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September 18, 2001

* Nazi threat ring a bell?

Your article titled "Fucking for virginity" is as eloquent and sensible as its title. In the future, spare us your imaginative analogies.

The USS Vincennes incident was a tragic accident which was fully investigated in our open society. No one could undo the tragedy but as far as I know reparation were made to the victims. It was not, however, a much celebrated massive, bloody, and deliberate attack against humanity and modern civilization. Your comparison suffers from lack of IQ.

And as for the Arab/Israeli conflict, you should remember that the Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas are NOT fighting for a Palestinian state. They are fighting for their dream caricature world where they can eliminate all the "infidels" and rule the entire world as the Taliban do to Afghanistan.

With "freedom-fighters" as such, the Plaestinian cause is not served much legitimacy or credibility. It is hard to shed any tears for suicidal fanatics who were given a free ride to their beloved "heaven" before they could send any civilized people to "hell". If you had the luxury to experience life under the Hezbollah rule in Iran, you should want to see their "holy" power only extend as far as their wretched borders, something that we have to "fight" to guarantee.

And if you think that one cannot fight for peace there are a few shining examples of greater scope and importance than the one-off accident that you are dying to redress as a crime . Does Nazi threat ring a bell? How about the Cold War? Does the word communism sound familiar. And who saved you and your ancestors booties from that? You should be as modest as you are ignorant and you should think about history and the greater world from time to time to gain some perspective.

If you think the USA did something to deserve this attack why don't you just say so? This is still officially an open society and you don't have to be morally or politically correct expressing condolences about lives lost to the actions of barbaric hypocites functioning as free citizens of our free and open society.

The USA as emodiment of modern civilization, freedom and capitalism has made the world a greater place than it has ever been, where you are afforded the luxury to complain.

Omid Parsi
New York

* Vincennes: Thorough investigation

The writer of ["Fucking for virginity"] asked rhetorically if anyone on the West shed a tear for the passengers whom perished by the missile fired from the USS Vincennes. Many did, figuratively and literally. There was also a thorough investigation of the accident.

In view of the events of last Tuesday, one should ask if the gunner behind the missile control panel on the Vincennes did not wish to defend the vessel against a perceived kamikaze attack such as the one committed by the terrorists against World Tarde Center and the Pentagon?

All the best,

Guive Mirfendereski

* Explain it to me

I am a 44 year old American. I was born in this country as was my grandfather and great-grandfather. (And of course, they came from another land) My heart went out to you as I read your journal. While I feel we live in a great nation with freedoms that other countries only dream about, I am saddened when I see that so many lump everyone together to be hated equally.

I don't know the answers. I think at times our country thinks of itself as a "Big Brother" who wants to jump in and "Help" other nations. The fact is that, yes, I believe at times we should just stay out of various matters. I really don't see any other nation (Germany, England, Canada, etc.) doing any of this.

I don't want a war with the Middle East. I think the only thing it would accomplish is the death of our fathers, sons, nephews, and grandsons.

But I would pose this question to you: What is the United States supposed to do in a case like this? Apologize and say "We are sorry... we interfered when we shouldn't have." I am not trying to be cold or facetious. I truly would like someone of your caliber to truly explain it to me. You sound like a very intelligent, feeling and morally upright person.

Does it all stem from the U.S. helping Israel to establish their "holy land?" Is it all about the oil that is imported into this country? Is what the U.S. has done totally unforgivable? What do we do to stop this?

Yes, I am afraid. I am afraid of what is happening now even inside our country with the hate and the violence. But I think what scares me even more, is what is going to happen in the future. The unkown. And yet at the same time we all know, and right now, knowing is very frightening.


* Demand being searched

This is regarding your anti-discrimination announcement in The Iranian Times email. As an Iranian born U.S. citizen I`d like to know how we can have the gull to shout about discrimination. This is for our own safety and the security of this nation(and the world). Tomorrow I am going to be travelling via air.

I am going to demand being searched and harrassed by the airport authorities. Just by virtue of the fact that my name is Middle Eastern . If any Middle Easterners feel otherwise, then in effect they are helping the terrorists. It sorrows me to find Middle Eastern people talking about their feelings being hurt as a result of discrimination. These people are gonna feel a lot more hurt when their LIVES are taken away by the scum of the earth. Our feelings don`t matter right now. Lives are at stake !

The Iranian Times should try and educate the people as opposed to showing them ways to complain about this. The goverment has enough problems of its own already. Please don`t make the matter worse. As a news source The Iranian Times should feel more responsibility than to publish thoughtless articles in such cavalier fashion.

And please.... I beg of you, no matter what you say do not talk to me about the First Ammendment. The First Ammendment is putting a noose around our necks. It is time to forget about being politically correct and help this nation and subsequently the world get back on its feet.

And if in the course of this whole ordeal our feelings get hurt or our freedom takes a punch in the nose, then so be it. Such a small price to pay for all the lives that were lost. I thank you in advance hoping for more productive and educated articles in the future.


* Annihiliating those who want to annihiliate us

Your article likened the "war" on terrorism to "war" on drugs and concluded that it is a "A tall order" to rid the civilization of blood thirsty murderous fanatics just as the war on drugs has yielded no results. There are however fundamental differences between war on drugs and war on terrorists.

There is a persistent demand for drugs from within our civilization. Many civilized people regard their right to consume drugs as part of their civil liberties which are under attack from a paternalistic government and moral majority. Our war on drugs is hypocritical because we would be at war with our innocent selves.

I cannot fathom a persistent demand for terrorism. Drug dealers are businessmen within the underground black market capitalism. Islamic extremists are adversaries of modern civilzation. They have no commodity, nothing to offer but sociopathic ideas and expression of hunger for power to destroy civilization.

Nowhere in the civilized world is there a demand for their services.

With enough force and determination, civilization will eliminate the terrorist threat. There is no hypocrisy in annihiliating those who clearly, in words and action, want to annihiliate us.

Omid Parsi

* Cannot fight evils with guns

I just read Moji Agha's article "I am tired" and wanted to express my sympathy as an American of European descent and Christian background.

After the terrible events of the 11th, it was all the more saddening to read of hate attacks against Muslims and of the precautions that many American Muslims are taking for their own safety (for example, this).

Unfortunately intolerance and hatred are all too prevalent throughout the world. We cannot fight these evils with guns and bombs, but only with words and deeds.

Keep writing!

John Velonis

* Spoke my heart

You spoke my heart out! "I am tired"

Dias Irisab

* We can see ourselves in their place

Is it the loss of innocent lives? If so then why don't we mourn everyday for thousand and thousand of children that die all over the world. Is it the fact that America was attacked? Then why don't we mourn the attack on other countries and other people.

I think we are mourning "our own" peace of mind. That is why the world has united. That is why people all over the world cried, and found the Tuesday's disaster too much to watch over a cup of coffee and then forget about it.

If it could happen in the US, it can happen in our own backyard. Our idea of saying goodbye in the morning has changed. Now there is a little voice that whisperes what if we won't make it back home. We have lost our peace of mind.

That is what has been attacked. And we all feel under attack because of that. We no longer are people of different nations in different countries with different lives. We no longer are separate enteties that can look at other people's lives with a passing glance. Now we are all one, because in one day, with one incident we all lost our sense of safety.

Though US's enemies might not be ours. Though we might not be a target of the same group, or the same people, for the same reasons. We all know our governements have enemies. And the tragedy of Tuesday made it crystal clear for all of us that they can get to our governments, if they have the desire to, no matter where we might live.

Yes, it was taragice that innocent people died. It was tragic that they didn't get a chance to say goodbye. It was tragic how their lives changed in the blink of an eye. But, lets face it... that is not what we are mourning everytime we look at the TV imagines, or listen to reports. We look at them and we know that could have been / can be us.

We don't mourn people that die of hunger -- we might feel bad for them -- but we don't mourn them, because we don't imagine it happening to us. We don't mourn people that die in other countries and in civil wars because, we don't imagine that happening in our country. But we are all mourning the people that died last Tuesday, because we can see ourselves in their place.

Yes, the world changed. As the reports keep telling us over and over again. But we didn't change because 5,000 people died. More have died, in US even, of natural disasters, and most of us didn't shed a tear. We changed because we lost our blind faith in our safety in "first world" countries of this world.

For me that realization has ensured that I will cherish every moment I have on this world with the people I love. Time is precious and I won't let it pass me by again, without having lived it.


* Humanity attacked

I enjoyed reading your article ["Taking a stand"], which seems very sincere and understandably emotional.

Whilst as a member of the human race I agree with your sentiments about the terrible events of last tuesday, where thousands of innocent people were murdered, I think it is not only helpful, but crucial for all of us as human beings to examine our own response to these events.

I can tell you that I have wept uncontrollably at looking at the images and hearing about the details of this enormous tragedy as I am sure millions of others have. I feel that humanity has been attacked yet again.

I feel proud to see the shared grief of people from all races and creeds and yet I feel ashamed for not feeling this grief all the time, because innocent people are being murdered on a very large scale all the time.

Am I, are we simply used to seeing people from the third world dying in equally violent circumstances? You briefly mention the American foreign policy as having some "imperfections". I think regarding dictatorial regimes, who massacre their own people backed by America and its allies, as a mere imperfection is hardly acknowledging the enormity of the atrocities that the majority of our fellow human beings in the third word (or developing countries if you prefer) are suffering all the time.

In the interest of balance and in order to rid the world of terror, we in the west (I am an Iranian living in England) need to face some very difficult facts. Learning from this experience is all we can do. We need to condemn terror and terrorists and injustice.

Cyrus Khajavi

* A violent few

Just wanted to say "good work and thank you" on your site, which I visited for the first few times this week. I especially liked the article "Taking a stand", and the one about how to evaluate your spiritual leader ("Next time they send you on a suicide mission, invite them along....")

Thank you for a well-rounded, balanced view into your world. I hope there *ill* be a day when everyone doesn't have to apologize for the actions of a violent few -- my people, your people, all the people of the world.

Best wishes,


* German newspaper

Dear Mr. Makhmalbaf, ["Limbs of no body"]

I'm the film editor of the German national newspaper "Die Tageszeitung". I've read your article about Afghanistan with great interest an I've seen your last film in Cannes.

I'd like to invite you to pubish an article about your experiences in Afghanistan in our newspaper -- a shorter version and, of course with some words about the actual situation. The length could be between 10,000 an 12,000 characters.

We'd be very honoured and we are convinced that articles of this kind are the most reasonable way for us to react in this situation. Best regards and with all my admiration for your oeuvre

Katja Nicodemus
Die Tageszeitung

* Timely and insightful

I greatly appreciated the viewpoint of this article ["Limbs of no body"]. It is long and in some places repetitive, and required patience to read. However, it is timely and insightful. The following paragraph resounded with me:

"And even now that I've finished making Kandahar, I feel vain about my profession. I don't believe that the little flame of knowledge kindled by a report or a film can part the deep ocean of human ignorance. And I don't believe that a country whose people in the next 50 years will loose their hands and legs to anti-personnel devices will be saved by a 19-year old British girl. Why does she go to Afghanistan? Why does Dr. Kamal Hossein with all his despair, still report to the UN? Why did I make that film or write this note? I don't know, but as Pascal put it: 'The heart has reasons that the mind is unaware of'."

I would like to encourage the author -- every little assault on the mountain of human ignorance is essential. Ignorance is overcome as each individual is enlightened, one by one.

My only strong criticism is where, near the end, the author states: "It is September 23rd of 2001 the 2:00 o'clock Iranian news is on. It makes me cry to hear that two million Iranian kids have gone to first grade today." The date today is 2001 September 17 and the date on the article is 2001 June 21. This may be a typographical error, but if it is a literary device intentionally used, it should be made more clear. The apparent inaccuracy takes away from the credibility of the rest of the article.

Otherwise, this is a very moving essay.


* Coalition of nations

World's indifference to the Afghan tragedy ... very poignant article ["Limbs of no body"]. Especially now that Afghanistan has received so much attention by those hell-bent on bombing the hell out of it.

I know there are no easy solutions to this predicament, but I'd like to see a coalition of nations bring peace and prosperity to the region.

Andy Glover

* Raise money for Afghan refugees

My name is Morvarid Moini-Yekta, and I live in Seattle Washington. I am a 24-years old Muslim, and an Iranian-American. I've been deeply concerned about the tragedy in the United States, and the outcomes of this tragedy soon to come.

There have been many foundations set up for people here in the states who have been personally affected by the attack. However, I feel that some funding should also be set up for the Afghani refugees who are crowding the borders of Pakistan and Iran fearing retaliation. Many organizations have left both Afghanistan and Pakistan, leaving the Pakistani government to care for the refugees. Last I heard, many of the widows and children were being left to starve for many different reasons that would take me more than just a page to explain.

I fear for the lives of those innocent refugees who don't have the same advantages as Americans do. I myself have been a victim of the Iranian-Iraqi war, and have spent the past 13-years of my life in this country dealing with the psychological effects of war. As a result, I've decided to raise money for the refugees of Afghanistan. I am reaching out to Muslim, and non-Muslim communities for help. I would like to raise enough money to help with many different needs of these camps, or as much as possible.

If you would like to help me with any amount of donations it would be appreciate it. Please email me back, if you are interested. Again, any amount will do, and I will do my best to find ways of reaching the people of Afghanistan.



* EVERYTHING to do with Islam

What the civilized world must do is NOT to go around bombing people and take revenge. The Arabs and Israelis have been doing that all along, and look where it has gotten them. What the civilized world must do is to fight the sick ideologies of these people, which tell them to "cause great slaughter among them" and "seek them wherever you find them and kill them".

It is Islam and its megalomaniac mass-murdering "Allah" that leads this people to kill in his name, so that they may go to "heaven" and eat and drink all they want, and have sex with "houries" and "pearly boys".

But the US and Europe are too cowardly! They know that the Arab/Moslem world is sitting on top of their oil, and they DON'T DARE attack the root cause of this problem ! They are TOO SCARED to piss off the Arabs by attacking their barbaric ideology, because their oil and multinational corporations and military-industrial complex are too important to them! More important than the lives of 5000+ people in NY or millions of people in the middle east!!!

So the world is suffering at the hands of two groups of people: greedy bastards, and self-rightous barbaric ass-holes!!! The greed for oil, money, and power will destroy Western civlization, just like it destroyed the Roman Empire. The intelligent and educated people of the world should have the intellecutal honesty and courage to stand up to the sick ideology of these people (Islam) and stop sucking up to the "Moslem leaders" who feed the lies that "it has nothing to do with Islam"!

It has EVERYTHING to do with Islam!!! "Smite them in the neck and cause great slaughter among them." And what happened? Hijackers used knives to cut the throats of stewardesses and pilots, and caused great slaughter in NY.

Instead of throwing bombs on their heads, fill the bookstores and radio and TV shows with facts and truths about the history of Islam. Get Ibn Warraq's books into the hands of every American and European. Get Ali Sina to talk on the radio. Get Arab and Iranian freethinkers to come on TV and talk about the barbarity and cruelty of Islam.

Rid the world of this sick ideology or they will "destroy your towns, and there will be no one to help you." (Qoran 47-13: "We destroyed their towns, and there was no one to help them.")

HamMihan Irani

* Victims of Iranian decedent

Every one I talked to during the last several days, is in shock and sadden over the horrific events in New York and Virginia. The Iranian community needs to convey their message of condemnation and sympathy much stronger than before.

We also need to identify if there has been any victim(s) of Iranian decedent in the four crashes or on the ground.


Reza Rofougaran

* Village of Peace

I wanted to share with you information I learned in church yesterday regarding a unique and special village in Israel/Palestine, called Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, or Village of Peace.

This village consists of 20 Jewish families and 20 Arab families who have made a concious decision to live together in their village in peace and cooperation. This village was founded by a Catholic preist. The school is taught by both Arab and Jewish teachers in their respective languages.

There is cooperation on all matters, including administration, village government, etc. Among other things, it is a strong center for the arts - music, dance, visual arts, etc. There is a visitors center with beautiful accommodations and conference facilities available.

If you are interested in viewing their website, it can be found here.


Lisa Mehdipour

* Middle Eastern writers

I'm looking to invite some Middle Eastern writers to speak at Chapman University and would like to get more information about contemporary Iranian-American writers. Might you have that information?

Mark Axelrod

* My father: Hossein Haddadi


My name is Tracy Bullard, I am a 35 year old male. I am looking for a man by the name of Hossein Haddadi (not sure of spelling). Mr. Haddadi is my biological father. I was born 10-28-65, in Redding California, USA. He was attending Shasta Community College in the early 60's and was working at a hotel called the Thunderbird Lodge possibly as a cook.

I understand that he worked there until I was approximately one year old, which would be to the end of 1966 approximately. He lived with an older couple in Redding and was actually in Switzerland when I was born. At one point he told my mother that he wanted to take me with him and send me to school in Switzerland. So, I think he may have had some family or some kind of ties there.

I am also under the impression he lived or was from Tehran and his family had something to do with sheep, again I am not certain about this. I am truly interested in meeting my father or any member of his family, if anyone could help, I would be very grateful.

Thank you for you time.

Tracy Bullard

* Iranian musicians in New York?

Hello, I am a teenager of partial Iranian descent who lives in New York. I have been playing the zarb or tombac (drum) for ten years, and I really love percussion and Mideastern music. However I have not been able to find many other young Iranian musicians in New York. I don't know if this is the right place to try, but I do know that iranian.com is a huge link to other Iranians throughout the nation. If you can please tell me where to place an "ad" or "classified" (or just post this letter) I would be grateful.

I am a very competent drum player, and I am looking to find other musicians capable of performing. I know that we can talk about the WTC tragedy as much as we like, but good music can really touch others when it carries a message of peace and promotes understanding of other cultures. If we as Iranians (or mid-easterners) can show how Innovative and beautiful our art can be, then we can show other Americans--from the average, middle class office worker to the prejudiced, violent man who chants "Death to all Arabs"--that we, too, are people and citizens worthy of respect.

Through music we can convey a message much more convincingly.....especially if good artists out there email me at dywtehrani@hotmail or call me at (212) 569- 2115! Let's stop talking and play one of those unbearably sad Iranian songs so people can cry and understand!

I welcome any serious artist--vocalist, tar, sitar, DAF, kamancheh. I am very competent and I speak farsi fluently. If you are not Iranian or you do not play one of these specific instruments CONTACT ANYWAY if you are interested. Music can heal. Let's do our music justice.

Ruth E Wangerin

* Cut-out-and-keep cards

Does anyone remember a series of cut-out-and-keep cards of Iranian stories and legends, including the Shahnameh, produced by detergent manufacturers (Barf, I think) in the 1960s? if so does anyone have any of them/know where I can get hold of them? Your help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,


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