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Republic of intimidation
If the unity of Iran can only be achieved through fear, intimidation, force and censorship, then we will never start our path toward a free society


May 31, 2007

Having written articles being critical of a few aspects of the Iranian society I had become used to getting e-mails, insulting me, but also naming me an Israeli (a Jew more specifically) who wants to divide Iran. Then I made it clear that I was not a Jew but an Iranian Turk, then I received e-mails, insulting me, but also naming me a pan-Turkist, and Torke khar (donkey Turk), who wants to divide Iran. I am indeed a Torke khar to a quite large number of those Iranians who are devout believers in what I do not believe.

What I do not conceive though is how some articles can divide a country? How some articles can divide a nation? What fragile a country can that be? What a fragile country can that be that the so-called patriotic "Persians" feel absolutely obligated to silence someone like me because what I write contributes to the division of their (or maybe mine too) country? Most of what I have written have been critical toward the perceptions regarding the Iranian identity, and also some common Iranian attitudes and cultural issues.

Does my writing about the pre-Islamic Persian Empire in a critical way divide Iran? Does my calling Xerxes and others of that era tyrants divide Iran? Does my critical writing about Aryan ideology surrounding Persian-Iranian nationalism divide Iran? Does my critical writing about some short-comings of the Iranian culture divide Iran? Do all these things about which I have written divide Iran? If they do, then let that Iran be divided. What an Iran that is which can be divided so easily?

However I think not so. I do not want to divide Iran. The only reason these people whose sole weapon is to insult and intimidate is that their ideology is an ideology based on lies and the only way they can protect their ideology is to demonise and intimidate their apparent opponents. Exactly the way the Islamists operate in Iran. I would actually have the Mullahs rather than Persian-Aryan nationalists ruling Iran.

I may also be wrong on this, but a religion that unequivocally unites about 95% of Iran's population is much better for the unity of that country rather than a nationalistic ideology that will never be able to unite but will always be able to divide a much larger proportion of Iranians, not just the Kurds, the Baluch and the Turkmen (who are currently alienated as being Sunnis)! It would be ideal to have a regime that would respect all ideologies and religions (as long as they do not wish the annihialation of the others) but I am not so convinced there are enough Iranians out there ready for this.

Do I want an independent Azerbaijan? I do not live in Iran or in Azerbaijan. I doubt the people of Azerbaijan want independence from the rest of Iran. The reasons can be varied, but I profoundly doubt any real desire among Iranian Azerbaijanis for independence.

I personally, for myself or for my family and friends inside and outside Iran who see themselves as Iranian Turks, or Azerbaijani Turks, do not wish an independent Azerbaijan, or a greater Azerbaijan that would also include the Republic of Azerbaijan. That is a little bit too much wishful thinking and naivety for a person my type. Any person has the duty to work for the betterment of his/her people, and the betterment of the Azerbaijanis, and Iranians as a whole, is to work toward a free society, to achieve a democracy one day, sooner or later. To do so, I believe that we must start with ourselves, to develop the spirit of freedom in ourselves and then expect to form a community that could foster and protect the freedoms and rights of its citizens.

All my writings have been for this end, to open debates that are considered taboo, untouchable or sacred among many Iranians. Do these debates divide Iran? Some believe they do. So, what is your solution? In order to protect the "fragile" unity of Iran it is absolutely necessary to shut up? Does this unity of Iran require a dictatorship to survive? Does this unity of Iran require people like me who like to talk, to be silenced, maybe assassinated or intimidated or imprisoned? The Iranian regime thinks so, but they are not so much after people like me, but there is another anti-regime faction who bitterly want my kind to be silenced. For what? For the unity of Iran?

If the unity of Iran can only be achieved through fear, intimidation, force and censorship, then we will never start our path toward a free society. Maybe Iran's unity is indeed fragile. I am not sure whether it is or it is not. But one thing is clear, the Persian-Aryan nationalistic movement of Iranians believes so. To be clear, I can openly say that I would rather have a divided Iran rather than a dictatorship.

But dividing Iran would mean misery, maybe even war for many Iranians. It is better to protect and to promote the protection of Iran's territorial integrity for the sake of safety and security, but that has little to do with any nationalistic ideology. And nationalism is not the same as patriotism. I am much more patriotic in my desire to promote open-mindedness and debate rather than those who would rather have their fellow Iranian silenced, though for other reasons than the usual practices of the Islamic regime.

And why do we Iranian Turks get the donkey label? These Turks you call donkeys have fought for Iran for more than five centuries, been kings for more than five centuries, been soldiers for more than five centuries, been workers, traders, ambassadors and remarkable other types of Iranians (along with other Iranians but probably all Iranians know that the proportion of known or remarkable Azerbaijanis has been greater than their percentage of the population of Iran, about 25%).

Turks have contributed to the Iranian standing in the whole world and in the region (so that it did not turn out an Iraq or an Afghanistan) and then accepted to be named Azeri (whatever that may be) and accepted to write in Persian and have the official language as Persian and built Persia and the Persian lands.

But let's not confuse that I have never excluded the Iranian Turks from my critical writings. We are all the same, not much different. Iranian Fars (Persians) or Turks are just the same bunch who speak different languages. They have almost the same culture and the religion is exactly the same. The only difference is that the Turks have been good donkeys. That's all! They like giving rides, working for others, and that's their way of being, just like donkeys.

I hope you get the irony! I am a 'Torke khar" myself because although I receive so many insulting e-mails I still do care about Iran and Iranians and I still do try to have the very little impact I think I can have to work for the improvement of the Iranian community, hence the whole Iran. An improved Iran will only be a more free Iran with more tolerant, more educated and respectful Iranians.

Jahanshah Javid posts anything you send to him, and you can send e-mails in which you call me a donkey, a khar etc, but I would appreciate newer labels and insults because these are wearing thin already. Maybe some can start with sending more hard-core stuff using more direct insults. They may just stop me, and they help make a more colourful place where little by little all decent writers who are bold enough to write about controversial issues will be pushed aside because of receiving direct swearings and insults.

Maybe some could also insult Javid because he is the only one guilty of posting my articles. Maybe he is a much bigger khar than me! Does anyone know he is not a big Iranian domestic donkey himself? So, please, my non-khar Iranian brothers and sisters, be free and express yourselves! Comment


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