Uncle Hossein

First, let me begin by saying that I will not comment on Ramin Jahanbegloo because as far as I am concerned Jahanbegloo's comments or retractions upon being released from prison are of no consequence and should be taken with a grain of salt, particularly while the government holds the deed to both his house and his mothers. It is unbelievably naive and audacious of Derakhshan [See: “The courage to change“] to say that Jahanbegloo saw the error of his ways thanks to his interrogators.

“Thanks to the work of the reformists who governed the country until 2005, Iran has passed the stage of state terror.” – Derakhshan

Second, this is an apalling statement at best, and a slap in the face to all those Iranians who have given their lives for the cause of freedom both in and outside of Iran. Is Derakhshan really suggesting that since 2005, or even during the smiling cleric's presidency of Khatami, the Iranian government did not engage in acts of state terror against its own citizens?

May I remind him that it was under Khatami's watch that the student uprising of 1999 was violently suppressed and that Khatami himself referred to those students as “a bunch of hooligans”. May I remind him that it was under Khatami's watch that Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar had their throats slashed and were left for dead.

Would Hossein dare make such a statement to the son of Zahra Kazemi, who was indiscriminately raped, tortured, and murdered while in Evin prison? Would he have the audacity to make such statements to the family of Akbar Mohammadi who died in Evin just last month? Or to the family of 16 year old Atefeh Rajabi who was hung in the Iranian town of Neka for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”. Or to the family members of the thousands of prisoners of conscience who have perished in the jails of the Iran of the Islamic Republic over the past twenty-seven years? Judging by the bilge spewed by Hossein in the past and present, he probably would.

You see, Hossein is part of a generation of idiot savants who have the audacity to refer to themselves as human rights activists, while sipping on five dollar latte's and attending bogus conferences in the proverbial West. These quasi-intellectual talking heads have no scholarly understanding of human rights discourse, and an even poorer understanding of their own country's history.

In fact, these are the same people who were advocating the election of Rafsanjani in the second round of Iran's past presidential election, a man directly responsible for the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran in 1988 (1367), ironically the anniversary/commemoration of these deaths just passed. I don't recall 'activist' Derakhshan writing anything about this event, probably because he is too busy writing about how the Islamic Republic needs an atomic bomb to ensure its longevity.

Don't worry Derakhshan. As long as there are Uncle Hossein's such as yourself, the Islamic Republic of Iran can continue its incessant fascistic policies.

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” – Martin Luther King.

Samira Mohyeddin is an Iranian / Canadian and has a degree in Religion and Middle Eastern Studies from the Uni'ersity of Toronto, and is currently pursuing graduate studies in Women's Studies and Middle Eastern Studies there. See her weblog: SmiraMohyeddin.blogspot.com

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