Let’s come out of our shells


Let’s come out of our shells
by MM

An open question to IC contributors on differentiation.

"Let’s come out of our shelves": What action-items by the Iranian.com community can affect public policy and opinion outside the confines of Iranian.com? How do we differentiate the Iranian Diaspora from the Iranian Islamist agents as well as Al-Qaida operatives? OK, I have to say that I am nostalgic towards our King Cyrus-type heritage. King Cyrus, whose replica of “The Rights of Nations” cylinder resides at the United Nations Hall as the first human rights charter in history and whose name appears in the scriptures as God’s Anointed. I am nostalgic because I see where we were 2500 years ago and where we are now. I think that we all are a bid nostalgic unless brain-washed in MKO or Basij camps. However, while not a Monarchist like DK, I have to say that Reza Pahlavi had good points in his recent France24 interview on how the Iranian passport or even the place of birth on my American passport are viewed by the authorities if we travel via planes. Who can blame the outrage from the public to forget about being politically correct and just screen everyone with Muslim names, Muslim looking persons, …………..first and foremost. And, I am speaking in general, beyond airport screening.

You may say that not a single person of Iranian origin has been involved in these plane terrorist acts. OK, maybe not on a plane, but we see plenty of nut-jobs in Tehran who ceremoniously sign suicide-bombing pledges and there are other terrorist acts that are attributed to the Ghods force of the Paasdaar Gaurds, ranging from bombings in Kobar towers, Argentina, Israel,….. via Ghods operatives and their alleged foreign agents; Hezbollah and Hamas. We are fighting a court case, right now, here in the US to protect the loaned University of Chicago Persepolis Treasures from being confiscated by the Israelis/Americans who lost loved ones in a horrible bombing attack in Israel that was attributed to Iranian agents.

The problem I see is that we, as the Iranian Diaspora, are content and have not done much to differentiate ourselves from what I call Islamists. OK, XXX has a different name for what I call Islamism, and he will argue for a long time on this point alone. Or, we can argue for a year whether Islam conquered with sword 1400 years ago (sorry, Q). Or, XX will write world famous manifestos on Monarchy over and over here at Iranian.com and others…….(sorry if I left anyone out). Furthermore, I have to say that I have only seen one common denominator in the majority of the political/ideological arguments in Iranian.com; mainly the disposal of IRI and the sidelining of MKO. Going beyond, I see lots of stow-piping around different ideologies, and the arguments start. While I agree that argument / debate is a good way to reach consensus, you see, we can argue/complain for a long time within ourselves in the confines of Iranian.com, but I do not think that a single thing will change around us, outside the confines of our shelves, the Iranian Diaspora at Iranian.com. Ohhhhhh, you say that wait until this IRI regime is gone and we shall be set free? Well my friend, look at the Iraqis, who were liberated 6 years ago, taken off the terrorist nation list and her citizens are still treated just as bad as us in the airports.

Yes, we have done a little bid, like taking small ads in NY-Times or candle vigils in Tehran after 9/11, but is that enough? What else can we do for differentiation, just like the Cuban Diaspora is treated differently than the terrorist government of Cuba, and ohhhh, if you are a Cuban citizen that risks 90 miles of shark infested waters between Florida and Cuba on a log-raft and reach the shores here, …….automatic Green Card.

Again, I would like to emphasize that we can argue and complain for a long time within ourselves in the confines of Iranian.com, but I do not think that a single thing will change around us, unless we affect changes collectively with action-points that reach outside the confines of Iranian.com. I will throw in a few ideas, some that we are already doing but maybe not enough, some intentionally controversial in nature, to stimulate debate on what we can do collectively and solicit ideas from you, ……yes, you. So, feel free to say that I am full of it and you have a better idea.

Here we go:

* Wear thin spandex-type cloths with no carry-on luggage when going through airport security (an idea from an IC.com contributor).

* Get fatwa’s from Islamic scholars that Jihad is outdated and no longer needed in Islam, and publicize it. Good luck with that one.

* Declare that Islamism/fanaticism/extremism and especially killing of innocent people are Un-Islamic and urge the west to do what it can to combat it, and publicize it. Or, declare that fanatic religion is the source of all evil and recommend religion only in moderation. Hmmmmmm.

* Take out several front-page ads in NY-Times/Guardian/LeMond to denounce …….isms and all the ……..ists and pledge our allegiance to …… Some of us have already done this pledge in local naturalization ceremonies.

* Send electronic form-letters as a collective Iranian.com Diaspora to various organizations (media and embassies) or issues, periodically. For example, positive encouraging electronic form-letters to the Czech Republic embassy / NY-Times when we see them ban the sale of pepper spray to Iran, or negative form-letters to the Chinese embassy / LA-Times when we see expedited sale of anti-riot trucks by China to Iran and call a boycott of Chinese goods by the Iranian Diaspora and the American public……(more on form-letters in later blogs).

* Organized large-scale Marches and Demonstrations, especially when nuts like AhmadiNejad speak at the UN to lower the stink of his speech. A definite yes, in my book.

* Organize conferences / meetings on Iranian-related items with rational discussions of the opposing views on “this and that” issues. AIPAC and the neo-cons organize conferences often on Iranian-related issues (one-sided, may I add). Hey, why not us, as the Iranian Diaspora? Who better than us? And, then publicize the results as …..

*As the Iranian Diaspora, support the election of Iranian-American / Iranian-French or ......representatives to government positions? Cuban-Americans elected Senator Bob Menendez in New Jersey, not Florida, the hob of the Cuban-Americans.

* As the Iranian Diaspora, support the efforts of individuals like ramintork, who plan to organize global human rights committees that bring attention to the plight of Iranians inside and outside of Iran. Sorry I asked a lot of questions first, Ramin. His action-points will appear later.



* OK, you say that none of these items does it for you? Then, quit complaining, give us ideas and tell us how to do it (sorry to be a straight shooter, but that is just me).

Again, the emphasis is on action-items by the Iranian.com community that affect public policy and opinion outside the confines of Iranian.com. Let’s come out of our shelves, from our comfort-zone we call Iranian.com, and reach others outside. Merci.


more from MM

Here is IIC in a vanilla state

by ramintork on

Guys this group is straight off the backing oven so we need to promote it.

Here it is, but I will go back and keep adding to it.

MM, vildermose, Anahid I want to make you three admin (if you like), we shall add others later.


I have used the events feature for the 500 prisoners so that people can use RSVP and confirm their interest.


I'll get working on this ASAP

by ramintork on

As mentioned I've justed created IIC group and have not opened it to public but I'll get working on this ASAP and come back to you.

Anahid Hojjati

Sounds great Ramin. Thanks Ben, MM, vildemose and all involved

by Anahid Hojjati on


Dear Ramin thanks and also thanks to Ben, MM,  and vildemose and all concerned.


Ramin Jan Sounds great. Let

by vildemose on

Ramin Jan Sounds great. Let us know when and where to begin.


Ramin and Vildemose

by MM on

Excellent, what is the Facebook address for IIC?

If JJ is hesitant, I think it is possible to link political sub-forums, demonstration announcements, ads and the op-eds/articles (Anahid's suggestion) through your site, IIC.

As the first test of the site, please use it to announce the mass executions that are being planned in Iran.  We can coordinate with Anahid Hojjati for the sources of the information and mass emails to our friends.  We have to use mass emailing in our contact lists to be forwarded by friends to their friends as a substitute for electronic form-letters now instead.

For mass electronic form-letters and conferences/meeting, we may want to identify existing facilities.  NIAC does mass electronic mailings related to the Iranian-American issues and I do not know if they want to participate through their website, although they could possibly give us information on it.


by the way I have created the facebook IIC group

by ramintork on

I have created the International Iranian Council group for our activities, but have not opened it to public until I consult the rest of you and try to get it right. I will also make some of those who have acted as pioneers for the idea admin for the group.


I've already approached JJ

by ramintork on

He has his hands full with IC and wants to keep it's spirit the same and seperate from an organization, even though I recommended it as a linked sister site that could be divorced. I respect his decision.

We will have to find another way to do this, I suggest using a facebook group for now. If everyone is happy we can use my facebook group until we draft a new manifeso or make a new group, I'm also urging all those with expereince and funding and connections to get behind this idea and make it work. P.S. If anyone thinks I'm doing this for my own personal ambitions I will make it clear here and now, I am not even planning to stand for a senior role, but will do all I can to make it happen and serve as an activist. There are people who have contributed their entire lives to Human rights issues or those who have years of leadership experience so come an election inside such an organization, if it is big enough and functional I'm sure we can get the best people.


What do we have to do to

by vildemose on

What do we have to do to get JJ approval. Beg, grovel, brown-nose, butter up?? LOL

I have to go now but I will be back around 6 o'clock. Take care,


Vildemose - foremost, we need JJ's cooperation w/ our help

by MM on

Thanks Vildemose,

First and foremost, we need JJ's cooperation as the administrator of Iranian.com, and he will need our help in setting up discussions, sub-forums, form-letters, e.g.,

Political office sub-Forum: Curriculum Vitae of all political candidates (related to the Iranian Diaspora) for office in....., their main issues, what they believe in on opposing issues like war with Iran, taxes, etc. and a PayPal link for easy contribution to the candidate's campaign (local laws have to be observed when contributions are made here).

Electronic form-Letter sub-forum: This sub-forum also needs to be setup by the administrator, JJ, with suggestions on mass electronic mailings from trusted bloggers.  I will have a blog on form-letters later, but take a look at Anahid's blog "More action is needed from us in Diaspora to prevent mass executions".  We definitely could have used immediate electronic mass mailings to the media, the US and the European governments to bring attention to the atrocity that the regime is about to commit, that borders genocide.

IC Announcements for demonstrations/Marches, e.g., when the likes of AhmadiNejad speak at the UN.

Ads: We can talk about how to do this in general, but going back to Anahid’s blog, if really true, I would not mind if we immediately took a front-page ad in NY-Times, LA-Times or LeMond to bring attention to this atrocity.  Setup of a PayPal account for easy immediate contributions to this cause is one way to do so.  To maximize the impact, we need advice on proper placement of the ads so that the story is picked up by other news organizations after our ad.  The ads could also express our sorrow for the victims of Islamism and our disgust for these horrible acts of violence in the name of God. 

Conferences: Again, we need substantive discussions within the Iranian Diaspora on various subjects, for example, discussions on what is acceptable for us, Iranian-Americans, as good sanctions vs. bad ones and here we can invite the opposing views from the neocons, AIPAC, NIAC, AIC and the Monarchists…. in the same room and to, again, have two-sided substantive discussions that will force us to make informed decisions collectively with action-points that reach outside the confines of Iranian.com.



Again, cooperation of JJ with lots of help from us is essential to go forward.  Once we have JJ's blessing, more detailed setups on all areas can begin. 



by ramintork on

First of all, I want to thank you for your support and allowing a space for me in your blog.

I really like the letters idea, specially to use it as a name and shame excerise to shame the Chinese selling those anti-riot vehicles that pour boiling water and chemicals on people.

As per my comments in the other Blogs in support for people in Iran, we on the outside can turn our campaign into an anti-apartheid, solidarnosc type campaign, another words we should try to extend protests in the form of action not just words (not just News exchange, and not just in the bubble of our Iranian community) in a way that gets amplified in the heart of the non-Iranian community. Win over the heart of the non-Iranian community and their politicans will follow. MM, as you stated you have some good experience in this field.

So what am I proposing:

We need to organize marches, rallies, flashmob events, write protest letters in a coordinated way. We need to bring about law change to demonstrate lobby power and show that we can bring more persistance changes.

6 weeks ago when I realized that in Europe using the Citizens' initiative clause of the Lisbon treaty and collect one million signatures I started a campaign to stop EU selling oppressive technology such as "technology for intrusive monitoring of emails, private communication, electronic surveillance systems, SMS monitoring and internet filtering" to be sold to Iran. I urge you to sign this where ever you live the online version is for International protest.

I also started a facebook group to organize marches, flashmob events etc. to appeal to the non-Iranian community as well as a place to promote my petition (petition link is also there).


We have our first flashmob event booked on 31st Jan London Liverpool street at 13:00, and www.flashmob.co.uk has added our link so I'm hoping to get between 50-100 people, film it and demonstrate that we can get Iranians along non-Iranians involved in our campaign for freedom.

Once I have a strong support base ( which I still haven't by the way because it is still early days) I plan to contact student union groups within UK and organize the protests in the form I described and also get the student unions to collect paper signatures from UK citizens. This will bring a law change, with 1M signatures I can take the petition and approach the EU Parliament like an MEP and demand a law change ( I will get more legal support for this once I have a good support base).

Members across the globe can do the same, we can have a template letter and members of the facebook group use that and in each country write to their student unions, politicians etc.

Having realized that we are all divided by mistrust, I made an appeal for a creation of an organization called "International Iranian Council" with democratic membership and elected leadership and because we don't want to take resources from other organizations it would act as a safe zone to bring all opposition factions together i.e. a Green, secularists, monachist, NIAC, PAAIA,  member or representative would not give up their existing role but use IIC as an instrument to coordinate lobby action for Iranians inside Iran. Why IIC? Some existing organizations are traditional, some have constitutions that do not cater for protest for Iran activity and I would rather have an elected member that represents an Iranian majority ( if such a dream could ever come true!) negotiate our future. I really like Mr. Makhmalbaf but when he goes off and talks to Western politicans he knows I did not vote for him, but because Iranians outside Iran do not excercise their democratic rights, there is no elected Mr X, or Ms Y who can do this for us, and that is what we need.



Dear kharmagas....

by MM on

In my previous comments, I expressed my views on why I chose the picture in the blog:

1. The common denominator in the text of my blog is Islamism which covers IRI, Al-Qaida, Taliban, Muslim brotherhood and all the other fanatics in Islam.  So, it does not matter which picture I showed, they are all in the same Islamist nut-family. 

2. The anger and the disgust expressed on the face of the Islamist that I chose is very typical of the intolerance that Islamism expresses towards other religions, and even other sects of Islam.

Instead of a substantive discussion, sargord chose to ignore my comments and move on to another comment of what my friend would call "picking hair off fleas" in the same subject.  Sargord's purpose in his questions is to go back and forth in useless arguments of the same type that I warn in the text and ignore substantive discussions.  Going forward, I will be more than happy to answer you or the sargord if there is a substantive comment regarding the text (spelling excluded). 

Based on all the negative / derogatory comments on the Green movement that sargord has expressed in the past month, that I have seen, my suggestion to sargord was that I will change my picture if he uses an appropriate paasdaar picture instead of the sacred picture of the regular Iranian armed forces.  So, I found a linked picture that depits the fanatic types found in the paasdaar, the basij and the ghods corp, BTW, all Islamist in nature.


Great blog. How do we

by vildemose on

Great blog. How do we implement these suggestions?

I recommend that you don't engage the criminal sociopaths on this thread. Their only objective is to derail the discussion.

marhoum Kharmagas

giving paasdaars too much credit? (to MM)

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Sargord Pirouz has been expressing his views in the most civilized way, and has kept his cool under most vicious attacks. Many of us see this. So by calling Pirous a paasdaar you are actually giving paasdaars too much credit.


Sargord-e-paasdaar and mannya

by MM on


This blog is not about Monarchy.  Please read the blogs together with your buddy masoud before commenting.  It is embarrassing, every time you write your gibberish.

Did you want to know where I went to the elementary school too?   

Dear Sargord-e paasdaar,

Putting all your comments in the past month together, now I am sure that you were not in the regular armed forces of Iran.  I will change my picture if you use an appropriate paasdaar picture, instead of the proud armed forces that defended Iran against invaders.  May I suggest the picture of the nut with the suicide belt and the turban in the front of the line in the linked picture  He will not use the belt to punish his son, is he?  He does not look Iranian either, but he is supposed to be in the armed forces too?  YUP.

Did you have a substantive comment too? 


Shah Reza & Mohd & Reza jr = Egypt Sadat. ATATURK =God

by mannya2001 on

The most that the Pahlavis can achieve would be to befriend the likes of Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan, King Hassan of Morroco.

 Afterall, a charismatic figure like ATATURK didn't give them the time of the day.

ATATURK= in a totally different league.

Sargord Pirouz


by Sargord Pirouz on

For a mormon christian advocating polygamy, would you use a photo of a catholic? For a IRA catholic, would you use a pic of an Irish protestant? For a supporter of Jerry Falwell, would you use a pic of a supporter of the pope? 

Would you bunch all these folks together as Bible pushing nuts? 

If you answer "yes" to any of the above, then I know what I'm arquing against and I'll desist. 

BTW: Your Lebanon and Ghods examples refer to (Islamic) lands invaded by extra-regional Zionists. And it doesn't directly refute my comparisons about the lack of Iranian military units fighting or being based in the Americas (or Europe). 


Sargord Jaan, How soon do you forget!

by MM on

Again, all these nuts are of similar Islamist family.  I just thought that, in this picture, the anger and the disgust he visibly showed in his face was so typical of the intolerance this Islamist-types show for other religions, and even other sects.

BTW: Did you forget about the Ghods force who is reaching from Hezbollah to Hamas and .......

BTW: Did you forget the 80's slogans: "the road to Ghods starts in Karbala" or "give me death or Kabala"?

My dear Sargord, please refresh your memory.

Sargord Pirouz

those other signs you passed on

by Sargord Pirouz on

Those other signs you passed on are also not held by Iranians. Again, pro-government Iranians living inside Iran wouldn't decry freedom (something they believe they have, in Islamic form). In the case of "Islam will dominate the world", the IRI does not establish anywhere near as many conversion missions as are prevalent with Christianity. What's more, there are no Iranian (Islamic) military units fighting or being based in America, but there are plenty of American (Christian) military units fighting and being based in the Islamic Middle East and South Asia. So who is advocating dominating who?

And your grouping of "islamism" is simply hick in its interpretation. I'm sure you're aware of the gross ideologic differences that separate groups such as al-Qaida with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Or is it merely your intent to build a strawman argument?


Thanks Anahid, excellent idea

by MM on

Thanks Anahid for the kind words.

I will add your editorial suggestion to the list.  To write op-eds and articles is a brilliant suggestion requiring opinion leaders with excellent writing skills.  We need to identify these individuals and support them in their efforts to speak for us through words.


Sargord and Maziar

by MM on


I already caught the spelling and apologyzed before.  Get over it.  This is not the army of God. 

The two pictures I was going to insert originally also depicted nut-cases with signs that said "Islam will dominate the world" or “Freedom, go to hell”.  Maybe more appropriate, however, the problem is Islamism which covers IRI, Al-Qaida, Muslim brotherhood and all the other fanatics in Islam.  So, it does not matter which picture I showed, they are all of the same nut-family.


As I said, this is not just about traveling.  These Islamists have given Islam a bad name, and we need to stand up and declare our space.  The case is analogous to Iranians knowing the US as where the KKK is prevalent.  Someone from Iran told me that “ma mosalmaan hasteem.  inhaa eslaamee hastand”.

Anahid Hojjati

Dear MM, you have many good suggestions in your blog

by Anahid Hojjati on


Dear MM, few of your suggestions are excellent not just to combat negative opinions that some might have about Iranians but for other reasons as well.  I especially like your suggestion regarding publicizing our opinion about other countries' actions in these trying times such as what China has shamefully done.  The idea of supporting Iranian-Americans (Or Iranian-French. etc.) in elections is very good too.  Look at Ross Mir Karimi and the positive effect he has had in San Francisco Bay area regarding Iranian Americans.  Dear MM, thanks for your suggestions. 

 Indeed as we write on Iranian-com, we also have to reacch out to those outside IC community.  One other suggestion can be getting more involved on sites such as Huffington and identifying ourselves as Iranian-Americans on these sites.

Sargord Pirouz


by Sargord Pirouz on

Why don't you simply edit your text? (It is possible, you know.)

Why did you include a pic of Pakistanis (or are they Afghans?) to accompany your post. I really doubt any Iranian inside or outside Iran would protest using this motto. You do know that pro-government members of Iran's electorate consider Iran a republic with a distinctly Islamic form of democracy- don't you?


darn auto-correct

by MM on

please replace shelves with shells in the text.  sorry

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on