Tomorrows of togetherness
Who am I in relation to Iran and Islam in the
March 24, 2005
I've read so many articles in Iranian.com regarding arguments
common among Iranians, mostly outside of Iran, on the difficulties
of being a person of faith in Islam or identified with it by birth
As we have gone through the events of the past 26 years (my
gosh, more than a quarter of a century) and watched the world
or left, East or West, rich or poor, and so on and so on, we became
more aware of the dilemma of what it means
to be Iranian.
Having a different background, we searched ourselves for a
sense of identity: who am I in relation to Iran and Islam in the
We Iranians are becoming better
than all people in the East or West. We have struggled with our
identity crisis for almost three decades. We were Muslims and
proud of it,
we were doubtful and raised questions, we homed ourselves in
and paid closer attention to its values.
Then we became homesick. We went
back to our nostalgic past, Iran and Islam, and watched through
a Western eye, and saw charming mirages and romantic notions
of humility and sincerity in its corners.
We decorated our homes with a new-found feeling brought
by the smell of berries and the song of Ramadan, reminding us
of the way our families and
old friends still live and pray. We felt their concerns and
thought about the way they see the world and we became the eye
of a hearty observant.
Dear friends, Iranians: if you
are a true believer of any faith I respect your private whispers within you,
and I hope you
respect mine. I believe in your freedom as long as you hurt no
one else's. You and I may decide to use our freedom differently,
that is the
nature of freedom. What free people may do is their business, and
what free thinkers think is also their business.
As thinkers and
our time, maybe we should learn how to be inclusive in our ways
and find that point in our fabric, that spiritual center -- not
a mosque, church or temple -- that can include all of us.
We are now living in every part of the world and the world always
demands our best. Our challenge as Iranians is to find the tomorrows
spiritually and physically. We should realize how close we
are inside. We argue, but deep inside we know in our hearts we are so similar.
The Sohrabs of our time won't
let their fathers kill them unjustifiably; they will
not allow their rights and hopes for better
lives be taken away any more. Who can stop progress
in the human soul? Once a greater vision is recognized,
be very difficult for any regime to stop it.
It is for us to recognize that greater vision that
connects us and empowers us as a tribe with a shared
history, and that is how
we shall welcome others, in an exchange of which culture
found the greater wisdom or silkiest love.
Our greater achievements may not be recorded, but
I believe that being an Iranian is something to be
proud of. We share a home with the greatest
teacher of human spirituality, Hafez, and the wisest,
Ferdosi, as well as Sa'di, Razi and Ibn-e Sina.
There is hidden glory within us, in our Sarzamin-e
Zartosht, Sarzamin-e Paak Fekree. All we need is a
renaissance to pass this depressing chapter.
These are not every day words, but sooner
we realize our empowerment as a unified group, the