August 2005
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Admirable but sloppy

On petition to save Pasargad and other historical sites threatened by Sivand Dam:

Dear Dr. Nooriala,

I have seen your petition linked on iranian.com. Although it is admirable in its intent, the petition leaves itself open to derision. Signatures such as "Ali - Iran - free" (no.115) or "Foad - Iran - free" (no.124) or "CYRUS THE GREAT - Pasargad - Rest" (no.139) tends to drive a critic to call the whole thing as a fabrication.

Secondly, some attention should be paid to the English of the petition. It is Persepolis and not Persepolice, it is the Achaemenian Empire and not the Archimedean Empire (which would make it Greek!).

Since this is a most serious subject, maybe you could revise the form and the signatures of the petition, so that some importance can be attached to it, rather than let it be taken as a joke.

Farhad Diba


Outrageously homophobic

On Aras Shahzadeh's "I do not like homosexuality":

I am emailing you in relation to a letter that you recently published on your site titled "I do not like homosexuality", and I have come to the conclusion that your website totally lacks of editorial sense of responsibility and ethics.

I have been visiting your website for a couple of years now and although I have been greatly irritated by some of the articles you have published, especially when written by authors with no or poor intellectual resources.

I have never been so outraged by Aras Shahzadeh's article, mainly because of its deliberately homophobic tone, disguised behind some pseudo-scientific blurb unworthy of someone who allegedly is "a graduate psychology student".

What saddens me is that if you had received an openly racist article arguing that Iranians were all crooks because genetically flawed, you would have checked the scientific evidence first before publishing such a claim.

I suggested that you adopt a more balanced editorial line and perhaps either ask expert reviewers to advise you or simultaneously publish a counter-point article.

It has been a long time that I haven't felt so ashamed to be Iranian.

Sadegh Nashat
Consultant Clinical Psychologist


A.S. if

On Jahanshah Rashidian's "Non-Mahram":

I totally disagree with your article.

Your views were identical to dahatee (village) akhunds, who have very knowledge of Islam and Islamic Philosophy.

First of all, you were giving an explanation of hijab in regards to the Prophet's wives. You mistake the two. What the Prophet commanded for his wives, were different from what was commanded to the rest of the woman of mankind. The Prophet's wives were of special status, since if they were to marry other people after his death, the man who would marry them would aquire special leadership status which would undermine the ummah and the authority which was to be bestowed upon Imam Ali and his wife Fatima Zahra (a.s).

Second, no modern (and very few pre-modern) Shi'a Islamic scholars said women should not participate in society. Many of the Prophet's companions were women and participated in the shaping of Islam.

The Prophet himself would take his daughter (Fatima Zahra (a.s.)) to the market place and have her argue with the men of the bazaar about religion and philosophy. Is this a Prophet who wanted women to stay in orders and have no contact with "non-Mahrams"?

You take certain things out of context, and only quote things that would help you make your argument.

If your argument were true, then how did the Prophet's granddaughter, Zaynab (a.s) have the religious authority to SLAP Yazid (lanatullah) in the face (whom was definately a non-Mahram to her). How did she even dare make a speech in front of a bunch of non-Mahrams defending her position, and defending the position of her brother, Imam Hussein (a.s).

These people were the family of the Prophet, would you not think that if your argument was right, that the women of the Prophet's family would have stayed in orders and not interacted with non-Mahrams?

Even the Prophet's wife, Aisha, took up arms and fought Imam Ali in a war. Imam Ali, after winning the war, picked up Aisha and put her on his horse, and brought her back with dignity to the town. This shows that women early on were active and interacted with non-Mahrams. Even Fatima Zahra (a.s) gave a speech to non-Mahrams after the Prophet's death.

Today's Iran, women are a LOT more active in society than in the Shah's time. In the Shah's time, a lot of "traditional" Muslim fathers wouldn't let their daughters attend school or work, because hijab was banned, and they feared western influence on their daughters.

Now those same traditional fathers are sending their daughters to school and higher universities, and expecting them to work in society. These are all from decrees from Imam Khomeini upon whom you obviously hate.

The hijab allowed these women to leave the house, and enter the education system and become active members of society without others calling them "sluts" or "namus", etc because of their active participation.

Their are more women in universities now than in the Shah's time. Women's education is 40% higher than the Shah's time. What do you say to that? You probably are going to say its a rebellion against the system. I say that the majority of Iran is still traditional, and because of that, they only allowed their daughters to get educated because of an Islamic system in power.

Don't take eveyrthing out of context to prove your points. Otherwise, your article was interesting.

Dariush Abadi


Iran has come out the winner

On Jalil Bahar's, "Mullahs 3 - USA 0":

Let me just say, it is not the "mullahs" that are the winners. The Holy Qur'an says:

3:54 "And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah."

8:18 "That, and also because Allah is He Who makes feeble the plans and stratagem of the Unbelievers."

God has thwarted the plans of the West to further dominate and subjegate our people. And yes, Iran has come out the winner, because compared to ALL other Muslim countries, Iran is doing a lot more to further the cause of Islam, and decrease corruption and increase justice.

I understand, that even compared to the time of the Shah, in some matters the Islamic Republic of Iran is far from even comparing. But in terms of independence and not being controlled by any foreign governments, Iran is on top. Even Israel doesn't have the independence that Iran possesses in the world.

Israel plans, but it is still somewhat regulated (very little though) by America. Iran has no supervising bully that keeps it in control from world domination. It doesn't even have any single ties to any super power to tell it what to do and what not to do.

Insha'Allah (God willing), the people in the Islamic Republic that are doing kheeyanat (injustice) are brought to justice, and the stealing and corruption is brought to an end. By the way, I disagree with you about Imam Khomeini stealing the wealth of the nation compared to the Shah. Imam Khomeini didn't have that 1/7 oil revenue bank account that people "claim" that Seyed-Ali Khamenie posesses (by the way, they say he gets 1/7 of Paykan revenues, not oil....but rumors change over time).

Imam Khomeini died as poor as he came to power. He never sought wealth. And he gained Iran respect (not from Western Nations) but from the oppressed and the downtrodden of the world. And personally, that is all that matters. We don't need an inferiority complex to believe we need respect from Bully's in order to look powerful.

The Shah looked powerful and rich, but really he was a coward and a nobody. He died in an Arab country, an Arab country more corrupt than he was. That was his fate.

May Allah (swt) further our cause, and help us alleviate injustice, first in our own country, and then in the world. We must first change what is in our hearts, before Allah (swt) changes our communities.

Dariush Abadi


Iranian Dire Straits

On Bruce Bahmani's review of the Iranian underground Rock band "Kiosk", "The revolution is here":

I listened to a few of ordinary album songs. I agree the lyrics are well representing Iran current state. They represent many new young Iranians in Iran. However, I tend to disagree that they will be phenomenon!

Except some of lyrics that sound witty and funny at the time serious, the music and the singer voice is copyrght of Mark Knopfer of Dire Straits. Problem is that this type of melow rock is well known among the Iranian youth.

This is not like a jazz or hardrock that you have taken the rythem and changed the tones and cordes. This sounds completely like Dire Straits. I see no difference in cords or accords!

By listening to this after two songs I started to wonder when "Money for nothing" will come in. and I stopped listen to lyrics as well!

All and all, I wish this group the best but I don't think they will get anywhere with this style!

Alireza Abouhossein


Ebadi's duplicitous conduct

On H. Namdar's letter "Minus Ebadi"

I wished to welcome your decision in excluding Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian 2003 Noble Peace Prize winner, from your list of the World's 100 most powerful women. The only list in which Ebadi deserves a mention is that of the "World's most treacherous women" and her ranking should be number one!

Fortunately and quite accurately you have chosen another Nobel Peace Laureate, meaning Suu Kyi, Aung San who has openly and bravely opposed the ruling military junta of Myanmar. She has been in prison and under the house arrest for the last 15 years. Comparing Aung San Suu Kyi with Shirin Ebadi is a revealing testament to the duplicitous nature of Ebadi's conduct since the receipt of her award.

Instead of appeasing the despots of her homeland (as Ebadi does on a measured a calculated basis) Suu Kyi has chosen to confront them head on and received serious physical and mental injuries in the process. Ebadi, on the contrary, spent only some 20 days in a priviledged-prison-cell and not because of her public expression of dissent against the ruling regime but because in a taped and private interview, which was disclosed by an exiled journalist, she had expressed some "unfavourable views" about the mullahs!

Suu Kyi was awarded her Peace Prize while under arrest, whereas Shirin Ebadi received the news of her prize while freely moving around the globe and participating in gatherings and conferences. Again and unlike Suu Kyi, she has had no restrictions on her movements, locally or globally, since the awarding of the Peace Prize.

Ebadi has carefully been spinned into becoming the face of the Iranian regime's approved opposer -- their devil's advocate. A role she has gladly accepted.

Aung San Suu Kyi wields enormous power while under house arrest -- a point sorely missed by Shirin Ebadi who prefers to enjoy her personal freedom at the cost of a nation's loss of it.



Superficial Iranians in California

On B.P.'s letter "Go back to New York":

The only part of your article I agreed with is that Ms. Nakhjavani [Why I hate California] should move back to New York ASAP. Ms. Nakhjavani doesn't seem to be the type to live a stereotypical life where she must have blonde hair, plastic everything, and marry a doctor or lawyer, and where guys have to drive certain German made automobiles, have four cell-phones, wear either head to toe Armani or FUBU, and front like they have it made when they are living in their parents' basement.

She should move back to New York where she can be herself and be liked and loved for it. Where she doesn't have to give a fake smile to someone expecting a fake smile. Where she can live and grow as an individual rather than an example of a stereotype. Where she can be far from men who assess the "market" as if it were the Nasdaq. 

In New York and the rest of the east coast, Ms. Nakhjavani and others can refuse to change when they suspect they are not in the "norm" and be appreciated for it rather than shunned or bashed. You need to understand that where women are considered "a dime a dozen", things should change... people should change. People are different, and others should try to get to know you on a personal and non-superficial level.

Unfortunately for the most part, Iranians in California are more interested in the superficial things, i.e. money and looks. Although cliché, the beauty of each person does lie within, and everyone must try to dig in order to find the beauty within another. The "dime a dozen" attitude doesn't help this matter either.

The reality is however, that most Iranian women in California do not have a sense of self or inner beauty, for if they did they would be far less consumed with their physical appearance, and more thoughtful about their inner being. Don't get me wrong, Iranians in the east coast are no angels... but for the most part, they keep true to themselves and their beliefs. 

You go on in your letter speaking as if people in California are not as worried about "getting ahead and keeping up". If anything, people in California are far more worried about such things, which are shown in their lifestyle. They have to drive a Mercedes, and have to live in a great big house or else they will be looked down on.

I think that if it was averaged out correctly, there should be many more stress induced heart attacks within the Iranian community in California than in New York or the east coast. People are killing themselves over there to fit in the "mold" so that they can say they are someone special (measured by their possessions). They work night and day in order to pay for their expenses which includes their 16-year-old's BMW payment. I really don't want/need to say anymore. 

Oh, one last thing... define an "average Iranian woman" for us please.

Ali Razmara


A bit hypocritical?

On Hashem Hakimi's letter "Do you trust the IRI?":

I wanted to point out a rather large flaw in your argument... you stated that: "The west including Russia, China, India & Pakistan had & have thousands of atomic bombs, some since fifty years ago, but did they ever even hinted that they intend to use it?"

Now, out of all the countries in the world that possess nuclear technology which is the only country to have ever used a nuclear bomb against people? Against CIVILIANS no less? Also, you see to forget nuclear tension between India and Pakistan around 1998, where I distinctly remember a period of time where there was a real question of whether or not one of them would use a weapon against the other.

I never stated in my article [Who's calling who a nuclear threat?] that I WANT Iran to have nuclear arms, in fact, I said the exact opposite... my problem is the fact that Iran isn't "allowed" to have any while the countries telling Iran that all possess nuclear weapons. That doesn't seem a bit hypocritical to you?

Tahereh Aghdassifar


Dialog to cure disease

On Parvaneh Hamidi's "Haghighat-e oryan":

I think your article is quite untimely, as legitimate as your "oryani" may be, ganji's challenge of the regime in Iran by far is bolder and stronger political move, one that requires solidarity of all forces demanding democracy and freedom of the citizens of Iran.

your untimely moves seems almost a regime's own move to diminish ganji's every effort. please go and try your moves in safe heavens of the world and leave the dangerous journey's to others who have the concept and the guts.

the problem of Iranian politic is the deceiving attitude of all political forces in the ruling class in past and presence. a democratic dialog is needed to cure this disease. the problem is not Islam but the Moslems. as it is not capitalism but the capitalist, not the communism but the kind of communist.

our only enlightenment is awareness towards the right moves and steps towards the human rights in Iran, and neglecting untimely and wrong concepts coming along our ways.

realizing solidarity verses individualistic behaviors of the past. realizing non violence verses the violence of the regime. the spirituality that ganji is representing is beyond one's religion, it is about human strength. ganji'e of the world are the glues of humanism and not the dividers of religious power hungry and cult leaders, ganji's of the world are inclusive of human passion and strength of collective humanism, if you can not support that, there is something too black and white in your ideology and you have no flexibility and strength for future democracy in Iran.

in short he puts out his life on the line for the  freedom in Iran, he deserves your support and not your comments that his blood is no darker than the rest of those we should have supported along the way.

Natalie Esfandiari


I would be a Bahai

On Susan Bentler's letter "Your culture expressed globally":

Dear Ms. Bentlen,

Very nice letter. I agree with you 100%. Although I am not a Bahai and actually don't believe in organized religion, I would be a Bahai if I ever change my mind.

Please forgive the comments of the sub human idiot with the made up name "Richard" Tehrani ["Bahaullah was a nut"]. He is just a gutless loser who gets his kicks from insulting others.



Bedouins in nice clothes

On Hossein Samiei's "A Persian thing":

I found this article quite amusing since I see it clearly than once again a fellow Iranian blames his cowardice on "Persian" and its prejudices.

First of all, I grew up in a city that had huge tribes of Arabs. Most of them had summer villas in Paris and London as well as in Iran. I had a few friends among them which makes me an expert because I so happen to periodically interact with the Arabs and go to their stores and speak to business owners and observe behavior and I have had friends who were married to Arabs.

When I was growing up, my dad let me have friends from all religions and sects. However, he always said with good humor that I should never consider marrying an Arab because they treat their women like they are shoes to be worn and thrown away.

Well, I noticed at the big parties all these Arab women who wore the latest fashions freshly bight from Paris or London had shit for brains. Everything revolved around material possessions, getting their hair and make up done and showing off their jewelry.

Not once did I hear then discuss any intelligent matter from world politics to the recent surge of feminists in Iran of the 1970s. I laughed hard on a few occasions when I had marriage proposal from the Western educated Arabs who thought juts because they ate out of gold palates or could fly me home on private jets from Kuwait were good enough reasons t marry them.

Then I came to the United States and so happened to go to the parties of some Lebanese and Syrian doctors who lived in mega million dollar homes and threw lavish parties. I have always enjoyed Egyptian singers and literature (of course most Egyptian consider themselves non-Arab and they point to the Pharaohs as well as Cleopatra who was Petaluma (Greek) so I was open minded and thought these people may be different. I was shocked to see these people despite their education and wealth were basically the backward Bedouins in designer western suits!

As for Arab women, although Lebanese are attractive (for the most part) they are just from the same fabric. Someone in my community was engaged to a extremely wealthy Lebanese boy who bought her the world and was a good guy but this Persian girl (an attorney) had a tough time associating with the women of his family. All of them wore the most expensive designer clothes but had no ambitions or intellectual grace. They were content to attend the big parties and spend summers in Europe or Lebanon.

Thank God my insistence in opening her eyes paid off (with help from her dad of course) and she broke off the engagement.

The fact that this lady told you to marry your F--ing Persian tells you she was a miserably frustrated woman (with no class) and if she could have found an Arab she would have never chosen you (oh yes, you). I hate to burst your bubble but I have seen quite a few of these women married to non-Arabs and the yearning in them for an Arab man is comical. They will admit that their men are backwards and so on but they still prefer home grown boys.

I personally understand it because not in five more lifetime would I settle for anything but an Iranian and I do not give a rat's ass that some Iranian women married to cold fish boring dues call me racist.

My dear brother, go and count your blessings because someone up there must have liked you to make you see who she really was. If you want to find out the stupidity of Arabs, talk to some of them. I have an Egyptian Cyber pal (a women who is a doctor) and she will tell you horror stories about how backward Arab women are (their men as well) and she has many sad stories to tell about her own father (a doctor) and useless husband (another doctor).

Just look around you and see the level of success Iranians have archived in every country and every field. Then look at the Arabs. Well, they may be called Sultana and princes but in reality they are still Bedouins in nice clothes and jewels and I vehemently disagree with your friends assessment.

People associate today's Iran with highly educated population, intelligent and progressive minded women who have achieved world fame in every category and the Arab women look upon them with envy. Sure we do not have a democratic government but then again our people are resilient and defiant. When was the last time you saw an Arab women speaks her mind?

By the way, this democratic and open minded Lebanon has exiled Hanan Al Sheikh (a writer fro this country) because she wrote Women of Sand and Myrrh which is a fictional account of bored Arab women with boyfriend's aboard and some even having relationships with women. She has written a few more books and I happen to like her style of writing.

The world for the most part knows that not once an Iranian has been linked to any act of terror but just watch the news or better yet go to some Arab owned store an seek their opinion on women and equal rights. You will faint at their backwardness and stupidity. Oh yes, most of them were born here and have college degrees.

I rest my case.

Azam Nemati


God, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease help us!

On Borna Poursheikhani and Bahar Mirhosseini's poem "My cousin and me: Iran":

What a great piece of poetry "My cousin and me: Iran"!!! Another shining record for Iranian.com!!! Wow, I am speechless!!! How long did it take you to write this piece?! I just can't stop saying "wow"! Too bad "Molana", "Hafez", "Nima", and "Shamloo" are dead now and can't enjoy this!

God, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease help us!

Peyman Tajbakhsh


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