For all of us who have been observing and supporting the Iranian protests from afar, there are two useful things we can do: send the protesters our encouragement, and spread useful information.
So in the spirit of educating my fellow Americans and other non-Iranians, I thought I’d give you a primer on why most Iranians dislike the ruling mullahs. It’s because the mullahs are missing some essential elements of being Iranian:
1. Iranians have style. If you have any Iranian friends, you may have noticed that they’re quite fashion-conscious. Sometimes they may take the labels, gel and sequins to excess, but you can’t deny that looking good matters to them. And the traditional provincial costumes are all lively, colorful and elegant.
Contrast this with the shabbily-clad mullahs in their turbans, threadbare robes and pseudo-pious megabeards. As a kid in Iran, I couldn’t believe these slobs represented us and that all these sophisticated, educated European dignitaries would shake hands with them on TV. What was the world coming to?
It’s almost as if the mullahs and their followers take pride in their slovenliness. It even reflected in the clumsy way they rigged the election numbers: “Everyone voted against the opposition candidate — even his own family. Yeah.” And you know what? That has zero style and ain’t very Iranian. In fact, a Persian term of derision for mullahs and their fans is ‘rishoo’ – bearded people. A…