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Hope

Imagine
The celebration of an Iran

October 9, 2003
The Iranian

For one moment set aside your pain, your suffering, your anguish, your loss, your vengeance, your anger, your despair, your alienation, your injustices and crimes, your disbeliefs, set aside your cynicism and take this walk with me for one moment only down this path; shut your eyes and imagine this Iran:

Imagine an Iran with no material poverty or poverty of spirit or thought, imagine an Iran where every family has its baagh with its reflecting hose to remind us of heaven even when we are looking downward and that this earth can be a mirror of it...

Imagine this Iran if you dare:

where the main emphasis of Islam is upon "God the kind, God the merciful... "

with equality between men and women in the eyes of the law and religion

where women have equal protection under the law in all matters including in marriage and divorce and in division of property and freedom to travel abroad and in child custody

with freedom to practice your religious beliefs of choice without fear of persecution

where modesty and humility and reverence prevail by choice not imposition

where public morality is a popular value, a personal preference not something forced upon you under penalty of law and punishment

where sexuality can be celebrated too without fear

where fashion, song and dance are celebrated

where femininity is respected and celebrated

where homosexuality is tolerated and free from persecution

with mystics and Sufis and Darvish under every tree

where poets and philosophers flourish and the arts abound and prosper an Iran which is become the cultural Mecca of Central Asia; once more the greatness of Persepolis, Susa, Madain or Herat

where the main character of the society is one of tolerance of differences once more in fact an Iran become famous for offering political asylum once more like Darius liberating the Jews from Babylonian captivity

an Iran famous for taking in refugees and the homeless of Afghanistan and Iraq and giving them decent wages and work

an Iran with no more torture and no more execution and no more political prisoners, no more unmarked graves, no more missing persons and disappearing persons, no more arrests in the middle of the night for "moral" infractions, no more secret police, no more morality police, no more fashion police, no more vigilantes, no more violations of human rights, no more state sanctioned rapes, muggings, beatings and coerced confessions, no more state sanctioned flogging

with a plurality of political parties where the religious far right would only be one party
among many instead of in charge

with a labor party, a socialist party, a communist party, a democratic party, a republican party, a monarchy party, a place for every political persuasion where a prime minister would govern only by a vote of confidence by a coalition like in Italy or France...

where people are free to assemble and to express their political opinions free from fear of reprisal

with a parliament where each religious or ethnic minority would have representatives, similar to what once existed in Lebanon, to include: Shias, Sunnis, Assyrian Christians, Armenian Christians, Jews, Bahais, Zoroastrians, Azeris, Kurds, Bakhtiaris, Baluchis, Qashqais and anyone else I have left out...? like Afghan immigrants

with freedom of the press and no more censorship of the media or music

with no more economic or cultural domination by any foreign power

where the bulk of the profits from petroleum benefit all the people of Iran

with a return to agricultural self sufficiency

with state subsidized and maintained irrigation systems

with tariff protection for every fledgling industry and subsidy for every export

with 100% literacy and a huge reading public and thriving literature and publishing

where public debate on every issue is tolerated and encouraged

with government scholarships available to every college student at home or abroad

with nationalized health care and a social security system and unemployment compensation and workmen's compensation, with labor unions

with a thriving cinema industry, handicrafts industry and carpet industryaided by government subsidy

with a cultural renaissance celebrating everything Persian from poets to architecture to archeology and history to cuisine which the entire world will recognize and appreciate

where there is enough military strength to defend its own borders free of reliance on any
treaty with an outside power

imagine an Iran where progress and tradition are given equal consideration

where environment and development have equal importance

imagine an Iran which would give a heroes welcome to the Diaspora, welcoming home all its children from every corner of the earth with land grants and financial compensation and rewards for coming back and a justice system tempered by amnesty and pardons given generously to the deserving... .no more characterized by excessive harshness and cruelty

where once more the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law...

Is this not the Iran you want, is this not the future Iran?

Do not forget that in the end Persians are far better poets than warriors and that too is cause for celebration... for poets have the vision the rest of us may lack to help us find our way through the dark valley of death out into a dawn's new light and promise...

Yours,

Rasool Aryadust
Aka Brian Appleton

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