Mad in Mahabad
Recent uprising in the Eastern part of Kurdistan
might be counterproductive if it loses peaceful
August 3, 2005
Depending on the
circumstances the peak of Kurdish movement has shifted from one
to another part of Kurdistan. Uprisings under the leadership of
Malik Mahmood, Mustafa Barzani, Simko, Ghazi Muhamad, Sheikh Said,
and Ocalan are a few examples of such a shift.
The remarkably peaceful
movement in Southern (Iraqi) Kurdistan during the past decade
has been much more productive than previous movements. However,
has stimulated a few other counter productive uprisings in Eastern
(Iranian), Northern (Turkish), and Western (Syrian) parts of
Kurdistan, which have been brutally suppressed.
The purpose of this article
is to argue that the recent uprising in the Eastern part of Kurdistan
might also be counterproductive, if it loses its passive and peaceful
character. After 11 months of the first self-ruled modern Kurdish
state, the Republic of Mahabad was overthrown in 1946 and its leaders
in public by shah's supporters.
A new movement came to existence
under the leaderships of Kurdish organizations such as the Democratic
Party of Kurdistan-Iran (PDKI) and Komala, as well as some semi
Kurdish groups and religious personalities such as Sheikh Ezzadin
and Ahmed Muftizdaeh in the 1970s. This movement was also shot
down by religious fundamentalists in the early 1980s.
nobility or "naivety" two prominent PDKI leaders, Ghasemloo and Sharsafkandi,
even tried to negotiate with the Iranian government. However, both were assassinated
on the negotiation table in Vienna 1988 and in Berlin in 1992 respectively.
Iranians elected as president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a man allegedly
involved in the assassination of Dr. Ghasemloo. The outlook of
this president symbolizes simplicity and being financially disadvantaged,
might suggest that he would understand those who have been discriminated
if the allegation is true, he might be too dangerous to world civilization.
To prevent a disaster,
that could happen would be for this "revolutionary" president
to make history by turning himself in to an international
and by doing so
instantly free the Middle Eastern of a major menace! Although he wears no turban,
the new president is still among the leaders of an extreme ideology which happens
be Islamic fundamentalism with a tendency to appreciate death more than life.
This ideology accepts only
one form of truth, god, and prophecy with absolute certainty. The
leaders of such an extreme ideology promise
their followers that a good life is possible only in heaven via martyrdom
and by the killing of non-believers. Similar worldviews including
extremist Judaism, Christianity, National-Socialism, and Communism have
failed to achieve what Islamic fundamentalism hopes to achieve.
The extremists of any
ideology tend to claim that their religion, class, or kind are either better
or chosen by a higher power to rescue their own kind or even mankind. No
one with a free mind buys these claims any more! The followers
of this current extreme
ideology seem to be too rigid to understand the value of human life as evident
by their terrorist behavior: beheadings, suicide bombings, hangings in public,
and callous assassinations.
The story of Shoan Qaderi, who was killed, hung from
the back of a
vehicle, and dragged in the streets of Mahabad recently is
a clear example of this necrophilic culture and use of terror. What happened
to Qaderi, for whatever reason, suggests that Eastern Kurdistan
is under the control of extremists with a very deviant
Clearly demanding any natural rights in Iran is a
dangerous challenge and might be suppressed very brutally with
It is worse than fighting with a stick against creatures infected
with rabies. I am wondering how one
could reason with or neutralize the behavior of such extremists
except with a coordinated international force or with passivity.
Since the coordinated international force is fighting
in two other fronts now and being criticized by Chamberlain like
only a passive Ghandi-style movement seems to be the
option for liberation of Iran in general and Eastern part of
Kurdistan in particular.
What is the role of Eastern Kurdistan under current circumstances?
Although the condition might be intolerable for any free mind,
I hope the people there remain passive and patient, educate self
and others, protect their Kurdish identity, use pen instead of
weapon, and focus primarily on promoting the success of the Southern
part of Kurdistan at this stage. In the South not only 98% of
the Kurds welcomed a free Kurdistan, but also many progressive
have recognized that both nations should have equal rights.
Only in the southern part of their land are Kurds allowed
to read, write, and speak in their own language in public schools
and offices. This part has a better chance to reach the ultimate
liberation first. Once this part is free, and the masses of their
neighboring ethnic groups recognize that Kurds are no threat to
them, they might welcome Kurdish hand of friendship and demands
Let's hope the masses reach such a developmental
level so no dictators can brainwash them to kill themselves and
others in order to end up in heaven. Let's hope the fundamentalists
recognize that many living individuals and societies are already
in heaven by believing in liberty, justice, equality and prosperity.
Let's hope for a white, orange, pink, or green revolution
but not a red or bloody one in the Middle East!
Kamal H. Artin, MD, is a member of the Kurdish
American Education Society, California.