Richard Frye is a treasure. He deserves the mansion in Isfahan and more.
It’s just baffling that a scholar of his stature, an intellectual, a man with tremendous knowledge of history and humanity, can accept this gift from Ahmadinejad, at this moment in time, without any apparent reservations.
Unfortunately no one can ignore the fact that Professor Frye is being used by this regime for political purposes. It’s nothing but a fuck you to the Obama Administration during the current crisis.
This ruthless religious establishment is no lover of Iranian culture or history. They love Frye because he’s AMERICAN, not because he’s an amazing scholar.
How many IRANIAN scholars have received this kind of treatment? None. Instead our best scholars have been forced out of universities and are teaching abroad, or sitting at home writing books that will never be published under the Islamic Republic.
This is also “khaareji parasti” at its worst. We worship foreigners who say good things about us. Meanwhile look at how we treat ourselves.
So, yes. Frye deserves the highest honor. But it is not a lot to expect a truly great man to have a heart. To care about what Iranian scholars (let alone people) are going through under this regime. To say a word or two in their support. Or to say, no thank you, I will not be a part of this political game.
Should we expect the greatest minds to surrender their conscience to the powerful? For material gain or fame and recognition? is it worth it?