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    Police should be used to ‘push people to heaven’

    GOLPAYEGANI. . . coercing goodness

    The Supreme Leader’s chief of staff says an Islamic government must push people down the right path so they get to heaven.

    The comment was a stark repudiation of what President Rohani has said, that people cannot be forced into heaven.

    The comments Saturday by Ayatollah Mohammad Moham-madi-Golpayegani, who runs the Supreme Leader’s office, came during a ceremony introducing the new chief of the national police, and implied that the police would now be expected to do more to enforce the dress code and other social norms.

    The Netherlands-based Radio Zamaneh said the UENA news agency reported Gol-payegani said an Islamic government is charged with “taking people by the hand, saving them from hell and pushing them toward heaven.”

    Golpayegani reportedly added: “An Islamic government cannot be indifferent, and on this path, security forces need to take action to cleanse Islamic society of errors.”

    These statements stood in stark contrast to those by Rohani, who said several weeks ago: “Let people chose the path to heaven on their own; we cannot coerce people into heaven under the crack of a whip.” Rohani was criticized by hardliners for his comments.

    Golpayegani said: “The promotion of an Islamic atmosphere is the aim of Islamic governments, and this culture needs to increase every day, and the security forces can have an effective role in this.”

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