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September 21, 2001

* Help Afghan people

We need to help the Afghan people. There are over 1.5 million Afghan refugees in Iran. Aside from the existing stereotype, they are very hard working and decent people. They live a very hard life in Iran and for most part they have no rights to speak of.

We as a nation, not only for the sake of humanity and kinship, but for the sake of our long-term national interest, should do everything we can to help these people. Unlike those who think that the Afghans are taking jobs away from the locals, I believe they are productive and help the GNP, the same way that the migrant workers in the U.S. are an asset for the economy, albeit many may not see it that way.

The Afghans in Iran most probably are here to stay. At least a big portion of them is going to stay in Iran. The best thing to do is to try to provide them with the educational opportunity and other services so they become better contributors to the society. Even if they don't stay in Iran, in the long term they will be attached to Iran and its culture, and they will become our future friends and allies in a neighborhood of Saddam on one side and Pakistani fanatics on the other.

Nader Shirazi

* Afghan charities?

I am interested in finding the names of any reputable and effective charitable organizations that are actively aiding Afghan refugees. If anyone has any information on such organizations, please contact me at rmehdipour@aol.com. Thank you for your help.


Lisa Mehdipour

* Explain, discuss

As a Middle Eastern historian of Middle Eastern heritage, I can relate very well to both impulses expressed by Afsaneh ["Wrong, regardless"] and Roozbeh ["Ask why"]. I think it is very important for those who know the history and culture of the region to engage policy debates and to clarify issues for our fellow citizens.

But we must recognize that the particular point of how America's recent history in the Middle East may have contributed to producing recruits and propaganda for Bin Laden is going to be a very sensitive issue -- especially in the wake of what just happened.

Tempering our nation's righteous indignation over the mass murders in New York and Washington with an awareness of impact of our policies and our opportunites to change them for the benefit of all is going to take tact, a sense of timing and some courage.

Am I afraid of being lumped together with the Bin Laden's of this world? Am I afraid of appearing too sympathetic with radical Isalmists because I can explain and contextualize their point of view? Yes. But I am more afraid of losing the moment to educate my students, my colleagues, my son's teachers and my neighbors about the complexities of the past and the possibilities of the future. They have never been more interested. But they are also angry and sad and afraid. And, at this moment, their fear and pain has to have more respect than my fear of being misunderstood or a desire to "rock the boat" and shake Americans from their "ignorance".

We have all been shaken enough, thank you very much. So what should we do? Take the opportunities to explain when they come. My very friendly and well-meaning neighbor was actually under the impression that Muslims wish to convert everyone and conquer the world. I explained, as best I could, about the context in which the Muslim conquests occurred and clarified the traditional Muslim attitude toward conversion and its formal attitude towars other religions. I also talked a little about Bin Laden's career and its relationship to U.S. policy. Such a discussion did not change his feelings about Bin Laden (nor could it -- it doesn't change my disgust with Bin Laden and all he represents) but I think he did understand how it was possible for there to be Muslims (indeed, most of them) that would never agree with Bin Laden. Not every conversation will go this well for us Middle Eastern-Americans, but I think there is a much stronger possiblity now than there was in 79-81 (or even 90-91) for these conversations to be constructive and valued in this society. And they have never been more important.

In hopes of better days,

Camron Amin

* Afarin Hadi

Afarin va sad Afarin bar Hadi Khorsandi! ["Kheyli doostaaneh...", "Usama keest?", "Oghab, sambole Amrica"]

Per Solgi

* International cooperation

During the Persian Gulf War it was believed that the International Coalition under the leadership of the USA would free both Kuwait and Iraq from the medivalism of the Shaikh and Saddam. The medievalism is, in fact, reinforced in both countries after the uncompleted Gulf War. ["Iran's chance", "Historical moment"]

A modern state in Iraq or in Kuwait would have shaken another archaic but obedient regimes somewhere in the neighborhood. It was surely not in their interest to do so. Do we really believe that a hastily organized war coalition against the Taliban will ever work to end the medieval era of this regime and introduce a genuine shift towards modern times?

What about the arising problem for a member of coalition like Iran, if the leader of the coalition, pursuing own interest, again decides not to accomplish the task? Today Iran's situation is more like a curse than a blessing. The comparison of Iran's neutralism under different historical conditions will not ease the decision in this specific case for taking part in a vague coalition.

I think any country (Iran included) should cooperate with the international community against the Taliban and their terrorism, if only it was prepared cautiously according international laws and for the sake of achieving predefined goals.

With regards,


* Only Israel benefited

I think the only people who have truly benefited from the tragic events of September 11 are not the Muslems, nor other Middle Easterners.The Zionist government of Israel (not the Jewish people) is the only one that has benefited from all this and I will explain why.

1. Israel is trying to gain the sympathy of the world and try to turn things around. I was reading in the local newpapers and also heard in the media from the Israeli people that "now the world understands what we have been through!'' Instead of saying ''now the world understands what we have done to the Palestinians!"

2. Every tine there is a panel discussion about the this event and who should be punished , you can identify who is the Israeli person on the panel. I have seen this pattern on several panel discussions on CNN and other channels. While the American officials and analysts try to be focused on one person (Bin Laden) or group (Taliban) and not all the Moslim world, the Israelis on the panel try to generalize this to all the courtiers of the Middle East.

Few nights ago, on Jeff Greenfield's show on CNN, the Israeli person was advising the Americans to bomb all the Middle East. H kept emphasizing the names of Iran, Iraq and Syria, calling them MORONS and also advising America to do with these countries what they did to Japan in the WW II! (atomic bomb).

I could not believe what he was saying. The Americans on the panel though said that we cannot do this to all the countries of the Middle East. They also mentioned that some of these countries like Iran are moving towards democracy.

That is why I think Israel is the only party that has benefited from this. the Muslims have certainly been harmed by this, by being subjected to more ethnic discrimination and also possibly another war in the Middle East. ,Israel on the other hand wants to use the U.S. for its own benefits, NOT THE BENEFIT OF AMERICA.

I am glad that our government and President Bush have been very wise and are trying to focus only on the group that has committed this horrible crime, NOT THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST!


* When Jews assert right

When I wrote my previous letter ["Amazed at Iranian attitutude"], I did not want to get into a long political debate over Israel. I am not going to debate every letter written in response to my letter since I do not seek to engage in political diatribes with hysterical Iranians whose single obsession in this world revolves around the dissolution of Israel and the "plight" of the so-called "Palestininas".

For the 18-year-old, I am sorry for you that the only thing that stirs passion in you is Israel's treatment of the "Palestinians". You must have a very shallow life. Pray, tell, do you feel the same way about your Muslim brothers in Algeria? Are you aware of the Arab policies of cultural genocide against the Berbers? Not to mention their slaughter in the last few months? What about the Muslims Chechens? Does your heart bleed for them? How about the Muslims Kashmiris? The silence is not only deafening, but the hypocrisy is blinding.

I laugh at those who write about their "symapthy" for Jews during the Holocaust, yet call Israelis "Nazis". I have never heard anyone describe the plight of non-Arabs in the Middle East at the hands -- and swords -- of the Arabs, as being treated "Nazi-like". Apparently, the word is reserved exclusively for Jews. True Orwellian double talk.

Until one takes into account *all* conflicts in this world and condemn them, please don't pontificate to me about Israeli "crimes". When Iranis will rally around Muslim Berbers, Muslim Kurds, Muslim Afghans and Muslim Chechens with the same gusto as they do for their "Palestinian brothers" then they can point a finger at Israel - not before.

And for the supposed Jewish-Muslim "co-existence" it was only when the Jew resigned himself to the fate of dhimma that he had a chance of survival. And not even then. There are numerous books which document this. "The Dhimmi" written by Bat Ye'or is an excellent source on Muslim-Jewish "co-existence." But when the Jew seeks to assert his right to his historical homeland then the Muslims are out to exterminate him.

Let me just thank those Iranians who emailed me with words of support and sympathy. I also want to thank those Iranis who emailed me and proudly proclaimed their support for their "Arab brothers" in the name of Islam. Which only makes my original point valid: Those Iranians who froth at the mouth over Israel do so because of their allegiance to Islam -- the ARAB religion.

Steven B. Simpson

* Who cares?

Two years ago my brother Al murdered my only sister -- for reasons that are out of the matter here. The fact is that at that time no one knew this, and all my family, me included, firmly believed that the crime was committed by A.G., a known criminal of a criminal and filthy family in which everybody had been convicted for one reason or the other; the father was a drunkard, the mother was a known prostitute, and the three brothers had all been in prison for minor crimes, and violence. A.G. was in for murder, and was out of prison at the time. They were our neighbors, and we had always disliked them all -- for obvious reasons, I thought probably for fear, I guess.

Two years ago I was dating a girl who lived in another town, but happened to be cousin of this A.G. When my sister died we inmediatly wanted to kill them all, not just A.G., our "suspect", but we wanted to kill the whole family, finish them all up for once, burn their house, fill them with bullets, for they all were guilty one way or the other.

I wasn't sure how to deal with my girlfriend. She was -- in a way -- part of that family. Plus she should tell me we weren't positive of A.G. being guilty, she should say his family was not guilty of anything anyway and that their previous faults or crimes didn't have anything to do with what had happened to my sister, she should ask me to THINK! I wasn't sure whether I should keep dating her, abandon her or kill her as well as her filthy cousins.

Me and Al killed A.G. and his two brothers and both their parents.

It was my girlfriend who abandoned me.

Two years ago, of course, I was an asshole. I still am an asshole. But in this little earth of ours, my neighbors, the Talibans, some filthy criminals in the eyes of many, should now pay for a crime that they may not have commited.

Who cares? They carry enough guilt so as to deserve to pay. Who cares if the United States (and Russia, and Iran, and Europe) is responsible of them having to produce opium in order to survive. Who cares if United States (and Russia, and Iran, and Europe) has used Afghans in order to fight, work, or who cares if after all they are not as guilty as they look? They, Afghans, are just a small piece of poor and "medieval" shit in this twenty first century.

And what about this girl, my girl, Iran, cousin of A.G. Should she defend their cousins? Should she join me and kill them all? Should she keep dating me? Or should she stop me from acting like an asshole? Can she anyway? Can anybody?

And what about my brother Al. Now I know that he killed my sister. Should I kill my family and then commit suicide? Or should I kill some other asshole instead?

This little earth of ours is filled with assholes and criminals of all imaginable colors and faces; assholes who kill, assholes who allow others to kill, assholes who shut up, assholes who talk too much, assholes that do not care. Don't you be one of us.

Some days ago somebody wrote here in iranian.com that fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity. I guess this is kind of the same idea... Vendettas always come back home, my turn, your turn... just assholes playing chess.

Just wanted to say hi to Debbie [want U.S. to kill every Afghan] and to her warm hearted friend Kobra Khanom who doesn't want to exterminate Afghans (so caring, she prefers to "eliminate Talibans"). Now it is the Black's turn.


* I want US visa

I am an Iranian and I participated in Tuesday's protest against terrorist acts against Washington and New York in Tehran's in Madar Square. Unfortunately I was attacked by Ansar Hezbollah and they threatened me with the worst thing which may be ruin my life.

I want to travel to Dubai and go to the U.S. embassy and demand a visa. I am ready to send my photo so that you can compare my photo with images in the video shown on satellite stations.

If you can do something that can help me in this subject, I will be very appreciated. You have to know that my position is dangerous and I need help. WHAT CAN I DO?


* Not home of the free





* Beats Nostradamus

I came across this hadith (prophetic tradition) which I thought very apprpriate to these times of prevailing turmoil. It beats Nostradamus predictions at least in this category.

"In the latter days a grievous calamity shall befall My people at the hands of their ruler, a calamity such as no man ever heard to surpass it. So fierce will it be that none can find a shelter. God will then send down One of My descendants, One sprung from My family, Who will fill the earth with equity and justice, even as it hath been filled with injustice and tyranny."

And, again: "A day shall be witnessed by My people whereon there will have remained of Islám naught but a name, and of the Qur'án naught but a mere appearance. The doctors of that age shall be the most evil the world hath ever seen. Mischief hath proceeded from them, and on them will it recoil."

And, again: "At that hour His malediction shall descend upon you, and your curse shall afflict you, and your religion shall remain an empty word on your tongues. And when these signs appear amongst you, anticipate the day when the red-hot wind will have swept over you, or the day when ye will have been disfigured, or when stones will have rained upon you."

Sepehr Sohrab

* At least they were great kings

Dear Peerooz

Thank you for your reply ["Zoroastrian kings not any better"]. First and foremost, I am not threatening Arabs or Moslems, so you have no basis for saying "and I will leave it to 1.5 billion Moslems to defend their religion and possibly their lives from your threats." I never have, nor ever would, threaten the lives of anybody. You should have read the very first sentence of my letter more carefully: "What the civilized world must do is NOT to go around bombing people and take revenge."

You continued with your false assumptions by calling me "homosexual", "chauvinist pig", "Zoroastrian zealot", "religionist". In fact I am none of those. The lesson that you need to learn -- and also so many Americans and Arabs/Moslems/Iranians - is not to jump to hasty conclusions about people, and not to label them with all sorts of unfounded and baseless accusations. You need to learn to read carefully and think, before you start throwing labels at people.

You asked me "when a female SHAHEED goes to heaven whom do you think she should sleep with". If you had adequate knowledge about Qoran (the problem with most people, even Moslems, and especially Iranians, is that they haven't even read the Qoran carefully enough to know what it actually says) you would know that the entire book is addressed to men, and to men only.

Women are always spoken of in third person. It is always what women must do for men, and what men can do to women: Qoran, 38:44 "take a green branch and beat your wife". The sexual gluttony that is promised in heaven, is for the benefit of men, not for women. The "pearly boys" are promised to men, not to women. (Qoran, Surah 44 and 52) Even in "this world", Moslem men are told in Qoran, that they can have as many slave girls as they want. They can even have sexual relations with women that they capture in war (Qoran 4:3).

Since you were wondering (wildly) what my beliefs are, I'll let you know that I am a Secular Humanist. As such, I reject all religions, and consider them baseless, useless, and detrimental to human progress. Therefore I totally agree with you that we should "fill [the libraries and bookstores] with truth about teaching hatred by religions and the atrocities committed by all organized religions during the entire human history."

As far as the Zoroastrian religion is concerned, I refer you to avesta.org and I challenge you to find anywhere in the Zoroastrian texts, a similar verse to Qoran 47:4 "when you meet the unbelievers in war, smite them in the neck, and cause great slaughter among them". Yes, Zoroastrianism is just another religion, but at least its tenants are based on Goftar Neek, Pendar Neek, Kerdar Neek, not "cut their hands and feet off" (Qoran 5:33).

And the Iranian/Zoroastrian kings were just ordinary humans, and therefore just as fallible as anyone else. At least there were great kings like Cyrus (Koorosh Kabir), who freed Jewish slaves from Babylon, and let the Babylonians keep their own customs and live their own lives. (He wrote the first declaration of human rights!)



PS: If you are interested, you can visit Jebhe Melli's discussion board at //www.jebhe.org and read my HamMihan posts.

* Afshin Aghajani

I am looking for a friend of mine named Afshin Aghajani. I'll be happy to hear from him. Please email me if you have any information about him. Thank you.

Omido Rahimi

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