99 lashes for “insulting Allah”, as well as for having shaken hands in public with a woman who is not part of his family. This is the punishment that the Iranian regime has just dealt to Mehdi Mousavi, the Iranian poet guilty of not following the latest dictates of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the man who has set the rules for what the Supreme Leader believes “good Islamic poets” must observe while writing.
Rahim Safavi, head of the Pasdaran fundamentalists, promised: “We will have to cut someone’s throat and tongue to some other”.
The poet Said Sultanpour was kidnapped on the day of the wedding of his son and killed in a prison in Tehran. Poet Rahman Hatefi-Monfared cut his veins and was left to bleed to death in Evin prison. Mehdi Shokri was massacred because he had written a poem claiming that the image of Ayatollah Khomeini appeared in the moon.
Another famous Iranian poet, Payam Feili, was much luckier. A few days ago, the Israeli Interior Ministry, led by Silvan Shalom, granted him an entry permit to the Jewish State. Yes, the evil Zionists have opened the doors to the citizen of an enemy state, an Iranian. The visit of Feili coincides with the staging, in a Tel Aviv theater, of his work “The three seasons”, banned by the ayatollahs.
Feili suffered censorship, arrests, threats and harassment from the Iranian regime, before repairing to Turkey and now to Israel. In the last 11 eleven years no book of Faili’s was published in Farsi and the Ayatollah forced even the publishing house for which Feili worked as editor to fire him. Last July, Feili expressed a desire to visit the Jewish State. The Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, asked Minister Shalom to grant him permission to enter. Upon arriving in Tel Aviv, the Iranian poet said: “But this is the most beautiful place in the world”.
The High Representative of EU foreign policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, who visited Iran last July, has spoken of an “alliance of civilizations” between Europe and Iran. She should think again about what she said in the light of what Feili said, because the history of Feili and many other Iranian dissidents shows us the opposite.
These speak of the uniqueness of Israel, the only port in the whole Middle East for religious and cultural minorities:
In the south, there are the whips of Saudi Arabia; in the northwest, the buildings from which Christians, Yazidis and homosexuals are thrown by the Islamic State; eastward you have Iraq and then Iran. The north? Ask the Lebanese Maronite Christians who fought with Israel until the withdrawal in 2000 and now live in Israel. Ask the Druze community serving in the military. Ask the Bedouins. Ask the Circassians. Haifa is home to the headquarters of the syncretistic Bahai minority, persecuted by the Iranian regime. They found shelter in this small Jewish state, smaller than my Italian region of Tuscany, 22,000 square kilometers versus a surface of 13 million square kilometers of Arab-Muslim countries.
In a large crescent from Casablanca (Morocco) to Mumbai (India), there is only one ray of light: The free and beautiful Jewish State of Israel.