different reading of Shiite Islam, so they’re basically a different school. They usually stress tolerance, and abandoning worldly goods, they strictly believe in the separation of religion and politics, and they celebrate god through a ritualistic dance. They’re a harmless and tolerant minority. But they’re not tolerated.

The have faced arrests for nothing but practicing their religion and their worship places has been destroyed by the regime. During the 2009 elections they endorsed Mehdi Karroubi, which was the first and last time, because he was one of the few prominent politicians who had stood for their rights. After the events of the election and the oppression of the protestors where Karroubi became one of the two leaders of the Green Movement and subsequently put under house arrest, they stood by people, defending their rights and freedoms, and they faced even more repression and troubles for that. The regime even arrested their lawyers for the “crime” of defending them in the court.

The situation is very important now, because right now the Darwish are staging a mass hunger strike, and a protest. The purpose of this protest is to ask the regime to stop abusing their political prisoners and to grant them basic medical attention. They have staged peaceful protests and more of them have been arrested, they have been beaten up by the riot police. Even children and the elderly are arrested.

The Darwish have said they have come to get their rights (again, they’re asking for nothing more than letting the prisoners have access to medicine and spend their prison time in a more humane situation) or to die. The situation is dangerous.

This merits international attention and attention from the international media. Please share this post wherever you can. Let us see some outrage from the world.

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