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It's real ruff out there
Campaign to save Iranian dogs from persecution

By Niki Tehranchi
October 16, 2002
The Iranian

The U.S.-based organization People for the Protection of Animals, or PPA, which has been known for highly publicized media campaigns featuring nude celebrities and the slogan "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" has a new target: The Government of Iran.

PPA has been disturbed by recent reports of Iran's "war on dogs", advocated by Islamic clerics such as Gholamreza Hassani, a mid-ranking mullah who has been a major advocate of the capture and arrest of "corrupt westernized unclean four-legged creatures" in his Friday prayer sermons in the northeastern city of Urmiyeh, in northeastern Iran, not far from the Iraqi border.

"Happy are those who [died] and did not witness the playing with dogs. Now in our society women wear hats and men hold dogs!" Hassani said at a prayer sermon.

In response, PPA has swiftly created a new campaign with the help of celebrities Pamela Anderson, Martin Sheen and Susan Sarandon, to condemn Iran's "barbaric practice", according to Brandy Soklowski, PPA's vice president of public relations.

Soklowski was recently interviewed by ABC's news reporter Diane Sawyer on her popular television show, Good Morning America. Below is a transcript of the interview:

Diane Sawyer: "Good morning Miss Soklowski and thank you for joining our viewers at this early hour, live in our New York City studios."

Brandy Soklowski: "My pleasure Diane. For the record though, it's Ms Koslowsky, not 'Miss'. 'Ms'."

DS: "But that's what I said? Miss Koslowski."

BS: "No. Not 'MISS', it's 'MS'! Like the Broadway show 'Les Mizzzz...'"

DS: "All right. My apologies? Mizzzz Koslowsky then."

BS: "Or you can call me Brandy, of course."

DS: "..."

BS: "Diane?"

DS: "Yes well, your organization, PPA, last night unveiled a new campaign with the goal of protecting animals. At first, sounds like nothing out of the ordinary but on closer look, there
is a real twist. PPA is for the first time directly targeting a foreign government and not just any foreign government but, as the United States has called it, a state sponsor of terrorism. You are aiming your campaign against Iran? Why?"

BS: "Well Diane it should be obvious but I guess this is yet another example of the media putting the interests of animals at the bottom of their priorities. Just a few months ago, PPA received the horrific news that the eye-ranian ayatollahs have started mass arrests, imprisonment and torture of
dogs. We at PPA have never heard of such an atrocity! This is like canine Holocaust! We couldn't just sit back and do nothing."

DS: "Do you think it is appropriate to liken the plight of Iranian dogs, no matter how worthy of creatures, to a human tragedy of unparalled scale?"

BS: "Let's call a spaniel a spaniel Diane: Dogs are god's creatures too! Their future IS a tragedy of global proportions. After all, let us not forget that Abraham Lincoln said 'I care not for
a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it'."

DS: "Yes... how CAN one forget that... Do you feel that the timing is right for this campaign, given the already strained relationship between the U.S. and Iranian governments?"

BS: "This couldn't come at a better time Diane. With the spotlight on the Middle East, we can only hope that some of the public's attention can finally be diverted to more important things."

DS: "What is the goal of your campaign?"

BS: "Diane, we want to implement a project to save those dogs. It's called Project E.R.I.C.A. which stands for Emergency Repatriation of Iranian Canines under Arrest. Celebrities such as Eric Roberts and Bobcat Goldthwaite will be giving testimonies before Congress. We are also lobbying the State Department to enact a special immigration measure allowing thousands
of emergency visas for eye-ranian pooches."

DS: "You mean, dogs would be considered refugees in the United States?"

BS:"Oh no Diane! We are hoping they are treated much much better! After all, was it not President Woodrow Wilson who said, 'If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience'."

DS: "Yes... Deep words indeed... But to get back to the issue, what is your legal foundation for your project?"

BS: "Well, you see Diane , U.S. asylum law is based on a well-founded fear of persecution. Nowhere does it say that it doesn't apply to our four-legged friends. And who better qualifies as a victim of persecution than Eye-ran's innocent canines?"

DS: "Given the Iranian government's abysmal record in human rights against its own citizens, do you think the same protection should be extended to Iranian nationals fleeing the persecution heaped upon them by the Iranian regime?"

BS: "Oh no! Eye-ranians are fanatic Muslims. What's worse is that they are dog-hating fanatic Muslims."

DS: "Thank you Mizzzz Koslowski for your unique point of view."

BS: "You're very welcome Diane. And now, let me unveil the new poster that will symbolize the spirit of our new anti-Eye-ran campaign!"

A close-up reveals a poster of a sad looking pomeranian dressed in a black chador with a ball and chain attached to its front left paw. Caption: "Help! It's real ruff out here."

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By Niki Tehranchi



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