IRAN SECULAR DEMOCRACY
For a secular and democratic constitution of Iran
In order to enable justice, freedom, peace and durable coexistence in Iran, a secular democracy must follow important basic principles
WELCOME to iran secular democracy
The channels related to iranseculardemocracy.com have been created with the aim of primarily educating the people of Iran, as well as Iranians abroad, about “direct democracy” in a transparent manner and promoting it in Iran. It is independent and detached from any political or religious ideologies as well as specific groups or individuals and serves only to promote a secular democracy in Iran. In order to enable justice, freedom, peace and durable coexistence in Iran, a secular democracy must follow important basic principles, namely and first and foremost: separation of state and religion, respect for universally recognized human rights, rule of law, justice, tolerance and balance of power of state organs. A democratic system will only be possible and function if minimum requirements are ensured with regard to the neutral, full and free flow of information. Without such requirements, important elements for the creation of a basis for decision-making and thus for optimal individual opinion-forming are missing. Accordingly, the active and broad participation of the population can be promoted, which in turn is of considerable importance for the acceptance and legitimacy of political decisions.
The basis for creating the aforementioned framework conditions for a democracy is a qualitatively valuable and progressive constitution that takes into account the interests of the entire nation and all people living in Iran, and not merely those of a particular ideology, religion or group or individual. It goes without saying that no human being knows the absolute truth, but the totality of people can come closer to it than a single individual. In the long run, corresponding holistic political decisions are more purposeful and durable in the long run. Consequently, the constitution proposed here is to be understood as a proposal or a basis for the future Iranian constitution, namely with the aim of ensuring the long-term interests of the Iranian people while respecting all the principles mentioned above as well as the possibility of participation and broad acceptance of the Iranian people.
Notwithstanding the above, it should be mentioned here that ultimately only the Iranian people should and must decide independently on the optimal form of state and government for them.
New constitution is currently being drafted
The draft will be continuously made known through different channels. Improvements will be made on an ongoing basis with appropriate community participation while the Iranian people being informed about such. The transparency as well as the possibility of participation shall promote legitimacy and acceptance. The respective constitution shall be submitted to the future authority for a final review and preparation before its acceptance submitted to a vote is to be decided in a referendum by the Iranian people as a whole, under neutral supervision.
A secular democracy is a form of government that is based on democratic principles and values, and in which the state is separated from religion. This type of political system is characterized by a number of key features, which are designed to ensure that government is accountable to the people, and that the rights and freedoms of individuals are protected.
One important features of secular democracy is the separation of religion and state. This means that the state is not affiliated with any particular religion, and that religious beliefs and practices are not used to determine public policy.
Another key characteristic of a secular democracy is the respect for individual rights and liberties. This includes the protection of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly. It also means that the government is required to ensure that all individuals are treated equally under the law, and that their rights are protected, regardless of their race, religion, gender, or other characteristics.
A secular democracy also includes the principle of majority rule with minority rights protection. This means that the government is ideally elected directly (direct democracy) by the people and that decisions are made based on the will of the majority while protecting the rights of minority groups. It must be ensured that those are not marginalized or oppressed by the majority decisions.
A secular democracy is also characterized by free and fair elections. This means that citizens have the right to vote, and that elections are conducted in a transparent and impartial manner. This is an important feature of a secular democracy, as it ensures that the government is accountable to the people, and that the political process is fair and open.
The judiciary is another important component of a secular democracy. An independent judiciary is essential to ensure that the law is applied fairly and equitably, and that individuals are able to seek justice if their rights are violated.
Transparency and accountability are also key features of a secular democracy. This means that the government must be open and transparent about its actions, and that it must be accountable to the people for its decisions and policies. This helps to ensure that the government is representative of the people, and that it is responsive to their needs and concerns.
Finally, a secular democracy requires active participation of citizens in the political process. This means that individuals must be informed and engaged in the political process, and that they must be able to express their views and opinions on public policy. This is an important feature of a secular democracy, as it ensures that the government is representative of the people, and that it is responsive to their needs and concerns.
Zan, Zendegi, Azadi; Woman, Life, Freedom; A path for real and transparent liberty for Iranian women and men
In the heart of the Middle East, a powerful movement is stirring, encapsulated in the phrase “Zan, Zendegi, Azadi; Woman, Life, Freedom” This movement, rooted in the turbulent history of the Iranian Revolution, is a testament to the resilience and courage of Iranian women.
“Zan, Zendegi, Azadi; Woman, Life, Freedom” is more than just a slogan; it’s a rallying cry, a spark of hope, and a symbol of resistance against oppression. It represents a global action in solidarity with Iranian women and girls who are peacefully demonstrating for their fundamental rights.
The keyword “woman” or “Zan” in Persian, signifies the central role of women in this movement. Despite facing systemic discrimination and inequality, Iranian women have been at the forefront of advocating for change. They are not just victims of their circumstances; they are agents of change, bravely challenging societal norms and fighting for their rights.
“Life” or “Zendegi” in Persian, underscores the importance of women’s rights in the broader context of human rights. It’s a recognition that women’s rights are not separate from human rights; they are an integral part of it and as such part of life. The quality of life for all members of society is intrinsically linked to the status of women’s rights. Furthermore, it stands for having a life worth living, leading to the third term “Freedom” or “Azadi”.
“Freedom” or “Azadi” in Persian, is the ultimate goal of this movement. It’s a call for freedom from gender-based discrimination, freedom to express one’s beliefs, and freedom to shape one’s destiny. It echoes the aspirations of the movement, which is a quest seeking an end to restrictions, oppression, discrimination, tyranny, and any form of autocracy or dictatorship in Iran.
The Iranian Revolution in 1979 serves as a historical backdrop for this movement. The revolution, which was a tumultuous period in Iran’s history, sparked a wave of changes in the country’s political, social, and cultural landscape. However, despite the promise of equality and freedom, women’s rights in Iran have remained a contentious issue.
In conclusion, “Zan. Zendegi. Azadi. Woman, Life, Freedom” is a powerful symbol (primarily) of the ongoing struggle for women’s rights in Iran. It’s a reminder of the courage and resilience of Iranian women, who, despite the challenges, continue to fight for their rights and freedoms. It’s a testament to the enduring spirit of the new Iranian Revolution and its unfulfilled promise of equality and freedom.
Response to frequently asked questions
Like everything in life, quality takes time.
By its very nature, drafting a constitution is not a solitary task; it requires a great deal of legal and political knowledge, coordination and a lot of stamina. The more people are involved, the more opinions and ideas come together. Furthermore, the political developments and desires of the Iranian population must be observed and taken into account.
The early drafting of the constitution is intended to ensure that a thorough and clean draft can be presented to the people, ultimately to prevent a hasty vote, as occurred without sufficient transparency and without alternative after the Islamic Revolution. Furthermore, a political power struggle among groups or individuals should be avoided, especially since the proposed constitution allows everyone to actively as well as passively participate and contribute and consequently does not favor or exclude any group, view, or individual in any way (more on this below). All can and should participate within the framework of this constitution in the future Iran within the scope of their abilities in the reconstruction of a progressive and independent Iran.
Therefore, it is considered useful, even necessary, to deal with the future constitution as early as possible.
The previous constitution of the Islamic Republic was detailed, yet it contained no separation of religion and state, crucial loopholes, and a concentration of power that could not sufficiently safeguard the interests of the Iranian people, which is what everyone is currently striving for. The constitution presented here is intended to be comprehensive and to incorporate important principles of both the constitution currently in force and other draft constitutions for Iran.
Moreover, the early drafting of a constitution is intended to achieve broad acceptance by allowing everyone to come to grips with a new system or constitution at an early stage and already be open to adjustments.
Moreover, this draft constitution can increase political pressure on the regime in Iran by providing an alternative. History has shown that only just systems have proven themselves historically and have been maintained over the long term.
Furthermore, this project is intended to motivate the freedom-seeking people of Iran and to show them concretely what they are taking to the streets for: Namely, for the conquest of their basic freedoms and rights within the framework of the «Woman Life Freedom» movement and for the creation of a progressive secular democratic Iran.
“Secularism” is the principle of separation of religion and state. Accordingly, state institutions should not be influenced by religions and should be completely neutral in religious matters.
Secularism can be established independently of the form of state and government.
In view of the experiences in the history of Iran as well as in other states, especially in Europe, religion has been misused for power purposes. This has not only harmed those affected but in the long–term has also led to people distancing themselves from religion and thus to the means being detrimental to the end. In addition, the potential for conflict with interests directed in different directions is enormous.
Direct (secular) democracy is a system, which is not only democratic and gives all people the right to participate but also strengthens the participation rights by various means and extends their range: for example, by enabling the participation or intervention of the people in a direct way in the political decision-making process.
For example, by providing the following mechanisms:
- Popular initiative (The popular initiative allows citizens for example to propose an amendment or addition to the constitution or to the laws in a more proactive manner. However, and this may be unique, such right to an initiative could be extended to other acts and decisions as well. Considering today’s technological means, its implementation may be more feasible under certain conditions)
- Optional referendum (As it can be defined, certain state acts shall be subject to an optional referendum (e.g. retrospectively) once the defined conditions are met, e.g. if a certain number of signatures are collected within a specified and limited time.)
- Mandatory referendum (As it can be defined, certain state acts shall be subject to a mandatory referendum (e.g. in advance or retrospectively) once the defined conditions are met, e.g. if certain state activities are planned, decisions of major significance are to be made or when constitutional amendments are approved by Parliament – all shall be submitted to a popular vote)
The terminology for direct democracy is not standardized. Various terms are used in different counties to describe similar institutions (mechanisms) and processes. Therefore, the mechanism and processes are to be defined.
A direct democracy has of course not only benefits. The downsides need also to be considered and the risks mitigated accordingly. Among such downsides or risks are high costs, lack of information and competence, voter fatigue, risk of authoritarian and populist abuse, time-consuming processes, and challenges with respect to logistics. However, in consideration of a comprehensive view, by defining proper mechanisms both practically and formally (e.g. in the laws and ordinances) and by setting up a proper operational management, and sufficient cultural education, the advantages of a direct democracy would clearly prevail in the long-run.
A direct democracy shall be one of the additional features of the here-planned constitution.
Democracy as a form of government is based on the republic (as a form of state). Iran is a multi-ethnic state. Consideration of the local culture of the individual provinces and customs is unavoidable. This must be taken into account with an appropriate degree of federalism.
A representative democracy is perhaps somewhat faster in decision-making processes, depending on its design, but the interests of the people are represented only indirectly and only partially.
According to the view expressed here, a direct democracy with its extensive opportunities for participation and involvement, for example, in which socially weaker people can also participate directly, both actively and passively, brings about greater acceptance of government actions on the part of the population. This broad participation not least promotes political discourse and represents the necessary diversity in connection with voting in Iran. In addition, with the considerable opportunity to influence new laws, the interests of the people can be adequately considered and taken into account in the face of adjustments that are subject to change. Consequently, the interests of the people are dynamically reflected in the laws.
A direct democracy can further reduce inequality in the context of the ruling elite, especially since, at least formally, everyone has the same starting point for holding political office than, for example, in other forms of state or government.
A direct democracy would therefore contribute significantly to the preservation of political peace, long-term stability, and consequently Iran’s progress socially, technologically, and economically. This would be entirely in the general interest. However, culturally this presupposes an appropriate tolerance to often adapt to, for example, majority decisions.
Iran Secular Democracy believes that other forms of state or government may not only bring no added value for the population but also certain risks, depending on the form they take. These include a lack of transparency or continuity in domestic politics when a monarch changes, further, limited rights of participation and co-determination for the population, additional costs to the detriment of the general public, and unequal treatment enshrined in law are the outcomes as the question remains why one person shall be privileged in the long-run.
A discussion of other forms of government, such as constitutional or parliamentary monarchy, is deliberately omitted here.
In view of the reasons mentioned above, a direct-democratic constitution is currently being worked on here.
Historically, the Persian Empire with its 1st Human Rights Charta as well as the advanced civilization took on a pioneering role worldwide. It would be desirable to see Iran resume a more active and exemplary leadership role worldwide by creating a direct democracy that may even go further than existing models. Considering today’s technological means, an implementation of a more advanced democracy should even be feasible.
A secular democracy allows the entire population to participate directly and restricts arbitrary government. Furthermore, a wide variety of interests can be represented in the state. This diversity pays off over time when the diversity represented leads to stability and this in turn can have various positive effects on the people (for example, promoting welfare and development).
Members of diverse religions can practice their faith and participate directly in political matters that relate to their interests. (For more information, see under “Constitution”). The voices of minorities or socially weaker persons can be directly harmonized. Accordingly, not only formally, but factually, the requirement of equal opportunity would be taken into account in a better way.
Above all, the proposed constitution would guarantee the participation rights of the Iranian population by making the right to an initiative or referendum available to the people in a broad form.
This is a 3 minute video to introduce the most basic concepts of a Democracy. Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens participate equally—either directly or indirectly through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, religious, cultural, ethnic and racial equality, justice, liberty and fraternity.
Question with respect to the iranian revolution 2022.
The protests in Iran in 2022 were primarily driven by economic hardships, including inflation, unemployment, and the devaluation of the Iranian rial. The economic situation was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and international sanctions. Protesters also expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of various issues, including water shortages, power outages, perceived corruption and mismanagement. Furthermore, they demanded their basic rights to be respected.
YES, Iranians are still protesting after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
During the 2022 protests, there were reports of a heavy-handed response from the Iranian authorities, including the use of tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition. There were also reports of internet shutdowns and arrests of protesters.
The protests are primarily directed against the Iranian Islamic Regime and establishment. Protesters express dissatisfaction about the government’s handling of the economic, political and other domestic issues (including but not limited to the basic rights and freedom of the Iranian people).
The success of protests can be difficult to measure, especially in the short term. While the 2022 revolutionary protests brought attention to the restricted freedom and economic hardships faced by many Iranians, it’s unclear what long-term changes they may have achieved. Nevertheless, the Iranians are determined to continue until the country – how it is called – is liberated from this regime.
The predominant religion in Iran is Islam, with Shia Islam being the most widely practiced denomination. The official 2011 Iranian government census shows almost all Iranians believing in Islam (99.98%). However, there are also small populations of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and followers of the Bahaʼi Faith, which is not recognized as a faith by the Iranian government.