Almost all my writings have been critical of Iranians, and I am also one of these same Iranians. I have always considered self-criticism as a sign of maturity and enlightenment. There are so many other Iranians who are truly talented in writing other things, some funny, others enjoyable from many other points of view. And I have had my own niche in which I have been active, risking to provoke the hatred of those who would see me as someone with evil intentions. However, this did not go through my mind at the beginning. But I must acknowledge one extraordinary conclusion I have reached myself.
Iranians are amazing people indeed. And if you hear this from me, that is something. Iranians are amazing people in their tolerance and open-mindedness (I am somehow contradicting myself but it is all relative, and depends on the context).
This may seem odd, but we must compare Iranians to others in the region, or other places relatively similar, and not to America or other developed-world countries. One thing is amazing, that I have been writing critical about Iran almost all the time and I even mentioned it clearly that I see myself as an Azerbaijani making a clear distinction between my own background and some others within Iran BUT then almost NO-ONE, commented or wrote that I WAS NOT an IRANIAN.
There were people who said that I was, am, a Zionist, Jew, Israeli, pan-Turkist bla bla, but they really believed that NO Iranian could be such a bastard always writing critical of his own country. And it was still amazing that many Iranians actually agreed with me, no matter which kind of Iranian they were
So, I would like to emphasize on this again that almost no-one said that I, being or considering myself an Azerbaijani/Azeri, was not an Iranian. They did insult me, but they insulted me because they thought I was crazy, not because they thought I was not an Iranian. This sense of brotherhood and unity is nothing new and has a long history behind it, which will hopefully improve.
This, beside many other things, is extraordinary about Iranians. Iranians have many other good characteristics. These characteristics will NEVER be harmed because of open discussions. They can only be strengthened. What a waste of a civilisation can it be to be susceptible to be destroyed or harmed because of opening up some taboo subjects.
I wonder which other country, with similar social and political conditions to Iran, has such vibrant and tolerant community like Iran. There are also many negative sides to Iranians as a community, or as individuals. What is wrong in pointing them out? They will all exist unnoticed as long as we ignore them, and the only way we can see whether there is any problem or not is to allow people, some with good intentions, some idiots, some psychopaths, and some even foreign plotters, to open such subjects so we can think about them and see whether they exist or not.
This is not possible inside Iran because the regime does not want to. But we, as Iranians with better conditions for freedom of expression, can pursue opening up all the problems that exist among Iranians and debate them. In case this kind of discussion was allowed in Iran for a century or so all taboos would have died out already. And let’s not forget that there will always be people with bad intentions, even foreign plotters, but unless we assume this risk there will never be progress.
There is also one thing that almost all Iranians believe, though some may not dare mentioning it. Iranians believe they are very very smart. This can be attested because there are so many Iranian PhD’s, physicians, engineers, CEO’s, and accomplished businessmen renowned in the whole world, and all this beside the fact that Iranians have also been historically renowned for their great contribution to science, art, philosophy, or literature. This is another reason to see why Iran as a country, and Iranian communities in aggregate, are not as great as Iranian individuals, present or past.
There are some problems and things are not so great for Iranians as groups, or Iran as a country. Why not instead of talking about Iran’s greatness talk a little bit more about Iran’s problems? And I am pretty much tired of hearing about “we want democracy!” because that is nothing but a cheap slogan. Whoever wants democracy, the type they have in the US or the UK (like myself), is free to have it anyway.