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No belle
Ebadi's slogans are nice. But that's not enough

By Mohsen M.
May 24, 2004

I am afraid! I am afraid of a foolish revolution again, not that our revolution was stupid but we treated it stupidly. I am afraid of another idiotic 98.8% "Yes" to the Islamic Republic at the ballot box without knowing what it really means. I am afraid of 80s mess regarding prosecuting and executing members of different political avenues, political thinkers, and sending innocent and naive Basijis to block the Iraqi tanks with piles of their bodies. I saw them; they were our brothers and sisters.

I am also afraid of the rise of too many people such as Seyed Ebrahim Nabavi who half of his life practiced his ideologies on other people and the other half starting to regret the first half.
No, I am not afraid of people, places, different political views, Islamists, communists, capitalists, or liberals, I am afraid that our senselessness will erect again.

I want to warn you of what it appears to be the same thing happened 25 years ago when the voice of Khomeini with his own special interests undermined the other voices. This article is not intended to evaluate in any extend the values that Khomeini carried.

To bring an example, let's remember the very first face of our revolution (or any revolution) about what we did to those military forces who were loyal to the Shah, I say the word "we" because whoever either participated directly in those operations or was simply a silent observer share the same bourdon of responsibility.

We asked them, "Are you still loyal to the Shah?" If the answer was yes and they were bravely admitted to their dignity and loyalty they would be soon put against the wall but if they condemned the Shah because they feared to be killed they would be granted freedom. This has been the case since then.

I am afraid that the hardship of 80s and the very first face of revolution that we saw have planted the seed of fear in our hearts, the fear of speaking our minds. I am talking about our recent history because there is a new trend in our lives! Shirin Ebadi who appears to be the missing loop to end our confusion about our identity, Muslim or Iranian?

Some of us adore her political views, some of us are suspicious and some denial. It does not matter what we think of her but let's not to be fooled by her Nobel peace prize. Let's remember the Nobel peace prize is one of the most politically biased prizes. I don't want to mention the timing of the award which was the time Europe was trying to push IRI to accept the addendum to NPT treaty and also the peak of Europe argument against the US on Iraq. In addition it would be worth the reader's time reviewing her other competitors' qualifications who were also candidate for the same prize.

I am not trying to denounce her great achievements but I know my fellow hamvatans have a tendency to raise the status of people whom they like to the God's place gradually (One of Shah's titles was Zellollah, the shadow of God and Khomeini was named Rohollah, the spirit of God). I want to remind Ms. Ebadi that her Nobel prize won't shield her from criticism.

Let me ask her what she thinks of us? Iranian? Or Muslim? Does she need to answer that? The answer is yes because if she says Islamic Republic as the prime indicator of Islamic authority failed to bring us democracy (?), which is not defined by Ms. Ebadi yet, we should not name ourselves Muslim and seek democratic government at the same time.

If she says we are Iranian and have nothing to do with Islam, she has to tell us what she wants to do with at least 40% hardcore conservative supporter of Islamic Republic (based on latest parliament election that was banned by Ms. Ebadi more than total of 40% of the qualified voters cast their votes against her recommendation). Can she simply ignore them? The answer is no because they are part of the society and ignoring them will contradict the first rule of any democratic establishment. This is the same argument that the US is now dealing with in Iraq.

However she cleverly refuses to bring this subject to the light in her last speech at Hoover Institution. She might noticed that some of Iranians, maybe a growing number of them will sadly never settle for both to be an Iranian and at the same time Muslim. It seems they just want to choose one of them at a time; they are not willing to tolerate the other side either.

I am concerned that this might be another repeat of history. She is coming with the ultimate happiness message, in this case, democracy and tolerance and as we know nobody knows what she means by democracy and how to spread tolerance. And now again people who want to do the process of "do-n-regret half-n-half" again are coming to the scene rushing us to accept her as a social leader.

Keep in mind what she said in her speech at Hoover Institution was absolutely right because she didn't say anything that the conventional wisdom wants to reject, but the question is that how she wants to map it into Iranian politics?

Yes tolerance is good political slogan but what is the road map to get it done when you are dealing with a society that has families that have lost their youngsters in the war to protect their Islamic principles or in the prisons for their strong political views.

Finally Ms. Ebadi isn't it much closer to the spirit of tolerance that you enlighten the story of sacrifices Iranian Muslims/religious Iranians have made to protect the country and our principles while you are talking to the Iranians overseas. Then when you return to Iran tell the hardliners that how much Iranians overseas love their home country and they will never give up on it and there will be no winner in this fight for VATAN.

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By Mohsen M.





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