Iranian folklore has its unicorn, too. Oral tradition conveys the story of a middle-aged man, sporting a white-haired beard and turban, who walked the streets of Tehran. He was kind and open-minded; he spoke poetically, and with respect. His smile was mesmerizing, and his eyes were the windows into a soul filled with integrity, spirituality and humanity.
Sounds eerily similar to Hassan Rouhani, does it not?
But a legend is a legend—unicorns do not exist, and neither do truly centrist, moderate Iranian politicians, as long as the Islamic Republic holds the reigns.
We can’t let our Disney-emphasized culture navigate our understanding of the world. There is something about Disney cartoons which has led us to think unicorns might just exist! That a knight in shining armor is waiting for us, if we kiss enough frogs. That evil stepmothers will, in the end, be defeated. That magic exists. But the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a Disney Movie, and we mustn’t allow ourselves to just hope and wish that the mythical, legend of a creature; a truly fair-moderate-Iranian politician under the Islamic Regime, will/has appear/ed from the woodwork to stand up to all the evil in the land.
Iranians at home, as well as those abroad, have waited long enough for another true King Cyrus, another King of Kings (but of course, in an entirely democratic and modern sense). We have faced lying clerics, and a degrading government. We have faced property-confiscations and state-sponsored racism. We have faced sleepless nights, yet workless days. We have braved so much, and thus shouldn’t allow anyone to fool us now. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to see in Rouhani what we want so badly to see, rather we should recognize him for who he is— for the ongoing public executions, for the ensuing lack of free speech in Iran, and for still picking Nuclear Weapons, over the prosperity of his people—just to name a few.
We’re tired of putting up a fight just to get by; to have to jump through hoops to use social media, or be scared to pursue a career in journalism. No one should be scared to follow their god, or face harassment when they leave the house, because the Morality Police was in a bad mood. Yes, we are so sick of this! But we also can’t jump the gun and put our faith into Rouhani, when in reality and in fact, he simply is not a moderate, no matter how much people may say so.
Some things will always just be too good to be true.
Originally published on JahanMagazine.com
by Sofia Moray