A glimpse at the life of Maryam Rajavi
Date of Birth: December 4, 1953
Place of Birth: Tehran, Iran
Education: B.S. Degree in Metallurgy from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran
Current Profession:President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
- An organizer of the anti-Shah student movement, 1973-1979;
- An official of the social section of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), 1979-1981;
- Parliament candidate, 1980;
- Joint-leader of the PMOI, 1985-1989;
- Secretary General of the PMOI, 1989-1993;
- President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the Parliament-in-exile, 1993 to the present.
Leading the Resistance Movement:
In her new position as the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, Maryam Rajavi, presents a formidable political, social, cultural and ideological challenge to the ruling mullahs.
Under her direction, women assumed the key positions within the ranks of the Resistance. Women make up half the members of the NCRI. They have various responsibilities in the resistance’s political, international, social and cultural affairs.
Rajavi has given extensive lectures on modern and democratic interpretations of Islam as opposed to the reactionary, fundamentalist interpretation of the religion. In her view, the most prominent distinction between these two diametrically opposed viewpoints centers around their outlook on women.
“Islam, Women and Equality” and “Women, the Force for Change” are publications based on her different speeches in conferences around the world.
She has also brought attention to Iran's rich, but endangered, artistic and cultural heritage. Many famous performers, filmmakers, artists, painters, sculptors, poets and writers have expressed their support for her platform for a free and secular Iran.
Women Against Fundamentalism
In March 2013, on International Women’s Day, Mrs. Rajavi presented her latest book, entitled “Women Against Fundamentalism” written in French. The book is a compilation of the experiences of women in the Iranian Resistance in the struggle against Islamic Fundamentalism.
In 1994, on the invitation of Norwegian political parties, Mrs. Rajavi visited Oslo. In a speech at the Oslo City Hall, she warned of the threats posed by the evil of theocracy and Islamic fundamentalism, whose heart beats in Tehran, adding, “Fundamentalism has become the primary threat to regional and global peace. The mullahs ruling in Iran manipulate the religious beliefs of more than one billion Muslims to expand their rule and export crisis and tension beyond Iran’s borders.”
In a June 21, 1996 speech entitled, “Women, Voices of the Oppressed,” at a conference in London’s Earls Court, Rajavi said, “The issue of women and the equality movement is linked to the struggle against reactionaries and fundamentalism. For, women are not only the pioneers in the equality movement, but also the main force for development, peace and social justice. In my view, humankind can only rid itself of the evil phenomenon of reactionary outlook and fundamentalism if women would assume their leading role in this global campaign and employ all forms of democratic struggle to shut the door to any form of appeasement and compromise with the misogynous and anti-human mullahs in Iran.”
Since 2003, regional developments (specifically the US invasion of Iraq) set the stage for the intensification of the mullahs’ aggressive policies and export of fundamentalism and terrorism. By unipolarizing their rule and escalating repression at home, the mullahs advanced their policies and moved to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate Iraq.
These developments created a new regional and international landscape, putting heavy responsibilities on the shoulders of the Iranian Resistance and its President-elect. During this period, Maryam Rajavi launched an intense campaign to challenge the fundamentalists ruling Iran and advance the cause of democracy in Iran.
In October 2003, she called for a referendum on regime change under UN auspices. But, the Iranian regime responded by more killings and the West regrettably ignored her call.
The Third Option
On December 2004, in a speech at the European Parliament, Maryam Rajavi proposed a third way, a clear prospect to resolve the Iranian crisis, which had cause anxiety on a global scale.
She said: “In response to the Iranian crisis, two options are regularly proposed: Either compromise with the mullahs’ regime, in a bid to contain or gradually change the regime. Western countries have pursued this policy in the past two decades. Or overthrowing the mullahs by way of a foreign war, similar to what occurred in Iraq. No one is interested a repeat of the Iraqi experience in Iran. But, I have come here today to say that there is a third option: Change by the Iranian people and the Iranian Resistance. With the removal of foreign obstacles, the Iranian people and Resistance would have the ability and the preparedness to bring about such change. This presents the only way to avert a foreign war. Offering concessions to the mullahs is not the alternative to a foreign conflict and will not dissuade them from pursuing their ominous intentions.”
Mrs. Rajavi believes that women are the decisive force in the struggle for democracy in Iran. Her belief emanates from the essence of this struggle. Religious fascism relies of suppression that rests on misogyny. Only a forces that totally rejects misogyny can defeat it, namely women and men who belief in gender equality and have practiced it.
The Iran of Tomorrow
In June 2004, at a gathering attended by more than 20,000 Iranians near Paris, Mrs. Rajavi announced that the Iranian Resistance will support a ban on the death penalty after Iran has been freed from the mullahs’ tyranny.
In April 2006, Mrs. Rajavi outlined the Iranian Resistance’s viewpoints for the future of Iran in a ten-point plan during a speech in the presence of Liberal and Socialist political groups at the Council of Europe. These views include: The belief in universal suffrage as the sole criterion for legitimacy, emphasis on a pluralistic system of governance, respect for all individual freedoms, a ban on the death penalty, separation of Religion and State, full gender equality, equal participation of women in political leadership, a modern judicial system with emphasis on the principle of innocence the right to defense and due process, respect for the free market, the establishment of relations with all countries in the world, and commitment to a non-nuclear Iran.
These positions are all meant to herald the establishment of a genuine and enduring democracy in Iran, to which Mrs. Rajavi has dedicated her life. She says, “We are not fighting and making sacrifices to be able to grab onto power. We have not even set our sights on sharing power and the ability to govern. Our biggest mission is the establishment of the people’s sovereignty and democracy….” Villepente, June 2012
International Solidarity in Support of the Resistance Movement
Today, Maryam Rajavi leads the struggle for democracy in Iran. In recent years, she has directed a global campaign that encompasses the most prominent political and social personalities, former senior U.S. officials and military leaders, lawmakers and political dignitaries in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. This global movement has achieved great success and international recognition and credibility in defense of the Iranian Resistance and its organized entity in camps Ashraf and Liberty as well as in securing the recognition of the resistance movement as in advocacy of regime change and the establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran.
In the major gathering of Iranian in June 2012 in Paris, where Mrs. Rajavi was a speaker, declarations by more than 4,000 parliamentarians from 40 countries in support of the Iranian Resistance, especially the residents of Ashraf were announced. The parliamentarians, which included majorities in the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and 28 national parliaments, called for the providing protection for the residents of Ashraf and Liberty and urged the international community to recognize the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Directing a major global campaign to remove the PMOI from the terrorist list in Europe and the U.S., and exposing the behind-the-scenes deals to appease the clerical regime constitute another aspect of Mrs. Rajavi’s endeavors. These efforts led to the delisting of the PMOI in the United Kingdom in 2008 and the European Union in 2009, as well as the dismissal of terrorism charges in the June 17, 2003 dossier by a senior French Investigative magistrate in May 2011 and the revocation of the PMOI’s terrorist designation in the United States in September 2012.
Also visit: http://www.maryam-rajavi.com/en