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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 4, 2000

Mossadegh? Why?

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 le difference." -- in Farsi it is zendehbaad ekhtelaph aghideh!

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.

Ali Parsa


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