In response to your
letter (Babak Banaei), I must say that many Iranians or Iranian-Americans
-- or as you may call us "gharbzadeh" and "zede Iran"
-- enjoy reading these articles. I have lived here in the U.S. for more
than a decade and can relate to most of the articles, stories, and other
materials published here. If you are looking to read about Shi'i Muslims
or about the Islamic Republic government of Iran, there are plenty of other
news sources, magazines and web-sites you can access.
The news I read everyday through The Iranian Times is really
all that interests me about what is going on in Iran. Reading about daily
religious activities and holy beliefs does not really interest me, nor
does it fit in my life. Have you thought that perhaps there are only a
few people interested in reading the types of articles you are expecting
to see here and even fewer people interested in writing such articles about
Islam and traditional Islamic values?
The bias you are complaining about comes more from lack of interest,
rather than censorship. Another element which you have completely overlooked
is that not all Iranians are Muslims. Many people left Iran because they
were not able to speak their minds and share their real life experiences
along with their creative works with their hamvatans.
Why don't you enlighten us all by writing an article about what all
Iranian expatriates should read and know about?
We always complain about why things aren't done the way we want them
rather than doing things ourselves. Your belittling and defamatory comments
towards other people's work is definitely not the best and most constructive
approach. If you feel that what is presented in these articles is about
Iranian expatriate culture and not Iranian culture, your point is well
taken, but your derogatory remarks are completely unnecessary.
I admit that I do not know of any censored material that were not published
here, nor do I know any of the authors personally, but it gives me much
pleasure and fruition to read about the views, creative thoughts and activities
that my fellow countrymen exercise here in the U.S. and other places abroad.
Many people would agree that Islamic views are not all that you should
see in Iranian culture. As much influence that Islam had in Iranian culture,
I am surprised that you expect not too see any influence exerted on our
culture by living in the U.S. This is who we are and the way we live here
in the U.S. and this is reality. "Iran" and being "Irani"
are not some small static definitions in a box. Culture is what we make
of it. Culture is not a predetermined entity.