Letters

March2006
March 8 -- March 11 -- March 13 -- March 25

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Merely a slogan

On 's "Personal attacks ":

Dear Ms. Namazie:

I think the point should be to stand against all "isms" in the world. Please make a petition against fundemental christianism and evangelical facism currently running the States causing massacres around the world. Additionally, please note that Islamism is a byproduct of the same mentality that creates the rest of the "isms" in the human psyche.

Your list of intellectuals and activists is very impressive, but it's merely a slogan. The real activism is not "eradication" of the symptoms, but the disease itself. Once you are able to perceive "Islamism" as a symptom and muster up the ability to go beyond the conventional views of mistaking the symptom for the disease; you will not make any more petitions against any "ism", but will consciously STOP creating one to stand against another.

Cordially,

Leila Farjami

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Personal attacks

On Zohreh Khazai Gharemani's "Cold & dark":

I am writing this message and review in response to the review of Dr. Rami Yelda's book, "A Persian Odyssey: Iran Revisited".

Ms. Ghahremani attempts to write an acceptable review of Dr. Yelda's book (by the way, the author's name is clearly spelled "Yelda" in the book, not "Yalda" as Ms. Ghahremani states) but she falls short of meeting even the minimal standards of acceptable journalism with her misspelled words (i.e., "heresy" for "hearsay" and "homely" for "homey") and incorrect phrasing of some sentences (i.e., "His American wife understandably refuses ... on account of the mandatory Islamic garb, thus missing the opportunity of a lifetime" (we're not sure what she is saying here: she seems to be saying that not wearing the Islamic garb is a missed opportunity of a lifetime).

Additionally, Ms. Ghahremani uses a venomous personal attack against the author himself as a tool for review rather than offering an accurate criticism of the book (i.e.,"he goes through his journey with a chip on his shoulder and a heart as cold and dark" as "the longest night").

Ms. Ghahremani should have made her review points without malicious and deplorable personal attacks on Dr. Yelda who, in the opinion of many (whom Ms. Ghahremani sees as "average"), including myself - an attorney and my husband - a surgeon, wrote a brilliant and essential literary composition about a nebulous and distant eastern nation.

Dottie Ferris Arfaa

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Something new

On Sarvenaz's “Napoleon mon amour”:

Dear Sarvenaz:

I just want to tell you that I adore your stories and really hope that one day you will publish them in a book format. It will sure be something new and erotic by an Iranian writer!

I am sick and tired of reading the books published by Iranian-Americans that all end up telling the same story, basically, how awful their lives were in Iran and what they have been through,etc. Give me a break, I want to erase all my unpleasant memories of Iran.

Keep up the good work and go strong!

Anita

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I dont like ur style

On iranian.com:

I 'm writing u because i wanted u 2 say that i m realy sorry that u live in such a fuckedup country like Islamitic republic of Iran... what a oldfahion regime... what a stupid peopel that had choose for this in 1979... in this case... u can be one of us... just live it alone.. be "free" what ever u want! u make fun of ur peopel.. u make fun of ur country... and u make fun of ur regime... so i think it doesnt matter for u at all...

seriously! i m writing u because i dont like the style ur using in ur site... and i think its my duty 2 say somthing about it!

i realy wanted 2 know what u wanted 2 reach with this?

- want a war? 2 be scrued by american army.. with no grancy for persperity or justice?

- want 2 fight islam? is it ur peronal "crusades" like Ajan Hersie Alie?

- or r u effected by some of western propegenda machines?

close ur objectief historybooks... we r persians and we must be proud of our islamitic/iranian culture... it has nothing 2 do with religion! islam is more than religion.. its is in this case our way of living... if u want 2 criticise it.. u take away our identity...

maybe u do this all so that u live have a purpose? maybe? who knows it s the same think that let me write u this mail... So i think it is n't a bad thing... But if we want criticise somting/someone we must do it IN STYLE.. dont make ur self and ur country ridiculous... if we have problems in our country... we must solve it self... we dont need the "help" of the hungry America.. my Dutch friends who saw ur site.. think: iran is a f***ed up country...>> ignorance... what do u expect? We dont need them 2 book progress!

I realy want 2 hear from u... maybe u can publish it in ur site as a opinion from a iranian emigrant in Holland (but u wont do that.. would u?) I 'll give it a chance, since ur for freedom for speech. finally and im not the person who is offending some peopels prophet.

Saeid Talaei

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Who's blaming who

On Iqbal Latif's “King of Spade beats the Queen”:

Mr Latif has a habit of conflating all the nations of the "Eastern Hemisphere" into one. Would Mr Latif enlighten us as to the source of info he cites for the proposition that "even in Iran the tendency of selectivity of male gender is obvious from the unofficial census results"?? What "unofficial census results"?? Since when has abortion on demand been legal in Iran anyway?

It's sort of funny that the enlightened West was directly complicit in the gassing of over 150,000 civilians by their pet Saddam, that US sanctions are responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 Iraqi children, and millions more will probably be affected by genetic malformations due to the use of depleted uranium shells there, and yet the "Eastern Hemisphere" is accused of being indifferent to children's health?

JoMo

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First educators

On Iqbal Latif's “King of Spade beats the Queen”:

I read the article by Iqbal Latif with great appreciation for his willingness to highlight difficult topics. This is a discussion that needs a much greater airing.  "Freedom" to choose has led quite a few Asian societies to a difficult impasse with normal gender ratios becoming badly disproportionate. Reports have already arrived on the international scene of rural male villagers experiencing difficulty finding wives.

The curse of tradition leads human societies to follow blindly what has been practiced in the past, even if it means adapting Neolithic strategies to modern technology. Age old prejudices and preferences are difficult to change. Although the article discussed the use of abortion to select the preferred (male) sex, it did not underscore the fact that the practice of infanticide is still in used in some areas.

The paradox presents itself simply: there has never been a greater age in which to be female. Worldwide statistics prove again and again, that where girls and women are valued and educated, levels of prosperity and literacy rise, child mortality drops, and birthrates slow to sustainable levels.

This is why the Laws of the Baha'i Faith address specifically, the allocation of family resources to the education of daughters first, if those resources are limited. Girls and women are considered to be, as mothers, the first educators of humanity. It is imperative to foster the education of girls and women, worldwide. I cannot help wondering if the traditional societies discussed will not be summarily forced to appreciate this, when scarcity makes girls and women uncharacteristically precious.

To quote a great 19th century Iranian, Qurraty'ul Ayn, "You can kill me as soon as you like, but you can't stop the emancipation of women..."

Susan Bentler

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(Yawn)

On comment above news item on Reza Pahlavi "Shah's Son Urges Aid to Resistance":

Why are you so biased against Prince Reza to type "(yawn)" above the article? What are you doing help????????? It is so rude. I am shocked.

T.H.

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Plain mean

On Anyway page “Could not make it to the Women's Day march”:

I don't think the picture of the obese woman sitting on the bench that says "she could not make it to the Women's day march" is funny at all. I'm a firm believer of freedom of speech and I am aware that there are thousands of emails sent out like this on a daily basis, but in this arena of limited Iranian websites, I think there are much better "interesting or funny stuff" that could be placed on such a website than a picture of an American fat woman.

Perhaps a funnier picture would be that of our Mollah's and so-called clergy "who couldn't make it to the Human Rights Convention" That person in the email is a human being who struggles with her weight everyday and is already humiliated everyday of her life. Now poor lady, has her picture mass produced on an email that reads on the bottom "Send this page to a friend *Funny stuff, interesting stuff, important stuff, stupid stuff, all sorts of stuff... Have you got something for this page?" so everyone can get a good laugh for the day at her expense.

Unfortunately that picture does not fit any of the above, except that it is just plain "mean stuff" at the expense of another human being.

Speaking as a girl, god forbid if there is a picture of an Iranian girl with bad hair or pre-nose job on a website, or worse, a picture of an Iranian girl kissing the opposite sex... but a picture of a fat woman who could be someones mother, sister, wife, daughter, is just "plain funny."

This picture was forwarded to me by a friend and for some reason it just bothered me. Although, we should not interfere or restrict our freedom of speech, there comes a point where we should give way to kindness and love, before exploiting our freedoms at the cost of losing touch with humanity. I'm so impressed with all these Iranian journalists, writers, and young individuals who have created such Iranian forums of communication. It is just unfortunate that we take that freedom for granted and use it to post a picture of a fat woman on an Iranian website.

Hasti Rahsepar

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Basically stolen from Bizet

Regarding music clip titled “First Iranian National Anthem”:

All I have to say is that if you listen to it carefully the first 12 seconds it is basically stolen from George Bizet’s work called Carmen Opera and played in a different octave. Needless to say Bizet was French and incidentally the French called this opera “vulgar and boring” and never liked the original version of Carmen until Bizet died!

So the sleazy French composer who was assigned to produce a national anthem for Iran most likely wanted to stick it to his majesty Mozzafareddin Shah who spent most of his life in Tabriz waiting to become a king, a lard ass who would be a king.  

I assume that the French composer’s intention must have been to make Iran to play for the rest of its history a national anthem that is a reflection of a French music, yet a stolen version!

This I think is a prime example of how the French and the British always tried to leave their footprints in our history.

I think for the Islamic Republic to allow this piece of crap to be played shows their lack of creativity and nothing more is expected.

Farrokh Ashtiani

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Minority view

On Omid Memarian's "Iranian people frustrated with government" in the Cotra Costa Times:

As a representative of CASMII (Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran), I would like to respond to Mr. Memarian. While his depiction of the Iranian anti-war activists may seem accurate from a personal  perspective, for he himself professes that he abandoned defending his motherland in the space of a short year, his self-proclaimed 'journalism' falls short of accuracy. He ought to know that his 'reporting' should be based on reality and not be based on his reflections or actions -- nor should they reflect the academic community.

Ray Takyeh, Senior Fellow, Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, emphasized during his interview with Steve Inskeep (National Public Radio - Morning Edition, 25 Nov 2004) that 75-80% of the Iranians rallied behind the Islamic Republic of Iran in support of its nuclear program, including the full fuel cycle. This fact is true today, although Mr. Memarian may not be part of that percentage!

Quoting from an eyewitness in Tehran -- an anti-war activist, on Saturday, 22nd Bahman, this report was sent to CASMII:

"On Saturday millions of Iranians marched all over Iran to defencd Iran's
right for a peaceful nuclear technology. The dimensions of the
demonstarions were far greater than anything seen in recent years. The
presence of women with loose scarfs and half exposed hair showed that
far more people than the usual hard core supporters of the regime had
participated in the demonstarions. One of these women (who one could
have considered as a shomal shahri because of her scarf and dress) said
in an interview that Bush has no sympathy for Iranian people and all he
wants is to control the oil resources of the country".

As for passing himself for the 'academic community', there are many intellectuals and academics who strive to defend Iran and decouple the regime from Iran's national interest. The following is but an example: "Letter to the Guardian: Our fears over threats to Iran".

CASMII has many academics who are participating in defending Iran, the founding member, Professor Edalat being one of them. Mr. Memarian should also be reminded that indeed an attack on Iran, according to experts, would have dire consequences (See: "Costs of US attack on Iran enormous, says Gary Sick"). If not concerned about his fellow country men, then perhaps peace and security which has a rippling affect no one can escape.

The anti-sanction, anti-war movement is strong - it is quietly but swiftly gathering momentum; a resistance which will not be drowned under the shrill of disloyalty.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
CASMII-US

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I am against any attack or intervention

On Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich's "Minority view":

Hi Soraya,

Thanks for your comment on my piece, "Iranian people frustrated with government".

I have never abandoned defending my motherland, as my pieces show. Just look at my Op-Ed pieces in NY Times ["A Firebrand in a House of Cards"] and SF Chronicle ["International Human Rights Day Internet yearns to be free in Iran"] in recent months or in Roozonline.com.

People who are familiar with my approach, about any kind of intervention, know that I am really against any kind of attack or intervention -- which I think would postpone any kind of democratic changes in Iran. I don' know why you personalized the issue in your criticism. I have talked about some facts and also showed the vulnerabilities of the new Iranian government and to force them not to overplay their hands. But you can criticize my facts.

Before coming here, as a journalist and social activist, I have traveled to many parts of my country and I know it very well about it. Some Iranians imagine that what they think comes to reality. But, it never happens. Like the result of the presidential elections last June. We tried to coordinate or mobilize a campaign on Iraq, but the result was terrible. Look at the statistics of the MOI about social capital and other related factors and issues. It is terrible. I wish it was not like this, but it is.

The number of people taking part in the demonstration does not in fact show how Iranians think in action. Just look at the time when the Shah's regime collapsed. The time between being the "Island of Stability" and the Islamic revolution was not more that 6 months.

I really like the writings of MR. Takieh. But, that's very controversial. When I write something, which flowis in society, I never put my emotions into it and I never look at my personal ideas. You have tried to say the Islamic regime has strong support behind it, but I believe, it the support is unstable and very fragile. I wish I had more time to talk to you. Perhaps in the future.

Good bye and Good luck Soraya, and thanks again for your comment.

Omid Memarian

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Favoring continued diplomacy

On Omid Memarian's "Iranian people frustrated with government" in the Cotra Costa Times:

Editor, Contra Costa Times,

Some comments on the March 5 Guest Commentary by Omid Memarian, who is currently in residence at Berkeley’s journalism school.

First, to subtitle it “from the academic community” might lead one to assume (incorrectly), that the piece was done by experts in one of the fields treated by the essay: political science, history or middle east studies. This may be a small point, but it irks. Mr. Memarian has excellent credentials as a courageous journalist/blogger, which ought to be sufficient in themselves. As a thirty-something activist who has been jailed in Iran for what we would all call simple exercise of free speech, he certainly knows something about his subject.

However, one can find fault with some of what he wrote.

Memarian says: “Some of Iran's ultra conservatives warn that an attack on their country could spark World War III. But domestic crises and foreign policy failures mean Iran's bark may be worse than its bite.” While this may all be true in a literal sense, it may leave the impression that the likely ramifications of military action against Iran would be rather minimal or manageable. Saddam’s bark was worse than his bite, but the “liberation” of Iraq has proven extremely problematical nonetheless.

The reaction within the region itself to a strike on Iran might well prove to be stronger and more violent that dealing with its neighbor has been, since Iraq had invaded both Iran and Kuwait (and the U.S. has invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, let’s not forget), while Iran hasn’t invaded anyone in several hundred years. The view “from the street” may not be of cheering mobs in Middle Eastern capitals.

Memarian himself says that “many Iranians dislike the idea of any international intervention,” but then undercuts it by citing the “dozens of comments [he received] criticizing [his] stance.” He goes further by offering that “It's not hard to understand the roots of this anger.” Apparently, he has changed his view, having been chastened by his correspondents.

A recent survey of its membership by the National Iranian American Council found that 90% of its members believed that the Council should take a position on the Iran nuclear issue, something which NIAC has not usually done with questions of government policy.

Beyond that, the membership overwhelmingly (85.6% of those responding) favored continued diplomacy as the preferred way to find a way out of the current impasse, as opposed to less than one per cent who said they favored going to military options. (Only 13% advocated using sanctions at this time, as well.) This from a group that is non-partisan and has to date never allied itself with the Islamic Republic of Iran on any issue whatsoever – representing Iranians whose only common factor is having chosen to live in the United States.

As Memarian himself points out “Sanctions, which would inevitably harm ordinary people, would be just the beginning.” One can only hope, at this point, that the Bush administration even bothers to go through that stage on its way to the tactical nuclear strike option, but the momentum within the administration starts to feel now like an irresistible force.

Alexander Patico
Columbia, Maryland

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These suck

On Mazloom and Mahmoud cartoons:

These cartoons suck ... iranian.com would be a much better website without these retarted cartoons. Just an opinion that i had to express....

Lily Baniriah

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Horns & zits

On Ahmadinejad cartoons:

Following is not an attempt to try to curb or attack the concept of freedom of speech or expression, quite the contrary, I only want t
The fo exercise my share of this freedom. I am a stark follower of "nothing is scared" and "hakuna matata."

What I have recently noticed is a sudden surge in the number of cartoonists with a one track mind-set. These cartoonists have mysteriously popped up in recent months with a frequency that puts mushrooms to shame. Shagholam, Mazloom, Radmehrian, BB, Ramin Tork, Angoolakchi are a few I have noticed recently.

Raison d'être and common denominator for this posse appears to be Mr. Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran. I, not unlike many other readers of iranian.com, like a good and witty joke on politicians from across the political spectrum. And there lies the problem, I see nothing witty or artistic about these cartoons.

Most are actual photos of some event upon which the so-called cartoonist scribbles his/her own comments. The nature of the event, which should usually be the subject of the joke or satire, is totally ignored. To put it in a clearer language, the written text can be super-imposed on any picture of Ahmadinejad and it would still convey the cartoonist's message, only Gods know what it may be.

I used to do the same with pictures in magazines (Zan-e rooz, Etelaat Haftegi,... ) when I was 9. I drew mustaches, horns, zits, etc. on peoples' images and then added some kind of bubble text to the unfortunate character of that day. But I have grown out of it and the whole thing has kind of lost its appeal to me now after 35 years.

Now why this sudden increase in the number of cartoonists? Can it be that some people have had a foreknowledge of the appropriation of $75 million by the Congress to the advancement of democracy in Iran? If so, then I don't think it is fair. I  threw out all my old magazines into the trash long time ago not knowing they would be worth something today.

Mazdak

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Is Hooter's a good example of women's rights?

On Golbarg Bashi's "The Question of Women":

Bashi's observation on the Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Montazeri, the reform movement and the Shah are absolutely correct. Being a woman in Iran is like being a nigger in red neck Mississippi. But isn't America also a sexist country. Is Hooter's a good example of women's rights. How many male waiter's do you see at Hooter's? And how many totally nude bars are in the United States. The State of Nevada near Reno has a lot of whore houses. I'm not making this stuff up. The Chicken Ranch and Bunny Ranch do exist near Reno Nevada. And prostitution is absolutely Legal there on those ranches.

Is it exploitation? Not really. Some of these women want to be whores. What about the porn industry in California and Miami? They are legal. Are they exploiting women? Not really. Some of those women want to be adult porn stars.

And can you imagine if there were really equal rights?  Many women would be pissed off if their boyfriends, husbands, fiance's, male partner's asked them out and they went dutch (each person pays their own bill).  Some women even want to to open the door for them, seat them at the table and so on. If we abolish all this stuff and truly become equal. Then divorce laws in the US have to change. There should be no maintenance paid by either party. Alimony should not exist. Every body sjould stand on their own 2 feet. But unfortunately that does not happen.

And by the way, Orianna Fallaci is a stupid cunt, fuck her and the mafia.

Jamshid Richard William Tehrani III

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Wikipedians need YOUR help!

Why do we need help?
Separatist Arabs and Kurds, plus a few politically-motivated Arab and Israeli nationals, have been repeatedly and systematically vandalizing the Iran-related articles on Wikipedia, the largest open-source encyclopedia on the net, propagating false information, maliciously editing/disputing/deleting such articles without one shred of proof to backup their wild claims, applying the straw-man falsification approach, trying to establish new 'facts" to further their racial/religious/political agendas.

In order to prevent this situation, we need to have a large Iranian presence on Wikipedia and guard the integrity and quality of all the Wikipedia articles that are related to Iran and Iranians. Articles such as Iranian peoples and Persian people are being rewritten, edited and interpolated (vandalized) by politically motivated individuals whose motto is ""The modern Farsis are a semitic-Turkic people. We should prove this to the world".

Interested to help?
It is really an easy job. You can donate as much as a minute a day, a week, or a month. It doesn't matter as long as you show some support. Follow the following directions:

1- First: Sign up to Wikipedia here.

2- Second: Learn how to contribute to Wikipedia - it is very easy, all you do is press Edit on a page, and get your voice heard. But make sure you don't break the rules. The best way to get started is by reading the introduction.

3- Third: Help out! Get in contact with other active Iranian Wikipedians and add your user-name to WikiProject Iran under "Participants", and you will be informed about topics that need attention.

4. Make sure to read and comment on the discussion (Talk) page of such articles (such as Talk:Persian_people) and support your informed opinion with evidence.

Basically, we need books, websites, encyclopedia, etc sources to support our arguments, we have hundreds of sources already, however the more people means easier victories.

Please help spread the word. Email or post this "plea for help" to other friends Iranian or non-Iranian who have an informed interest in Iran and Iranian people.

History should be based on facts. It is in interest of ALL Iranians to represent the true and accurate history of Iran and Iranian people on such widely used and viewed source as Wikipedia.

MF

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