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IRAN: A few pointers on how to attend Friday prayers in Tehran

Rafsanjani2

Dissident cleric Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, one of Iran's most learned clerics, has urged supporters of opposition figurehead Mir-Hossein Mousavi to attend Friday's weekly sermon at Tehran University, to be led by Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Thousands are expected to attend the prayers, which could fizzle out into a non-event, turn into a triumphant celebration for the opposition or even supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or else escalate into another violent confrontation between the two camps.

For some of those attending, it'll be their first time at a Friday prayer, and a quirky set of pointers has been circulating through e-mail and on the Internet. 

"Our goal is not to participate in Friday prayers or pray before [Rafsanjani]," says the message. "The goal is to again gather millions of people in the street on Friday. . . . We will use the seed where [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei asked on June 19 to stop the movement to plant a new green tree and make our movement even more powerful."

Below are some other pointers in the circular:

  • We organize everything for the arrival of [Rafsanjani] and if he cancels at the last minute, we are still present and when another cleric arrives, we withdraw in protest and we will conduct a peaceful march towards large squares. 
  • Do not forget to bring government-owned newspapers with you to show your faith and obedience to the supreme leader. You can then you use them to clean your shoes. 
  • The body searches are very frequent and often aggressive. 
  • We propose that when the event following the prayer is done, to head out in different directions to scatter the military forces. We also invite citizens who can not participate in prayer, to join us at 2 p.m.  
  • All electronic equipment is confiscated at the entrance. Therefore bring nothing with you so you lose no time to recover at end  We propose that those who want to film remain outside the prayer enclosure.
  • For those who want to go into the enclosure, get there two hours early and stay together to make your voice heard when you want to shout slogans. 
  • No slogans that are too violent or provocative. For the time being we chant slogans against the legitimacy of government
  • Pass this information on. 
  • Come! Even the religious minorities, even non-practitioners, people from the provinces, etc... If you do not pray, come assemble in the area until the march. 
  • Distribute the CD documentary on the truth of the green movement with the cover of the Koran. 
  • In the middle of the speech by Rafsanjani, to show our approval of what he says, instead of the usual slogan: "God is great, Khamenei is our leader. Death to the enemies of the supreme leader," we will say, "God is great. Death to the dictator, whether the Shah or the doctor [Ahmadinejad]. Death to the coup d'etat government."

Photo: Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Credit: Mehr news agency
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