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Letter from Ayatollah Ashcroft to His CounterPart Ayatollah Shahroudi of Iran


Dear Ayatollah Shahroudi,

It’s been a while that I have planned to write to you. But as we are both aware, the anti-God forces in our countries keep us quite busy! I have been very occupied doing my share to keep these forces in check here. But their attacks against God and I has not died down, and they have been pushing me to the edge. The funny thing is they claim they are law-abiding citizens who are fighting to preserve their constitutionally guaranteed rights. Big words coming out of little heads! What does our actions have to do with the law and the constitution?! These ignorant infidels fail to see that it’s God that’s above all, and it’s God that we serve. It was God’s will that put me and you where we are, and it’s God that drives us to do what we do. We do respect law and constitution, as long as they are within the God’s domain. And we judge as God shall do on the judgment day. Is that so difficult to understand? You and I do!

Now I’m finally writing to you to congratulate you on your greatest achievement. When I heard the news that you have sentenced that infidel Aghajari to death, adrenaline rushed through my veins, and I suddenly felt I have wings and could fly high up. My biggest regret at that moment was that I could not be present in your courtroom and witness this brave and just ruling. How dare this professor advocates people not to follow us like monkeys! In this day and age we need followers, specially of the blind type, more than ever. I actually feel jealous about your ruling. I feel you are getting closer to God and I’m being left behind! And I sure wish to join you in every step that you take towards God!

It made me even happier that you have also sentenced this blasphemous man to lashes and banned him from teaching for 10 years. We certainly don’t want the evil thoughts of this man to be propagated through the vulnerable academic community. Actually, based on my research, the weakest link in our society is the academia. You should also be aware of this fact. I do remember that in the early years of your revolution, you and your peers closed all the universities for a few years and performed a thorough cleansing of the evil thoughts, sort of like what the exorcists do I guess. But that must not have been enough. It’s clear that the cancer has spread again. And now that you are about to kill the first hopeless patient, I cannot agree with you more. Sometimes we have to make painful decisions. We know it must be done, and there are certainly many hopeless patients in the academia. So it’s so painful that we only have to take out one patient at a time! There was a time that the patients would just succumb to God’s will and vanish peacefully. Isn’t it great when this creates a “chain” reaction? But now that the patients are not so willing to vanish quietly, we have to perform our God-given duties in the public’s eyes. But this is probably a blessing in disguise. It’s true that we are both modest people and prefer to perform our tasks without any fanfare or witnesses. The only witness we normally prefer to have is God. That works better for us in the courts too. Doesn’t it? But if we have to act in the open, there must be a reason. God must have wanted it this way!

As I’m now witnessing the tremendous pressure that is being applied to you to reverse this just and historic order, I’m praying every day and asking God to give you strength to successfully carry out this holly task and cleanse the earth of this man and then stop him from teaching ever again. That will surely strengthen us in our beliefs and give us hope that very soon we can also implement the policy of “you are either with God or against us” in this greatest country of the world!

And before I forget, I also want to ask for your advice regarding another important issue. I’ve always followed with interest the regular checkpoints that your Basij volunteer forces set up in the streets and roads to enforce God’s wishes. We have recently implemented our own checkpoints program. But I’m afraid our forces are very inexperienced and naive and cannot run this program very effectively. So I was wondering if we can benefit from your experience in this area. It would be extremely helpful to us if we can borrow a few hundred of your Basij personnel for a period of a year or two to train our staff. I’m in particular interested to learn how we too can run this as a volunteer program so we can also operate outside the limitations set forth by the law and constitution and similar buz words.

Of course I will personally make sure that your Basij forces will not be fingerprinted or photographed when entering the United States, as this kind of treatment is only reserved for ordinary people who live within a 5000 mile radius of the terrorists and is really intended to convince these people and everyone else that we are serious about what we do. Then perhaps they’ll stop talking so much about us or other important issues. Why is it that everyone takes this “freedom of expression” thing of ours so seriously? Even our people are starting to grasp that there is a limit to everything including exercising, freedom and expression. It’s about time people from other countries did that too. We think fingerprinting them will show them who the boss is around here, and photographing them upon arrival pops their eyes wide open so they can see better for the rest of their stay here, and of course we’ll do everything in our power and beyond to make that stay uncomfortable! The party is over!

I also want to assure you that your Basiji staff will enjoy the most comfortable accommodations during their tenure here, and their devotion to God and to me shall be generously rewarded both in this world and the next. I sure hope that this will result in more cultural exchanges between the United States and Iran.

You know, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the public hangings and the stonings that your staff have been performing. Since I know you are specially found of crane hangings, I hope the sanctions hasn’t stopped you from acquiring U.S. made cranes for the job. If it has, I’ll sure be glad to ask for a special waver or favor for crane sales to you. We’ve of course been trying to stay in par with you as far as the number of executions go, but we are definitely lagging when it comes to execution methods. What are executions good for if the public cannot view them and learn from them? God willing we are going to do something about this. Right now I’m shooting for public executions starting in early 2004 followed by stonings in mid 2006. And there again I’m counting on you to share with us your expertise. This is certainly another area we can benefit from cultural exchanges!

And finally, my biggest wish right now is to enjoy your companionship and play host to you personally here in the United States or enjoy your hospitality there in Iran. There are certainly a lot of ideas and experiences the two of us can share and exchange. I cannot stop thinking the ideas the two of us can come up with if we put our heads together. After all, as one of my dearest friends Dan Quayle once said, “what a waste it is to lose one’s mind.” And here we are talking about two minds!

I wish you continuous success in serving God and punishing your people. And I look forward to hearing from you soon.

God Bless you! Yours Truly, Ayatollah John Ashcroft

P.S. I hope you’ll allow me to use the title of ayatollah. I felt I’ve earned it, and that also makes me feel closer to you and my other peers there. I actually feel more ayatollah than some of the ayatollahs over there. But if you feel I need to do more to deserve this title, I’m certainly ready for the challenge.

ALI MOAYEDIAN can be reached at


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