Letters

December 2006

Part 1 -- Part 2

December 15

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Iran must remain adamant in the defense of her rights

In response to Daniel M Pourkesali's "Manufacturing a phony crisis":

Dear Mr. Pourkesali,

Salutations. I read your piece titled 'Manufacturing a phony crisis'. The points you raised are valid and factual. Iran's pursuit and mastery of the nuclear process is of paramount importance, regardless of the type of government at the helm in Tehran. Nuclear Technology is essential for the scientific advancement of our country, viability and protection of our sovereignty and territorial integrity, thus our survival as a nation.

The 'Non-proliferation Treaty' was predicated upon the notion of eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. It was a framework to dissuade non-nuclear countries from the pursuit of nuclear weapons, in addition to serving as a platform to persuade nuclear countries to abandon their atomic weapons programs in exchange. While the former is being used as a pretext to threaten Iran contrary to the treaty's own legal provisions, the latter is ostensibly altogether shoved under the rug as the possessors of the 'Bomb' have continuously expanded and advanced their nuclear arsenals.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is now a de-facto, albeit illegitimate, tool in the hands of nuclear powers to hold all others hostage and vulnerable. To reiterate, regardless of who runs the show in Tehran, Iran must remain adamant in the defense of her rights as a sovereign and great nation, a compassionate and inspiring ancient civilization.

In other words aghaye Pourkesali, damet garm dadash, eyvallah.

Farshad Z

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Who can they talk to?

In response to Zia E. Ahari's "The art of compromise":

Dear Mr. Ahari,

The problem of direct talk between US & IRI does not rest with USA alone. It is the IRI who constantly during the years, has refused to talk to Americans.

Even if they agree to talk to one another direct, who is going to talk to them from IRI side, considering that there are hundreds of decision makers in IRI that they so rightly do not trust one another!!??

Therefore the Americans are at loss to who in IRI they can talk to so that they get a tangible lasting effective result.

How do you think that this inherent IRI internal dilemma can be overcome by the Americans?

H. Hakimi,
Oslo,
Norway

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Circumcision of freedom of expression in the name of poetry!

In response to Naanaam's poems, "Extra":

I read the "poetry" by Naanaam, and thought how happy are those who appreciated poetry one way or another and now are DEAD! Just go and read his words of wisdom and see how vocal diarrhea can open new doors to the world of chaos and a ticket to watch the circumcision of freedom of expression in the name of poetry!

I hope we will have the honor to read more poems of this great poet and please let us know when you change your career so that we bring some flowers!

Jeesh Daram

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They speak so much

In response to Niki Akhavan's Iran photo essay, "Sign of the odd times":

Hi Niki jaan,

Your pictures were excellent; they speak so much to our cultural and personal relationships as Iranians. Well-done!

Leila Farjami
toomar.com

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It didn't make me laugh

In response to Ali Nasiri's "I have boycotted Iran":

I can't tell whether this piece of writing is supposed to be serious or rediculous.

Read most of it though, didn't get anything out of it. I think I basically wasted my time. Because it didn't make me laugh.

What was the point? It was mostly about bodily functions and excretions !! I think I didn't pick a good one to read this time.

FB

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Don't discourage other Iranians

In response to Ali Nasiri's "I have boycotted Iran":

You have too much hate in you mate. grow up, wake up and smell the coffee, when there's no more interest in Iran by other countries trying to milk it from its goods or control its geopolitical position, then and only then you can ask for a change. Boycott Iran if you want to but you're the one who's not visitting your family unfortunately but by no means discourage other Iranians to seach and enjoy their heritage because maybe it's the only thing they can really call their own.

Soha

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Funny delusions

In response to Ali Nasiri's "I have boycotted Iran":

Nice try Mr. Nasiri --- your article shows how "delusional" you are in your methodology of fighting the Islamic Republic. And it's really funny when you say whoever uses Arabic words such as "Masha'allah" and "Insha'allah" they are not Iranians; I would suggest that you look at your own name: Amir is an Arabic word meaning "leader", "commander" and Nasiri is another Arabic word meaning "one who helps".

This only shows how much Iran and the Farsi language is intertwined with Arabic and Islam and how utterly vain and useless are attempts to prove otherwise.

Have a nice day

N. Shafiei (another Arabic name!)

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You are a danger to your self

In response to Ali Nasiri's "I have boycotted Iran":

I think the one person that needs to be reported to the authorities is YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

You are a danger to your self to your immediate family, and your community.

SERIOUSLY SPEAKING.

Kourosh

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What a pitiful existence

In response to Ali Nasiri's "I have boycotted Iran":

What a pitiful existence you must have Mr. Nasiri.

Pitiful Regards

Mazdak

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Stop false pretenses

In response to Naanaam's poems, "Quest for silence":

The very fact that you call it "Palestine" indicates that you are biased.  There has never been a "Palestine" as a country. Stop false pretenses.

Zecharia

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But there is good news...

In response to Zohreh Ghahremani's "A gift-wrapped stab":

While I have believed Ted Koppel to be a decent journalist, and while "America held hostage..." was not caused by the Americans... I found your friend's conclusion to show the real evil of the media machine.

I am not certain of The Discovery Channel's political leanings, however if the same words were uttered on the Fox Network ("Iran, the most dangerous nation on earth") I would be sure that the volume would have been louder than the loudest advertisement... and the aim would have been, as your friend described..."to justify an attack". But there is good news... James Baker and Henry Kissinger are recommending talks with Iran, and the Bush cowboy mentality will have to take a back seat since the midterm elections.

My favorite person in the world is an Iranian woman...so I am prejudiced.

We only have a limited time on this earth...and we should leave it in better shape than when we first got here.

Sincerely,

Kevin
Kevin Coan Media
Voiceovers & Imaging The Newscast Network – NCN

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Koppel ripped our collective nation a new one

In response to Zohreh Ghahremani's "A gift-wrapped stab":

Dear Zohreh:

I am so glad that I am not the only Iranian sitting in horror in front of the TV while mr. Koppel ripped our collective nation a new one. Thanks for pushing your agenda, Mister Koppel...

Farzad

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The whole world now knows

In response to Zohreh Ghahremani's "A gift-wrapped stab":

Well said, Zohreh Khanoom. But we have a saying in Farsi "digeh hanaashoon rang nadareh". The whole world now knows the ulterior motives of western journalists when they go to the Middle East to make a "documentary".

This ideology of "forced democratization" of the Middle East is the remnant ("tah moondeh") the same theory of the "White Man's Burden", the "white man" who feels he has the God given duty to "civilize" the rest of the non-white world! The same theory that the late Edward Said expounds in his "Orientalism".

Ted Koppel was on Jon Stewart's show last week and when Stewart asked him why he subtitled his documentary "the most dangerous country in the world" he said he got the phrase from one of George Bush's speeches. Wow... a phrase from one of the greatest "intellectual statemsmen and politicians" the modern world has seen!

I want to think he used this phrase ironically, to show that there is nothing dangerous about Iranian people and their ideals, but my typical Iranian "conspiracy" mentality tells me he used it on purpose for that "negative" effect.

N. Shafiei

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Why are you so surprised?

In response to Zohreh Ghahremani's "A gift-wrapped stab":

Why are you so surprised about this program's angle? The man is in the service of Zionism as is half of his production team.

Guive Mirfendereski

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He belongs to the same Israeli gang

In response to Zohreh Ghahremani's "A gift-wrapped stab":

Dear Zohreh Khanoom,

Thanks for your wonderful article. When I read something that makes sense, has been worked on, and thought for, like your article, I feel proud of my heritage, Iranian people, and Iran.

What caught my attention more than anything else, was what your article said towards the end, that you don't know Mr. Koppel's background. I think he belongs to the same Israeli gang that believes Israel can only exist if there is trouble in the ME. That is the way to extact American tax $$$ and live comfortably on the territories of others occupied by force. If Americans were told that they are loved and respected in the world if it weren't for the misdeed on their behalf by the Israelis, they would not pay a penny of their tax $$$$ to these junkies.

Let's hope one day we all wake up to the truth.

Ali

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Insensitive to Christians

In response to iranian.com's holiday logo by Mazloom:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing because I would like to comment on the logo that appears in the upper left corner of the web page for Iranian.com. The "Nothing is Sacred" slogan appears under the Iranian.com logo which includes a Christmas tree, candles, a snowman, and presents.

Today, Christmas has become very much a secular holiday, and a Christmas tree and snowman are hardly religious symbols. However, Christmas is sacred for many people and I think that it is insensitive to Christians to put those images together with the "Nothing is Sacred" slogan.

Khoda Hafez,

Joseph Shamis

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What is he hiding?

In response to Iranian of the day, "Jamie Masada":

Regarding Jamie Masada owner of the Laugh Factory, why does he lie and tell Howard Stern that he is from Israel? Gary Del Abate, from Howard Stern,  questioned Jamie on this about a year ago, because you can obviously tell his accent is Iranian. What is his Real Name? What is he hiding?

Ali

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From one extreme to another

In response to Hiedeh Farmani's "Modern maiden":

I agree with all you have said. BUT we should not jump from one Extreme to an other Extreme. the way we say it in french "le juste milieu"

It has an advantage and a disadvatage. It will creat other problems that you can see in europe in general.

Everey thing should be practiced in the right way and on the right time.

Yes the traditions have negative sights but there are some reasons to that but still there are things that; they need to be changed with extreme amount of care.

The sexual atraction can be good, trying thins in life can be good, but these things should not become a habite with unresanable hunger of donig it differently. We should stay the master of our mind and not the slave of our temtations...

i wish you all good luck. respect yourself and you'll be respect.

Arash Gazi

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She's a man

In response to Sarvenaz's "French dance":

You must be full of shit. "French dance" was written by a man. A man that is lonely and does not know how women think and operate. Please keep Iranian.com clean so every one can enjoy this great site.

Sean T

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Humble nature

In response to Fereydoun Hoveyda's death:

It was wonderful to see the coverage of Fereydoun Hoveyda's life and accomplishments on Iranian.com. I saw him speak at Columbia University several years ago. I was impressed to see such acute intellect be accompanied by a great sense of humor and humble nature.

His passing is a great loss.

Sara R.

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Cultivate a little tolerance

In response to Sean Amour's "Iranian Hillbillies":

Mr. Amour,

You come across as a real angry person. I think you should cultivate a little tolerance towards your fellow human beings, it 'd make life easier for you! It is true that people should restrain their kids in public places, and if they don't they aren't hillibillies as you call them.

And please learn that in Middle Eastern cultures and in Asia kids are everything and always treated with respect.

Susan Zahedi

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I completely agree with you, but...

In response to Sean Amour's "Iranian Hillbillies":

Dear Mr. Nasiri,

I completely agree with you, save that your last sentence is contrary to your criticism of Pahlavi Dynasty!

What Mullahs destroyed was only made & accomplished in Pahlavi era, since before them we were even worse of what we are today under IRI.

H. Hakimi,
Oslo,
Norway

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Stop acting like a child

In response to Sean Amour's "Iranian Hillbillies":

Please stop publishing trash articles like this one. The author needs to grow up and stop acting like a child..... I believe in freedom of speech but not "ebtezal".

Abdolreza

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You have absolutely no "khaye"

In response to Sean Amour's "Iranian Hillbillies":

At first I thought I was readings legit essay written from  point of view of an American. Being a critic myself, I found it beyond "normal" to read your article and not pass judgment since "you" may not be familiar with our culture and most probably have so much resentment towards "Iranians" in general for variety of reasons.

But my assumption came to an abrupt halt when I read your below comment and I quote you; "thus are probably a bunch of thugs and obaash".

So, you are an Iranian yourself and hiding behind an American name hey? The phrase "Obaash" as you have mentioned is an ancient phrase used by "Iranians" only and that gave it away my friend! You are a miserable "coward" sir! You have absolutely no "khaye" in my opinion. (I am sure you know what a khaye is or heard about it in your case!!). Go get a life and party somewhere else if you don't like to be around "nouveau-riche Iranian hillbillies"!

I bet they had enough money to buy your girlfriend and sell her the same night :)) How about moving to Alabama? Oops! I forgot that they won’t even allow “American” version of Iranians in that hood!?

We own this country now!

Deal with it bache poroo!

Nader

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The force was not excessive

In response to UCLA taser incident:

I watched the video of the student being detained by UC Police. Not knowing the full set of circumstances leads people to make judgment about Police action hindsight and come to the wrong conclusions. If this student would have left the library when asked properly, this would have never happened. I heard the officers repeatedly tell him not to resist and stand up. He was clearly not complying. The force the officers used was not excessive from what I watched. I am a use of force instructor for a Parole and Probation department. The officer based on the totality of circumstances must overcome the subject’s resistance with force that matches the threat’s resistance. You have to put yourself in the officer’s shoes and see if their actions was in line with any reasonable officers would do. There are a series of givens.

1. The student was not leaving as directed.
2. He was clearly not doing as directed by the officer.
3. He was verbally and physically aggressive.

There are other factors that the officer will take into consideration before taking action and using a reasonable level of force. All the factors must be considered before we condemn the officers. We would have to review the entire scenario before pass judgment.

Shadman Afzal

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It's like the pot calling the kettle black

In response to UCLA taser incident:

The incident involving UCLA student, Mustafa Tabatabai-Nejad, is extremely troubling. The degree of force the police used against him was clearly excessive. The officers who brutalized him must be held to account for their actions as I'm sure they will. Moreover, by the time Mr. Tabatabai-Nejad's attorneys are finished with UCLA, he will most likely be wealthy beyond belief as well he should.

The thing that I don't understand though, is why he didn't leave the library when he was told to go the very first time? Most people if given a lawful order by an armed policeman would follow it immediately. I know I wouldn't argue with someone who had the means to harm me. While I am in no way condoning the grossly excessive force used by the campus police, I can't help but think that Mr. Tabatabai-Nejad didn't act very reasonably under the circumstances. If he had initially obeyed the police officer's instructions to leave the library, the incident would never have spun out of control. If the library had a rule that all students must present an I.D. to lawfully be inside the library at night, did he think that the rule applied to everyone, but himself? 

Last night, I thought about Mr. Tabatabai-Nejad's misfortune and the Iranian community's reaction to it. Being both American and Iranian genetically, I have lived my life very much in two worlds. From my perspective, Iranians are no different from other people in America both in good ways and bad. Perhaps, because we are such a tiny minority in this country and have been blessed with such immense academic, professional and business success, we sometimes forget that we are not better than other people.

I can't recall Iranians, especially those in Southern California , ever getting as angry about a case of police brutality as in Mr. Tabatabai-Nejad's case. When police brutalized Rodney King, no Iranian voices were heard in protest. When, just a couple of weeks ago, the police brutalized William Cardenas, no Iranian voices objected. How can we be so outraged at this case of Southern California police brutality when we could not have cared less before? When other races were brutalized in our own backyard, it just didn't seem to matter to us? Do we have a right to expect that others will raise their voices for us when we would not do it for them? We don't like it when one of our very own is brutalized, but when it's an African American or a Latino our silence screams volumes. It thunders to the wider American community, "its okay with us when a nigger or a wetback gets pummeled and stomped by the police. They deserve it, but we don't.  We are Iranians. We deserve respect and justice."  We demand justice for ourselves, but we don't give a damn about justice for anyone else.  Hypocritical?

I have heard a lot of people say that Mr. Tabatabai-Nejad was the victim of racism. Maybe, he was and if so, he should be compensated for that injustice. When we as a community complain about racism, though, it's like the pot calling the kettle black. We are some of the biggest racists around. We think that we are better than everyone. There are innumerable articles in iranian.com where Iranians have called other Americans, ignorant, stupid, backward and redneck. Our Southern California Iranian TV programs constantly tell us how much better, smarter, more refined, more cultured and more successful we are than other people. We stereotype other people just so we can feel good about ourselves. When others stereotype us, make disparaging or insulting remarks or call us names like rag head, camel jock or sand nigger, we call it racism. When we it do it to them, we call it the truth. 

Just in the past few days on iranian.com Setareh Sabety made disparaging insinuations about people living in Texas and Alabama as if he knows everyone in those states. Guive Mirfendereski took a slap at military people and cowboys as if all of them are the same. Each one is an individual that deserves to be respected until he proves himself unworthy of respect. These aren't isolated cases of Iranians speaking ill of non-Iranians. Many other iranian.com writers disparage Whites, Blacks, Asians and Hispanics, regularly in articles. It is rare to find an Iranian who speaks out against such race-filled hate. Even if we don't agree with it, we ignore it rather than challenging one of our own. We act as if our racist views are okay. We, of course, are superior, after all, to their fat, ignorant, blond-haired, blue-eyed butts and fat nosed, kinky-haired, black asses. We're Iranians and it's just a known fact that we are the best at every thing∑and if we're not the best at something, it's only because it's not worth being the best at. We aren't saying anything that isn't true when we say we're superior and the whole world knows it! Hypocritical? .

There are many things that I don't know yet in life, but I do know that until we start treating others the way we want them to treat us; we have no right to expect that they will treat us with anything, but contempt. Until we are able to think of others just as highly as we think of ourselves, we have no right to asked them to think anything, but ill of us. Until we acknowledge that we are a racist people who want to change this blot on our character, we have no right to expect others to treat us with the dignity, respect and compassion we want for ourselves. Only when we are willing to face the hypocrisy within our hearts and within in our community, can we rightfully expect others to do the same.

Lance Raheem

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Withholding financial support to UCLA

In response to UCLA taser incident:

Dear UCLA Chancellor Abrams and Mr. Ross,

My name is Bazmeh Davoudian, and I was part of the Class of 2001 at UCLA.

I must say that I have deep shock and regret over the incident revolving around Mostafa Tabatabainejad being tasered at the library recently. I know what kind of wonderful institution UCLA was when I was there, which is why this incident does not fall in line with my impressions of campus as an alumnus only five years later.

While I think that, based on the facts thus far, the question as to which this may be a racially motivated incident is still open; it is, nevertheless, disturbing to see a fellow student of Persian descent as a victim (especially in our current political climate).

I would like to urge you to please request a prompt, independent investigation into the matter, with appropriate discipline meted out to those involved, as well as measures to make sure that there are strict, clear, enforceable campus police guidelines in place for scenarios such as these in the future, in order to avoid such violence.

Should have Mostafa Tabatabainejad have had his Bruin Card on him to present at the library? Yes. Should he have resisted police? No. Yet despite both these conclusions, nothing short of Tabatabainejad putting his life or the lives of others in danger would even begin to warrant the use of taser-level force.

This year is finally one in which I may be in a financial position to contribute properly to the UCLA Alumni Fund. Yet I must be truthful, Chancellor Abrams, that this story is making me think twice. I will be following the resolution of this story carefully, and will urge my fellow alumni from 2001 to follow suit in consideration of withholding their financial support to UCLA, pending justice and honorable, proactive measures being taken for this case, and a gameplan to avoid future cases.

As a female student, I saw campus police as a partner in my safety as a resident of the Hilgard Houses, and will always thank them for their late-night chaperone service around campus. I would like to see their good name restored, and good will flowing between them and the greater student body.

Thank you for your consideration,

Bazmeh Davoudian
Class of 2001

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Stop turning your back on your own people

In response to Faramarz Fateh's "UCLA: Let's get a grip":

First off, I just wanted to say that us Iranians in this country make up a tiny minority compared to other racial groups. If we don't stand up and fight for each other, who will? Second, the matter is not just of Mostafa being out of line, it's of student safety in general. As a UCLA student myself, I want to be sure that such minuscule matters don't result in the serious injury or even the possible death of a fellow colleague.

Today the name of the officer that actually used the Taser was released (article can be read at www.dailybruin.com) and it became evident that he has had numerous excessive force complaints from students in the past and had even shot a homeless man on campus in 2003.

So my response to you Mr. Fateh is to stop turning your back on your own people, stop being so concerned about what other Americans think about Iranians (trust me, to them, a brown person is a brown person), and take your own advice as far as finding the facts before taking any kind of action.

Kourosh A.

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Blaming the young man

In response to Faramarz Fateh's "UCLA: Let's get a grip":

This is very amazing to me. Here, we have a guy who claims to have read every single letter in the letter section, and yet manages to come up with one, and cites that one as one solid evidence against such outrage and anger.

If he had read all of the letters, perhaps he would remember than most of those who had watched the clip has witnessed how the young man did not throw a fit for no good reason and how he out of respect, was on his way out, until he was forced down the ground and tased. What is so complicated about this that he does not get? Why would someone be tased and dealt with in such an excessive manner?

And then he has the audacity to compare this situation with what women in iran go through and he thinks he is justifying his case?

Instead of calling mostafa all kinds of names, and analyzing his potential motives, why does he not realize that even if one was driving on a street and was pulled over by the cops, and for some reason he or she failed to present her license and registration and/or proof of insurance, which by the way is a lot more serious offense than not having one's student ID on, That person would still get a slap on the wrist, gets a ticket, or maybe a citation which then would have to go through various channels to dimiss it. Unless the cops have solid evidence that the driver has something else up his sleeves, they never take any other actions and leave it at that.

The writer happens to be the father of a college-bound individual, But instead of setting an example and being less judgemental, he not only manages to humilate those who choose to have a career in law enforcement, he also somehow tweaks the circumstance and winds up blaming the young man for some infinitsimal and insignificant violation.

Maybe he's better off reviewing the video, to see all the facts are right there before his eyes, and there is no need for denial.

Kyle Saghafi

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The truth lies somewhere in the middle

In response to Faramarz Fateh's "UCLA: Let's get a grip":

You Iranians are so funny! And yes I was born there too. Ron Ghana and few other people wrote articles expressing their view regarding the UCLA issue. Man, you guys were like hungry lions, just wanted to catch these people whom had opposing views and just eat them alive. Many of you live in America, but still haven't learned to respect other people's views. You don't exactly know what happened at UCLA, neither do I. Why are you so eager to say the student was not at fault? Oh, I forgot... because he is an Iranian. It looks like many Iranians are liberal, where they preach liberty and freedom, but only for the people that agree with them. There will be investigations and we will find out what happened. My view is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle and both sides will be punished.

Why do you have to jump up in few hours and start demonstrations? It looked like these protests were organized by Islamic student group since I have seen many ladies with their Islamic attire. Yes, you may correct me if I'm wrong. In another post I wrote: even if an Iranian raped or killed your sister, some of you will jump up and say: that's OK he is a hamshari! Many of you Iranians believe that you are special ( including some of my friends), YOU ARE NOT. You are same as a Mexican, Arab, British and etc. You are not any better just because you are Iranians. You don't own LA or UCLA. You are just a minority group like others and there is nothing wrong with that. I have had some interesting email exchanges with some of you, that is fine. But don't go attacking people like Ron Ghana and others whom oppose your views. That is nasty. Here in Northern California, many iranians, especially the girls believe they are the gift of god to mother earth, BORAT says: NOTTTTT!

tom

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Explosion from coast to coast

In response to UCLA taser incident, a copy of my letter to UCLA:

Dear UCLA,

I know of your reputable and very respectful university and have many friends who graduated from your university in the '70s.

Please look into the incident of the two officers who completely mis-used their authority and tased that students numerous times and in a very short period of time (he was incapacitated, and was tased again and again). The first question is (out of many), why did they resort to tasing him at the first place?

This incident, if left without any serious and harsh review and action, will bode a very ugly image for your university. Please bear in mind that southern California is home to a very large and affluent Iranian-American community. The news of this shocking behavior by those two officers has exploded in the Iranian-American community, not only in California, but from coast to coast.

Respectfully,

Kaveh
Bethseda, MD

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Independent review

UCLA's response Kaveh [see above]:

I am responding to your message of concern regarding the arrest of a UCLA student at Powell Library and the use of a taser by the University of California Police Department.

Rest assured this matter has the close attention of Acting Chancellor Norman Abrams and UCPD Chief Karl Ross. They have decided to move forward with an independent review. The following link provides further information including statements by
Chancellor Abrams and Chief Ross: //newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=7525

I can assure you that student safety and treatment is a matter of the utmost importance to UCLA. As updated information becomes available,
we will post it at www.ucla.edu, in the "News & Notices" section of the Web site.

Sincerely,

Lawrence Lokman
Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Communications

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Next time you see a dog barking at you, stay cool

In response to Setareh Sabety's "Scream (louder)":

Regarding the incident at UCLA and so much as we say in Persian "Naneh Man Gharibam". Let's give some credit to the police officers whom have been just doing what they get paid for.

Let me ask you all sympathizers: If you enter a junkyard at the midnight would you tear to entangle your ass with the junkyard dogs barking at you and warning you not to come in? Well, perhaps if you are a silly Iranian student you might go in and get your ass beaten.

Has anyone of you thought about all the virus that are sent to computers all over the world causing destruction of computers and loss of livelihood to persons and businesses? Well, one of the ways to send such virus is by going to a university campus ananomously and finding a computer to do as such. Universities in order to protect their integrity have a simple rule -carry your ID with you. How hard is that, so one has to go as far as crying for fifteen minutes as "don't touch me, don't touch me" why not touching you I ask? Who the hell do you think you are that a police cannot touch you? You are going to a university to learn the art of descipline and respect so that you won't end up to be like most of your fellow countrymen whom disregard 90% of the social rules.

So, next time carry your card with you, follow the law and if someone insulted or assaulted you keep your cool and try to find enough documentation to go after them. I think the fact that most other students did not show any reaction was because they knew the student was at fault by not showing an ID.

Next time you see a dog barking at you, stay cool, sit down and show no aggression.

This is USA after all, "naneh-man-gharibam" won't get you anywhere.

Jeesh Daram

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Storming Setareh

In response to Setareh Sabety's "Scream (louder)":

Good to see some vintage vitriol from my one time sparring partner Setareh Sabety. As is said in our sweet Farsi tongue, "hanooz az kondeh doodi boland misheh"! Much that I wished to keep my peace with Storming Setareh, the temptation to drop a line or two proved irresistible! So here is a courtesy call for old times sake!

Setareh, I am so thrilled to see that you still manage to keep a safe distance from the centre of activities while disseminating your words of wisdom so freely, from some ten thousand miles away, to those tortured and tasered kids of the UCLA campus. It is no simple task to sun bathe and take a sip at exotic cocktails in a cosy corner of the French Riviera while calling upon those wretched students to smash the windows and breach the barriers!! This is Setareh Sabety at her best. Well done! I look forward to reading more of your "mots de sagesse" in "futur proche".

au revoir

Parkhash

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Consequence of lack of education, not geography

In response to Setareh Sabety's "Scream (louder)":

What difference would it have made if the incident had happened in Alabama or Texas? Are you suggesting that there is a smaller educated and tax-paying Iranian crowd in Texan cities, as in major cities, such as Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, or in Montgomery, Alabama? Or are you basing that on the traditional notion, derived from many western movies, that the South is home to bunch of dahati rednecks and therefore it is expected of them to behave as such?

Police brutality and use of excessive force is a direct consequence of lack of education and possibly a bad judgment call of the involved officers and does not depend on what presitgious campus or location it takes place on.

Kyle Saghafi

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You don't use an ax to kill a gnat

In response to Setareh Sabety's "Scream (louder)":

Dear Setareh,

If the incident at UCLA proves to be another case of excessive use of force to administer ethnic profiling it must be condemned not only by the victim and his supporters, but by every loyal American whose duty is preservation of the most fundamental human right rights that have been under assault in this country for quite some time especially during the past six years, ironically in the hypocritical name of preserving freedom and democracy.

It may take a long time for the investigations to find the real cause, but the mere fact that the student was released without a bail indicates that the heavy handed campus police was uncalled for especially in the library, on a well-known university and in a country that is supposed to be the champion of preserving freedom and democracy. Aside from that our modern education philosophy, modern wisdom and even the old wisdom condemns excessive use of force. According to a Chinese wisdom, "You don't use an ax to kill a gnat."

I have been impressed by the enormous outpouring of sympathy especially those of Iranian origin who demonstrated their civic responsibility by standing against the force of hypocrisy, ignorance and arrogance. America, known as a "Nation of Immigrants" can ill afford to allow the archaic policies of 'divide and conquer' split it along its ethnic and racial seams for power and profit. This self-destructing policy ignores the invaluable contributions of the immigrants in the long run. They fail to recognize that if they take the word immigrants out of the Nation of immigrants there will be nothing left except a nation like most other nations with no uniqueness.

Let us also hope that the similar unprecedented outpouring of the American voters against hypocrisy during the last election will restore the rule of law and respect for human rights in America and the world that follows it. For more please see my website:

Ali A. Parsa
TerrorismAndHowToStopIt.org

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Learning from the example set by US forces in Iraq

In response to Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

I am surprised and shocked to read such incoherent babble from a UCLA 'student', Ron Ghana. It is clear from only watching a third of the clip that the force was excessive. If one was too much, five was cruel and inhumane. What happend to your precious rights under the constitution to not to be subjected to cruel and inhumane torture?

The problem with US society and police is that a large proportion of citizens accept these actions as 'justifiable'. Tell me one thing, how was the student a menace or danger to the other people in the computer room?? Just because he is warned does not make the reaction proportionate to the risk posed.

The US have to be worried more about their own young, white suburban youths who routinely shoot fellow students because they have been bullied and want revenge.

Clearly you are learning from the example set by US forces in Iraq and the current US administration, that torture or excessive force is acceptable, esp if the target is black/asian and let's not forget muslim-looking!! This was only highlighted by the so-called justice served by the court-martial sentencing of two soldiers this week who plea-bargained with the authorities following the murder of an Iraqi man---they got between 18month to 2 years. This shows the little value they place on the lives of others.

We all need to stand back and remember to respect each others human rights, otherwise how are we to live together in peace in one society? You should not judge a community, a race, or whatever, by the actions of an extremist minority.

Leyla Razavi
Law student, London

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He deserved what came to him

In response to Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

As though we don't have any other problem as a community, and now we have to waste our time for such an insignificant issue. A student with attitude wants to take on the campus police and he is taken down. This happens hundreds of times every day and no one even blinks. He deserved what came to him.

The issue for me is that non of these bleeding hearts who vehemently object to the police even bother to tell us what the police/campus guards should have done? how do you suggest the matter could have been resolved? No, they all say they used excessive force. In my opinion, the student was given ample opportunity to leave, but instead he created a scene and commotion which the police HAD to deal with it. We all obey the laws, whether we like it or not. And if we decide to break it, we should face the consequences. He did and he paid for it.

Simple as that.

Farshad

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Well reasoned

In response to Ari Siletz's "Iranian guilt":

Well said, and well reasoned. You are absolutly correct

Abdy Sadri

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BORN in the USA

In response to Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

There are people who are under the impression that UCPD resorted to tasering because Mostafa was inciting a riot and asking other students to join him. This is entirely FALSE, as evidenced in the 7 minute footage, at no point during his arrest did he ask his fellow students to disobey the law and join 'his resistance.' This falsehood was published by LA Times to cover the cops's asses.

Also, Mostafa was tasered upwards of 6 times after he had already been handcuffed. He also screamed that he has a medical condition while being manhandled by the cops.

Another fact for those who want Mostafa deported, he was BORN in the US.

FYI, according to an ACLU report, 148 people in the United States and Canada have died as a result of the use of Tasers since 1999.

Chic Chignon

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I'd feed you to the sharks

In response to Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

Ron Who? Ron.......What? You are suggesting that what is done to this student is right?......First as a Human, Second as a As an Iranian, third as a Student, and fourth as as Ex-Iranan student Association President of University of Minnesota, you are lucky to talk and type your thoughts, cuse if I knew who you were, I would wrap you in an Iranian flag and feed you to the sharks of Gulf of Mexico. And Ron.....you can go fuck yourself NOW.

Ali Kasemkhani

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Thank god for lawyers and lawsuits

In response to Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

First, it remains to be seen if broke any laws. He refused to behave according to a university established procedure most likely meant to save the university some money. There is no doubt that any library that lets people in without checking ID would be considered a public place. UCLA may be using an honor system by posting signs that only students are allowed in and if so I can tell you that UCLA is going to be a big check as well.

Second, only an idiot would take this attitude that some outcome was well deserved because a law was broken and then in the very next sentence talks about how they hate the fact lawyers are going to sue and win some money on behalf of the person who broke the law. Lawyers win money because some idiot officer breaks the law even worse by abusing the person who maybe broke the law in the first place.

Imagine you do not use a crosswalk and a policeman stops you and instead of giving you a ticket he decides to break your legs. This is what happened here. The campus police could have easily told this guy that if he refuses to show his ID he would not be allowed to use the library again and that would have been the end of it. Recently in Maryland we had a situation where a metro train officer tackled a pregnant woman because she was chewing gum as she was boarding the train. Yes stupid come in all forms and in all kinds of positions.

Thank god for lawyers and lawsuits.

Ahmad Shadman

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Another Negro in America

In response to Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

Mr. Ron Ghana,

You don't get the point. You're blaming the student for not showing the guard his ID while you're forgetting that the guard picked a Middle-Eastern looking student and hit him with suspicion and interrogation for no other reason but race whatsoever.

We Iranians are Law-obeying people but if we allow anyone to hand-pick us and accuse us and prejudge us, soon we'll become another Negro in America.

The student was saying: "Do not touch me, I'll leave on my own..." but guards kept grabbing him and pepper-spraying him as if he was an animal.

We should not allow prejudice against us. I certainly won't.

Hesam1@aol.com

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Go live in your own country

In response to criticism of Ron Ghana's note on UCLA taser incident, "You broke the law":

Interesting. many of you people are talking about civil liberties, but ron ghana can not write what he feels and thinks about this matter???????? we all have to support this law breaking student, if not we are just jerks.

i think many of you iranians need a wake up call to appreciate where you live. here is your wake up call: go live in your own country for a year.

tom....yes i am iranian

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What do you expect of him?

In response to Arash Hosseini's "Tasing is not an equivalent response to a problematic student":

Arash khan,

Agreeing with you 100%.

In a normal world, whatever it may be, with normal people, and at least half way normal "police", yes, it is not equivalent. But you have to consider an undereducated officer who wasn't even smart enough to pass the civil service test to become a real cop. What do you expect of him? I'm not defending him, by no means. If I'm ever in front of him without his taser and gun, I'll punch his lights out.

Don't forget that one of the questions on the civil service exam is: What is 2+2! And, yesssss, it is a multiple choice answer.

Good article.

Hamid

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Beauty of life is in diversity

In response to Ben Madadi's "Not that special":

Bravo Ben, you are making some good points. That is what we have been advocating for years. With input of free spirited and progressive people like you, there should be no fear of unity or separation, which ever becomes the choice of people of each region. Although Iranian.com is a liberal site, it is not willing to freely publish all of articles related to Kurdish issue, which in fact is an Iranian issue. So I gave up sending most of my writings to them.

Ultimately all Kurds are of Iranian origin and Iranians should be the one to promote their cause first at home and then in other neighboring countries, the way our neighboring Arabs rightfully advocate the right of all Arab people. At the same time, I believe in contrary to grandiosity and racist ideas of Aryanists, Iranians are neither better nor worse than others. They are just different and the beauty of life is in diversity and not in homogeneity.

You might be regarded as the devil by some of your ultranationalist countrymen. Keep in mind the dominant establishments were considering people like Mandela and Gandhi also as devil, until they finally prove them wrong. To me people like you in Iran are as admirable as Ismail Bishkchi in Turkey.

If you get a chance, take a look at my article under the three legged twins at www.art-in-mind.net/articles. JJ picks and chooses, but he is entitled to it. Ultimately the world will be different and those who have made a significant difference will be remembered for their contribution. You, JJ, and we all are doing our share and hopefully it will lead to a better world for all of us.

KA

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Joon amricayeeha kheyly mohemtar ast

In response to Ben Madadi's "Leaving Iraq in broken pieces":

baba hamvatany chera faghat rajeh be koshteh shodan sarbazhaye amricayye neveshtehy mesl inkeh joon amricahya mohemtar az joon baghyeh hast. pas 655,000.oo nafar araghy ke koshteh shodeh chy ke moghayeseh 10,000 amricaye hich nyist. mesl inkeh chon amricayee hastand 10,000 barabar ba in hameh araghy badbakht hast. dorost haman tory ke red neckhaye inja ke fekreshan inhast ke joon amricayeeha kheyly mohemtar az joon baghye hast. ey baba.

Shahriar

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Stop complaining about Iran

In response to Farah Ravon's Kashan and Abyaneh photo essay, "Frozen in time":

I do not understand why this Iranian are living out of Iran they are so much complaining about life in Iran? and I never saw any one of them comp lining about life in west USA or country I live Canada?large Numbers of poor and homeless, drugs and Yong Canadian or American looks to me gangs or drug dealers or gay or lesbian.....%40 divorce......as I told before Iran is country with so many mountain or Sahara which we can not makes almost any money from farming? others people in Iran so leas they talk so much and working few, asking so much from government of Iran they do not pay TAX same as us in west or in Canada Iran was be in war in eight years.... what is the rung with you guys, why so much comp lining about life in Iran? if you don't like to live in Iran you welcome to move here in Canada to became homeless. I write to every one of you please be shot fuck off, and do not complainer about Iran thinks positive and pride about your country.

Hossein Hajiagha

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Man masto to divaneh, Bar ham zadeh kashaneh

In response to your response titled "Suicide Bomber vs. Carpet Bombing", which was to my response titled "There is no one to blame but ourselves" to your article titled "Capitalist Jihadist":

Dear hamshahri:

I think you were too offended, by my suggestion to read diversely, to make any coherent sense. Did you think you could criticize someone else on a public forum and not be criticized? You should be prepared, not offended.

You are mixing up several issues. One issue is your comprehension of Islam, another is your conspiratorial view of the root cause of the revolution in Iran, and yet another is the relationship of the West and East in post revolutionary Iran.

I took your advice, communicated to me by your first email to my email address, and read “the Last Circle” by Carol Marshall, an investigative reporter’s account of drug trafficking and CIA’s alleged involvement in it, hardly relevant to the point of discussion, but still interesting and intriguing (towards the end it delves into too much pseudo science). You cited Robert Fisk twice, though good reading, it can hardly be considered diverse reading. He is as much driven by his liberal agenda as the most right winged conservative might be. You should filter out the bias and only make sense of the half truths each side presents (this is not a product of malicious behavior or mal-intent but a byproduct of human frailty; different people can have different interpretations based on their prejudices). You (not you alone, but a whole segment of the educated Iranian class in exile) have demonized Jews and sympathize with the Arab cause, and blame all the ill will in the world on Zionism and Capitalism. By reading material with the same bias you keep reinforcing that limited view.

Your conspiratorial view of the influence of the West on the course of revolution in Iran is limited by the same sources you reference. You would have to argue that Carter would be willing to give up his “Island of Stability” in the Mid East and a key link in Kissinger’s “white belt” against the Soviet Union (together with Israel and South Africa), that ensured the uninterrupted flow of oil to the West, to experiment with an uncertain revolutionary force of clerics and band with them to topple the regime of the Shah and take a chance with the stability of the entire Mid East. As the relationship between the IRI and the West has proven, for the past 27 years, the revolution could not have been masterminded by the West, or the Zionists. Heck, Khomeini himself had no idea how the events were unfolding until he saw the crowds from inside the helicopter that was taking him to beheshteh zahra.

Iran’s revolution was a grass roots uprising, organized and orchestrated by the Islamists from the early seventies, and only aided by the West, and in particular Carter in its lasts stages, when they pulled their support from the Shah, after realizing nothing could be done to stop the millions of people marching on the streets. Female university students wore hejab as a sign of protest, intellectuals complained about the lack of freedom, the destitute complained about their abysmal conditions, the religious complained about “promiscuity” rampant in society and too much freedom, bazaaris were weary of plans to shift the control of the economy form the bazaar to the central bank, and young people found excitement in all these street gatherings. During all of this, the Islamists were playing their game to their best advantage and orchestrating the events to meet their needs.

“Tell me Mr. know it all when was the last time that you read the book of Shefa by Ebne Sina. Have you even opened his book of Esharat va Tanbihat .Do you even know about the book of Asar Al-Baghieh by Aboo Reihane Birooni?”

I have read about the contents of these works but unfortunately I have not read them. I will take your advice and read them. However, I think you should seriously consider reading shojaedin shafa’s after 1400 years (pas az hezaro chaharsad sal).

“It is really a new level of arrogance for a person to say that they know the mind of our great poets and scientists like Ebne Sina, Hafez Saady and Molavi better than these people themselves.”

It is not arrogant to question and try to make the best sense out of what you read. Ebne Sina is certainly a giant but not the last word in Philosophy, science or logic. It would be arrogant and foolish to adhere to that logic. In fact there are many more giants who have stood on his shoulders and enhanced his thoughts. One such giant is Molavi who frequently questions the wisdom of adhering to religious tradition:

Ey ghomeh be haj rafte kojaied
Maashoogh haminjast biaid, biaied
He turns the notion of mosalman on its head in this robaii:
Taa madraseh o menareh veeran nashavad
Ahvaleh ghalandari beh saman nashavad
Taa eeman kofro kofr eeman nashavad
Yek bandeyeh hagh beh hagh mosalman nashavad.

Saadi is certainly a giant and is the master of Persian writing but hardly the bastion of consistent thought and unified philosophy. His philosophy spans the whole spectrum and is sometimes contradictory.

Hafiz, however, is very consistent and, once you enter his “garden”, then you begin to see the light. I think you have put your own words in Hafiz’s mouth. The beyt you quoted (In hame shahd o sheker kaz sokhanam mirizad Ajre sabrist ke az dolate Qhoran kardam) is not Hafiz’s. I have quoted the correct version below. In any case, to put it into context you need to read the rest of the ghazal, the key elements of which I have presented here:

salha Payrovieh mazhabeh rendan kardam
ta beh fatwayeh kherad hers beh zendan kardam
.
Tobeh kardam keh naboosam labeh saghi va konoon
Meegazam lab keh chera goosh beh nadan kardam
.
Naghsheh mastoori o masti na beh dasteh mano tost
Ancheh soltaneh azal goft bekon on kardam
.
In keh peeraneh saram sohbateh yousof benavakht
Ajreh sabrist keh dar kolbeye ahzan kardam
Sobh kheezi o salamat talabi chon hafiz

Har cheh kardam hameh az dolateh ghoran kardam (you can either read it as if he obeyed the Quran out of respect or was forced to obey out of fear, and not belief. Only in the context of the rest of the Ghazal does this beyt take meaning. Hafiz was a very smart man and lived in times not much different from the conditions in present day Iran, and had to preserve his head. He uses the mastery of his language to mask his intent form those outside “the garden” and makes it apparent to those inside.)

As for Ferdowsi, you must have skipped over the pages of his portrayal of the Arab (Islamic) victory over the Sassanian. I’ll recite a few beyts here:

Cho bakhteh arab bar ajam cheereh shod
Hami bakhteh sassanian teereh shod
.
Haman zesht shod khoob, shod khoob zesht
Shodeh raaheh doozakh padeed az behesht
Degargooneh shod charkheh gadroon bechehr
Ze azadegan paak bebrid mehr
.
Cho ba takht manmar barabar shaved
Hameh naam bubakro ommar shaved
.
Ze payman begardando az rasti
Gerami shaved kazhi-o kasti
.
Na jashno na ramesh na gohar na naam
Be kooshesh ze har gooneh sazand daam
.
Cho besyar az in dastan begzarad
Kasi sooyeh azadegan nangarad

It is in the context of the meaning of these lines that his allegory of the only Arab king, in his shahnameh, with a serpant grown out of each shoulder that require the brain of two young Iranians daily, takes meaning.

You did, to your credit, accept the dictionary’s meaning of the word Capitalism. However, you do need help with the comprehension of the Quran, so you should visit Sina’s cite www.faithfreedom.org, which brought us to this point in the first place. (Here are some alternate sites: www.bidari.org, or www.kavehahangar.com, www.efsha.co.uk)

In closing, I wish you happy and productive reading in the future, and will leave you with the following thoughts (no offense intended, it seems like a natural place to present the following feeble attempt at poetry).

Man masto to divaneh
Bar ham zadeh kashaneh
Yek sheikhe mozzavvar raa
Kardeem cho dordaneh
Dar maah rokhash deedim
Reeshash laayeh qhoraaneh
Maa khabto khata kardeem
Carter shodeh badnameh
Aan mastieh bad farjam
Az maast na beeganeh
Masteem hanooz ham maa
Oftaneh o kheezaneh
Baa ham hameh dar jangeem
Iran shodeh veeraneh
Baa in hameh bad masti
Tarsam nareseem khaneh
Man masto to deevaneh
Maa ra keh barad khaneh.

Baa sar masti,

Shahriar Mostarshed

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Vulgar with meager talent

In response to Siamack Baniameri's "How not to make a sex video":

You remind me of Jews on the "Borscht Circuit" in the Catskills. USA: Vulgar "scat" slobs. But how else, with their meager talent, can they gain attention.

jvb

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Give them time

In response to Siamack Baniameri's "How not to make a sex video":

Siamack,

Babajon, give them time. You cannot compare the quality and the experience with the west porn films.

Anyway can you send me a copy? I haven’t seen it yet?

Shahram

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I laughed a lot!

In response to Siamack Baniameri's "How not to make a sex video":

That was excellent. I laughed a lot! Good job!

Babak

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It was a war of aggression

In response to Afshin Deyhim's Beheshte Zahra photos, "Fending off invaders":

Mr. Deyhim, thank you so much for these pictures, thank you for reminding us, nestled in our safe homes in the west and enjoying the good life, of what it means to be a true patriot and "honorable" Iranian. And thank you for your wonderful comment about these young Iranians killed in a horrific war to save their homeland -- and that on the other side of the war front were the Mojahedin Khalq giving Saddam a helping hand in killing them!

And when you said "no matter what your feelings are about this war" -- I lived through this war in Tehran and there is just one feeling everyone has, or should have, about this war: It was a war of aggression, an unprovoked attack by a maniac, and a vicious war imposed on a nation just because they had been "audacious" enough to want to become independent of western influence! A war that Kissinger said "too bad both sides can't be losers". Are there really any Iranians who would think otherwise of this war?

When you go to war to drive an aggressor out of your country that's an "honorable" war; that's the only war I would send my son to.

Thank you again for reminding us all-- we needed that badly.

N. Shafiei

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Way to go

In response to Farah Ravon's Caspian sea photos, "Come rain, come shine":

Thank you for the lovely pictures. Interesting subjects with great frames! Way to go...

Sophie

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From dependence to interdependence

In response to Jahanshah Rashidian's "The best: Western European democracy and secularism":

I read your dialog with Mr. Amil Imani, and have enjoyed the enlightened discussion. I have made the observation that your interpretation of democracy and independence are in absolute terms, and that’s what I am having problems with.

Freedom, in an absolute sense, can only exist with one person living in total isolation. As soon as you have a plurality of people then the rights of the individuals become restricted at the advantage of the collective right of the plurality. This inhibition or restriction of individual rights must be observed in favor of the plurality otherwise you end up with anarchy. Democracy is the fragile balance of individual rights, not in conflict but in concert with the collective rights of a society. Democracy as implemented in its various forms has deficiencies but has the mechanism of reform built into it and, everyone can participate and affect a change by the rule of majority.

Capitalism which is defined as the freedom of choice, freedom of market and freedom of enterprise forges the mold of a democracy, as we observe a transformation in China brought about by a flourishing capitalism in the face of waning dictatorship. Capitalism is a two way street. It feeds on the markets it creates. Would you consider it a bad thing if the dependency of the West on oil was offset by the influx of technology, industrialization, medicine and scientific breakthroughs to the East? In order for capitalism to succeed in the East it has to create a dependency for consumerism and “creature comforts” which people "vote" for with the dollars they pay, in exchange. In the end it is the satisfaction of the masses and their perception of freedom that matters most and not what freedom means in an absolute sense.

Independence, in an absolute sense, does not exist in a community of nations, either. It would require a nation to be completely self sufficient, militarily, politically, financially, socially and morally. Since Humans, by nature, are social animals, such an isolated nation can never exist. Would you consider Japan independent or dependent? Is Germany dependent or independent? In fact are any of the European nations, independent? The European Union is socially and economically interdependent, and when it comes to military defense of gigantic proportions, dependent on the U.S.

Iran, I believe, had the same sort of dependence/interdependence before the revolution, as it has now, after the revolution. The dependency then was on the West and in particular on the U.S. to provide state of the art military support and security for Iran, and now the dependency is on decrepit military equipment and outdated technology from Russia, North Korea and China. The fact that Iran has a proxy army in South Lebanon, paid for by the petro-dollars snatched from the Iranian populace, which is struggling to survive, does not make it independent. IRI by making the rest of the world feel insecure is driving Iran ever closer to a head to head clash with the West. That is as much independence as a juvenile misfit in society can claim to have. I think you have to shift your focus away from the semantics of dependence to those of interdependence, which today’s world necessitates. As long as Iran is a dictatorial Theocracy and a misfit in the world community then it can never be independent, but dependent on the mercy of the world community at large.

With regards,

Shahriar Azadmanesh

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Ideology of jihad

In response to Amil Imani's "Ummeh-ism is anathema to democratic ideal":

Dear Mr. Imani,

Thank you for your reply. Firstly, I like to mention that I did not intend to criticise or offend you in any form because of your attachment to the US, one of your two countries. I apologise if the way I expressed myself was not in appropriate form.

Also, because of my relatively unprofessional command of English, some of my articles, including my last article, Let Us Save Farsi, could not get published in Iranin.com. In this latter article, not only I proposed to modernise Farsi, but also, after the IRI, by introducing an adaptive alphabet, to de-Islamise our presently arbised and Islamised Farsi.

As mentioned, the article was not published. In fact, I was punished for not having the privilege to have lived in an English speaking country thus not being able to dominate English as good as those who have got the privilege to live or study in an English speaking country. After all, let me say at the same time that Iranian.com, dispite its versatile feature, is the only Iranian website which shows courage to publish politically taboo breaking writings.

Regarding your views about the Muslim community in the US, it is not undemocratic when the US or any non-Islamic country stops the immigration of Muslims. Furthermore, since Islam is promoting a political ideology of hatred and intolerance, a ban of Islamic values like hijab, mosques, Tawhid centres, Islamic associations and foundations are to be understandable in the West.

In fact, we are both free and convinced to criticise Islam. We both will hopefully never escape from the fact that above any difference in taste, method and tactic, we have a common enemy and especially have to have a common priority in pushing back religion from its present aggressive position.

The protected freedom of human is today very liable to the influence of secularism in the world, in which religion represents a heavy obstacle. I start even thinking if a front with the goal of de-islamisation cannot be the necessary solution of Iran’s question. All other differences aside, Iranian opposition can gather around the idea of a “de-Islamic” Republic of Iran or “DRI”.

I agree with your critics over the dangerous growth of Islam in the West. The dimensions are even more dangerous in Europe. However, the point that probably makes differences between us can be our point of views about the fate of over one billion people in the world branded “Muslims”. I believe, regardless their religion, they must be respected and protected as human beings-- I cannot accept any discrimination towards Muslim population in the West under any pretext.

I am sure a great majority of “Muslims” are not really conscious Muslims; this great majority, especially under Islamic regimes, is even the bearer of the Islamic yoke, therefore hundreds of millions of human beings in the “Islamic” world can be helped to get rid of the yoke if we know how to deal with their problems.

It is a human duty to consider that many of people branded “Muslims” need courage to get rid of Islam. But we should never forget that a person accidentally born in an Islamic family cannot deny Islam.

As you know, jihad in the religious sense does not only concern the conquest of the territories which are still controlled by the "unbelievers", but also, it means to maintain Islam in the already Islamic societies, Ummah. The alleged peace in Islam means only breaks between the conflicts. Peace in Islam should be accomplished when all people of the world are converted to Islam.

The point I insist on is to the ideology of jihad, but not the people who are accidentally born in an “Islamic” society or people whose ancestors were forced by jihadists to convert to Islam.

If today archaic Islam is interpreted to the standard of social and political ideology, this must be considered as a fatal opium of people.

The wave of Islamic fundamentalism which overruns the Middle East and offers to people a renewed political and cultural self-esteem, can lead to a human catastrophe, the one which will be bigger than any of tow recent World Wars. The aggressive claim of Islamic universality is the main cause of conflicts and crisis centres.

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Free our language from Arabic

In response to Hasan Behgar's "Maslaeye aghvaam":

The question of federalism is highly complex. It should encompass a pragmatic study of Iranian multi ethnics. If such a confederation can be a reasonable solution for democracy and primary problems of all society, there is no problem, but if it is a question of ideology, which I think, it is even needless to talk about when we are now facing a huge plague called the IRI.

What concerns our Farsi language, in the course of its history, Persian or Farsi has been written with a number of different scripts. The last one was Avestan, which was banned along with the language itself after the islamic invation in 642 AD. After the imposition of Islam in Iran, the Islamic invaders imposed Arabic as the only official language in Iran. The current Farsi appeared during the 9th. century and is written in a version of the Arabic script. Because of its strong links with Arabic, language of the Koran, since ever, nobody has the right to reform or modernise the language.

What is important to know, our superseded Farsi language continues to be a language of both Islamic and Arabic influence. It is not representative to our national identity or adaptive to our modern day. While many languages around the world have been permanently and adaptively modernised-- our Farsi has been crippled from any reform because of its use as a support for the safeguard of Islam in Iran.

In a modern Iran, we need appropriate reforms to free our language from the imposed Arabic / Islamic burden. A modernised Farsi language not only should represent our culture and Iranian identity, but also must push back Islam and its backward culture from creeping back into people's daily life.

Contrary to some supports for the use of multi languages in Iran; we need a unique and reformed Farsi language as a central support for school system, from primary to high education.  Local languages or dialects are popular and verbal means of communication, but not solid bases for modern needs of education and researches.

Like it or not, many languages and dialects cede the ground for the stronger, modern languages. We can see this process also in Iran—new generations have more and more tendency to use Farsi as a pragmatic language of all Iranians. This is a matter of a historic process and a need of social evolution. In the course of history many languages and dialects, as means of communication, appeared and then disappeared. There is no reason to be sorry for this normal process.

Like it or not, modern-day methods of instantaneous communication requires a proficient in a range of modern languages if a modern society's economy is to remain vibrant. Therefore, after the IRI, parallel to restoration of a modern Farsi, an international modern language, as a second language and a solid support for advanced education, researches, computer and adaptive modernisation in Iran must be nationwide highly promoted. Both Modern Farsi and an international modern language open one door of the continuing struggle of modernisation.

Those Iranians who speak modern languages know better that our Farsi, under the current condition, is scientifically poor. In many domains of modern sciences, it is not sufficiently expressive. Developing a modern Farsi in high levels of proficiency, particularly in higher education, will require significantly greater resources than are at hand. Our experts hopefully can focus on the study of development of a modern Farsi. They can change the words of many names and verbs to the pre-Islamic synonyms, but at least for the use of scientific terms, it is more practical to use their most common international words.

Iranian linguistics has some sources of pre-Islamic to de-Islamise the daily language, but in the field of science, they should not complicate the language. In fact, a language is not only a coding system of communication, but also a bridge between thought and language, in other words, because of verbal behaviour, the way we talk can in turn influence the way we think. A rich and modern language can considerably improve our cognitive faculties, memory, mental ability, emotional expressions, behaviour and even habits. The pivotal point is how to form a useful language freed from the burden of religious backwardness and unnecessary complications.   

We should not forget that the new generations are not born to follow our criteria, but will be quite wisely to follow their own needs. From this perspective, language is an adaptive form of communication. All experiences show that the Farsi we have gives way to Western languages. For example, the Iranian communities in the US or Europe can expect that only a little rate of their children can be fluent in Farsi. It is not however the case for Westerns living in Iran-- their children would speak fluently their original language. The reason is not only due to the country's official language but the fact that Farsi is not adapted to modern life.

Furthermore, children can not use Farsi alphabet in their internet or for their modern toys, Democratic establishments should take care of rending language modern and attractive. At the same time, there should be little need for speakers or writers to waste time looking for words, terms and expressions to mean objects or ideas. What is to be made of all of this? To ensure that a language remains the predominant way of national communication, learning and development, we need pragmatic reforms without any bigotry or prejudicing modern languages.

Jahanshah Rashidian

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Hooshang Hedayat?

Searching for an old college friend:

Name: Hooshang Hedayat met him in 1959 at a junior college in Orange county Cal. Orange coast Jr col. Wondering how he is and if still living. many thoughts of him lately.Many thoughts of him lately. IT WOULD BE GREAT to hear from him or a family member as to how his life served him. My name was Aline Cardin at the time.I will never forget him singing to me in the library, very sweet person.

Louie

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Virginity is equal-opportunity veil

In response to Mahnaz Ahari's "Save sex for marriage":

READING YOUR COMMENTS, I AM STRUCK BY THE MENTALITY OF WOMEN WHO ARE SO LIMITED IN THEIR SELF-DEFINITION THAT THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT IN VIRGINITY, THEY HAVE "SOMETHING" TO GIVE THE PERSON WITH WHOM THEY WILL, OSTENSIBLY, BE SPENDING THEIR LIFETIME (AND VICE-VERSA). THIS IS A DANGEROUS MISCONCEPTION.

BY VERY DEFINITION OF THE TERM, "VIRGINITY" IS NOT "SOMETHING"; IT IS NOTHING; IT IS THE VERY ABSENCE OF SOMETHING.  IT IS A LACK OF EXPERIENCE, A LACK OF SELF-UNDERSTANDING AND UNDERSTANDING OF ANOTHER, IN THIS VERY INTIMATE AND ULTIMATELY SIGNIFICANT REGARD, IT IS A LACK OF ANYTHING, REALLY, IN THIS AREA OF ONE'S LIFE - - KNOWLEDGE, DISCERNMENT, JUDGEMENT, TECHNIQUE - - AND A LACK OF THE EXPERIENCE TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO SHARE YOURSELF WITH ANOTHER, OR TO MAKE AN INFORMED, EDUCATED DECISION IN THIS AREA. IT IS THE VERY OPPOSITE OF WHAT ONE HOPES TO BRING TO, AND SHARE IN, IN MARRIAGE. A GOOD AND HAPPY MARRIAGE DOES NOT COME FROM WHAT ONE DOES NOT BRING INTO THE RELATIONSHIP, BUT FROM WHAT ONE HAS TO BRING TO THAT RELATIONSHIP. AND, IN ORDER FOR THERE TO BE A BALANCE OF POWER IN THE RELATIONSHIP (SOMETHING PERSIAN WOMEN SEEM TO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, MUCH TO THEIR DISADVANTAGE) THIS MUST BE MUTUAL.  

LET'S NOT PRETEND THAT THIS HAS NOT BEEN THE CAUSE OF COUNTLESS UNHAPPY MARRIAGES!

A MAN WHO "WAITS" WILL NEVER LEARN TO WAIT, (AMONG OTHER THINGS) WHEN AND WHERE IT IS IMPORTANT, SO THAT HE MAY EVER TRULY PLEASE HIS PARTNER. AND A WOMAN WHO "SAVES HERSELF" MIGHT CONSIDER, BETTER, SAVING HERSELF FROM A SEEMING ETERNITY OF DISSATISFACTION, DISAPPOINTMENT, DISENCHANTMENT, AND SOMETIMES EVEN TORTURE, BY KNOWING SOMETHING ABOUT THE SUBJECT AT HAND, BEFORE SHE COMMITS HERSELF TO A RELATIONSHIP THAT IS, AT ITS HEART, THE ESSENCE OF MARRIAGE, THAT WILL BE SUPPOSED TO ENDURE FOR SEVERAL DECADES. SEXUAL EXPERIENCE IS NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVING THAT "YOU CAN"; IT IS A LEARNING PROCESS, LIKE ANY OTHER, THAT WOULD WELL BE RECOMMENDED BEORE COMMITING TO SOMETHING IN WHICH YOU MIGHT FIND YOURSELF TRAPPED, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. IN NO OTHER THING IS IT SUGGESTED THAT PEOPLE STUMBLE, BLINDLY, INTO A SITUATION, IGNORANT OF ITS WAYS AND CONSEQUENCES!  

WOULD YOU SUGGEST THAT A WOMAN ENTER INTO MARRIAGE WITH THE INTENTION TO COOK FOR HER HUSBAND, BUT NO COOKING EXPERIENCE, NO RECIPE, NO PRACTICE AT MAKING THE DISHES EXPECTED TO BE SERVED? WOULD YOU THINK THAT A MAN WITH NO EDUCATION OR WORK EXPERIENCE WOULD MAKE A GOOD PROSPECTIVE MEANS OF SUPPORT FOR A FAMILY? WHY IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT, DO YOU THINK? PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, IN ALL THINGS.

IT WOULD SEEM TO ME THAT VIRGINITY IS THE EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY VEIL THAT CONCEALS THOSE WITH NO SEXUAL SPIRIT, ATTRIBUTE, OR TALENT, FROM BEING DISCOVERED AS INFERIOR, PRIOR TO ANY SUCH TIME AS A MAN WOULD HAVE A CHOICE TO REJECT THEM. AND THAT APPLIES, AS WELL, TO THE MEN. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT VIRGINITY IS THE LIE BY WHICH SO MANY MEN ARE DUPED INTO MARRYING WOMEN WITH WHOM THEY WILL BE VERY UNHAPPY. BUT, YOU KNOW THE DEAL - - ONCE THEY'VE HAD HER, NOW THEY CANNOT RETURN HER. WHAT A SCAM! 

I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THERE ARE MANY WOMEN IN THE WORLD WHO ARE QUITE SELF-CONFIDENT IN THEIR EXPERIENCE IN THIS AREA, WHO HAVE BEEN HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER AS A PERMANENT PARTNER - -  BY PERSIAN MEN, TOO! DON'T KID YOURSELF! - - AND HAD THEIR CHOICE OF A HUSBAND, BASED ON EDUCATED PREFERENCE.  VIRGINAL WOMEN CANNOT COMPETE WITH SUCH WOMEN, IN THE VIEWPOINT OF EXPERIENCED MEN. IT IS ONLY MEN WHO SEEK TO ABSOLUTELY CONTROL, AND, USUALLY, ABUSE THEIR WOMEN, WHO INSIST ON MARRYING A VIRGIN. THEY ARE THE SAME MEN WHO FREQUENTLY WANT WIVES WHO ARE SIGNIFICANTLY YOUNGER THAN THEY ARE. ONCE AGAIN, THIS PREFERENCE HAS TO DO WITH POWER AND DOMINATION, NOT ANY VALUE OF A WOMAN'S IGNORANCE. IT IS AN EXPLOITATION OF THE WOMAN'S IGNORANCE, RATHER THAN A VALUE OF WHAT SHE LACKS. THE ONLY THING THAT SHE "HAS" IN THIS LACK, IS THE ABSENCE OF PERSPECTIVE FROM WHICH TO EVER COMPARE AND ACCORDINGLY JUDGE HER HUSBAND - - SOMETHING OF VALUE ONLY TO THOSE MEN WITH SOMETHING TO HIDE! OR SOMETHING TO PROVE!

IS THE PURPOSE OF MUTUAL IGNORANCE TO ASSURE THAT TWO PEOPLE WHO ARE DYSFUNCTIONAL IN THIS REGARD HAVE AS MUCH OF A CHANCE OF MARRYING AS THOSE MORE - - GIFTED, SHALL WE SAY? ARE YOU FORGETTING THAT THERE ARE MANY, MANY YEARS TO BE SPENT TOGETHER, AFTER ONE HAS ACCOMPLISHED THE GOAL OF MARRYING, AND THAT THAT IS NOT THE END OF IT? IS THERE A WOMAN IN THIS WORLD WHO HAS MARRIED AS A VIRGIN WHO HAS NOT HAD TO ENDURE THE HUMILIATION OF HER HUSBAND'S SEEKING SATISFACTION - - -   ELSEWHERE? THOUGH I SUPPOSE THAT THOSE STUPID AND SUFFICIENTLY, PRETENTIOUSLY FULL OF THEMSELVES TO BELIEVE THAT THEIR HUSBAND'S PERPETUAL REVERENCE OF THEIR VIRGINITY (IT'S OVER AFTER THE FIRST TIME, YOU KNOW) SUSTAINS HIM, OVER THE INTERMINABLE YEARS SPENT WITH - - AN UNEXCITING PARTNER, OR ONE THAT HE, IN FACT, FINDS TO BE REVOLTING - - ARE UNAWARE OF THIS; UNTIL THEY CONTRACT A DISEASE FROM HIM, AS REPAYMENT FOR THEIR "PURITY".

SESONED LOVERS MAKE THE BEST PARTNERS. AND A WOMAN WITH EXPERIENCE, AND WHO HAS SLEPT WITH HER INTENDED HUSBAND, HAS A MUCH BETTER CHANCE OF AVOIDING THE SITUATION IN WHICH SO VERY MANY WOMEN FIND THEMSELVES, MARRIED TO A MAN WHO IS SEXUALLY CRUEL. I SUPPOSE THAT IN YOUR IGNORANCE YOU ARE UNAWARE OF HOW MANY MEN ARE SEXUALLY ABUSIVE. THOSE VERY MEN WHOM YOU DESCRIBE, WHO WOULD SLEEP WITH A WOMAN AND THEN VICIOUSLY MALIGN HER - - ARE QUITE LIKELY TO BE SEXUALLY SADISTIC. BETTER TO KNOW THAT BEFORE YOU WIND UP MARRIED TO ONE, IF YOU'RE REALLY SMART! AND, BETTER NOT TO SLEEP WITH A MAN 'TIL YOU'RE FAMILIAR ENOUGH WITH HIM TO KNOW WHETHER HE'S THE SELF-DISRESPECTING TYPE WHO KISSES AND TELLS.

THE PEOPLE FROM WHOM WE GET THIS ERRONEOUS INFORMATION REGARDING THE "VALUE" OF CHASTITY ARE THE IGNORANT, LIKE YOURSELF, WHO ALSO HIGHLY VALUE THEIR JUSTIFIED IGNORANCE, (BECAUSE IT IS ALL THAT THEY HAVE) AND PASS IT ON, AND THOSE WITH A VESTED INTEREST IN USING "INNOCENCE" AS A MEANS OF ABUSE, DECEPTION, CONTROL, AND EXPLOITATION. THREATS OF "CONSEQUENCES" ARE THEIR STOCK IN TRADE (AS THOUGH THERE WERE NOT CONSEQUENCES FOR EVERYTHING, ANY WAY YOU PLAY IT IN LIFE!). WOMEN WITH THE COURAGE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES FULLY, NOT IN COMPETITON WITH MEN, BY ANY MEANS, BUT SEIZING FOR THEMSELVES THE ALLOWANCE AND AUTONOMY TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS, AND TO LIVE BY THEIR OWN DEFINITIONS AND STANDARDS RATHER THAN THOSE FOISTED UPON THEM BY OTHERS, ARE THOSE WHO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN POWER, LIVE THEIR LIVES AS THEY SEE FIT, AND MAKE THEIR CHOICES ACCORDINGLY. MOST OF ALL, IT IS THEY WHO HAVE THE BASIS OF INFORMATION TO LECTURE ON THIS TOPIC - - NOT YOU. YOU - - KNOW NOTHING; YOU COME FROM A PLACE OF KNOWING NOTHING; YOU HAVE LEARNED NOTHING. YOU HAVE NO VALID OPINION, BECAUSE YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS TOPIC.  

WHY NOT, INSTEAD, AIR YOUR OPINIONS ON ASTROPHYSICS?

P.S. I DO NOT ADDRESS OR SUGGEST THIS TO WOMEN WHO LIVE INSIDE OF IRAN, BUT TO THOSE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE ESCAPED THE  SUFFOCATING ENVELOPMENT OF ITS SADISTIC, ENTIRELY MALE-DOMINATED CULTURE, TO FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO LIVE AUTONOMOUS LIVES, OUTSIDE OF IRAN.

EVE DEMIAN

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Ignorance is no longer an excuse

In response to Farzad Jamshid's "The Good Revolution":

Dear Mr. Jamshid,

I read your article in Iranian.com and have to respectfully disagree with you. I don't think that you can in any way attach the adjective "good" to the revolution in Iran. You might think that it is painful and necessary, but I don't think that in anyway it was good for Iran; even if you look at it as a bitter pill that had to be swallowed for an eventual cure. I am not sure whether or nor you still live in Iran; but I'm certain that millions of people who have been murdered, displaced, imprisoned, oppressed and forced into exile strongly disagree with you. The pain it has caused our country and people is simply enormous and unjustifiable.

Also, I don't believe that in this era of rapid and widespread dissemination of information and ideas, there is any reason for a society like ours to suffer for some 27 long years to be transformed into a civilized democracy. Ignorance is no longer an excuse; suffering of a people or a nation should no longer be acceptable for some supposedly rosy future end. As a country in the modern era, we should have avoided this disaster of monumental scale. We are no longer in the Middle Ages, the Age of Enlightenment or even in the Fascist era of mid-twentieth century. Literate and aware cultures take lessons from the past and put their trust in their intellectuals and ideals of universal human rights and use humane and modern social structures as their models. We are all living in the modern era now. A segment of humanity cannot and should not live in the Middle Ages in terms of ideas and thoughts, while the rest is in the modern era.

As a society, we failed the moment our educated and liberal intellectuals and middle classes filled the streets of the cities in our country, supporting the Islamic Revolution without giving any thought to what horrors that reactionary and archaic mode of government will unleash on our unfortunate nation. The Islamic Revolution was not necessary to save our nation and a transition into a sane and civilized democracy did not have to necessarily deteriorate into chaos or tyranny.

We all have to stop making excuses for this oppressive and inhumane regime, period.

Navid Zahed

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Iran was far ahead of Turkey

In response to Farzad Jamshid's "The Good Revolution":

Democracy seems to be holding well in Turkey and Iran was far ahead of Turkey. Sure they struggle, but its working. I disagree with your assessment. You conclude very simply that there is only one way a democracy can take hold and that is with a specific social model. Democracy is different things to different people.

Reza

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The good prophet

In response to Farzad Jamshid's "The Good Revolution":

I appreciate the analysis put forth by Farzad Jamshid's article "IRI good for Iran". While one can debate whether all people progress through the same path, can we agree on the premise that what distinguishes human beings from the animal, plant and mineral, is that we possess free will? If we were to agree on this, then rational thinking, that is founded on the freedom to question, analyze, and express, is the fruit of a free society. We are then face with the question of what constitutes a free society. Does this mean that we are all free to act and speak as we please? Individual freedom is what secular society cherishes. When we closely examine these individual freedoms, we realize that they cannot be absolute but required to be relative. That is absolute individual freedom leads to anarchy and its absence to repression. It is when individual freedoms are regulated that the most people enjoy the most freedom to pursue their full potential.

The regulation of these individual freedoms has been exercised by rulers and religious clerics in all societies, and is not unique to Iran. The degree to which the prevailing culture, political system, or religion in a region of the world has determined how much the society's ability for rational thinking has developed. If you believe that the people of Iran have to go through this painful process, then we must again conclude that we as human beings are formed by our experiences and that movement in a society is tied to the movement of the masses. This is, however, not supported by human history, as the greatest transformations in society have been instigated by a small band of people. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906 was not a movement that occurred because the vast majority of people were ready for it.

A few visionaries were responsible for the first attempt for establishing a constitution that would allow the formation of a judiciary and a parliament. Due to the opposition of the clerics the first attempt failed only to gain wider support, two years later. This was made possible because the Qajar Shah had no alternative but to concede. The question in modern day in Iran is when will the rulers of the IRI, or velayat-e-faqih, ever reach the point of having no alternative but to concede. This has been the debate amongst many and there appears to be no consensus within reach. What differentiates the current situation from 100 years ago is that the grip of control is so tight and the outcome, if loosened, so devastating to the Islamic institutions, that the path that you assert to have been the necessary path for the evolution of the Iranian people to being rational, already has exacted a heavy toll with no end in sight.

Should one analyze the situation rationally, and examine social movements in general, you will realize that transformation is not contingent on a coordinated and uniform process. George Bernard Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man". Those that defy the norms around them ultimately make the sacrifices to make the changes in a society. Today, the Iranian youth, that represents the vast majority of the people of Iran, is more than ever materialistic and least inclined to sacrifice anything for change. They are disenchanted and consumed with the daily chores of making ends meet. They have been repeatedly betrayed in their struggles through their elected officials.

To speak of Iran "joining the ranks of the powerful nations of the world and putting their terrible, violent, past behind them" misses the point entirely as the world is moving towards breaking this model of an ideal nation. The prime example of such a state is now mired in a struggle that has rendered it morally and militarily bankrupt. We are moving towards the removal of national barriers and interests and towards the creation of coalitions that acknowledges the interdependence of nations and the common fate that the world's inhabitants face in the economy, environment, health and food supplies. In this regard, it is my hope that Iran does not arrive at a point that the rest of the world has left behind a century ago. This the price that will be exacted on its people if they are destined to follow the linear model of progression you have put forth in your thesis.

As you pointed out, we Iranians have demonstrated our ability to not follow but lead, when we established a progressive society based on justice and recognition of human rights, 2700 years ago. This ability was again unleashed and demonstrated in the mid-nineteenth century with the Babi and Baha'i Faiths. Principles such as equality of men and women, universal education and independent investigation of truth, were born out of one of the most corrupt societies under a despotic rule of the Qajars and clergy of the time. Within the span of 6 years, over 10% of the population broke with the past traditions of culture and faith when they became Babis. This transformation was based on the universally acknowledged freedom to ask questions, and to debate rationally. We can therefore conclude this potential to be present at all times and its potency for social change not to be contingent on its adoption by the majority of people.

It is my hope that we as Iranians will be able to join the movement towards the next stage of evolution in human civilization, the unity of mankind.

Borzu Sohrab

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