Letters

December 2004
December 16
December 3
| December 4 | December 15


Every right to compare Bush to Ayatollahs

In response to B. Pezhman's, "You compare Bush to Khomeini?":

Pez,

Your comment about Hossein's article ["A Christian Revolution"] reminded me of a nasty, koobideh fart ... with peeyaaz and dough at 3 in the afternoon. Long and repetitive! Hussein has every right to criticize America and the "Leader of Free World." This is the same leader who's walking the globe, showing off his big stick. Bush's decisions effect many lives in many countries including his own stunt double (Tony Blair) in UK (where Hossein lives and you attacked him about).

Hossein also has every right to compare Bush to the Ayatollahs ... and yes, I am a US citizen in America. Both the Islamic Republic and Christian Republic have narrowed their hawkish views to their own retarded, self serving, religious attitude. Religious views are fine, but not for Politicians and world leaders... if you feel a need for an explanation, then you ought to contact God to understand why. The only difference between the IRI/US conservatives is ... at who's expense are they willing to screw human lives?

The mullahs have no problem sacrificing their own people by allowing Iranians to die million at a time. The Bushies do the same but at the expense of other countries and other poor families. The list of these countries is long and you should definitely look into US's short history and the number of wars it has promoted or directly fought (we're supposed to be the "better country" by setting a good example).

American politicians put a price on people's lives ... and the Mullahs don't. American life is more expensive than an eight year-old Iraqi. 1,200 dead Americans (which come from less privileged families in America) are worth billions of dollars more than 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians who didn't have a pot to piss in. Iran's another weak, crappy country that's less fortunate to put a high value on Iranian blood ... and mostly victimizes itself and blames others for it. US is a much more fortunate, powerful country victimizing others and blaming the victims for it. Go figure who's best!

One thing you did mention which I agree with is that the Democrats are equally as terrible if not worst than the Republicans. Unfortunately this problem starts by people like you. The minute someone criticizes the "Republicans" ... you label them as "socialist, communist, lefty, niggers, etc. ... ." That's exactly why we're only limited to a far-right group (republicans) and a left-right group (democrats).

One thing you have failed to understand is that most of Bush's critics are regular people with normal lives. And even if they were communists ... do they not have the same equal right to be what they choose to be? Is ones decision to say what he/she feels, as limited as our 2 political parties? Is the life of a capitalist more valuable than a communist? Last I checked the 4th amendment ... we all had the right to say what we please, AND have the same equal rights. Unless if you talk to a black activist from late 60's and hear his "communist" criticism.

Saman

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I take American values more personally

In response to Ramin Tabib's, "Four more years":

Congratulations to Ramin Tabib for his daring, funny, farcical article endorsing GW's Presidency for another four years. His strategy almost makes sense - almost!

However, I take a different approach. I don't think it will be necessary to reelect the most incompetent, arrogant, and reckless administration in recent memory just so people will finally get it. I have faith that the American people, by and large, already get it, even if some of our esteemed Iranian-American expats -- perhaps blinded by their loathing of the Mullarchy -- do not.

I have followed the machinations of this volatile Presidential campaign like every concerned citizen and listened to the candidate's sound bites, the spin-doctor's spin and the pundits' ranting.

For me this election isn't a choice between Republican vs. Democratic values. It isn't about jobs or health care, the environment, abortion, or gay-rights. It isn't about the nuanced approaches to the fight on terror.
Nor is it about the candidate's policy towards my other country, Iran.

For me this election is about America: what makes and defines America.

It is about the Constitution and its foundation of "unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," which this administration has usurped. It is about the fundamental tenet of separation of church and state, which this President has crossed. It is about the inviolable stature of universal human rights -- which this administration has rendered inconsequential. About the meanings of justice, freedom, truth -- which this administration has brazenly redefined. About the plight of the innocent, which this administration has carelessly trampled.

Perhaps as an emigrant I take these elemental American values more personally than the Average Joe. Yet my faith lies in the unfailing tenacity, intuition and prudence of the American people. Thos same who have righted so many wrongs in America's parched history: slavery, woman's suffrage, the Japanese-American internment, McCarthyism, civil rights, hate crimes and the like. It is that which will ratify the bleakness of the last four years and render this Presidency, and the whole religious right movement, an unfortunate blot in American history.

Moe Maleki

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No contradiction: Patriotic Iranian and patriotic American

In response to N. Azadeh's, "Why trash and ridicule?":

Dear Azadeh Khanoom,

I would like to write you and personally apologize if you found my letter disquieting and hurtful. I am sorry, but I meant no disrespect to the countless hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have worked hard to lead normal lives under sometimes very difficult circumstances in the United States.

I really lost my cool when reading the hateful comments thrown at Mr. Farrokh ["G.I. Farrokh"] for doing something that we should all be thankful for. My support and admiration of Mr. Farrokh does not mean that I support the war being waged in Iraq, for I do not. But, when people try to denigrate the service and commitment to this country of Iranian-Americans like Mr. Farrokh, or the young Iranian-American medic that recently gave his life for this country while serving in the U.S. Army, I can nether abide it nor remain silient.

Those who use such a low and vulgar style of discourse only understand one thing and that is a low and vulgar style of discourse. I meant no offence to you and I humbly beg your pardon if I hurt your feelings or if I left you with the impression that I have anything less that respect for the vast majority of wonderful Iranians in this country who do not denigrate, hurt, humiliate, trash and disrespect those Iranian-Americans who have an emotional commitment to OUR nation. I do not see any contradiction in being a good and patriotic Iranian while at the same time being a good and patriotic American.

I have shared the best years of my life with an Iranian who has taught me more about respect and tolorance than I could ever have known without her, but that does not mean that I will stand by while someone hurts one of my countrymen, like Farrokh Agha, for doing nothing less than being willing to sacrifice his life for me and you.

Once again, to you and all the other decent Iranians whom I offended....I am sorry. I will not apologize or retract one word of what I said, however, to all those who hurled comtempt and humiliation at Mr. Farrokh or share such hateful and repulsive sentiments.

Sincerely,
Jim S.

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Close to my heart

In response to Majid Roshangar's translations of Khalil Gibran love letters, "Love & imagination":

Thank you so much for informing us about this publication. I have been a big fan of Kahil Gibran for a lifetime. I have all his books (in English) and his Broken Wings is truly a masterpiece that makes one feel the pain, the joy and the profound longing.

I love Gibran because despite having lived so many years of his short life in America and Paris, his heart always yearned for Lebanon and his wish was honored and he is buried in a place he had always loved as a child where the Cedar trees cover the earth. His profound writings fill one's heart with so much sorrow and enlightenment at the same time.

His paintings are just as beautiful. He was an amazing soul. I had seen a few of these letters in English) and had always wanted to find all of them to read because I knew they would be close to my heart. I was right.

Thank you for sharing so I can buy the book and read more of them.

Azam Nemati

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Persians spread Islam

In response to Amir Rostam's, " Action against National Geographic too late":

Amir Rostam, What is this term "becoming more Arab than the Arabs themselves". How can one become more of something if that something doesn't even exist.

If being "more Muslim" than the "Arabs" is how you define it, then Iranians have been doing that for 1,400 years now.

As the Prophet Muhammad (salee allahu wa aleehee wa salaam) said, "The Persians (the tribe of Salman Farsi) are the inheritors of Islam". With that statement the Arab companions of the Prophet were shocked.

The Prophet even said his greatest companion outside his own family was Salman Farsi, and regarded him as one of the "holy pure ones of the Holy Family" (Ahl al-Bayt).

Regardless of that, all the Islamic scholars after the Prophet Muhammads death were all "Persian". From the 4 schools of SUNNI thought (Hanafi, Shafe'i, Hanbali, and Maliki), they all learned their Islamic sciences from Iranian teachers (with Abu Hanifa being Persian himself).

All the SUNNI Hadith books were written by Persians, including Abu Muslim, Abu Bukhari, etc.

Arabic itself was codified as a complete language by Persian linguists. And everyone knows that Islam was NOT spread by the Arabs, but by the Persians. That's why from East to West, from Turkey to China, from Bangladesh to Indonesia, everyone says "NAMAZ" instead of "SALAT" for prayer.

Namaz being the pre-Islamic persian word meaning "prostration to the King" As Professor Dr. Algar of UC Berkeley states, "The Islam that we know today is from a Persian filter, a Persian lens". It was the Persians that took Islam and passed it to the world. That is why the majority of Chinese Muslims in China do their namaz in FARSI instead of Arabic (ironic, no?) And that is why the Ottoman Empire requires everyone to know Farsi on top of Arabic to understand the Islamic sciences.

Did you know that of the 12 Imams that Shi'a Islam has, 9 of the Imams knew how to speak fluent Farsi? Imam Hussein's wife was Princess Shahrbanu, the daughter of Yazdgird III. 9 of the 12 Imams had Persian ancestry. So even to follow Shi'a Islam, you could claim you are following a Persian religion.

So by your definition of being "more Arab than the Arabs", is to say that Persians have always been "more Arab" than the Arabs. They've been doing this for 1,400 years.

I understand the IRI has gone overboard in some cases. To ban Norouz and call it nationalistic was wrong, especially since their are many hadith from Imam Ali saying that "Every day should be Norouz", using the farsi word Norouz.

Khodah negah-dar,

Dariush Abadi

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Az beekh Arab

In response to Leila Farjami's poem, "Vaaseh-ye eshqam":

Shaeri k to kardi khar nakard
dasteh billy k ghassab foroo kard tar nakard.

alhagh k az beekh Arabi.

Mehrdad

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Is it "Roo," or "Sang e paaye Qazvin?"

In response to J. Javid's "Heechee kam nadaaran":

I liked your article. As a Bahai I admire your sense of humanity and concern.

Elham

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Is it "Roo," or "Sang e paaye Qazvin?"

In response to criticism to "G.I. Farrokh":

It really fascinates, more than it irritates, me that just about every single soul in this forum, who opines against my occupation as an American soldier and my related verbiage, is a US citizen or enjoys the very provisions and rights afforded to her/him that I have sworn to defend.

For real now! Is it "Roo," or "Sang e paaye Qazvin?"

Ok, let's suppose tomorrow all countries, which may be reputed to offer good living standards, announce open borders and liberal immigration policies.

You'd be a dishonest dipshit if you say that most people won't opt to go to the USA!

And why would most people want to come to America?

Is it because America is "Utopia?"

It certainly is not. Not even close!

But it has, and will forever, hold and safeguard a promise that it has kept since its inception.

If you don't know what that promise is, go and research you ignorant fuck.

Farrokh

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Mediterranean Sea (Albahrol Abyazol Mutavasset Sea)

Dear National Geographic Magazine Editor,

Since the last time you decided to give your reader a coice, you used the faked term of Arab Gulf in paranthesis to make Arabs happy. I noticed that during the last 1500 years the Arabs called the Mediterranean Sea as The White Middle Sea (Albahrol Abyazol Mutavasset, in Arabic). I would like to suggest to put this name in paranthesis as well, when you refer to this body of water. It has two advantages.

First: to please rich Arabs rulers who are are our friends, allys, satellites, or puppets. This make them happy and they might open their purses and be generous to you like the last time. Second: to show those countries to the north of this sea (those who did not help us in Iraq war and pulled out their troops) that we are in such a unique position that can rename the geographical names when they are not in line with our foreign policy.

Reza Saberi
Powell, Ohio, USA

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Stop being a smart-arse

In response to Kouross Esmaeli's "Ending with an 'i'":

Dear Kouross,

Well my comments on your article is that if you really want to stop being interrogated you need to follow the following rules:

-- Stop being a smart-arse and use less arrogant comments each time you are stopped.

-- Do not think you are a very intelligent person (and you know everything better than anone else) because you came to USA when you were only 11 (and you think now you have a perfect American accent). No matter what you do now (film making) you look like an Iranian, you think like one and as much as you like to change it , it is your destiny to be an Iranian narrow-minded person.

-- Do not get involved with the politics under disguise of Documentary Filmmaking. The security agencies are not stupid.

-- Next time, be a bit more appreciative to the agents as you are still an alien in the USA no matter if they kindly gave you a US passport now. It is not your right to be a US citizen it is rather a privilege for anyone not born in the US and it can be taken off as easy as they grant them!

You follow the above recommendations and your will be treated like a civil human again.
Failour to do so then enjoy the current reception.

Agharb

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Still doing injustice

In response to Toomar's comment on the outcome of U.S. presidential elections:

Dear Jahanshah,

"Welcome to 1984"?

No, 1984 was 1984. Oh, but back then you were on the side of the government that was perpetuating the war to be able to implement the fundamentalist agenda, you didn't notice it did you?

It's quite amuzing to read an old Pasdar complain about fundamentalism... It's still going on, you know, but not here, over there, where you personally helped fuck things up, and despite everything, are still not quite owning up to it. Now you've got Bush to blame, but it's all in all just a way of avoiding doing something about repairing the mess that is Iran.

I am glad you are against religious fundamentalism now, but you are still doing injustice to everyone including yourself, but equalizing and collapsing into one another, the fascistic Islamic fundamentalism that is going on in our (at least my) home country, and what Bush represents.

You are still supporting the status quo in Iran. I am very saddend to see that somethings never change, although one tries to always give the benefit of the doubt... Your business depends on the status quo so that you can push the nostalgia. I am very sorry. I hope I am wrong, but cannot think otherwise, because I can't bring myself to underestimate your intelligence.

Amir

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You compare Bush to Khomeini?

In response to Hossein Bagher Zadeh's, "A Christian Revolution":

Hossein,

Here is an article about you. It is titled "How can one person be so dumb?"

You compare Bush to Khomeini? You compare the U.S election to the disgraceful and radical Islamic revolution. And you think this election was won on the basis of religion? No my friend... It was lost by John Kerry who spoke on ten different sides of each issue. He lost because he had no convictions... or at least having the honesty and balls to tell the American people what those convictions were. He said what ever would get him elected. In other words, as smart as he may be, he displayed no character and consistency. And I don't know about you. But even the so-called "spineless" Americans value character and clear and resolute convictions (even if they disagree with some of them).

And in regards to your comments about how poorly the American economy is doing, I guess a socialist Iranian living in England must derive pleasure out the current economic problems of the capitalist U.S. This must surely satisfy most non-American's who are envious of the high American standards of living. If I am wrong, then why do immigrants flock by the millions to this country every year for jobs and high living standards (and yes... this includes Iranians). But please don't be as stupid to even suggest that the faith of the U.S economy will be that of the post-revolution Iran being run by the one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the world. That comparison is just ludicrous and is made only by the extreme left, communists, and anarchist (i.e.: anti-capitalists).

Even with its share of problems, the U.S economy is still the envy of the world and will be operating on all cylinders shortly. Just wait and watch it happen. And I seriously doubt that your friend John Kerry would have reduced the deficit, increased jobs, fixed social security, and got us out of Iraq any way. The democrats have the same if not a worse record in this area.

As far a fall of the Dollar is concerned, don't be so naïve to think that it is necessarily a bad thing for the U.S. If anything it is bad for where you live. But, In fact the weakening of the dollar was promoted by the Bush administration to boost U.S exports by making them cheaper overseas and decrease the imports by making them more expensive in the U.S. I.e.: He wants American not to buy the now-expensive foreign products and spend their vacation dollars in Europe but instead in the U.S. And conversely, he wants the Europeans to buy the now-cheap U.S goods and spend their vacation Euros in Florida and Hawaii, not the south of France. So, although the fall of the dollar has some negative consequences as far as attracting foreign investments in the U.S financial markets, it does wonders for trade here in the U.S. We do presently have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world (around 5%).

Your article really amuses me. An Iranian living in England analyzing the presidential election in the U.S! Unless you are an American resident and in the midst of it all over here, you should really keep your views and assessments to yourself. Americans are doing what they feel is right for America. Not what pleases European and Arab countries or people like you.

B. Pezhman

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Robin's secret

In response to Robin Wright's Washington Post article, "25 Years Later, a Different Type of Revolution":

So Robin Wright thinks "Western culture" is seeping into Iran because people buy Victoria's Secret underwear and date?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Iranians have been wearing kheshtaks and flirting with members of the opposite gender for many centuries. So when did the West gain a monopoly on underwear and romance?

John Mohammadi

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Shock therapy won't work

In response to Mahin Bahrami's "To wake you up":

Let me first thank you for taking the time to write back to me and patiently reply to all of my arguments one by one. That inspired me to do the same in my new reply to you:

You wrote: From my observations made in the past few years living in the region I have found that there is definitely a thirst for knowledge among Iranians but only within a very small percentage of the population. As I mentioned in my article, "The Illiterate Gulf"] in comparison with the rest of countries in the M.E. Iranians in general are better in this regard, HOWEVER, from surveys done in Iran, passive media such as satellite TV and radio and cinema are more favored than books, newspapers and magazines

Can you name one country in the world where the general public is not more interested in entertainment shows, cinema and TV than books?! This is not in anyway an indication of the lack of interest of Iranians towards books.

You wrote: I just bought a book by Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh e Mashrooteyeh Iran, for 5000 toomans. @850toomans/1USD that's $5.88 and considered a bit expensive. I bought another book for 1800 toomans. That's the normal price of a new book around here these days which translates to $2.11 and by the way price of books are pre-defined and there are no taxes. These are new and original books by original Iranian authors. Just to give you an idea of the price of some ordinary consumer products sold in the market currently, the price of a can of Coka Cola is 700 toomans, lipstick is 1500, toothpaste 2000, and 2000 tooman for an hour at the billiard hall. So as you can see the price of an average book can easily compete with any of the above, for what it's worth.

Well, the answer to your argument is within your own statements. You said that the price of a "Coka cola is 700 tomaan, lipstick 1500, toothpaste 2000"!! Just add to those numbers; the cost of rent, the ever increasing price of food, electricity, school..etc and then take a look at the huge number of people who work different jobs trying to catch up to the inflation on a daily basis....and you might see that there could be other more complex issues leading to the lower publishing rate of books in Iran than just a "demande and offer" issue. There are many economical, social and political issues related to the lower rate of publication in Iran (I don't know about all the middle-east). To jump to the conclusion that the publication rate is low due to a low interest for books and knowledge is at best simplistic.

You wrote: In fact I attended the Tehran Book Fair just last summer and I was not impressed. I found that most of the people, mainly young ones, were jammed up in the computer/CD section of the fair. The textbook section was fairly popular too but the other areas didn't seem to attract very many people.

And I have attended many cultural exhibitions in Europe and North America and the most popular section was always the "food court"!! There is nothing unusual about young people being more attracted to CDs and computers than books. And I think that one should have a really pessimistic and bias preconception about Iranians, to go to a book fair packed with people and still draw the conclusion that they're not interested in books because the computer/CD sections of the fair were more popular!!

You wrote: You must consider the content of the weblogs as well. Many of these weblogs are just used to vent out daily frustrations. They do not exemplify nor guarantee a healthy intake of general knowledge.

First, the sole fact that many Iranians (especially young ones) express their feeling (even "vent out their frustrations") through "writing" is a pretty good indication that literature is deeply rooted in our culture.

Secondly, most of the Iranian webloggers have very strong opinions about social, political and philosophical issues. To the point that the huge insurgence of "Webloggs" among Iranians is being considered as a new social-political movement and a threat to the despotism of the Islamic republic hardliners. Weblogger are being arrested for their collective activism and networking and spreading of information of journalistic value. I doubt that most teens and young people around the world display the same intellectual activism and interests towards social and political issues as the Iranian youth does. Please take into consideration all these different aspects before evaluating the "thirst of knowledge" of our people. The publishing rate of books is not the only indicator of it.

You wrote: U.S. is one of the worse in the industrialized countries, when it comes to acquiring quality knowledge. Americans are known to be knowledgeable of a lot of nonsense. In fact that's what drove me out of America. I suggest that you use Europe as a better example, especially UK and Paris, where book advertisements in the subway or the metro is a common thing. Most people in public areas are equipped with reading material when waiting at a queue or while using public transportation. In the Middle East people prefer to stare at walls or each other while queuing up or riding a bus.

Well, First, if U.K and Paris were your points of comparison to Iran in your article "The Illiterate Gulf" then you should have mentioned it. And had let us know that by "lack of interest for books among Iranians" you meant "the lack of interests for books among Iranians COMPARED to the British". Or had named the title of your article as "A comparative study between Iran and the U.K in regards to general interest for book" or again "The relation between public interest for books and the publishing rate, in Iran and U.K".

Secondly, I have the impression that your assessment of the thirst of Europeans for knowledge is not based on sociological studies, but rather on an overly optimistic preconception about the Europeans. On one hand, you draw the conclusion that Iranians lack interest for books, based on the greater popularity of the computer/CD section in a crowded BOOK fair! On the other hand, seeing a few people reading books or magazines while waiting for the subway in Paris, has given you the impression that they are way more interested in knowledge than we are!!

You wrote: The connection between the two subjects definitely exists but in a subtle way. Just like you, I am concerned about the future of the people in the region and when I raise this issue it is only a form of constructive criticism. I see The Persian vs Arab issue as only a byproduct or a symptom of a more fundamental problem, lack of interest in acquiring valuable knowledge by the population in general.

In that case let me inform you that the issue of "Persian gulf vs. Arabic gulf" is not "the byproduct of people's lack of interest in acquiring valuable knowledge" but a very serious matter which is the concern of many diplomats, International lawyers, Historians and politicians. It is not just about a bunch of "illiterate people" fighting about a "stupid name" but a matter of "national interests" for all the countries involved. It is extremely important that the properties of the Iranian people be recognized as such in the international community. Otherwise it could lead to serious damages to our national interests and sovereignty (especially in the case of the three Iranian islands branded as "occupied by Iran" in the recent National Geography publication). This is again another example of jumping to premature conclusions based on a quick superficial observation!

You wrote: If you had read my article a bit more carefully you would have realized that the term "Illiterate Gulf" referred to ALL the Gulf States and not just Iran. And it was to expose the real state of affairs in this part of the world, and to stop feeling superficially comfortable about a stagnated culture. I regret that you feel insulted but sometimes one has to be, in order to wake up and smell the coffee (or tea in this case).

Well, sorry for having somehow implied that you have "just" insulted the Iranians! OK, you have also insulted all the people living in the Gulf States!! But your "shock therapy" method (to insult us Iranians and middle-esterners in order "to wake us up and make us smell the coffee") is not very appreciated. Iit is even more insulting than you actually calling us illiterate!! I suggest that you refine your "awakening" methods as well as your skill of analysis in statistical studies!

Ali Nasri

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First things first

In response to S. Sadeghin's "Stop bitching":

Hi S.

Please don't take this the wrong way but i do think that this is a very simplistic of approaching this subject. I understand that it all begins by establishing grass-root campaigns, but when you look back at the history of our nation, you will notice that, this is how the islamic rev. started, did it not? I think many of us witnessed the excitment and the exhiliration of the protesting crowd in every street and ally and sadly we can now see the wrong direction that it took and it basically derailed, and that is where we are now.

We must first be able to establish criteria as to hold our potential leaders responsilbe and accountable. Organizing popular polls and picking the individulas should be the least of all worries, compared to setting the standards on honesty and integrity of such people.

Our next big challenge is to find ways to get poeple motivated. You are simply providing a general guideline as to how we should proceed, rather than mentioning specific actions each one of us needs to take in order to implement such movements. The problems is maily an internal one. Most of us either don't want to or just don't know how to get along with each other to form a united front, let alone lending a helping hand to our people back home. This has traditionally been the main element and linchpin of the dysfunctionality of all freedom movements.

We need to learn how to build trust amongst each other and refrain from lying and deceiving one another first, and then use that as a building block to create a formidale framework to bring democracy to our country.

'till then, there will be non-stop Bitiching and empty rethorics.

Kyle Saghafi

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Oliver Stone got one thing right

In response to David N. Rahni's "Hot water":

Dear Dr. Rahni,

Thanks for your article. I saw Oliver Stone's Alexander last week and I found it amusing that several scenes show large tiled murals with maps of the known world at the time (at the beginning with Anthony Hopkins's character and later with Alexander's generals, etc.) and the name Persian Gulf (Persis...something:-) is the only name on that body of water!
Thanks again for a well-written piece.

Ben Bagheri
Dallas, TX

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I too have met the divine

In response to Noah's "The divine encounter":

Brother Noah,

I have a suspicion that you either work for one of those Christian ministries who are trying to catch as many "fish" as they can or, you have been doing so much drugs you are flipping.

I actually laughed because all these Savior stories are the same. Jesus (or the savior) had nothing better to do so he said; I am going to look for a sucker who is hallucinating so I can amuse myself. Why is it that everyone who is weak, has no sense of self worth or respect converts to Christianity (specially the Iranian converts)?

I am baffled that the average American who converts to Islam has at least a graduate degree and many of them hold high positions. Could it be that these intelligent people have studied all the religions and found in reality there is one God and he/she does not favor any race or culture or class?

I vividly remember in 1993 my childhood friend Z had lost her job in Bay area. We went to lunch and I told her to apply for her dream job (which was in a filed she had no experience in). I explained why the employer would consider her because she had other qualities besides the face that she had worked in another field of manufacturing.

This was at the end of f February and I said; do what I tell you and I promise in April that job is yours. She remembered from an incident in high school in Iran and a few other occasions that I had predicted events that came through so she followed my instruction. Then she got the job. A week before leaving San Francisco she asked me have lunch with her.

I nearly fell off my chair when she said; Jesus helped me get this job! I started to laugh and said; excuse me but how the fuck did Jesus get the credit for what I practically forced you to do? Don't you recall that I was the one that told you in that Vietnamese restaurant that I saw you in this job? Unbelievable!

She apologized and began to laugh. You might ask why she had become Christian. Well, a lot of losers (and she is one for staying with an Iranian asshole for seven years knowing that he had to marry his cousin) blamed Islam for their misfortunes which obviously were the result of their own deeds and had nothing to do with Islam or any other tradition fo rthat matter.

I also know an Iranian woman who used to serve tea at Iranian events so "Allah" would reward her! Well, the reward she was looking for was a good looking, educated and rich husband (which we have quite a few eligible middle-aged men in our community). She was trying to impress me as a humble person so I would recommend her to one of those eligible men (because they are all my pals of course and value my recommendations). Of course she was short, dumpy and way too aggressive so none of these men would want her. So what happened next?

She disappeared and then showed up at a meeting with a Bible in her hand and tried to talk some of the professional into being saved! Everyone laughed since many intelligent and dedicated people know that spirituality does not have to belong to any organized religion. Only morons and retards reach out to human beings for any comfort.

My son and I watch the TBN channel so we could roar with laughter as Benny Hill touches the cripple and sick and they become healthy again!

I too have met the divine over and over and unlike your hallucinations, two of mine have witnesses. I fell off the ledge of the cement roof as a child (I was challenged by my playmates to walk and I did) when I lost balance I saw the white cloud holding me and in front of everyone's eyes I slammed into the cement tiles and yet not even a scratch appeared on my body. Everyone had expected my body to become just broken pieces of bones.

Again in 2001, I was on a major highway and due to impact of the car that hit me, the car kept spinning and then being hit and tossed. When I finally hit the median cement that divides the highway, the car stopped. The first man (a tall British) that broke the door open said; she is a miracle child (that is a name I have been called over and over). So many people had stopped in the middle lane to find out an they were amazed that I walked in one piece.

My divine friend did not belong to any religion but to everyone. We have so many crimes and killings in the name of religion we do not need any more morons advocating them in such cheesy and comical way.

May I recommend that you at least not insult your intelligence and as an Iranian try to come up with something more original and innovative instead of the " broken heart" which the mullahs use as they say; "Allah grants wishes to those who are heart broken".

Tell those Christian bosses of yours to conjure up a more elaborate story to get some other suckers like you to convert. The rest of us really spiritual people have hearts filled with love and compassion and know the path and do not need another man to tell us what to do.

We find people like you entertaining. By the way, I met someone like you in 1980 and 25 years later he is left penniless by a smart sister who has taken him to cleaners and took the kids and is living it up. Guess, Jesus was not his friend and savior after all!

Azam Nemati

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Let's just get along

In response to Sheema Kalbasi's "Hezbollah":

Dear Ms. Kalbasi,

At the same time that I understand your feelings and in no way support what IRI has done to Iran, Iranians, islam and even to themselves, I'd like to learn from more civilized nations and the way they deal with social issues. We for years before the islamic revolution complained that the oppressed and the Paaein shahri has been victimized.

We did what we did what we did and got rid of the previous regime and brought the IRI to power (and now most of us say we were no part of it). We helped the mostazafin and the paaein shahri come to power. So what are we upset about? Plus we continue to insult islam and the religious people and don't pay attention to the fact that in other countries even those who have strong feelings against a religion do not insult the followers of that religion.

In my country, this man grew up hearing about islam and believing that it is the thing to follow and die for. He hears that if islam is insulted he needs to defend it, all the way. He tells you if you insult it I will need to apply Jihad rules. I will eliminate you. And then I go ahead and insult him and his believes. And then I complain why he wants to eliminate me. And then I call myself freedom fighter and activist and hero etc. We need to learn from the reasonable cultures and learn to live together and help raise the level of understanding of others.

Your way of thinking encourages fighting and not getting along. Violent opposition, insulting others (regardless of how wrong they are), going to jail, hunger strike, and alike are the things of the past. we need to learn to bring others people's best out not their worst.

Mohamad Navab

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Unwise, etc.

In response to Azam Nemati's "Growing up":

I've seen your previous comments about people and things whom you could not dare to compare yourself with. So you decided to bad mouth and insult them. Don't worry as always you sound like a fat middle aged woman who is not wise nor logical.

RK

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Worthwhile

In response to Mehrak Golestan's "Buddhism in Iran":

Fantastic article, superb! A diamond in the rough!

Those who wondered why there were Bamian Buddha statues in Afghanistan (destroyed by Taliban to the damnation of everyone in the world - I truly wish I could believe in existence of a God, then I could fool myself into believing they would suffer for their mindless lunacy) should read this article.

But that was not the first instance and won't be the last instance of intolerance in lands of Iranian nations. Did you know that before the Magi tried to create a state religion and destroy any vestiges of tolerance in the Sassaniad times, Sassanian Imperial coins in the eastern part of the empire (present day Afghanistan and Baluchestan part of Pakistan) carried the picture of the Shah or his son the governer of these provinces on one side and Buddha on the opposite side? But the Magi managed to eradicate any such notions as Shahpour became older and their power grew but the rest is history as they say (of Zorastrian intolerance).

It was really amazing to read the stream of objections by Zorastrians about the truth about their religion's history and would point out to them how Zorastra's ideas, as good as they may have been, were corrupted by their Magi and their religion is no different to any other religion, when in postion of of influence or power it will be come intolerant and cruel.

Anyhow, just wanted to say this sort of material plus the art pages makes reading Iranian.com worthwhile.

Amir Rostam

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