A date to remember

Please, people, let’s revise our slogans


A date to remember
by Saideh Pakravan

If today doesn’t turn out to be the big day that we all hope for, the day that brings about the end of Tehran’s repulsive regime, it is at least bound to be a major milestone in the right direction. All we must hope for now, beside a decisive blow to the awful theocracy that has been crushing Iran and spreading hatred and terror in the world for the last thirty years is that the brave Iranian people will not be weeping over new casualties but be a step closer to victory.

But please, people, let’s revise our slogans. My hair stands on end whenever I hear of the shouts of Allah-o-Akbar rising from rooftops. Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place? And aren’t Iranians--believers as well as secular-- tired and ashamed of the Islamic Republic? Who, except for government supporters with vested interests or less favored classes lured by populist propaganda wants a religious regime? And make no mistake, as long as we chant allah-o-akbar, we’ll be stuck in the same rut. Shouldn’t we get rid of the superstitions and the ideologies? Shouldn’t we get rid of the cobwebs? And what about our slogans? What about “Marg bar dictator”? A while back, in a demonstration in Paris, I was struck by the contradiction of the speaker standing on a podium to denounce the brutality of security forces in Iran while the crowd listening to him regularly took up cries of “Marg bar dictator!” Marg is still marg. It can’t be wrong on one side and acceptable on the other.

Obviously, we still have a long way to go. Reversing the mindset acquired through centuries or millennia of powerlessness and victimization will take a while, as will the long march forward toward a more enlightened thought process. The day we stop repeating harmful slogans, the day we stop dipping our hands in blood and running around in the streets to demonstrate the evil that has been done to us, the day we understand that it’s absurd to follow self-dubbed leaders who are really another side of the same coin, the day we take charge of our destiny and the future of our country, that will be a day to remember. Today, maybe…


Recently by Saideh PakravanCommentsDate
Good cinema, bad history
Nov 18, 2012
My house has many rooms
Oct 24, 2012
Radical Islamism falling apart? Inshallah!
Sep 30, 2012
more from Saideh Pakravan
Farhad Sepahbody

A date to remember

by Farhad Sepahbody on

Once upon a time "Celle qui Rêvait" Do you remember?

mostafa ghanbari

Dear Saideh

by mostafa ghanbari on


First of all allow me to thank you for your broad and brave understanding of the really fatal and diminishing weak point within  our  badly confined and somehow distorted ways of recognition, observation and interpretation...

I do hope we will refer to our great culture and learn how to learn from the moments which pass so cruel and mercilessly. I do hope we dare to look at our faces in the mirror of the truth and expediency. Ido hope we will learn how to break ourselves in order to remake a true picture of our true nature.

Mostafa Ghanbari

Saideh Pakravan

A Date to Remember

by Saideh Pakravan on

Hi Mostafa,

I've been thinking about your intelligent (and anguished) post. It raises many questions that most people are not ready to ask.  I believe, as I think you do, that our problems go way beyond Islamic Republic or not Islamic Republic and have their roots in great insecurities that make us follow and accept blindly (in whichever direction), accept assertions that have no logical basis, and become fanatical in our belief, (again, in whichever direction). The people yelling marg bar this or that or allah-o-akbar are no different now than they were thirty years ago. The name of the leader can change, he's still leading us down a blind alley. To echo your question of "would you not say", would you, Mostafa, not say that we are born to follow? How many among us show the least originality of thought, the least readiness to resist either the flow of the masses or the statements of someone, anyone, who decides they can fire up the troops? I'm not a follower and I would hate to be a leader but it breaks my heart to see the stumbling protest movement of brave Iranians who are going nowhere fast (and sometimes paying with their life), for lack of a rudder, for sure, but also for lack of a cohesive political statement. It's simply not enough to yell slogans and drape yourself in green or any color (why don't I see this as a rallying symbol? Is it because a steadfast purpose does not need symbols? Because symbols lead us back to superstition and game-playing? Because people didn't use symbols when the Berlin wall came down or tanks crushed them in Tiananmen Square or lawyers rioted in Pakistan and the very fact of what was happening was powerful enough?) you have to be able to separate wheat from chaff and see what's leading us astray and that, unfortunatley, is our own mind. I am attempting to put all this into some kind of coherent whole in "Iranian-ness" of which I recently posted part 1 in the iranian.com blog, and I would so welcome a serious discussion that will not degenerate, once again, into vociferations about who has the right to speak and who has not, who is a majority or a minority, who has all the answers and who knows nothing.

Saïdeh Pakravan 


mostafa ghanbari

Revision does not work. We need a U-turn...

by mostafa ghanbari on


Dear  Saideh  revision is to correct the slightly misunderstood or misinterpreted attitudes. But it does not work where the whole philosophy( if there is really any philosophy) is completely  wrong. So therefore I think we are desperately in need of a U-turn in our philosophy; but unfortunately it seems to me almost impossible.

For years and years, we , Iranian people, have been in favour of a guy from morning to noon and infatuated with the other guy from noon to night!!

Do we really want anything? If yes, what is that? Do we want DEMOCRACY?? What is democracy? Does democracy have anything to do with religion and the nonsense slogans like ' Ya hossain, Mirhossain or Allah akbar?Or does it have anything to do with  Khomeini's sinister thoughts and legacy?

No, we want nothing! We want games-the more silly the more better!

We want revolution, mayhem,blind and frenetic moments!! We are in love- a melancholic love- with the dark and obscure moments!!

Dear Saideh what happened on the streets of Iran yesterday  was the clear indication of  the true nature of a nation. They (Iranians) supported the Islamic regime exactly in the way that they have been doing so since 1979. Would not you say?



I guess I misunderstood

by benross on

I guess I misunderstood Landan-Neshin comment in another blog. He was not against the suggestion of a half baked class struggle before a national struggle because they were divisive -not really divisive by diverting the focus we should have- and benefiting IRI. He was against them because it was not benefiting enough!

Freedom of expression and democracy, as basic tools for hegemony of modernity in Iran has nothing to do with the nonesense you are mumbling. If you want to attribute the idea of ending IRI and establishing a modern society an out of Iran desire, remember that these people came from inside of Iran mostly to be able to express it. Even BBC report on 22 Bahman describes those who were bussed in for the official event and those who were shouting REFERENDUM.

I fully agree that IRI will never volunteer a referendum. But this is the challenge for democrats. And by democrats, I don't mean those accountants who look what percentage of people voted in the first referendum for IRI. I mean democrats. You are not one of them.



by AMIR1973 on

In your post, you invoke the words majority, minority, and democracy. Are you suggesting that a majority of Iranians support the dictatorial Iranian regime? What other dictatorial regimes enjoy such popular support: Egypt, Syria, North Korea? Which ones? Or is it only the IRI. In your view, are only a minority opposed to having an elected mollah as the country's leader, with very broad-reaching powers that any sane person would consider dictatorial? Is the IRI even remotely a democracy? (Yes, I know there are no "perfect" democracies, but do you consider IRI an imperfect democracy?) Certainly, the IRI is far more violent and repressive than the Shah's dictatorship and has killed an exponentially greater number of Iranians than the Shah's regime? Do you not accept that as fact?


Subjective Democracy!! (two)

by Landan-Neshin on

One can safely state that no revolution in our History gained legitimacy through universal suffrage, hence its name: an upheaval, a volte-face of what was before it. Only If we are lucky, would their leaders let us vote on the constitution of the new order.

The IRI constitution was put to the people and I have not heared from anyone in the last thirty years to say its result was fixed. In fact, anyone who's old enough to remember those days would recall the heated arguments it generated.

That, however, does not mean a nation's constitution is for ever! It can and should be amended in time or even, if need be, totally changed.

But, as it stands, the IRI constitution does not envisage a change of Leadership through universal suffrage.

Furthermore, it should be noted that non of the points that 'Amir 1973' raises in order to prove the undemocratic nature of IRI,are in line with what the other presidential candidates argued against during their campaigns. They do not come frome LA or Florida etc. they were and are part of the establishment. 

Which brings me to the final point that, in my view, a great majority of those who carried the 'green' movement's leaders poster and banners, especially by those outside Iran, were not asking for some amendments to the constitution but demanding the downfall of the whole state, which in itself is another topic!!          


Landan-Neshin's objective democracy?

by AMIR1973 on

You state that one "should also have the humility of accepting the majority vote".

Was the Leader of the IRI put in power by a popular vote? I did not know that. Has he run for re-election since coming to power in 1989? Can any member of the public criticize him without fear of arrest or worse? Can anyone opposed to the Leader and his office stand for election in any of the IRI's local or national elections? What democracy stones people to death and flogs them? What democracy has killed over 20,000 of its own citizens since assuming power? I would love to hear your response.


Subjective Democracy!

by Landan-Neshin on

It can only be hoped that the 'Green' people for democracy would show some humility and grace to admit defeat for now. not defeat in a punch-up sense of the word, of course, but finding themselves clearly in a minority.

Whilst, a Western commentator could be forgiven for believing that the present Iranian government is detested by the great majority of the Iranian people, it should be seen as utter ignorance or sheer hatred coming from any democratically minded Iranian!

Athenian Democracy, the blueprint on which the Western democratic ideas are based, whilst gave the people of Athens political rights, it denied all that from those who were from the country side.

So many articles are written on the vaitality of the individual vote in any demcracy. If any 'democratic minded' person believes in that, he/she should also have the humility of accepting the majority vote, be it from Tajrish and Za'feranieh, or Meydan Soosh or any village in the land.

It would be a grave mistake to count the passionately held views of thousands of young Iranians -valuable and legitimate as they are, as the casting vote of the whole nation.           


Sad to Say But that Day is Far away.

by AlexInFlorida on

It will take awhile for us to catch up on the last 1000 years.  Whether the majority of Iranians Read the Koran, Jeffersons books or Dennis the Menis, they will not notice much of a difference and that is the truth.

Don't forget Shah Governed the same society and brought about massive continual social progress and if you recognize where 80% of the country is you will see that is why we will need Monarchy or else we will become like Haiti, India or Worse.

The proven type of leadership for progress and growth is obvious, you just have to take your head out of the sand, get out of denial and admit what the real problems are, before you can put forward a solution.