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Play it very safe
and remember that the Middle East does not have monopoly on lunatics and stupidity...

August 28, 2002
The Iranian

This was emailed to iranian.com on September 14, 2001. For the next few days iranian.com will offer unpublished reactions to the September 11 attacks from its archives.

An Iranian friend wrote this and sent it to me. Can you print it in iranian.com in that new section, I guess? The friend suggested that you could edit it if needed (was not edited), but didn't want his/her name attached to it. So I removed it. -- Farzaneh R.

Most of you are (I think) much younger than me and therefore may not remember the days Iranians took Americans hostage in 1979.

I was a college student at the time and witnessed several acts of violence against Iranians in the US. The problem then, and I think unfortunately now again, was that people who posses legitimate rage, especially when emotionally charged CAN AND DO take matters in their own hands, attempting to "pay back" or "take revenge" by committing violence and possibly criminal acts against "foreigners" and Middle Eastern!

Back in the late 70's, one of our fellow Iranian students was stabbed to death near Boston University campus. Another group of Iranians were attacked in their apartment complex in Cambridge Massachusetts, a friend of mine was stabbed in the chest at a sandwich shop as he was waiting to get his order.

Needless to say, none of them were in any way political or otherwise visibly sympathetic to any causes even remotely militant! Other than their ethnic background the only thing they all had in common was their being very VISIBLE in ways that could (possibly) have been avoided. Two of the incidents took place past mid-night. Another one after a loud Iranian party that had drawn a lot of attention to itself.

The next few days, weeks, months will be, for most of us, very difficult in that on the one hand we want to, and need to, mourn the loss of over 5,000 innocent lives to the most brutal terrorist act of all time, and on the other hand, unfortunately, worry about our own safety.

Having witnessed the consequences of being victimized by such acts of violence, I think the wise thing to do is to be more careful, watch where we go, be aware of our surroundings, and basically play it very safe for a while.

We obviously need not worry about 99.99% of the population, but the ONE SINGLE lunatic who may be living in the [Sann Francisco] Bay Area and is looking for targets for his anger and miss-directed patriotism is the one we need to be aware of.

I am not a passive person, and am not promoting anyone to give up their rights and freedom they enjoy in this country. I am asking you all to just be careful and not allow yourself to be target of a possibly predictable stupid act of violence.

I hope my writing these words will not offend anyone, but as someone who has witnessed the consequences of misdirected pubic anger, I thought I would share my thoughts with you, playing an older brother who is asking you to be extra careful the next few weeks.

JUST BE CAREFUL and remember that the Middle East does not have monopoly on lunatics and stupidity...

Wishing you all safe days, weeks, and months ahead!

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