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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


July 5, 2000

Serious omissions

There are some serious omissions that undermine the objectivity if not authenticity of your article "Wake-up call".

You say "In 1991, Abdolkarim Soroush complained of lack of intellectual and ideological creativity and activism among Muslim students in universities," without mentioning that he was himself THE chief architect and executioner of "the cultural revolution," granted full mandate from Khomeini. Crucially, you fail to mention that not only Khamanei but also Khatami ordered the ban and the crack down on the student demonstration - in fact Khatami used very harsh words like they will be crushed, as they indeed were in the two days that followed.

You neglect to specifically mention DTV's role in the "Cultural Revolution" and instead use the generic term "Islamic Student Associations" in this connection. Also, you should more clearly point out that DTV disassociated itself from the more radical student demonstrations, and while it was taking place, referred to the students as conscious or misled elements of infiltrators and anti-revolution. Further, its decision to participate in the pro-regime counter demonstration was quite delibrate, as this anti-student rally was endorsed by the whole pro-Khatami faction and press.

Otherwise I found the article fair and well researched.

Your disclosure on NOPO (as a secret highly trained force more sinister than Ansar) appears highly significant.

I found particularly enlightening your distinction between "factional" and "nonfactional" student protests, and examples of the latter: "Non-factional protests are those not motivated or supported by any of the political factions among the ruling clerics. They may or may not be political, but are treated as political and are more threatening to the IR than the factional ones." I consider the key here is that they are NOT supported by the Khatami faction.

Farshid Jamshidian


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