Dec 21-24, 1998 / Azar 28-Dey 4, 1377
- More by saying less
- Totally nonsense
* Yalda: Inaccurate
- Canonizing martyred writers
- Cold and cheated
- Double standard
* Iraj Mirza : Absolute
December 24, 1998
* More by saying less
Sometimes one's right to remain silent can better inform the public,
or allow them to understand the situation in a more accurate way ["Freedom
not to react"]. This is perhaps relevant in the case of the recent
murders in Iran. In my view, any expression of shock in reaction to these
murders can only undermine the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran has
continually committed similar or worse crimes in the past.
The current Iranian regime and its administrators have a 20-year history
of murders, mass killings; they have set forth policies that have resulted
in the migration of millions of people. To highlight Forouhar's tragedy
as a shocking and brutal act would only help the regime to erase the history
of crimes under the Islamic Republic and create an illusion about the existence
of freedom and security in the past.
Also, elevating Forouhar and the murdered writers to national heroes
and people's martyrs obscure the fact that most of these individuals had
in the past somehow put their stamp of approval on the Islamic Republic
and its crimes. Mr Forouhar was an IRI minister when hundreds of monarchists
were being executed in Iran for no reason other than opposing the revolution.
Mr Mokhtari, as a staunch supporter of Fadaiyan Aksariyat organization
supported the wave of violent oppression that started in 1981. Unlike hundreds
of other intellectuals who took their lives to safety, these individuals
chose to stay in Iran and risk their lives under an authoritarian regime
that cannot tolerate wisdom and freedom.
Lately, especially since the election of Khatami to the presidential
office and the outpouring of support of the Western media in favor of the
new president, silent elements in Iran's social and political circles started
to get active, under the assumption that there is rule of law and civil
society in Iran. These murders only prove this tactic to be wrong and harmful
to the very same people who advocate them.
In fact Mr and Mrs Forouhar, along with the assassinated writers, are
the victim of their own miscalculations. This in no way should suggest
that they deserved to be killed. As a matter of fact these killings have
caused a deep sense of grief among thousands of Iranians inside and outside
of Iran. Yet this pain and anger unfortunately does not qualify the murdered
victims as heroes or people's martyrs.
When reality is complicated and one simply does not hold all the pieces
to the puzzle, the freedom to remain silent can be more informative than
repeating whatever other people and groups are saying about these murders.
I myself would have remained silent on this topic, if Mr Roshanvaran's
are the strategic thinkers?"] had not asked for a public debate
about this issue!
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* Totally nonsense
The response of Mr. Mirfendereski ["Freedom
not to react"] to Roshanravan's letter ["Where
are the strategic thinkers?"] is totally nonsense. He could not
give a proper response because he doesn't have a proper response to this
very credible question. My suggestion to him is, you have the freedom to
keep quite, but we know you very well, in other words, you can be a good
KHAR RANG KON, but who is the KHAR?
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December 23, 1998
* Inaccurate heresies
It is a pity that people least knowledgeable about the Iranian heritage,
allow themselves to publish so many inaccurate heresies. Your
piece on Yalda [by the French news agency (AFP)] is a point in mind.
Please note the following:
1- Zoroastrianism is not a "sect", but the forebearer of all
religions. The first to recognize the "Unity" of God, long before
the Jews. Would AFP refer to the Jewish religion as a "Sect"?
2- All religions are "dualists" in the sense that there is
a good and an evil. In fact the concepts of "Reward and Punishment,"
"Heaven and Hell," and "Ahuramazda and Ahriman" are
all doctrines, first postulated by the Zoroastrians, and later adopted
by Judaism, which later inspired the Christianity and Islam.
3- "Yalda" is an ancient Iranian word for "birth."
The Arabic derivatives "yalad", "yoolad", "tavalod",
etc. are some extension of the word.
4- Yalda in fact refers to the birth of Mitra, the real ancient Iranian
deity "Sun God," -- remember from this day on, the sun reappears
longer and longer in each passing day). Mitra's teachings, until the the
year 376 A.D. (so-called), were the basis of the official religion of the
Roman Empire, and Yalda, was celebrated by the populace. On this year,
and after the occupation of the last Mitraeum ( the name for places of
worship by Mitraist, like synagogues for the Jews, Church for the Christians
and Mosques for the Moslems), in Rome, Pope Leo decreed that Jesus was
borne on December 25th. and the people, then, were required to celebrate
this day as Christmas. (If you visit Rome, you should insist on visiting
this Mitraeum, which is directly below the basilica in the Vatican.)
5- The lighting of a Christmas tree is also an Iranian tradition of
old times ["Merry
Mitra"]. On Yalda, they would decorate a sarve (cypress) , "Rocket
Juniper." This genus of the pine, which was much more abundant in
Iran, plus its upright beauty, shooting straight up towards the stars,
was a much better candidate for decoration.
In Europe, alas, the sarve was not plentiful, and in Germany where the
custom of Christmas tree was initiated by Luther, the abundant pine became
the popular choice. In Iran, the custom of the tree decoration, even today,
can be found in less frequented villages where the hopefuls decorate any
tree, locally available, with colorful ribbons in the hope that their wishes
are gratified. Go and decorate a sarve.
Happy Mitra Yalda or as some have suggested, Happy Mitramass.
P.S. I am not a Zoroastrian but certainly an Iranian.
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December 22, 1998
* Canonizing martyred writers
Iranians, like all other human beings, too easily forget the events
of the recent past ["In
the name of the pen"]. I think it is important that a "List
of Martyrs for A Civil Society" be kept on The Iranian for
those who have died in the IRI since Khordad of 1997. People can then go
and see that Iran's struggle toward "civil society" is real,
painful, tragic, and embarrassing.
Someone owes it to the people who have been killed, to not allow their
lives be swept under the rug. To me it is ironic that the country which
gave birth to and claims Hafez, Sa'adi, Khayyam, Rumi, Ferdosi, Attar,
Nezami, Sohrevardi, Dehkhoda, Bahar, and on and on is now systematically
allowing its next generation of greats be buried without a pause or gasp
For Iranians this is right down our alley: a list of martyrs, writers
no less. It's tragic that we do not cherish people while they are with
us, instead they have to become Shahids for us to pay our respects. Well,
let's do our part; let's pay respect to our Shahid Writers.
I know this is a sensitive subject... but someone's cloth has to be
tough enough to weather the storm and (electronically) canonize these poor
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* Cold and cheated
It was nice to see that you had a photo of the late Mohammad Mokhtari
["In the name of the pen"].
You also had him as the "feature," meaning that there would be
articles about him, his work, what he said, life story... something!
Instead you have links to other media announcements form various sites.
Which is okay, and I found information that I had not found before, but
you are mislabeling your front-page.
I felt a bit cold and cheated. I expected a lot more out of your website.
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December 21, 1998
* Absolute genius
I first read this poem ["Iraj
Mirza: "Missing the point"] in 8th grade (eight years ago).
Government censorship and a teenager's curiosity had made it that much
more interesting to read. It was actually this poem, which I believe is
called "Aref NAmeh" and not "ChAdor", that introduced
me to Iraj Mirza's other works.
To me he is an absolute genious. His poems are simple yet so expressive
and clear, and the fact that he was a "Shahzadeh" gave him the
freedom and immunity to openly create poems, no one had attempted before
Iraj describes the ignorance and vulgar culture of Iran with uttermost
talent. The fact that his poems relate so closely to today's Iran shows
how backward we have been moving for the past twenty years.
Attached is one
of my favorite Iraj poems. Hope you like it too.
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December 25, 1998
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