Sunday, November 06, 2005

Comparing Iran with Other Countries in the Region

It is hard to defend the Islamic Republic for any normal human being who wishes to appear as civilised, democratic, tolerant, peace and freedom loving etc. For who can justify putting a woman into a sack, bury her upto her waist and then stoning her to a slow death? Who can justify public executions in this day and age? What kind of a progressive person can justify the execution of minors? What kind of a person can justify persecution based on one's religious beliefs? What kind of a person can justify the rights of citizens based on their religious beliefs? The list is endless. No sane person can possibly defend the theocracy in Iran in the 21St century.

So how do these Western lackeys of mullahs justify supporting the Islamic Republic? Here is their latest desperate attempt. They keep comparing Iran with other countries in the region. These are typical quotes by some of the Western supporters of the Islamic Republic:
"In Iran women can drive but they can't in Saudi Arabia"
"In Iran women have more rights than women in Afghanistan"
"In Iran women wear make up".....

What strikes me first is why did these people never compare us with the others in the region before 1979? Why didn't they say women in Iran were the first in the region to have the right not to wear the veil? women in Iran were the first to have the right to vote, women in Iran were free to hold any jobs, from being an air pilot to being a judge. There were very progressive family laws in Iran and Iranian women were much more educated than others in the region, and all this was before the Islamic upheaval 1979. But for some strange reason, Iran was never compared with the other countries in the region then.

I remember one of the student dissidents against the Shah, who was looking back at his youth activities with some hindsight and regret, once said "The Shah used to send us to the West for our eductaion. We would see the way things were in Switzerland and England and then lament on how Iran lacks behind them. If only once, they diverted our planes, so that instead of a direct Geneva-Tehran plane, we stopped in Yemen, Pakistan or Afghanistan, perhaps we would then realise that actually things were not that bad in our own country."

The truth is, Iranian society is more advanced than those in the region but this has nothing to do with the mullahs. Jane Kokan, the journalist in the Channel 4 documentary Iran Under Cover, told me to my delight, if you talk to a typical Afghan, they ask you things like "what crops do you grow?" but the Iranians talk about more sophisticated subjects, like freedom, their culture, their history.

This overall higher refinement of Iranians to their neighbours in the region is nothing to do with the mullahs. The clerics in Iran have in fact reversed this process as much as they have been able to in the last 25 years. The credit for the more liberal and progressive values amongst Iranians compared to those in the region should go to the Iranian people and those who were in charge before 1979, not to the mullahs.

Before 1979, we had no stoning, we had no penal amputations, we had no compulsory wearing of the veil. Where the likes of Baroness Nicholson go wrong, and they know deep down that they are covering up, is that they give the credit to the mullahs instead of to the Iranians and our deep rooted history and culture.


Anonymous said...

"This overall higher refinement of Iranians to their neighbours"

Have you any idea what an arrogant prick you sound?

Azarmehr said...

Nothing arrogant about that at all. The history of Iran backs me up. The Iranian people have been struggling for freedom and democracy since 100 years ago. Starting with the constitutional revolution. We were the first in the region to have an elected parliament. Our women were the first in the region to get rid of compulsory veil, and seek job positions usually carried out by men. Our women were the first in the region to win the right to vote. The level of literacy in Iran is much higher than the rest of the region. We have a rich heritage of literature envied by the world. Our universities were on the same par as the rest of the world before the mullah's "cultural revolution" in 1980.
Iranian exiles have managed to integrate well around the world and are amongst the most successfull migrant communities.

These are facts not arrogance. If you are ashamed to mention these its your problem.