Letters


November 2004
November 4 | November 18

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Neither victims, nor villains

In response to Susan Moeen's "Miss taken identity":

Your lengthy article sounds like a reincarnation of Ta'deeb-al-Neswan (a late 19th century book with an unknown author). Like the author of this book, you make men into victims and define women's vices in terms of male pleasure. Rather than the parents who spoil their daughters, however, you make the state responsible for making women into spoiled rootless murderers who victimize their poor husbands and children! You assume certain essential roles for women and reproach them for failing to fulfill their "duties."

Interestingly, you blame activists such as Mehrangiz Kar and Lahiji for campaigning for women's rights in Iran, again, assuming that it is the state that has willingly given rights to women and that women's organizations and advocates are not aware of "the developments under the Islamic Republic." By so doing , you are undermining a long history of women's struggles and activism that has gained them whatever rights they have today.

I don't think that Iranian women in Iran are helpless victims who are in need of rescue. I think many Iranian women have worked extremely hard to make changes under misogynous regimes of Pahlavi and the Islamic Republic (and, ofcourse, in other historical periods as well). And by making change, I don't mean "eating, sleeping and taking their husbands' money," as you claim. Your own misogyny seems to blind you to the hardships that women under the Islamic Republic have endured.

There is a reason there are more women than men in universities: They work hard. They work to enter the spaces to which they have been denied access under the Islamic regime AND prior to the revolution.  Some have worked hard to change the Family Law both under the Pahlavi regime and Islamic Republic. Others work hard and struggle to make it under economic pressures that they face in their daily lives.

You accuse others to be detached from the reality of women's lives in Iran. It seems to me that you are the one who is far from this reality. Iranian women are neither victims (as some advocacy groups tend to believe), nor villains (as you seem to represent them). Frankly, I am appalled by your hatred towards women.

Choob

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Someone's mistress

In response to Susan Moeen's "Miss taken identity":

When I saw that horrible writing of yours "Miss taken identity" in Iranian .com, first I thought you are one of this mullahs who wanna say that we did a great deal for women. Then when I read it more, I thought maybe you are a women probably you are an in-law and mad at your sister in-law that made your brother's life disastrous in your eyes. (because in a couple of sentences you refereed to that) So I wanted to tell you believe me you feel that way not your brother, he enjoys doing her otherwise he is an adult and he knows better about his life.

When I went deeper I understood that you are someone's mistress. The person that you are sleeping with had brain-washed you with all this non-sense to continue his illegal relationship with you. You are an abused and troubled women so you have nothing to say but these stuff to show to your king!!! (the man you sleep with, as you said yourself implicitly in that writing that you enjoy calling men king and being slave yourself) that you are a real women and every body else is a murderer.

I'm just amazed how a person could say that Iranian women are murderer!!! so do you. You better keep your legs and ears closed. I mean when you open your legs and dissolve in your king, that bartered start morning and saying stuff and you naive Iranian woman think OH how miserable he is and you wanna help. Therefore, you start writing this sh..ts that makes every body feel sorry for your ass. By the way hope your sorry ass is not being used as well.

Nasrin A

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Dividing God

In response to Persia Lover's "Bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds":

Thank you for your insightful and bold article on Zoroastrians. Although I pride myself as a writer, from time to time, I am humbled by words from true scholars such as you.

The subject of Zoroastrianism has had me puzzled for decades, it is a relief to find some answers in your fine analogy.

Three decades ago, when the Iranian immigrant population in the Midwest was limited to a few, I happened to come across a Zoroastrian family. At first glance, they seemed most sincere and worthy of true friendship. But after decades of a close relation, I was appalled by the prejudice they showed toward Muslims.

Perhaps the post revolutionary Islamic energy -- both positive and negative -- had something to do with that, but it shocked me to find out they would "Under no circumstances accept new converts." For a religion that advertises "good deeds" as one of their basic rules, this seemed extreme. Besides, with a population of a few thousand, how did they hope to survive?

I recently heard of some changes and indeed came across a Muslim woman who because of her marriage to a Zoroastrian was accepted to this blessed faith. I am not a religious woman, but respect the fact that Islam has welcomed new believers regardless of their origin.

It fascinates me how man has managed to divide God into fragments that enables different groups to take one for themselves. As for me, there's but one God who must be tired of organized religion.

Thank you for your fine articles. I look forward to more.

Zohreh Ghahremani

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You're doing her no favor

In response to Abjeez advice "I'm dying. Should I tell my wife?":

Dear Abjeez,

I read your oct. 28 column in iranian.com and just had to respond in some way. I wish the husband who is dying would read this -- this is for him.

If I could reach him, i would hold him up by the collar, slap him twice or trice squarely on the face and tell him to WAKE UP! He is doing his wife NO FAVOR by keeping this from her. It's a betrayal plain and simple, not only of her and her strenght but of all the goodness, honesty and trust they've shared through the years. It's up to her damn it to deal with it -- not for you to stage some sort of artificial production for her to ease her pain. You will only make it WORST. I know because i was in a similar situation...and four years after her passing i'm still bitter and angry for the way she chose to leave. Don't make the same mistake my love made!

You have a brave young daughter who was forthright with you. Listen to her. Your task is to surrender to your fate and to your family's good will and strenght. Give them the chance to deal with this in their own way. They'll become stronger for it... not bitter. 

I'm sorry about the news you got. Make the best of the time you have. And LISTEN to them... to their fears and their hopes and their cries. Just LISTEN and tell them you know they will be alright -- say it convincingly and BELIEVE it. Death is a reality we all face... better to face it straight than dance around it. We only get one shot at it.

Please be honest and tell her. And do as they (your wife and kids) want you to. This is more about them now than you. They will have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

Thank you and best to all of you.

A.

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Freedom given can be taken away

In response to Slater Bakhtavar's "Message from Shiraz":

This is all interesting to me as for the past few years, I have been traveling to Iran about once a year and I have got a completely different feeling about the state of support for G.W within Iranian people. Undoubtedly, all seem totally frustrated with the regime in Iran and don't know what to do about it, but I hardly doubt that they want to turn it to another Iraq with 100,000 civilian deaths so far and no prospect for any real democracy. Do we really need a puppet like Allawi or Kharazi in Iran to feel that we are free?  

What baffles me is the fact that some of the Iranian people both inside and outside of the country are looking for freedom to be given to them especially by US and they fail to take some real action about it. The freedom that is given by another country can be taken away just as easily, which the US has demonstrated frequently in the past 40 years or so. When it comes down bringing real freedom to another nation, I don't mistrust any other group or nation more than the US government.

Mehrdad

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Simple as 2+2=4

In response to Slater Bakhtavar's "Message from Shiraz":

Dear Slater,

As a young Iranian to another ... I think you're a good kid, but here are a few points you mentioned in your article that made me go Mmmmmmmmmmm ... Slater must be a Monarchist, Republican from Orange County.

1- The "lefty liberals" aided the hardliners? Anytime a foreign power threatens a nation ... people unite and fight together (look at Iraq). It's as simple as 2+2=4. It's not about left or right ... it's about a foreign force threatening to invade your home and kick your ass. I'd hate to be the first to break this to you but the only thing made the mullahs stronger was the unification of Iranian nationalists during the Iran, Iraq war. That's why the mullahs continued fighting when they had the chance to agree to a ceasefire in 1982. In my opinion, it's the American Hawks that are steering the mullahs towards a North Korean model but undermining the student movement towards freedom.

2- Reformist polls said what? If I'm not mistaken most of the world is in support of American people ... however, it's the US government and Bush's administration they hate (you won't find that poll on FOX).

3- Iranians want Bush to help them separate Mosque from State? BUSH? A born again, right-wing religious administration who's entire career has always dependent on Church money? If what you're saying is the truth...then they need to get their head examined!

4- Bush supports Iranians and human rights? Then how come he didn't mention a word about why Saddam's not being tried for his crimes against Iran? Kuwait was mentioned (including Iraqis/Kurds)! How's that for a nice gesture to win the "hearts and mind?" Is he afraid to uncover too much dirt by thouching that issue? Here's my question to you, why does Bush only support the students when there's a threat of civil unrest and violence close to 18tir? Does violence bring peace?

You and I are both entitled to our own opinion ... as long as we don't think "we know" what's best for other young Iranians. As much as you've surrounded yourself with the kind of news you enjoy hearing, I can assure you that I've done the same. I know many young Iranians who hate the mullahs but would go back to Iran to defend Iran from another foreign invasion. The truth is, you and I have no right to tell other Iranians what's best for those poor bastards thousands of miles away. When was the last time you lived in Iran for a long period of time? The best change you and I can make is to update our own outdated Constitution here in the States. Let's start with the 2nd amendment and the right to bear AK 47's to shoot ducks!

Saman

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Iranians are untermenschen

In response to Keyvan's "One reason to vote for Bush":

If Bush is the last hope for Iran - a liar and unprincipled murderer who cares no more for Iranian lives than those of Iraqis - Iran is in some big trouble.

What makes Keyvan think that Bush would not go to war? Can he and his advisors be trusted to behave intelligently, based on the record? And if they're short of troops, who knows that these people would not soon drop nuclear bombs on Iran for lack of troops, as they depopulated the Plain of Jars in Laos 35 years ago with bombing because they had no men to spare?

Iranians are untermenschen, just like the Arabs, from which these barbarians cannot even distinguish Iranians. People who regard Iranians as untermenschen will be no better for Iranian health than they have been to the Iraqis. 

Peter Attwood

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Bush's real agenda

In response to Keyvan's "One reason to vote for Bush":

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a student from Germany (politics and social sciences). As so many other Germans, I am so much interested in the developlemt of Iran. For me, it was the first time to read an article (of an Iranian) who do not pleases people to vote for Kerry.

I can understand his way of thinking, BUT, I am afraid, THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO RENEW IRAN.

Why? Because Bush is not really interested in introducing democracy to Iran what the writer of this article, Mr. Keyvan, propbably also wants. Bush only wants to introduce their his own interests, for example controlling oil.

Bush also said that he wanted to introduce democracy to Iraq. And now? Everything is uncontrolled there.

I say it again: Bush and the American government (it is not only about Bush himself) are not really interested to help Iran for democracy. When Bush would have gone to Iran (in future) this beautiful country would become the SERVANT of America. Do you want this? Being a servant? And I hope you do not think "ok, being a servant is better than the current situation." It is not! And it will be nearly impossible to break out of this "American prison".

So what do I think is the right way to free Iran? I do not know, how old Mr. Keyvan is and if he can remember the revolution in Iran in 1979. Yes, it was a revolution which lead to the current bad situation. But there where so many Iranians (I talked to them) who told me that they fought during this revolution for FREEDOM and EQUALITY (Do you remember the motto of the French revolution in the 18th century)? People in Iran can do this again, you only have to work together and to believe in the success of the action. Then it will work. Promised! Best wishes from Germany

Viviane

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Turkey is not secular

In response to Ardavan Bahrami's "Rezaism":

Regarding "Rezaism" by Ardavan Bahrami is a little bit off base. The flag of Turkey today is a crescent and a star. The Crescent and the Star are symbols of Islam. Mustafa Kemal AtaTurk's 1st two names are Arabic names. The majority of Turks are Muslims. The wife of the Turkish leader today wears a veil.

Turkey has recently sided with the Islamic Republic of Iran with regards to the Tehran government's desire for nuclear technology. Turkey is trying its hardest to become part of the E.U. But everyone knows once they become a member they will export muslim turks all over europe to "muslimize" Europe. Europe is being duped. Kemal Mustafa AtaTurk was the Khatami of his time. Today we see where Turkey is going.

It is wrong to believe that Turkey is a secular society. Turkey is a society in which the government accepts its own version of Islam. I advise every Iranian to view the movie, "Midnight Express". In this movie prisoners of a Turkish jail are made to walk around a stone. This action is similar to the "Tavaf" that is one of the ritual rights of the Haj, one of the holiest Islamic rituals.

-- Jacob Cohen

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Wave that flag

In response to Sara Sefeed's "My parents' JFK landing":

Well, hurray for Bushi boy's new Patriot Act. The "Act" that was written hastily in days and passed by every member of congress without reading, except one.

The act was put together in a hurry, introduced to the house and after many of the members complaints was changed and resubmitted 3:00am for that morning's signing.

It is impossible to read the Patriot Act and understand it, even if you're an attorney. The time it would take to check every page with all of it's references to past court sessions, is more than what a normal human being is capable of living.

America is no different than Iran. Where anyone under disguise of the "Government" can come to your house, anytime they want, without any search warrant, look through whatever, take you in without letting your family know where you are or allow you to obtain an attorney.

Yeap, we ought to wave that flag a bit more vigorously and vote into office the same moron who put us in this situation.

This is America Number One, we've heard so much about.

Hamid

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Christian Republic of America

As we were getting used to the concept of "Islamic Republic of Iran", we now have to deal with Christian Republic of America!

What a sad day for the civilized world, what a setback to progress, and what an unfortunate future for Iraq and the Middle east.

For the past 30 years in my ignorance, I never resorted to "Stupid American" as an expression to insult, justify, or explain. The reelection of the epitome of ignorance to the office is clearly proof of such self centered, short sided, and hypocritical mentality - Their stupidity; I voted for Kerry.

Welcome to the dark ages, for another 4 years.

Basa

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Move on!

In reply to Daniel Patrick Welch's "We are here":

I must say that you must be trapped on www.moveon.org and/or watching non-stop re-runs of Farenheit (hype) 9/11.

The reality of the fact is that the left dropped the ball on this election and is blatantly reluctant to admit its failure. Stand up, dust off your shoulders and accept the fact that the American people have chosen this President to lead them in this period in time over a 'used car salesman' who would tell them everything they wanted to hear simply to make a sale (get into office).

How can you even deny the 'REALITY' that President Bush received the highest popular vote tally in history? I would love to hear your reply on this one! I am certain you are still scratching your head in amazement and wondering how that peanut farmer lost out to Ronald Reagan in 1980!

Please spare us from your delusional propaganda. The election is over, so as your favourite website so aptly states: MOVE ON!

BK

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Crossing the line

In response to Slater Bakhtavar's "Message from Shiraz":

i don't understand why you would choose to publish propaganda. i see the advantage of having all points of view expressed (no matter how vile they are), but it is obvious that this guy FABRICATED the quotes in his article and then attributed them to 'young people in iran', simply to serve his own political agenda. i mean do you really believe this Uncle Tom was ever in Shiraz in the first place?

i can (albeit very grudgingly) accept someone who says they support bush and writes an article about it. but when they fabricate things like this guy has then it crosses the line into trashy propaganda. i think you've done a disservice to your publication as well as to readers by publishing it.

-- SD


November 4 | November 18

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