Blasphemy Is A Right And Duty
By Soheil Arabi
1: your first question _ can you share your story?
My answer is:
Yes, I can share my story, but this story is very long and may not fit in several thousand-page books. If I try to summarize it, we will miss important facts.
The summary of my story is available on Wikipedia, that I was the administrator of several blogs and Facebook pages and enlightened about religious government and political economy based on ” clerical capitalism” , and for this reason I was arrested and sentenced to death penalty.
But the story neither begins nor ends here.
Since I was a child, I doubted the lies of religion sellers, those who called themselves spiritual and religious teachers, and the tortures started from there.
I am Sohail Arabi.
My father named me Sohail, Sohail is a stellar name
It is the brightest star in the constellation Shahtahteh in the southern hemisphere of the sky, and the meaning of my name is:
Illuminating, that which makes the way easy for night travelers with its brilliance.
And I also tried to be like that, I chose photography, because it is the best way to clarify and express the facts.
I was fascinated by photography since I was a child, since I was a teenager, when I was returning from school, I went to a photography studio and was an apprentice there, and after a while (from the age of fourteen), I started taking photography full time and devoted all my effort and focus to this work.
I entered the labor market since I was a teenager, because my father was injured while working and I had to cover living expenses. This made me face problems sooner and understand the society better
Since I was a teenager, I worked in photography during the day and studied at night, until I managed to continue my studies in the field of journalism, and in addition, I also participated in philosophy and political science classes.
Seeing the injustice and oppression of the working class, the motivations of struggle were born in me.
Since then, I have been looking for a solution to create a change in this disastrous and unfair situation.
In the classes of philosophy, political science, economics, sociology and among books, I was looking for a way to transform and change in this situation.
In the classes of philosophy, political science, economics, sociology and among books, I was looking for a way to end this situation and build a world where people do not suffer from injustice.
Since then, I started fighting against the oppressors and trying to change and fix the situation.
I started with small tasks, photographing the city, reflecting the facts to the people, enlightening by showing the facts to the people, focusing on social harms such as poverty, child labor, prostitution،etc.
Before the internet became popular, I used to make pamphlets from my reports and photos and distribute them in homes at night.
In addition to this, I wrote sentences and slogans on the walls with spray that would cause unity and create motivation for rebellion against the oppressors.
And with the advent of the Internet and social networks, informing and talking to people became easier.
First on blogs and then on Facebook, I tried to enlighten and create unity among the oppressed people.
I was arrested for the first time when I was nineteen years old for photographing and preparing a report on the situation of child laborers, children who were selling drugs.
For more than a year, I was interrogated and tortured in one of the secret prisons of the IRGC for this case.
And I was subjected to various tortures, including severe beatings and imprisonment for a long time in solitary confinement.
But being tortured made me more motivated to fight against injustice
Soheil Arabi, [2023-07-26 02:35]
A few years later, in my 27th year of life, I was once again arrested by IRGC agents for publishing my articles and photos on Facebook.
At that time, after years of working, I had finally gotten rid of working for others and was working in my own photography studio.
In mid-autumn of 2013, ten IRGC executioners stormed my photography studio, arrested me with guns and violence.
After inspecting my home and workplace and confiscating my cameras and computers and all information devices and even my books, they took me to Evin prison, Ward 2 A ( 2 Alef) of the IRGC.
I was imprisoned in a solitary cell.
When the jailer put me in solitary confinement, he shouted angrily at me and said: From now on, your name will be 92058. Whenever I said that you should leave the cell, you should put a blindfold on your eyes.
”Can you share your story”?
This was your first question to me. And I answered yes, I can, but this story is very long and if we seek to save people from torture, it must be told and heard carefully.
Around six o’clock in the morning, when I was writing an article and publishing it on Facebook, ten armed IRGC agents attacked my house, where my workplace was also located.
The inspection of our house lasted until ten o’clock in the morning, they put all the books, cameras, and laptops into black nylon bags, and finally they blindfolded and handcuffed me and we left the house.
When we were leaving my studio, which was my place of work and life, one of the IRGC officers said to me: Look at your house for the last time! You will never come back here!
In the back seat of a passenger car, while my eyes and hands were closed, they moved towards Evin prison and threatened me many times along the way, saying that this is the last moment of your life, we will execute you soon.
It was around noon when we arrived at the prison and after filing a case, they imprisoned me in solitary confinement.
The filing of the case was like this: first they took a photo of me and then they asked my name and surname, level of education and religion.
He said, does that mean you are admitting that you are not a Muslim ،
You admitted that you are an atheist
It’s always harder at first!
The moment they open the door and you see several executioners of the IRGC rush in with guns to throw you in jail.
The first moments when you are imprisoned in solitary confinement and you think about their threats
We will execute you soon!
Imagine yourself on top of the rope!
When the rope holder crushes your neck and your hands and feet tremble.
A few seconds before you are strangled with a rope, you remember this sentence: You will never go home again.
It was almost one o’clock in the afternoon when the jailer closed the door of the cell and it seemed like it took several years for him to open the door again in the evening!
It’s always harder at first and that’s what makes me hopeful!
: Because we won in the battle with this peak of difficulties!!
It was almost one o’clock in the afternoon when the jailer closed the cell door and until the evening when he opened the cell door (to go to the interrogation room), I felt that many years had passed since the last time I was outside this cell…
It’s always harder at first!
The moment they open the door and you see some executioners rush in with guns to throw you in jail.
The first moments you experience being locked in a solitary cell,
Voices are heard in the flesh!
You think about their threats:
– Voice of the interrogator: ”We will execute you soon
Imagine yourself on the rope!
Imagine when the rope crushes your ”neck” and your hands and feet tremble above the gallows;
A few seconds before you are strangled with a rope, you remember this sentence: You will never return to your home!
It’s always harder at first and you only have one savior:
Remind yourself why you chose to fight and not be indifferent to the oppressors.
Remind yourself that this war was forced upon us.
Either we had to endure oppression or we had to fight…
Soheil Arabi, [2023-07-26 02:35]
In the evening, the jailer opened the cell door so that we could go to the interrogation room.
The jailer insists that I must put a blindfold on my eyes, so that I can only see two centimeters in front of my feet, and wherever she said, I must put the blindfold on my eyes and not see anything.
As we were walking blindfolded towards the interrogation room, he repeated again that I should not talk to anyone except the interrogator and not tell anyone my name, my name is 92058 from now on.
We left the area where the solitary cells are and entered a courtyard, we reached a building at the end of the courtyard, the jailer called and said, ”Hello Seyed*, I brought 92058”.
In IRGC prisons, the name of all the interrogators is ”Seyed”, which means the descendants of the Prophet of Islam.
The interrogator was very excited and happy when he found out that I was brought to the slaughterhouse, like a slaughterhouse that misses cutting meat into pieces, he came very quickly and took me from the jailer.
The interrogation building is a very scary place, I have to cross thin fences blindfolded, I can’t see anywhere, the interrogator beats his feet on the fences and trembles under my feet, I think I might fall at any moment.
When we passed the first corridor, the interrogator shouted happily: ”Come! The one who insulted the Prophet and imams and said that religion is a means of deceiving people.”
My eyes were closed, I could only hear the sound of their feet attacking me and punching and kicking my head and body, they beat me so much that I passed out.
They punched and kicked my head so much that I was confused and almost fainted. I heard the voice of the commander of the army shouting at the interrogators: ”Not here!” He should not be killed here, he should be tried in an Islamic court and hanged and executed in front of the public.
On the first day of the interrogation, I was only beaten and threatened with execution.
And from the next day, repeated questions started.
What is your motivation for blasphemy? Why are you fighting against the Islamic government?
One of the interrogators punched my head and shouted that you wrote more than a thousand pages of articles against the religion of Islam, Islam has never had a worse enemy than you in its more than 1400 years of history.
And I answered them: because religion is the main cause of our sufferings, Islam affects our lives from birth and burns our lives.
When we are born, they call adhan in our ears, this means that from now on we are Muslims, and if we want to leave Islam, we are apostates, and according to Islamic laws, the apostate must be executed.
The government spends billions on Islamic propaganda, while we don’t have schools and hospitals in many cities!
The government spends billions of dollars to build golden tombs for imams, while many people do not have enough and healthy food and even drinking water.
Many people are forced to sell their kidneys due to poverty, many become prostitutes due to poverty, but instead of allocating funds to improve people’s living conditions, the government spends the funds to propagate Islam.
After two hundred days of interrogation and explanation of accusations of blasphemy, proselytizing activity against the system and insulting the Prophet of Islam, I was sentenced to death penalty in the Islamic court.
In the criminal court, I was sentenced to death for the articles I had written criticizing the Islamic government, that is, for enlightening and fighting against démagogie and superstition.
We protested the death sentence, but in the appeals court of the Islamic Court of Justice, this sentence was confirmed and intensified.
Finally I was sentenced to deathpenalty twice, once for the crime of blasphemy and insulting the Prophet of Islam, and once for the crime of inviting people to protest against the government.
After I was sentenced to death, I informed about the case and the reason why I was sentenced to death and told people that they want to execute me because they are afraid of the truth.
Soheil Arabi, [2023-07-26 02:35]
They want to execute me because I told the truth and enlightened, because I fought against oppression and superstition.
The secret of the survival of the Islamic government and theclerical capitalist system is the ignorance and illiteracy of the people. If the people become aware, they will be overthrown.
And people supported me, the Twitter storm and the trending of the hashtags ” #Sohail_Arabi” ، #call4soheilArabi , #SaveSoheilArabi ,,, caused the government to back down and break my death sentence.
With the support of the people and Twitter storms, the death sentence was overturned and then changed to a prison sentence, and I was sentenced to eight years in prison.
This is a short story of my eventful life.
2) How have the blasphemy laws impacted your life? 3)
Blasphemy means that the government has the right to do any injustice to us and if we protest, we will be recognized as infidels and he has the right to execute us.
Being under Islamic rule means that they call ”Adhan”in our ears without our permission and we become Muslims, and we do not have the right to become non-Muslims and leave Islam.
Being under Islamic rule means they determine how our hair should be, how much of our penis should be cut off, what food we should eat, what food we should not eat, when we should cry, when we should laugh, when we should die.
And short answers to your questions
2) How have the blasphemy laws impacted your life?
When we are under Islamic rule, that means they loot our property, spend the budget on Islamic propaganda, and we have no right to protest.
In such a situation, we have two choices, either to be obedient slaves and endure, or to fight and change &fix the situation.
Most people tolerate and don’t protest, that’s why when people like me protest, they are severely suppressed and tortured.
Not only the government tortures us because of our opposition to Islam, but we are oppressed and tortured even in our families, schools and universities.
When I was in prison, my wife divorced me and did not let me see my daughter after that, she said that I don’t want my daughter to become like you and seek trouble
So these regressive laws affect our whole life, our studies, our work, our social relationships and even our romantic relationships.
It is really difficult to give short answers to these questions, because for each one I have to explain thousands of pages so that you understand what troubles they bring to us.
3) How common is your situation in Iran?
The Islamic government of Iran has so far executed and tortured many people for blasphemy
Until ten years ago, the number of people who fought against the religious government was less.
But today, with the expansion of the Internet and social networks, the number of atheists and fighters with the religious government has increased greatly
Today, one of the most important slogans of the Iranian people’s revolution is:
We hate your religion
People shout angrily: We hate your religion and laws
4) How can the international community help?
Our two important needs, one: Facilitate people’s use of the Internet. Two: Extensive and continuous support for enlighteners and religious critics.
When people have easy access to the Internet, they will become aware and put aside superstitions, people’s awareness is the biggest enemy of religious government.
Especially the political prisoners who have been sentenced for criticizing the religious regime need international support, the Iranian government must be pressured to release the people.
5) What are your hopes for the future?
More than ten years of my youth have passed in prison and under torture
My wife divorced me and I haven’t seen my daughter for six years.
I lost my health, all my savings and my job, and now I am in exile.
But I don’t regret what I did and I believe that the way to freedom has been paved with our efforts.
Everything we have written has been an effective enlightenment that today many people are shouting that they hate your religion and laws
Soheil Arabi, [2023-07-26 02:35]
And I hope for the future, because we have raised a generation of questioners who know their rights and duties and strive and fight for freedom.
#Atheist #Atheism #ExMuslim #Anarchist #Islam #Blasphemy