The Iranian Klan – Culture Cops?

Found this interesting film on the Basij – the militia-culture cops in Iran….seems to be similar to the Taliban troops and the religious right wingnuts here.   Originally – militia, then …..

Originally consisting of those males “either too young or old for regular military service,”[2] the Basij are perhaps most famous for providing the volunteers that made up the human wave attacks against the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War, particularly around Basra.[1] Currently Basij serve as an auxiliary force engaged in activities such as law enforcement, emergency management, the providing of social service, organizing of public religious ceremonies, and more controversially morals policing and the suppresson of dissident gatherings.[3] They have a local organization in almost every city in Iran.[4]

Here’s how Global Security. org describes them with, as mentioned above, this paragraph.

The Basij, or Baseej paramilitary volunteer forces, come under the control of the Revolutionary Guards.  They have been active in monitoring the activities of citizens, enforcing the hijab and arresting women for violating the dress code, and seizing ‘indecent’ material and satellite dish antennae. In May 1999 the Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance stated in public remarks that the Government might support an easing of the satellite ban.  However, Supreme Leader Khamenei, who makes the ultimate determination on issues that involve radio and television broadcasting, quickly criticised any potential change as amounting to “surrender” to Western culture, effectively ending any further debate of the idea.  The “Special Basijis” are not permitted to participate in political parties or groups, although other members of the Basij can belong to political associations if they are not on a Basij mission and do not use the name or resources of the Basij for the association. Basijis can participate in specialist or trade associations.

Religious zealots, religious wingnuts ….. it’s all the same.  Or as this blogger termed them – the Ku Klux Klan of Iran.  How’s that for a frame of reference?

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