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Freedom not to react
... especially when there is lack of knowledge

December 18, 1998
The Iranian

In [Where are the strategic thinkers?], a very irate Roshanravan lambasted an unspecified number of Iranian intellectuals, artists, professors, politicians, and journalists for not reacting to the "tragic murder of Dr. Daryoush Foruhar and Mrs. Parvaneh Foruhar," two apparently very famous, popular dissident nationalists. Now exactly why this murder is tragic and others are not is beyond me.

The writer slammed into "all those highly-educated 'strategic thinkers' who regularly post their opinions on various issues" for remaining silent in the face of "this criminal murder!" This now raises the intriguing possibility that there might be some homicides out there which are not criminal.

Most interesting, however, was the writer's reason for why these intellectuals remained silent. These hypocrites, according to the writer, live in exile and because of this, they play a double role of promoting dialogue with murderers, while they "float in the heavens" thinking about much bigger issues than the demise of the Foruhars. The writer describes the large issues pondered by these "democratic intellectual strategists" as "khar rang kon," meaning having as much relevance as painting a donkey!

Perhaps, if these unconscientious intellectuals are too busy painting donkeys, then the job of reacting to the death of the Foruhars should be left to those who know better and appreciate the real and relevant issues. The writer looked around and concluded that those people too have "bigger fish to fry" than to bother with the Foruhars! This goes to show you, if it is not a donkey, then it is a fish; there is always something, preventing one from doing what someone else wants done!

Finally, the writer administered a vicious blow with a line from Hafez -- that is, these lazy good-for-nothing intellectuals rather chase fiction than deal in reality.

One of the beauties of being in exile is to have the freedom not to write, not to give an opinion, not to eulogize, especially about matters or persons one does not know. Alas, if the writer had devoted some time writing in the praise of the Foruhars or condemnation of the murder and the murderer(s), then an appreciative readership would have become more informed about an issue mattered to the writer.

In the words of Hakim Bisavaad Larijani, "Cho natvaani kard taqlif-e digari; Befarmaa, ar daani, to azoo behtari!" That is, do it yourself.

The author

Guive Mirfendereski is an international lawyer and adjunct professor of law at Brandeis University.

Copyright © 1997 Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form