In leading his country in the confrontation of a unique set of challenges Winston Churchill famously said: “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.”
Scenes of Pregnant women hanging from the balcony of a Paris concert hall and screaming for help on an otherwise serene Friday evening; young men desperately pulling the severely wounded down to the street to save their lives; blood-drenched public spaces; chaos: all of this is too familiar. It was sadly reminiscent of what we experienced and endured on 9/11.
And it was the product of the same enemy: Islamic extremism.
The urgency of confronting this growing menace has never been greater.
Amidst growing outrage and justified calls for action one has to be careful not to equate the savagery of Islamic extremists with Islam or Muslims as a whole. This would be a huge mistake and would simply play into the hands of extremists, further complicating the already complex situation.
It is of great significance that moderate Muslims have been the primary and first victims of Islamic extremists. A case in point is in Iran, where the ruling ayatollahs have executed 120,000 dissidents, primarily activists of the People’s Mojahedin organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the principal Iranian opposition movement and representatives of a moderate interpretation of Islam.
Maryam Rajavi strongly condemned the terrorist attacks and massacre of defenseless people in Paris as “crimes against humanity” in the first hours after the carnage. Mrs. Rajavi is the president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political coalition that includes the MEK as its largest constituent group.
She offered her condolences to the French President, government and people and in a compassionate message and said: “Today, our hearts bleed for the French nation. The people of Iran deeply feel the bitterness of these crimes. In these difficult moments, the Iranian people can empathize with the French people and share their grief, because for the past 37 years they have been suffering under the religious and terrorist dictatorship, which is the Godfather of ISIS.”
Rajavi has also emphasized that fundamentalism has nothing to do with Islam, whether that fundamentalism takes the form of absolute rule by Shiite clerics or Sunni extremism like that of ISIS. Thus, in her statement she called on “all Muslims to strongly condemn the crimes committed in Paris and to not allow the conduct of these ruthless terrorists to occur in the name of Islam and Muslims.”