[In his meeting with university students, Hojatoleslam Ahmad Alamolhoda, leader of Friday Mass Prayer in Mashhad and Ebrahim Raisi’s father-in-law, is severely criticized by a student. Alamolhoda is criticized for, among other things, supporting extremism, breaking the law, and monopolizing the tribune of Friday Mass Prayer. Also, Ebrahim Raisi is said to have used people’s money for his election campaign.]
Student criticizes officials for showing interest in students only during election time: The fact that at months leading to presidential election, you have come to see us, and the fact that you are reminded of the youth, students, and student formations in universities [at the time of election], doesn’t make us happy at all. We wish there were always elections so that officials would be reminded of students and universities. But for you, this was necessary, but not sufficient. To see you at university, it was necessary to be close to [the time of] election, and to have one of your relatives as a candidate.
He points to lack of moderation and rationality after death of Rafsanjani and Vaez Tabasi: Unfortunately, during the last year, we lost two legendary figures of rationality and moderation in the country and [Mashhad] province—Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Vaez Tabasi. Death of these two has caused the spread of radicalism and extremism in the country and [Mashhad] province.
The student talks of Mashhad’s ill-reputation due to extremists’ behaviors: Right now that we are talking to you, Mashhad doesn’t enjoy good conditions both at the international and the country level. Some consider us an autonomous government run by you. And some think that this holy city is the arena for a certain [political] current that has transformed the main feature of the revolution, and with its extremism, has sent a message to the world according to which a revolutionary figure is a law-breaking, unwise and totalitarian figure. Recently these people have shown that in some cases, they are ready to pass even the supreme leader. With all our historical backgrounds, with Khorasan’s rich culture, and the radiant presence of our master, Imam Reza, why have we reached to this point?
He accuses Mashhad’s officials of breaking the law: Dear Hojatoleslam, we, the students, have serious criticisms on many grounds against your actions, the most important of which will be mentioned below. According to the supreme leader’s remarks, enacting law is obligatory for all officials. But in this city, the officials break the law by cancelling lawful speeches and music concerts that have obtained permits from Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and other such cases.
The student continues: It is very questionable that why, instead of distancing yourself from such things and condemning these law-breakings, you either support them or remain silence. Unfortunately, there are many contradictions in your words. How come that in the past government, people felt satiated with Eshkeneh and onion [cheap Iranian food], but do not feel satiated with chicken and meat now? Dear Hojatoleslam, we had a revolution so that individuals do not act as lawmakers [any longer]. Legislation and the right to decide people’s destiny, according to numerous articles in the constitution, are inalienable rights of the people. The only place for legislation is the Islamic parliament. Without doubt, Mass Prayers’ tribunes and officials’ offices are not the proper place for lawmaking.
He points out to impacts of extremism on the city and its tourism industry: In hotel and tourism industry, due to unilateral behaviors of some minority group, the international community has lost its trust in the city of Mashhad. And this industry is close to bankruptcy. Due to such behaviors, the length of tourists’ stay in Mashhad has decreased to less than 2 days. And reckless behaviors of an unwise and law-breaking group, such as climbing the walls of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Mashhad, have significantly reduced the number of travelers from the Gulf countries to Mashhad–despite the fact this year was nominated as the “Year of Resistance Economy” and the city of Mashhad is elected as the cultural capital of Islamic world in 2017.
The student points out to monopoly of certain group over the tribunes of Friday Mass Prayer: As for tribunes of Mass Prayers, in his meeting with students during the holy month of Ramadan, the supreme leader said that by giving the tribune, he meant giving it to all formations and thoughts. But what we have seen throughout the country so far is giving these tribunes to only a certain group. Also, Friday Mass Prayers must be the core of unity and togetherness, and an MP’s speech should not create discord between Shiite and Sunni brothers.
He sends a message for Ebrahim Raisi: And we have a request from Hojatoleslam Raisi, which we demand that you convey to him. Tell him that the officials have once spent Imam Zaman on gaining their own objectives. Undoubtedly, it is not right to spend people’s money on distributing free flour and votive foods, and visiting deprived villages—which have certainly existed in the previous government and past times, and have not come into existence overnight.
The student asks Raisi not to politicize Imam Reza: He should better put the supreme leader’s multiple guidances in his own agenda, and not politicize Imam Reza who has so far been the symbol of unity and togetherness among the political currents in the country. Or if he is determined [to run for presidency] and can compete [with other candidates], he should resign from his position.
He concludes: At the end, if, with holding such meetings, you intend to be more present among the youths, these meetings will be of no use, unless we see actions on your behalf. We will by no means allow that some people, by transforming the revolution and Islam, change Mashhad and Qom into another Vatican. We tell them that Iran belongs to all Iranians. And it will be for all Iranians. It is not us who should leave Mashhad; it is they who should change their behaviors.