I am an Iranian American living in Greenville, South Carolina. I was born in the US, but lived in Iran before moving back here at the age of 15. I was so saddened by the pictures of Akbar Ganji on his death bed that I had to write this letter.
Ganji, is my hero and one of the only living Iranians in the spot light that I have admiration and respect for, but not for the reasons you might think.
Ganji has decided that he is not willing to live without his freedom. He is not willing to continue on without the guarantee of his basic individual rights. He wants his freedom of speech and he wants it now. By his hunger strike, now in it's 46th day, he is telling the world that the will and happiness of his children, his wife, his friends and his countrymen come only second to his own happiness in life. He is not willing to compromise his individual rights and persuit of happiness for the sake of others. HE WON'T SACRIFICE HIMSELF FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS.
Every one is asking you to sacrifice yourself for the sake of some thing other that yourself. The right wing conservatives (mullahs in Iran) want you to sacrifice yourself for god. The left wing socialists (most of the so called freedom movements based outside of Iran) want you to sacrifice yourself for the sake of the society or the country. This is the root of all evil.
Ganji is committing the ultimate selfless act, he is not willing to live with out freedom and he is willing to die for it. Until every Iranian is willing to live by this rule and ultimately pick up a gun and fight for his or her freedom, the things will only get worse in Iran.
It is on every Iranian individual to support the call of Ganji and do every thing in their power to gain the basic individual rights that can not possibly be acquired under the current fascist theocracy in Iran. It is on every Iranian to start the war of independence this year as Americans did in the seventeen hundreds.
Freedom CAN come from the barrel of a gun and it often does, hence the French and American revolutions. I think it would be wise and a good place to start for every Iranian to read about the American Revolution and the speeches made by its leaders and learn from it. We can follow many of the paths set forth by true revolutionaries like Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams during the American Revolution to achieve our own free society based on individual rights in Iran.
The following is an excerpt from A speech delivered by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775:
“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!”
With this I ask every Iranian: Why stand we here idle?