The people of my generation who lived through the 8 year war that Saddam imposed on Iran can catch the feeling of what I am about to say. Younger generations and those living abroad might feel the distance in time and place. Its now likened to a myth for many. They ask: could such noble and altruistic people really have existed ?
Last night I attended an important commemoration ceremony for two martyrs who were courageous commanders during the war. The Bakeri brothers, Hamid and Mehdi were both renown for their leadership during the different stages of the war and their unrivalled bravery. The speaker at this session was Eng. Mir Hossein Mousavi the nation's Prime Minister at that time(1983-1989). Mr. Mousavi has refrained from appearing in public for the past two decades. But he is back now, and this is very meaningful in the dire political circumstances we face. Rumours say he might also run for Presidency. Mr. Khatami and many other high level political figures from the reformist camp attended as well. He spoke about the relevancy of the concept of martyrdom and the last wills of these martyrs for young people of this generation. He read parts of the will: We consider martyrdom as a great salvation from God and reserved for His dearest people....
He spoke on the importance of bridging the gaps with the youth who have not witnessed those days.
I think the concept of martyrdom in Islamic tradition is quite fascinating since it has proved to be a major mobilizing power for defending the faith in face of devastating circumstances such as the Crusades or in Palestine and the 8 year aggression of Saddam. The legacy of Imam Hossein remains as the major inspirational motive in this regard. It exhibits a universal message of sacrifice for Truth , Righteousness and ultimately the Creator.
There is alot of misunderstanding and abuse of this concept during our era. Some take the aspiration for martyrdom to be synonymous with suicide or some have abused the concept to promote violence and terrorism like Taliban and related organizations. Others have politicised the concept in favor of their particular political tendency.
Actually, the intention involved is the defining line. Mehdi and Hamid Bakeri like thousands of Iranian martyrs fought for freedom, independence and dignity for Iran . They however, set an example worldwide for all those who have chosen not to remain indifferent.