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May 1-5, 2000 / Ordibehesht 12-16, 1379


* Press:
- Free expression, without getting beaten

* Celebriry:
- Filmmakers as role models


* Jews:
- Coordinated Zionist plot?

* Reform:
- Giving reformists a boost, from abroad
- Ban on discussion
- Newspaper ban is right
- Helllllo freedom!

* Drunk driving:
- Lucky dog

- Drunk down under
* Islam in America:
- Noble Drew Ali

* Berkeley:
- Huh?
- Keep personal life out of reporting

* April Fools:
- Albright in Tehran!

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May 5, 2000

* Free expression, without getting beaten

In response to Murtaza Sarwary:

It is so easy for you, living in Canada, halfway around the world from Iran, to tell Iranians in Iran and worldwide that a bunch of insolent students are trying to destroy all of what Khomeini and his regime fought for in the Iran/Iraq war and in the struggle to put Islam in government. Maybe it's because you never had a bit of exposure with the war and what went on that you see things the way you do.

First of all, besides the fact that most Iranians only consider themselves Muslims and don't really practice that much and that many Iranians are also of different faiths, which makes a single-religion government totally unrepresentative of the people, you forget that these newspapers are not trying to destroy Islam; they focus instead on gaining the right to speak out without getting beaten, being able to express ourselves freely in any form, as our poets continued to do even after Islam >>> FULL TEXT

Maziar Shirazi

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* Filmmakers as role models

In response to Banafsheh Zand:

Thank you for your response and your respect to an Iranian artist which was my general idea too. But needless to say, I have to diagree...

When somone rights a book or makes a movie, we are dealing with direct ideas presented by the composer. How can the artist be exempt from ideas that he himself is more or less presenting?

To make my point clearer, let's forget about Mehrjoui, whom I still respect a lot, and consider another example. Let's consider a teacher who is telling children in school to be honest, peaceful and not to be jealous. Do you expect that teacher to follow his own words or not? Is this too much ask? I don't think so >>> FULL TEXT

Faramarz Kaviani

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May 4, 2000

* Coordinated Zionist plot?

I am really saddened by all this barrage of very divisive articles and propaganda by our fellow Iranian jewish so-called vocal groups.

I am confused as to what their ulterior motives are. Is it truly coming from them or is it another cohesive and coordinated plot by their international Zionist handlers? ...

Historically, Iran/Persia has been a safe haven for Jews for centuries and centuries. It was the Persians who freed the Jewish slaves from Babylon. It was the Ashkanians of northern Iran who helped the Jews and their leader Antagon to defeat the Romans hence the creation of Israel first time or second time around. I believethe present Israel is the third time...

Granted all's not well in Iran today but it's not just the Jews who are having problems exclusively. I understand that you are all sympathetic to Israel but you don't have to over do it at the expense of the rest of us. Iran has some serious issues with Israel, mostly justified. As citizens of Iran, you need to take under consideration all angles at this time.


Saaviz Afshar

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* Giving reformists a boost, from abroad

Rasool Nafisi's article ["Reform in retreat"]is well written and comprehensive. But ... It is about time that [the U.S. and Europe] abandon their naive policies and look at Iran realistically, and there are many among the expatriate Iranian community that can help... On the part of Iranian people and the reformists, PURE reliance on internal factors and the law results in the advantage of the conservatives >>> FULL TEXT

Mohammad Azadpur

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May 3, 2000

* Ban on discussion

In response to your letter's section "Newspaper ban is right" by Mr. Murtaza Sarwary, I would kindly disagree.

What the newspapers did was a service to the people and helps educate everybody and find religious solutions to problems and changes in a modern world. religious beliefs have always been questioned and adapted over time to comply with new necessities. That has been the streangth of Shia Islam.

What is happening now in Iran is not only trying to ban ordinary people and journalists from discussing religion, but also closing the tradition of "Ijtehad" among our religious scholars >>> FULL TEXT

Mamad Rastgoo

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* Lucky dog

I held my breath while reading your piece. ["Beh salaamati"] Thank God you got away with it. You don't even know how badly they treat you if you are over the limit. Suffice to say that they will not let you even pee or burp before being tested again in the station. They treat like a criminal, and it is very costly too. The reason you were below the limit is the duration of time in which you had your beers. Lucky lucky dog!


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* Drunk down under

Here in Australia, police just stop you, givesyou a breath test, and fine you if you have exceeded the limit ["Beh salaamati"] . The limit here is actually 0.5. None of this bull crap talk ("Why did you lie?"), physical tests, or intimidating behavior will occur.

Yazdaneh Amiryazdani

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* Noble Drew Ali

Your comment about Moorish Science ["Islam in America"] being a "combination on eastern philosophies and religions, Christianity, anti-white racism, and metaphysics," is incorrect, what I do suggest is that you actually read the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America >>> FULL TEXT

C.E. Lewis

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May 2, 2000

    * Newspaper ban is right

    I'm an Iranian living in Canada. I was born in Zanjan, Iran, and lived most of my life. In response to the 16 newpaper closures in Iran, I would like to say that the Islamic government of Iran is doing the right thing ["Three steps back"].

    These journalists have questioned Islamic law in Iran and its the duty of the Islamic Republic to protect Islam by any means whatsoever. We gave 1,000,000 martyrs in the Jihad against Saddam to protect Islam and the Iranian people.

    Khomeini told us to be careful when he's gone and the enemies will try to start a war in Iran and against Islam. And now these stupid students want more democracy! May Islam prevail forever in beautiful Iran.

    Murtaza Sarwary

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* Helllllo freedom!

Mummy Joon told me: Whoever you call or write to, you should start and end by saying: SALAAM BAR AAZAADI, DOROOD BAR MATBOOAAT!!! ["Three steps back"]

So, this is an order from your 92 (or may be 93) year old grandma. SALAAM BAR AAZAADI, DOROOD BAR MATBOOAAT...

B. J.

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* Huh?

Excuse me, what was that? ["Sunny day in Berkeley"]

Arya Namdar

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May 1, 2000

* Keep personal life out of reporting

I am an Iranian businessman living in Europe and USA and I am ashamed of Ms. Christian Amanpour for the pictures of Iran that she showed the world.

After 20 years of being closed to the world she takes the CNN cameras to the ugliest parts of Tehran and shows crumbled houses with domesticated animals in the yard.

The least she could have done was to show a balanced picture of Tehran with some of the nicer and cleaner neighborhoods in north Tehran. I don't give a damn about the home she grew up in and her personal memory.

She should keep her personal life out of her reporting. I am ashamed of Amanpour and don't think she is anything special at all. she is a shame to Iranians, just like the mollas.

M. Sarafraz

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* Albright in Tehran!

Today, I had a two-hour show on Radio Sedaye Iran (KRSI), and performed a Persian version of Mrs. Albright's April Fools interview ["Albright in Tehran"] along with my friend and colleague, Ziba. She played the role of Albright, and me the interviewer.

It was fantastic, and at least three times, we gave full credit to The Iranian with mentions of the Web site and everything. It was really fun reading it, and we received quite a few compliments from listeners.

And you know something? At the time, one of our anchormen had really believed the story and mentioned it quite seriously as a first hand report in his radio talk show!

Farrokh Javid

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