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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 27, 2000

Abandon emotionalism

I am afraid I have hurt Mr Tabib's feelings more than I intended to, assuming that he is of a more robust stock than is the case ["Blind patriotism"]. My contempt is not for Mr Tabib's person but for his opinion. I am sure he is a valuable member of society who contributes in his own way.

Now to the crux of the argument: there is some talk of patriotism in the opening passage of Mr Tabib's letter. It amuses me that he did not get my point last time. Whether Christmas is of Persian or not has no bearing on my national pride so that his quote, as touching as it may be is superfluous.

As for juxtaposition of my obligation to respond and my perceived harshness, I merely invite him to look up the difference between etiquette and politeness. I also invite Mr Tabib to abandon his emotionalism and speak factually instead of plead for sympathy.

Mr Tabib then launches into a hyperbole: "I have touched a nerve, it appears, and it has propelled Mr. Salardini to launch a search for the holy grail of proofs regarding a causal link between Mithraism and Christmas." Well I like to say that my earlier correspondences to the Iranian suggest that I exercise the same courtesy of proof in all my debates and that he need not feel particularly privileged.

And the tale of woe continues: "I, as a 'poorly educated man,' would like to assure Mr. Salardini that my years in the poorly educating system (!) of American universities has taught me at least one thing: Dogmatism and blind patriotism is the greatest peril that can fall upon a tribe, nation or group..." Well there are those of us Iranians who are particularly impressed by the label "American University" and those of us that realize that the differences between Howard University and University of Zanjan are only that of appearances. Even if Mr Tabib is from Harvard or Yale he is still a poorly educated man. Why? Because anyone with even the beginnings of an education knows the difference between reliable and unreliable sources.

The three examples Mr Tabib uses in his response to my "challenge" are simply pathetic. Two of them are tabloid, nameless sites and the third is by a 19th century researcher whose biblical scholarship can hardly be considered cutting edge today. The very first thing his "American University" should have taught Mr Tabib is how to conduct reliable and reputable research. In that task they have definitely failed him. The difference between the Catholic Encyclopaedia and "" is the comparison between my arguments and those of Mr Tabib's.

As for Easter, I like forward to debate the point when the time comes. And I like to reiterate that my contention is with his argument, not his person.

Arash Salardini


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