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Thoughts

Dear editor salam
Collected emails

By Hamid Boroumand
February 14, 2004
iranian.com

Usuaully a selection of Hamid Boroumand's comments appear in the Letters section. These are all his emails in the past couple of weeks. -- Javid

Dear editor salam,

The other day I was thinking to myself how those of us who have lived in the United States for many years (or for not so many years), and who now effectively call this place "home" could return something valuable to a land and a people who, in our time of trouble and need, extended a safe haven for us to live, study, work, and generally feel "at home" in. The first thought that crossed my mind was to show our appreciation by "being good citizens" and by respecting the law. The second thought that crossed my mind was that we should try to be the model community and that we should try to set the standards of excellence -by good example (not empty words)- in behaviour, conduct, achievement, education, family relations, business dealings, politics, and community involvement among other things, with the underlying objective of improving the condition of the community and society we live in. I do not think that society and community will persist in a healthy manner if all we choose to do is to "take" and not "give", and frankly one of the simplest ways of giving back to a society anywhere is by being upright, honest and productive people.

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Dear editor salam,

I look at the application of faith from a number of angles. One facet which I have learned through experience as being an extremely powerful tool in the management of stress has been the physical performance of the Muslim ritual of prayer when it is performed right around noontime, in a place of quiet and solitude. I don't quite know if it is the temporary disconnect from routine at around that time of day, or the physical movement of the prayer, or the flow of blood to the brain in the process of prostration, or the spiritual reconnection to the Creator, but whatever it is it acts to "reboot" my entire system at a pivotal time of the day. I would strongly encourage those who have not experienced this stress management technique, or who have put it on the wayside, to try and acquaint or reacquaint themselves with something that I have found to be very powerful and very effective (I would also recommend it for people who suffer from depression and anxiety.)

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Dear editor salam,

I just wanted to clear some things up in the event some of your readers may have misconstrued my thoughts and intentions:

(1) Despite my sometime general support for American foreign policy, excepting when and where it is unjust, partial and oppressive, I am NOT a CIA agent (sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists amongst you.)

(2) My appreciation of members of the opposite sex extends to their beautiful outer and inner qualities, and to treating women respectfully with kindness and compassion. I do NOT endorse non "mashrou" relationships between men and women, and in fact am strongly opposed to pre-marital and extra-marital relationships (sorry to disappoint the "heez" amongst you.)

(3) My antipathy towards drug dealers and feelings of sorrow for drug addicts is the result of observation and rational analysis, and NOT personal experience (shorry to dishappoint the "sheereies" amongsht you.)

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Dear editor salam,

While I would be a hypocrite if I were not to admit that pretty and young Persian women make life and living that much more beautiful and exciting, I was somewhat unsettled when I recently learned that one of todays foremost adult film actresses, Melody Max, is a 19 year old Persian woman. Now I like attractive women as much as the next guy, but we really shouldn't be having our women going into either the prostitution or the adult film business- it is not consistent with our "obohateh Irooni boodan." Another avocation that we should stay far far away from is that of drug dealing, as I can think of fewer things that are more sleazy, crass, and unproductive than that of being a drug dealer.

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

My fellow Iranians salam,

Will you show solidarity and support me in my call for a massive nationwide strike and work stoppage to begin this coming Wednesday, or will you abandon me like the Ahl-Kufeh abandoned Imam Hossein on the plains of Karbala?

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***


Mr. Reza Pahlavi salam,

I listened with interest to your recent broadcast to Iranians both within Iran and outside its borders, and found much to be commended. While I will premise my observations on a strongly held belief that the time for monarchies (autocratic or constitutional) in today's modern world has come and gone, and that republics are more conducive to the participation of the masses in the political process, I feel that your thoughts on Iran's political evolution, as a private citizen and as a concerned Iranian, have a great deal of merit. I particularly think that you speak what is on the mind of a majority of Iranians when you suggest that the road around the obstacles facing Iran and Iranians today is the need to acknowledge that the State must understand that it is the servant of the Nation, not that the Nation is the servant of the State. Of course, the best way to achieve the aforementioned objective is to vest the power of decision-making in the popularly elected representatives of the Nation, or the Majlis Shura, in consultation with a democratically elected president, free of the interference of unelected bodies and influences. As an aside, for those concerned about possible moral decay accompanying a popular democracy, a popular democracy-in a conservative society- has its own inherent mechanisms (notably the "drift" of democracy in that society, public opinion and the power of the vote) which will prevent or limit the influence of elements out of sync with a societies norms and values.

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Dear editor salam,

The simple reason that the Majlis Shura elections must be boycotted, even if the Shura Negahban removes its objections to the merits of the candidates, is that the Majlis Shura will always remain weak, ineffective and powerless as long as an unelected and dictatorial body like the Shura Negahban holds a veto over the demands of the representatives of the people and citizenry. The only realistic solution is to dismantle and dissolve the unelected and autocratic Shura Negahban, and return the seat of power and decision-making to where it belongs: the people and the Majlis Shura.

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani salam,

While I am sure you are a very busy man sharing your opinion on a variety of topics with many curious or concerned individuals, I feel that my recent question on your opinion for unobstructed, free and fair participation in Iran's Majlis Shura elections warrant a priority response as your opinion may be of interest not just to myself but to millions of others as well. In the case of Iraq, it is my understanding that you are prepared to issue a fatva calling for a total election boycott should free and fair elections be hindered. Are you willing to issue a similar fatva calling for a total election boycott in favor of unhindered free and fair elections in Iran as well?

Va salam and respectfully awaiting your prompt answer,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani salam,

You have been very outspoken in calling for direct democratic elections in Iraq without the creation of obstacles or interferences in the election process by third parties. I am interested in your opinion, as an Iranian by birth and heritage and as a religious scholar, as to the current situation regarding Iran's upcoming parliamentary elections whereby a popularly unelected group of individuals consisting of twelve individuals (Shura Negahban), complicit with a popularly unelected leader (Rahbar), have taken it upon themselves to determine who is and is not a Muslim in Iran, and as such whom the people can or cannot vote for in elections. Aside from the personal agendas and grievances that the popularly unelected Shura Negahban and popularly unelected Rahbar may harbor in their selection process, am I not correct in my understanding of Islamic Fiqh that a person/candidate is considered a Muslim (upon making the Shahada) and that the burden of proof of establishing otherwise rests on an accuser (keeping in mind, all the while, that suspicion is forbidden in Islam). Also, if you make an exception for Iran- for whatever reason- doesn't that damage your credibility in regard to your demands for free and fair elections in Iran?

Va salam and respectfully awaiting your answer,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Dear editor salam,

I would be curious to know how Ayatollah Sistani, who happens to be Iranian and is at the forefront of calls for an unadulterated democratic process in Iraq, feels about extending the same privileges and rights to free and fair elections for his own countrymen in Iran? Many parallels can be drawn between the obstacles Mr. Sistani objects to in Iraq's elections, and the flaws in Iran's existing constitutional process and structure. Mr. Sistani where are your calls of protest with respect to the charade and humiliation that Iranians have to endure, not at the hands of foreigners, but at the hands of their own oppressive countrymen and co-religionists?

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

***

Dear editor salam,

Can someone tell me why 40% of Iran's population lives under the poverty line, or why we hear of individuals in Iran having to work 3 jobs at one time just to pay for basic food and shelter? Wouldn't, among other things, an all-out war against poverty and ignorance in the 1980's have been a better use of Iran's limited resources than a futile eight year bloodbath to "...reach Jerusalem through Karbala" (or whatever other messed up priorities are being currently contemplated)? Doesn't it bother the "leadership" of Iran or hurt its non-existant pride to see its own people beggaring? How can a group of people supposedly "in charge" be so incompetent in this day and age?

Va salam,
Hamid Boroumand

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