The IranianUnique Travel


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    May 3, 1999

    Why so blatantly biased?

I cannot help but notice the "zede-enqelaab" or even "zede-Iran" bias of your magazine. A simple browse over the list of articles available reveals this. You have the assimilationist piece by Guive Mirfendereski, an adolescent article by Pejman Mosleh, a thoroughly boring piece of fiction by Massud Alemi, a couple gharbzadeh-esque articles from Laleh Khalili, the article from Shalizeh Nadjmi that is little more than a thinly veiled rationalization of her Black man fetish, the collection of pictures from the pre-Revolutionary Air Force (who cares!?), the typically mediocre poetry of yet another gharbzadeh young Iranian woman, Leyla Momeny.

The relationship your magazine seems to have with the reality of Iran as it is now, is a kind of nostalgia for what might have been had Iran sold herself out years ago and an alien's disgust at Iran now - example being the author who had to rationalize sympathy for any mullahs. Perhaps in the process of leaving Iran many people have had to rationalize their expatriate status by making all mullahs "evil".

Then there are the letters, which I know have been censored to give an impression that expatriate Iranians are all Western-loving, Islam and Islamic Republic loathing (examples being Jamshid E.'s article - apparently straight from his Monafeq sources).

Why is your magazine so blatantly biased? I've yet to read one article with any sort of praise for traditional Islamic and Iranian values. Not even a single article about Shi'i Islam or about the Islamic Republic as the government of Iran, but I've seen quite a few articles about the dead Shah regime. Indeed, the magazine should be renamed "The Iranian-American" or "The Persian" - to reflect the orientalist bias that your magazine's articles all share - the tendency to view Iran with alien glasses.

I know many people refer to your site as a reflection of Iranian culture, but they are hardly that! The cultural model presented in this magazine's content is the remnants of Shah-era culture with a heavy admixture of Western moralism staring incomprehensibly at Iran today. The distinction between Iranian culture and Iranian expatriate culture should be made explicit.

Babak Banaei

(If this letter is not published I would like a reason.)

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