May 29, 2015


Addressed to:

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, the Leader of NDP, the Official Opposition

Justin Trudeau, The leader of the Liberal Party

Elizabeth May, The leader of the Green Party of Canada


RE: 26th Anniversary of Imam Khomeini: An Awakening Against Global Injustice


To the Honourable Minister Blaney, Minister of Public Safety Canada


We, the undersigned, are a group of responsible members of Canada’s sizeable Iranian-Canadian community. We are writing to express our outrage and revulsion with the Islamic Society of York Region’s decision to hold a celebration on May 31, 2015 in honour of Ayatollah Khomeini.


Ayatollah Khomeini’s heinous historical record is well known. As documented by countless United Nations condemnations, Amnesty International reports and many other independent investigations, he was responsible for the execution, torture, disappearance, rape, and imprisonment of tens of thousands of Iranians– whose only crime was the peaceful exercise of their political and religious rights. Ayatollah Khomeini, then the supreme leader of Iran, was directly responsible for numerous violent acts including:


The execution of thousands of political prisoners in the summer of 1988. Canada’s Parliament courageously adopted a unanimous consent motion recognizing the massacre of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 as crimes against humanity under international law. Canada as such became the first country in the world to officially recognize these crimes.
The systematic torture, imprisonment and execution of thousands of political dissidents throughout the 1980s. In 1985, Iran became “the fourth country ever in the history of the United Nations” to be placed on the agenda of the General Assembly because of “the severity and the extent of this human rights record.”


Furthermore, Ayatollah Khomeini was directly responsible for the implementation of policies which can easily be categorized as religious and gender apartheid. In its judgment –at the end of a three-day session in The Hague in 2012– the Iran Tribunal found that the Islamic regime had committed “gross human rights abuses” including torture, sexual violence, extra-judicial executions and unjust imprisonment throughout its existence.


On the international stage, Ayatollah Khomeini was responsible for numerous assassinations of Iranian activists on foreign soil. In addition, he issued the “Death Fatwa” against Salman Rushdie, the author of The Satanic Verses.


In numerous speeches addressed to the people, Ayatollah Khomeini declared all who opposed or criticized the Islamic government “Enemies of God” and assured their elimination. As Iranian-Canadian citizens–many of us whom witnessed and experienced first-hand these atrocities–we request a strong condemnation of the Islamic Society of York, whom have the audacity to organize this event.


In the past, the government of Canada has shown leadership in condemning the Islamic republic of Iran and other nations for their flagrant violations of human rights. This is a historic moment for Canada, with its long peace-loving tradition, to seize this opportunity to refuse to endorse any form of celebration that glorifies the founder of the Islamic Regime. Any such event would be an insult to humanity and the families of the victims.





Farrokh Zandi, (PhD)Professor, York University
Mehrdad Hariri, (PhD) Science Policy Consultant………
Ms. Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay, Human Rights Activist
Dr. Siavash Assadpour, Community Health and community activist
Ms. Shahla Ghafouri, Community activist
Mr. Ali Vakili, Community activist
Mr. Mehdi Kouhestaninejad, Community activist
Mr. David Mousavi, Lawyer and community activist
Mr. Reza Banai, Community activist
Mr. Afshin Afshin-Jam,
Mr. Mohammad khodakhah
Ms. Sohaila Khodakhah
Ms. Sarah Takhsha
Ms. Fereshteh Abedi
Mr. Kaveh Shahrooz, Lawyer
Dr. Kaveh Rod
Ms. Maryam NayebYazdi, Human rights activist
Ms. Giti Sanoughi
Mr. Karim Amjadi
Mr. Arman Amjadi
Ms. Azar Mousavi
Mr. Babak Mousavi
Mr. Salman Sima, Community activist
Mr. Ali Gheshmi
Mr. Shahin Gheshmi
Mr. Ahmad Mashoud, Human Rights Activist
Ms. Azam Sahel gozin
Dr. Fatemeh Mansourifar
Ms. Parvaneh Moradi
Ms. Sima Dini
Ms. Parvin Jahanshahi
Ms. Sevil Sahel gozin
Mr. Bijan Yahyapour
Mr. Rayen Aria
Mr. Sam Aria
Ms. Nahid Sahel gozin
Ms. Farideh Sahel gozin
Mr. Hushang Firousi
Ms. Fereshteh Bagheri
Mr. Afshin Firouzi
Mr. Shahram Namvar Azad
Ms. Sophie Namvar Azad
Mr. Saeed Chooback
Ms. Lisa Lo
Mr. Mike Arya
Mr. Arash Tavakoli
Ms. Negin Shams
Dr. Mehdi Shams
Ms. Batool Momen
Ms. Nazanin Shams
Mr. Shakour Ghafouri
Ms. Nasrin Soofi
Mr. Karamali Mansourifar
Mr. Fereydoon Rahmani (PhD)
Mr. Taha Hassaniani
Ms. Sharmin Hassaniani
Mr. Mehdi Amin
Mr. Saeid Aghaei
Ms. Zarrin Moheyddin
Ms. Hossein Afsahi
Mr. Faramrz Shiravand, Journalist
Dr. Avideh Motmaen- Far, Osteopath D.O., M.P.
Mr. Arsalan Kahnemuyipour,(PhD) Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Toronto
Mr. Nima Machouf, PhD, Clinique médicale l’Actuel, Montréal, Quebec
Ms. Mitra Saffari, Engineer, Political, Social and Peace activist
Mr. Kamnoosh Shahabi, Research Support Specialist, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Mr. Ata Hoodashtian, Ph.D. Management Institute of Canada, Professor of Political Science
Ms. Shahnaz Baserinia
Mr. Shahriar Moussavi
Dr. Mohsen Kermanshahi
Mr. Siavash Safavi
Ms. Elahe Shoikraei , Women’s Rights Activist
Mr. Hossein Torkpour, Social worker
Mr. Caspian Makan
Mr. Arshak Shojaie
Ms. Nastaran Aliee
Dr. Razieh Razavynia, ACDQ. member of the board of directors, Iranian Literature Society of
Dr. Razieh Razavynia, ACDQ. member of the board of directors, Iranian Literature Society of
Ms. Shahrzad Ashadi/Multidisciplinary Artist
Ms. Nasrin Almasi, Journalist, Managing Editor , Shahrvand Publication
Mr. Hassan Zerehi, Publisher and Chief Editor, Shahrvand Publication
Dr. Shahram Tabe-Mohammad, Environmental Scientist &Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto
Mr. Michael Parsa
Ms. Lily Pourzand:  Gender Equality and Diversity Adviser
Mr. Khosro Berahmandi, General Manager and Artistic Director Festival Accès Asie
Ms. Shahnaz Rash
Mr. Aram Hasan
Mr. Mehdi Torabi Poor
Dr. Reza Moridi, MPP, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities and Minister of Research and InnovationMs. Sahar Azadi