Book Burning


Jahanshah Rashidian
by Jahanshah Rashidian

"We recall today with shame that 75 years ago - not just here in Berlin, but in all of Germany - tens of thousands applauded and cheered as the books of Erich Kaestner, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Kurt Tucholsky and many others were thrown into the fire by the Nazis" said today the German President, Horst Koehler, in a speech at Berlin's Academy of Arts.

The so-called "degenerate" books, were burning on May, 10,1933, under Hitler's dictatorship. It started from the capital of the third Reich, Berlin, with 20,000 books and went on in other German cities; the ordered was called (Säuberung) or "cleansing". The Nazis burnt books with "non-German" ideas. Books written by Freud, Einstein, Thomas Mann, Jack London, H.G. Wells and many others go up in flames as they give the Nazi salute.

The target of this historically symbolic action was the suppression of free thoughts and ideas. The action was a tactic of Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda with the target of brainwashing a whole nation. The works of leading German writers such as Berthold Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, Alfred Kerr were consigned to flames. The promotion of "Aryan" culture and the suppression of other forms of artistic production was yet another Nazi effort to "purify" Germany.

The Nazis were neither the first nor the last book-burners in history. Christianity has a longer history of defending an all-powerful deity by shielding the mind from strange ideas.

The 'Dark Ages' of the Middle Ages in Europe is full of religious atrocity , many scientists were burnt with their ideas and books: John Calvin was probably the most efficient: in 1600, when he burned Michael Servetus at the stake for heresy, and around his waist were tied a large bundle of manuscript and a thick octavo printed book. Another notorious illustration of this was in July of 1562, when Bishop Diego de Landa burnet five thousand idols and many thousands of their written works.

Scientific inquiry had virtually no support in Western society from the 7th to 15th centuries. Bigoted Ecclesiasticism dammed the flow of free thought, blocking the seepage of knowledge within Western societies. Book was branded as magic and treasonous, and the writer or reader was punishable by torture or death. Bruno was burned at the stake for the crime of claiming that the earth rotates about its axis.

Several decades after the event of Islam in Arabia, Muslim invaders of Arabia galloped in new territories. they brutally destroyed great civilisations of the Middle East. Among other losses, libraries as the symbol of knowledge and wisdom of their culture were burnt to ashes. This early book-burning of primitive Muslims paved the way for 1400 years of darkness and backwardness in the Middle East.

Muslim invaders arrived with sword in one hand and the Koran in the other. Since they believed the Koran was a divine revelation, it became the starting point. The Koran instructed them to seek knowledge in all fields. It was in this perspective and under the shadow of Islamic influences, Muslim scientists, philosophers, poets wrote their works. Even worse than the censorship, their works were influenced by their own self-alienation.

Centuries later, Muslim scientists upheld the civilisation in the world when the West was in its lowest era of moral and intellectual obscurity. However, the Islamic civilisation appeared in a limited framework of progress due to its own religiosity too.

Today, the heritage of the Nazi's and early Muslims' book burning became the political Islam with its shoking results in the last three decades in the Islamic world, especially in Iran and Afghanistan.

Recalling not only the book-burning of 1933 by the Nazis, but also the early invasion of Islam in Iran, the regime launched in 1980 a cultural revolution to alienate Iranians from their pre-Islamic great civilisation by islamoarbising the whole Iranian culture. Following the Cultural Revolution, bands of Hezbollah and Islamists attacked, destroyed and burnt libraries in Iran. Millions of books were destroyed, and thousands of allegedly readers of such books were imprisoned or executed.

Not only the IRI's Ministry of Culture now censors some of Iran's best contemporary writers and researchers, such as Sadegh Hedayat, Sadegh Choobak, Ebrahim Golestan, Gholamhossein Saaedi, Ahmad Kasravi, Ali Dashti, Ebrahim Poordavoud, Zabih Behrouz, and others, but even in the recent years, they removed parts and whole pieces of works by well-known poets such as Souzani Samarghandi, Omar Khayam, Molana Jalaledin Rumi, Nezami Ganjavi, Abid Zakani, Iradj Mirza, and even some lexicons from Ali Akbar Dehkhoda and Farhang Moeen as non-Islamic.

Contrary to the Nazis in 1933, today, IRI's book burning and censorship are not so solely aimed at stamping out ideas of freedom but for a more nefarious purpose and in a line with the early Muslim invaders: suppressing our ancient culture.


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Enough lies samsam1111

by Iranian- on

You are saying (I am not anti Islam)

But didn't you say  (...  and you won,t get an extra virgin for defending Islam)?

You should know better that Muslims do not defend their faith for virgins in paradise you stupid moron. That is an anti-Islam remark!

By the way, you don't decide who goes to hell, God almighty does. 

I don't think that you are a bad person. Stupid and arrogant you are, but maybe not a Mofsed.

Do you have any other confusions that I need to clear for you dummy?


you are funny Iranian

by samsam1111 on

I am not anti Islam.if you can read my post , illiterate you! would find that i,m anti motezaher mofsed like you. The KHAVAREJ is you.your type killed Imam Ali .Jahanam is not enough for you money baggers.

اولۀک الذين اشتروا الضلاله و الظالمين


samsam1111 jan

by Anonymous lover (not verified) on

I think a lot more like you do man. You are on the money. I'm with you!

Forget these religious nuts. They don't understand people like us.

Take care man.


Thanks for your information Honest Hassan!

by Iranian- on


Khar Gir

Finally, a good definition of Racism by J. Rashidian

by Khar Gir on

The super intelligent Rashidian has defined for us what "Racism" is.

"To ban someone's works because of his depression is a racist ..."

Please update your dictionaries and your websites to make sure the new definition is implemented for all to view.

Thanks again JR. What would we do without you?



by Iranian- on

You really would like to communicate with me, don't you? The best way to do that is the intelligent and decent way not your usual stupid way. Even then, I still don't want to hear from you.

Yes, you poor fool, you are a Mofsed because you have ridiculed God and Islam in your writings. If it makes you feel better then you maybe a small insignificant and tiny Mofsed. Not a big harmful one like Salman Rushdie, this author, Amil Imani and other idiots like them

America is NOT the land of the Mofseds you moron! Majority of Americans of all religions are better people than individuals  like you and they are not anti-Muslim like yourself! 

Now why don't you be a good boy and find your boyfriend that you met in the mosque and stop communicating with me.


You are right that Nietzsche

by sadegh on

You are right that Nietzsche reviled German nationalism and anti-Semitism (part of the reason for his break with Wagner, along with the latter's penchant for Schopenhauer), but Nietzsche's diatribe against Christianity was in part motivated by his deep felt kinship with the ancient Greeks, in both his early work (think of The Birth of Tragedy's praise of the Dionysian), and his later work (think of the Genealogy of Morality and Beyond Good and Evil, where he clearly rejects Christian ressentiment in favor of the 'heroic' morality of the ancient Greeks). He was a philologist after all who specialized in the exegesis of Greek and Latin texts, before his break with Wagner and fashioning of his own sui generis philosophy.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Nitzsche served by any side

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Contrary to the Nazis's propaganda, Nietzsche was not even nationalist and opposed nationalism, anti-Semitism or any form of metaphor in German. His famous declaration "God is dead" (Gott ist tot) was  missued by the Nazis to metaphorise another "divine" value: National Socialism.

Nietzsche rejected Ancient Greeks and their "harmful" philosophy  for concludin religion. He founf religion "guilty" for "social sanctions". He  requires a thorough "revaluation of values.

Interesting to view, the declaration was in France (Dieu est mort), an argument for French left and intellectuals, completely opposite to Nazi's agenda, to metaphorise another value: Historical Materialism.


Anonymousgg you really are

by sadegh on

Anonymousgg you really are a stupid twit...I have also written an extensive critique of Nazi aesthetics and anti-Semitism here:


In particular take a look at the sections:

The Nazi Myth

Mytho-poiesis and National Aestheticism

The Will-to-Art, or Onto-typology of National Socialism

I know you have to make up for your ignorance through libelous insults, but please, for your own sake don't slander when you can't even spell...I feel really embarrassed for you...


I wasn't referring to you

by sadegh on

I wasn't referring to you Mr. Rashidian...I was referring to someone else's simplistic formulation, juxtaposing Mesbah Yazdi, that decrepit old goat of a cleric with Martin Heidegger was just too much idiocy to bear. The individual in question in some demented feat of logic attempted to identify the Islamists with the Nazis and thereby make an even more gigantic leap of stupidity by identifying Mesbah Yazdi with Heidegger, this is simply too moronic, even by the standards of some of the people on this site, it's really not even worthy of a dignified response...I have written extensively on both Nietzsche and Heidegger in articles you can also read on my blog, persuasively showing that such maladroit and uneducated formulas have no basis in the thought of either Heidegger or Nietzsche...




Book burning...

by jamshid on

The Arab invaders of 1400 years ago, or the Nazis of 60 years ago, or so many others, burnt books, but the Islamists has taken this to an entirely new dimension.

They take a book written by some author, and actually change its contents by filtering the "inappropriate" out, and also by "injecting" their own blatant lies in the book, all on behalf of the author, and with the readers not knowing anything about it.

This is worst than book burning. Goebel would be no more than a pupil compared to the Islamists.

Jahanshah Rashidian


by Jahanshah Rashidian on

I read one or two books from Hedayat when I was a teenager in Iran. His famous book "Blind owl"was one of them. I was not in an age to pass a judgment over his style.
Later, I visited his grave in the famous Parisian symmetry, Père Lachaise, and found out about his depression.

To ban someone's works because of his depression is a racist, selfish, dehumanised act that the Nazis did in Germany by their "Saüberungen / Bücherverbrennug" (cleansing / Book Burning).

The Nazis even eliminated hundreds of thousands of mental or physical handicaps. It is very recommended, especially for IRI's supporters who cannot find out the similarities of the IRI with fascism, to read the Nazism's rule from 1933-45 over Germany.

Jahanshah Rashidian

Dera Sadegh,

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

I do not understand your anger, if addressed to me? I did not even mention "Martin Heidegger" in the piece. He was a young thinker under the Nazis with some sympathy for them-propbably fascinated by their rapid growth in technology and national economy…! But the Nazis abused his reputation as they did with others.

The Nazis categorised the then famous thinkers on two opposite "pro / counter "lists-what the IRI does now. For example Nietzsche's thoughts were abused by Nazis' propaganda apparatus--Dr. Göbbels had a PhD in philosophy and packed off /in philosophers / thinkers as required. Heidegger distanced himself radically from the Nazis, in 1970th, before his death.


LOL!!!!!!Iranian, every body is mofsed ha?

by samsam1111 on

So what the hell you are doing in mofsed land?

when I was in my pre teens before revolution, I used to go pray in this mosque close to our place on salsabil...One day I saw this newcomer dude from the neigborhood who I had never seen pray before .I noticed him praying for more than an hour and doing 20 or 30 rekaat namz...:), I asked him"dude what the heck are you doing here and why are you doing triple namaz?" he asked me if i could keep a secret and i said yes .so he confessed that the dat before he tried to get it on with a doggy and now he is so ashamed that wants to repent and do hundreds of rekaats to make up the doggy incident.

IRANIAN are you sure you are not that dude? may be we are all good folks and you are the


To Iranian : Why Suicid : Book or Homosexuality

by Troneg on

Many people commited suicid aftere Sadegh Hedayat and Savak hide them !

It should be the same who see Komeini on the moon and Savak couldn't hide it.

Hedayat was in the same wave as Kafka. Never in Europe people said that people comitted suicide because of him and here there is not Savak. Reasons of suicid could be large and not only a book.

How many young good young people committed suicid because they were homosexual and Iranian socity didn't accept them. Even after their death parents didnt want admit it. It is easy  to say after that they did it because of a book. Do you know if Savak has some figures ? Today if they dont suicide, IRI kill them himself.

Don't blame and insult our great artist for our socity insufffisance.

Honest Hassan

Iranian- is right!

by Honest Hassan on

OK, somebody has to tell the I am coming forward.

It was 1950.

We had a neighbor, who had a son. The son was a happy good  young man.

On the son's birthday, I gave him "Boofeh-koor", by "Sadeq Hedayat".

 The next day, he killed himself.

They found a note. He had written:" I read the book you gave me, Hassan. I got so depressed, I am killing myself. F*ck You, baa iin kaadot!"

 So, here is the proof. The SAVAK did not allow the news of his suicide be published, by Shah's direct order.



by Iranian- on

You mean the more I talk, more Mofseds will show their ugly face don't you? I want them to show themselves like you do. I want to see who is a Mofsed on this site and who is not, you moron! 

By the way, since when a Mofsed like you has become interested in how one should defend Islam or not? If I needed an advise from a  clown like you, I'd ask for it. Thank you.



by samsam1111 on

with defenders like you ,Islam haters grow.My advice to you is to be quiet.This is a web site not Karbala and you are not imam hussein, and you won,t get an extra virgin for defending Islam.Go read a bit more and come back in 5 years.Regards



by Iranian- on

What the hell are you talking about? You idiot, when did I say "non-muslims are bigots and racist"?

Islam respects other religions of God you moron. There is no Jihad between Islam and any other religion.

The only problem are anti-Islam Mofseds like you, this author, Amil Imani and a few more people like them.


Sadegh: You're an

by Anonymousgg (not verified) on

Sadegh: You're an anti-semite Islamist living in Iran... you have no credibility. Just one look at your website and who you read speaks volume.


Dear Ali P.

by Iranian- on

I never implied the time of death of Mr. Hedayat to be 30-50 years ago. I meant that the newspapers in Iran (30-50) years ago indicated that young poeple who were suffering from depression after reading his books found a motivation to commit suicide. Here is what I said:

"people who killed themselves after reading Sadegh Hedayat's works. I don't have the newspapers of that time (30-50 years ago)"

So my friend you can wait 48 hours or 48 years because the "proof" you look for is not documented as well as it should have been. I am sure there are some Iranians from that time who can confirm what I said. I hope that they come forward and say so.

One last thing, I did not compare him to Elvis! I don't know how you deducted that reasoning either? I just wanted to give you an example of some regular people who commited suicide because of a well known person.

I mean, when one can read books on science, good literature, history, good arts and others, why would anyone want to read the work of a clinically depressed writer like Mr. Hedayat who became obsessed with death and tried to commit suicide twice!?


Please don't talk about Heidegger, it's embarrassing...

by sadegh on

Please read this essay of mine on Heidegger, just so you can realize how far Heideggerian philosophy is beyond the pale of your pithy and insipid jibes.




If you kill yourself after

by Anonymousaa (not verified) on

If you kill yourself after reading a book, that's just reflective of how severe one's clinical/organic depression has progressed.

A book cannot cause death and to posit such a ludicrous idea is to defy scienctific knowledge and studies.



Ali P.

To : Iranian

by Ali P. on

Dear friend:

Thank you for the polite respond( at least to my comment).

But you may as well have said:" Sadegh Hedayat killed 10 people with his own hands.I don't have the newspapers of that time (30-50 years ago), but I lived at the time of the shah. It is the truth! "

I listen to you as a witness testitying to a fact ( since nothing else is offered to support your claim). If I was a defense attorney, I would draw the jury's attention, to this notion that, other that the fact that you are an anonymous writer on a website and you lived 'at the time of the Shah(!)', you are hardly an authority on Hedayat: You did not know the manner of his suicide, and you imply the date of his death 30-50 years ago, where in fact, it was 57 years ago. Oh, and you know the continent, where he killed himself, i.e., Europe. 

I, on the other hand, am not a great Hedayat fan, but I am familiar with his life and works, and I can testify to the fact that, never, ever, have I heard, or read, of anyone committing suicide, based on the writing of Hedayat.

(Your comparison of Elvis and Hedayat, is just beyond me. Elvis was extremely famous all over the world at the time of his death. The fact that some of his fans killed themselves after his suicide is well published, and could be verified in a matter of minutes. No one desputes that. Hedayat was only known to some book readers in Iran; hardly the hysterical, sensational type)

 You may not be able to produce the names of those "good young people" who killed themselves because of Hedayat, but can you at least give us a hint of who they were and where they lived? Would 48 hours suffice to give us a book, a source, anything to verify your claim?

 I guess by this time, some people reading this agree with you, and some with me.

 And so be it.

 Having said all that, whether or not he was a good write, almost everyone agrees with you that the man suffered from depression, and his work reflects it.

 I thank you for your time and comment.


Ali P.



So, anyone who doesn't agree

by Anonymousjh (not verified) on

So, anyone who doesn't agree with Islam and it's totalitarian ideology is a Mofesed??? And you are audacious enough to call non-muslims bigots and racist??

Has there ever been a more racist and divisive relgion than Islam when they categrorize people into Infidels (Mofsed) and Non-infidels. Racism is intrinsically intertwined with the practice and internalizing Islamic idoctrination.

I don't think anyone would care about Islam or Muslims if they had not declared Jihad on the infidels and other religions...!


A shot of reality

by Iranian- on

Aghaye Ali P: 

If one could name all the people who commited suiside after Elvis Presley died, then I can name those people who killed themselves after reading Sadegh Hedayat's works. I don't have the newspapers of that time (30-50 years ago), but I lived at the time of the shah. It is the truth! Sadegh Hedayat was a depressed writer and I am not proud of him or most of his work.


Sadegh Hedayat wrote many books. Some okay, and some bad. I have read Dash Akol and seen the movie probably even before you were born. Most brilliant minds are in Europe and U.S.? Amazing! I am glad that you are not my son. I hate to see you commit suiside because of stupidity.

Anonymous 33:

My name will remain Iranian- because I speak for the good of Iran unlike a racist Mofsed like you. (Ta joonet ham dar biayd).

Final note:

Yes my responses might even offend a few good people and I am sorry for that. But do not allow this author and his supporters to give you the 'sweet talk'. He is very good with words and has a sinister plan when he mixes lies with truth. He is not even a Muslim like many of us Iranians. It is not important if you practice your religion or not or if you dislike IRI. What is important is to stand up to these people. Look at how they compare Islam to Nazism and at the same time have racist feelings towards Arab people! What does that tell you?

We, Iranian people are noble people and want to stand free of bigotry. These people, whom I call Mofseds, want to bring hate, racism and cultural division into our society.

Look at what this Mofsed author is saying:

Muslims paved the way for 1400 years of darkness and backwardness in the Middle East

At the same time he is saying:

Muslim scientists upheld the civilisation in the world when the West was in its lowest era of moral and intellectual obscurity.

How could both these happen in the same time period? Is he an idiot or he thinks idiots are reading his articles? Amazing that no one complains from this even though he is telling a clear lie about 1400 years of darkness in the Middle East. Is it because of IRI that makes people to keep quiet to this kind of slandering by Mofseds?

Look, if you don't agree with IRI, say so. Slandering your borned-to religion of Islam is what Mosfseds are good at. Don't allow them. Keep politics and religion separate. And don't lift your foot off their back. Keep them to the ground. The Iranian government is about 30 years old. Mofseds have been around since the creation of man and will remain around until the end of the world.


All religions are liability.

by Anonymousaa (not verified) on

All religions are liability. but, I want to stress that religion is not alone. belief systems are nothing more than the killing of thought. it is a form of abuse to raise children in such narrow and limited ways; to live in fear of some deity who will judge you if you steer away from doctrinal controls.anything that denigrates human value in some form of hierarchy is an abomination; especially if that religion is trying to impose itself beyond its borders onto other cultures and nation, the way Islam is mandated to do.

Ali A Parsa

End religion bashing!

by Ali A Parsa on

All religions have had their dark and light periods, strong points and weak points. Trying to prove which is the best is exercise in futility, at best.

I wish those who do religion bashing were equal opportunity bashers and were not bias to selevtively choose one period of history of one religion. It is the idea of viewing only the tree and forest, if you will. We know that will not happen because religion is FAITH and faith needs no proof. It is personal and mostly one's business and what one is comfortable with for any reason, spiritual, conformity, political or even material gain. I particularly expect those who live in the Western world recognize these points. The era of extremism, divisiveness, crusades world wars was once over and almost all people had just started to get along regardless of their religions. Then, as history repeats, once again came the warmongers, hatemongers and arrogant leaders and it looks as if we were in square one again. Let us spend our valuable time to find ways to save our world of divisive measures and work for unity. The American saying 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall' still applies not only to America, but to our world. Many are doing this quietly, why not more of us?

I, too, like iranian find the best part of Mr. Rashidian's article was; Centuries later, Muslim scientists upheld the civilisation in
the world when the West was in its lowest era of moral and intellectual

The reason for this is that it is historical fact and has nothing to do with the substance of religion, its dogma, strong and weak points that could be controversial and useless to discuss.

Once again I suggest that those who choose to discuss the never-dending religion bashing read the following book before they try to condemn Islam. One plus aspect of the book is that it is written by non-Moslems and contains the least or no bias judgement. Barnes and Nobles had it last year, but I do not know who sells it now.

Introduction to Islamic Civilization.1976. Editor R.M. Savory, Cambridge University Press, London, New York, Melbourne



Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Surna,

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Thanks for your nice words! I am glad to hear from you again.
Yes, the IRI follows a Nazi doctrine with Islam added to it. This is of course the worst and most dangerous version of fascism.

Under the caliphate of the Umayyads, Muslims translated works of Greek philosophers who were living in today's Egypt. At the time, Baghdad came under the rule of the Abbassids and Umayyads a world centre for learning, especially for medicine.

Certainly the Islamic civilisation inherited Greek philosophy and Iranian scientists-see the names of many Iranian scientists or Greek like Plato, Socrates, Pitagurus all arabised!

As I mentioned in the article, Islamic scientists were limited to a perception of truth within Islamic values, they attempted to tie Islam with any science. And only so, they were called "A'lem". In this limited elasticity of science, knowledge could not stretch out to a level of renaissance at all. In another word it was doomed to stagnation, if not demise.

An important reason is today there is no a scientific terminology in any Islam-based language which facilitates the capacity for expression.


Did you know that Hitler's

by AnonymousAA (not verified) on

Did you know that Hitler's Meine Kampe is the most popular book read by Islamists//

In fact, Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor, Mesbah Yazdi is a disciple of Hiedeggar, A Nazi philosopher???