January 4, 2000
Respect for other's opinions
In response to Behrouz Sadigh who wrote: "Please remove
my name from your mailing and subscription list. I can and will not support
a publication who lists a communist ["Mohammad
Mossadegh"] as its man of the century. I believe the Shah of Iran
was deserving of that title, but since you own the publication and not
I, it would be better if I were removed from your listing. "
I would have been happy if our friend presented some evidence as proof
of his claim rather than cancelling his subscription just because The
Iranian reported a piece of news. It did not appear to me that this
was the Times' decision at all.
The first lesson we should learn in this free society is respect for
other people's opinion and tolerance for opposing points of view. This
intolerance of others is unfornunately the sign of our time. I constantly
notice that more and more American readers of newspapers and journals cancel
their subscription because they see something in those publications they
do not like!
It is unfortunate that people increasingly expect to see or read something
that they like and not something that is challenging and different. All
people of intellect in every culture have considered opposing point of
view as an important source of learning. In fact, in France there is a
saying "vive la difference." -- in Farsi it is zendehbaad ekhtelaph
The late Dr. Mehdi Nakhosteen, professor of University of Colorado has
said that "a person of one view is a person of no view. One-sidedness
leads to blindness" and truth can only be found after considering
the contrasting views.
Let us not forget that narrow-mindedness leads to arrogance, selfishness
and eventually ro defeat of the right for free expression and democracy.
If we do not learn this lesson from history we will be ushering in another
era of dictatorship and slavery. For more elaboration please visit my website.