The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


November 29, 2000

No need for radicalism

I read the interesting analysis of Dr. Ali Akbar Mahdi ["Making a hero"]. I agree that Nabavi's confessions are actually reasons for his increased popularity than otherwise. I believe he thinks well, and yes, living and writing should be preferred to becoming a martyr.

The only point with which I disagree is the underlying assumption of the article that any social change necessarily involves violence and rejection of social institutions. In other words, a prescription is implied that more unrest and more radicalism, or otherwise "ghahr-e enghelabi" are essential tools for any institutional change in Iran.

I believe advocating these types of radicalism are never constructive. We can never reach democracy by overthrowing others. A dialogue for reform and advocating structures supportive of such dialogues are more effective ways of reaching democratic values. This is an important point on which Dr. Mahdi's article does not elaborate.

Poopak Taati


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