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Persian Watch Dog
In defense of Persian Watch Cat

Updated February 8, 2001
The Iranian

Editor's note: Since the publication of Guive Mirfendereski's commentary "Power of one", senior members of Persian Watch Cat (PWC), the Iranian anti-discrimination group, have demanded the removal of the article, or certain words and phrases. They have threatened to take The Iranian to court for "defamation" if their demands are not met. I have invited the PWC to write a reply explaining why they believe Dr. Mirfendereski is wrong. Here's the personal views of its executive director and a note from the public relations office. And the following is an unedited reply from one of the group's members. -- Jahanshah Javid

Dear Mr. Jahanshah Javid,

Please publish my enclosed article in your Iranian dot com. You mentioned in your own recent emails to an abundant number of individuals, "I will publish your articles too". Please publish my article as soon as possible. This is my second request. I have now replaced your name with just "JJ". Maybe your deeply buried conscience finally understands what I want to tell you.


Shahin Karimi, MD

Title: The Child Molester

Is Mr. JJ, the editor in chief of the famous Iranian dot com, a child molester? Is Prof. Guive Mirfendereski, the incredible writer of Iranian dot com with unrestricted power to write and publish whatever he wants to write and publish, a child molester? I don't know. And I don't care. But I came across an email of Mr. JJ to a big group of people with an attachment to it discussing the possibility of Mr. JJ being a child molester. It appeared that Mr. JJ did not bother much about such accusations, originally in form of a single private email to him, circling around in public since he himself decided to publicize such private emails of others by forwarding the emails to bigger and bigger groups of individuals where his name is now being associated with "child molester-hood". Hence, I chose this penetrating word complex (child molester) for my submitted article, hoping that the more controversial and exciting the title, the more and more readers are attracted to subscribe to Iranian dot com, no matter how if JJ himself or others are harmed by such articles. After all, the goal here is to make the business productive, not to meet the good old principles of responsible authorship.

My article is in fact a response to Dr. (I am sorry Professor) Mirfendereski's "Power of One" where he discloses his emotional and impulsive schizoid personality by utilizing character defamation for some of the mostly respected personalities of our community, by calling them "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic" in public. Mr. JJ does not show even the slightest inhibition, nor does he demonstrate any respect for the well-known US regulations to avoid defamation of characters in public. After all Mr. JJ is also from our good old country where character defamation is a daily routine. Prof. Mirfendereski's "Power of One" reminded me of some of "those" articles at IRI's Kayhan where defamation of character is the goal number one in order to satisfy personal vendetta and revenge against the opponent. I suggest that Prof. Mirfendereski submit all of his future articles to IRI's Kayhan or IRI's Etlelaat, or even directly to IRI government. By showing such outstanding skills in media supported bigotry, Prof. Mirfendereski already qualifies to serve such defaming systems as IRI run media or IRI itself. And Mr. JJ's newspaper also qualifies to be based in Tehran since it is very supportive of character defamation. No wonder why one single "Letter to Editor" (Shocked and Saddened) led to two main and big (really big) articles and several letters by Prof. Mirfendereski including repeated accusations of "anti-Americanism" by our famous professor of International Law (I wonder which place he really educated at? My impression is that he is trained mostly in Kigali, Rwanda, as he already mentioned in one of his articles).

Well this balance (one tiny letter to editor versus two main articles and several letters including repeated character defamation with mentioning full names of the poor victims over and over again) seems obviously somewhat odd and may catch the eyes of any judge or jury during a litigation against defamation of character. But who knows, maybe by the time of the court session, our incredible professor is already out of country (back to IRI or Rwanda maybe?) and the "burden of proof" will remain for poor JJ to convince the judge and jury that so many respected people and so many victims of the defaming professor were are all "anti-American" and "anti-Semitic", as described by Prof. Mirfendereski and published unrestrictedly by JJ. What a freedom of news. I love it.

And finally, my own story as it pertains this thread (since Prof. Mirfendereski's story reminded me of mine):

Ali-Gholi Abtahi was deeply rooted in the traditions of Meydoon Rah-Ahan's then non-influential, vaguely religious community of Southern Tehran and Jafari Eslami high school establishment, one of the poorest schools in Southern Tehran, where I obtained my high school diploma (Well, not all people are like Prof. Mirfendereski to be able to afford going to a private American boarding schools in Switzerland and to talk about it over and over in JJ's newspaper). Years of education in Jafari Eslami High School and living in Southern and poorest neighborhoods of Tehran had instilled in Ali-Gholi a wisdom that was without time or bound. When the rapacity of the 1979 revolution hit Iran with the force of a gale, he would sit quietly and offer prophesies over a Kabab-Kubideh and Sikh-Jigar (liver) dinner that lots of good would come of this revolution for him and his family. He believed that the forces that were working for change would soon expel all westernized intellectuals and opponents of the revolution out of the country and will spare the country their ominous intellectualism. He was sure that the revolution would bring an Islamic system to the country that would last for 20 to 30 years at least.

Several months after the revolution, my poor parents managed to sell their only house in Tehran and sent me to the US where I finally became a doctor. Years later, in 1997, when I was visiting my parents in Iran for the last time before they passed away, en route from Tehran, Tehran, to Rasht, Gilan, with the old Paykan of my brother in law, I had a 2-hour layover in Ghazvin, to eat Chelo-Kabab. Ali-Gholi had managed to track me down and the message had asked that I call him immediately in his office since he had become the commander in chief of the IRI militia (pasdaran) in Ghazvin. While shivering to death, I did, and I was delighted to find out that Ali-Gholi was so hospitable to me, a westernized doctor who left his country immediately after the revolution and during the war. And it appeared that I was of service to him in his quest for Chelokabab with his old classmate and friend as we discussed selling one of his Karaj investments (houses) and the issue of converting the money to US dollar for his future retirement plans. As the conversation inevitably turned to the subject of "Twenty years of Revolution", I remarked on his prescient observations about the course of the revolution and that the IRI system would last and all intellectuals would go out of country without being capable of doing anything ("hich ghalati nemikonan" as he used to say).

I asked Ali-Gholi (whom I used to call just "Gholi") how he knew what he knew when he knew it. He said, "There are two things about Iranian intellectuals that succeed in failing them every time. First, they may be strong when they can write articles and publish it. But once they are gone out of country, then we run the show". I prodded him for an explanation. "One Intellectual (he used to use the word "Liberal" for intellectuals)," he said "is already weak, but two liberals are even weaker since they hate each other, and so on, so once they want to work together to build up their so-called opposition group, they will get engaged in infight to that extent that we just need to sit down and laugh at them."

"Second," he offered, "another thing that fails these intellectuals in returning to Iran and overthrowing us is that they are already more corrupted, much more corrupted, than we are. Running a country requires at least some decency and adherence to a set of moral goals, and thinking of these so-called intellectuals are incapable of both." And he added, "Just avoid them."

As we continued eating burned kabab at the two ends of the dirty table in that Chelokabai restaurant in Ghazvin, we became crystal clear in the reason why all this had such a loud ring of truth to it: Iran, we concluded, is not an accidental country, and Iranians who chose to live in Iran after the revolution are by nature those who are at least loyal to their own system, even those who complain all along. Because they know that the alternative, being corrupted intellectuals in Boston and LA, coming back to Iran and running the country again, is much worse. All this explained why the happiest thinking Iranian is the one who lives inside Iran, preferably in Ghazvin or in a similarly restricted society, where being non-intellectual is a systematically protected, though unwritten right of the society. And so, tonight, once again I tried to call Ali-Gholi through his cell phone (called MOBILE in Ghazvin) to seek some advice about our intellectual professor Mirfendereski and his media supporter, JJ, but his cell-phone was out of range. So, tonight, I decided to listen to Ali-Gholi''s advise for the first time in my life and it is with great happiness that I serve with these presents notice upon the public that I never ever was, am or will be affiliated or associated with Prof. Mirfendereski, Mr. JJ or Iranian dot com. I would rather be associated with people like Ali-Gholi, who are at least honest and sincere, than such defaming, Boston based professors as Guive Mirfendereski. God bless.

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