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June 26, 2004

* Akhunds are people too

Zohreh, Salaam.

In your article [Rediscovering the lost art of laughter], you said: "With no sanctions, no prejudice-at least none against me, for a change-and no restrictions, I could laugh all I wanted." No prejudice? The prejudice that made it "funny" in the beginning, was against the Akhunds, the Mullahs, our once-respected Ulama (clergy).

Do you remember the beginning of the movie? When Reza Marmoulak was blaiming all his problems on the "akhunds" to the guy next to him (without knowing he was an akhund)? What did the guy next to him say? " Who easier to blaim, than the akhunds" That is why you laughed. Because it started with a prejudice against the clergy, God and religion.

However, I wouldn't say the movie as a whole was prejudiced, because at the end, it shows that the akhunds clothing tamed him, bring more respect for the Ulama (clergy) of Islam. Yes, jokes have taken a big turn. We used to make fun of Turks, Rashtees, etc. Then for a brief while we had monarchy jokes, etc. Now the jokes are all on the Mullahs.

So think twice before you talk about a movie having no prejudice. The Akhunds/Mullahs/Ulama are people too. Their are very VERY good people amongst them, and some really bad. They are human just like us. That is their profession. They deserve our respect too for the amount of knowledge they have sought, especially if they use it toward good and promoting justice and equity amongst the people. And to tell you sister, their are many of them, more good ones than bad.

Unfortunately the bad ones have more power, and have silenced the good ones (by either putting them under house-arrest, freezing their assets, or even sending them to prison). Yes, we have thousands and thousands of akhunds in the prisons of Iran for speaking out against the government.

And then we DARE criticize them all as one big stereotype of bad people.

Dariush Abadi


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June 2004

June 26

U.S. border
* Get over yourself
* It's their job
* A privilege, not a right

* Have a little respect
Murder trial
* She will become "lesson"
* Psycho
* Akhunds are people too
* I expect more than sho'aar
* Clinton's Khayyam
* Cinematic identity
* Never totally forgetting
* Lady, get real
Coming to America
* Let the kid breath a little
Arabs & Iranians

* Lady, get real
Women & men

* Far-from-real image

* Undefined wedding
National Geographic
* Love of geography
Pahlavi vendetta
* Dariush and Ebi email

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