I actually think Laura Rozen is not so much against Fakhravar himself, but just wants to have a dig at the neo-cons. Callously for Rozen, Fakhravar for her, just happens to be a dispensable casualty. After all Fakhravar is not fighting American imperialism, he is just a pro-democracy activist who wants the same rights for his nation that Laura Rozen has got. I do not understand why Rozen is jealous of this?
Rozen dismisses Fakhravar's claims that he was on the shortlist for a literary prize, the Paulo Coelho award, and says there is no evidence that such an award exists—a point first raised on the blog “Moon of Alabama”. By the way the blog of "Moon of Alabama" has also been quoted by Hossein Derakhshan (Hoder). Again I don't think there is any doubt for any genuine Iranian activist that Hoder is an Islamic Republic agent, who has managed to fool many anti-Neo-Con people like Rozen. Just do a search on Hoder on this blog to see how time and time again Hoder has defended the Islamic regime and tried to stain Iranian dissidents from Ganji to Jahanbegloo. By the way its very easy to gain the trust of the likes of Laura Rozen, just put on an intellectual gesture, say a few words against Bush and neo-cons, and hey Bob's your uncle or Laura is your auntie as the case may be here.
Any way Rozen is wrong that this prize does not exist, here is the Paulo Coelho award that Rozen so adamantly says does not exist. I have checked Fakhravar's claims for having been shortlisted for the prize and that the publishing house has exclusive rights on Persian translations of Paulo Coelho's books in Iran. I just hope none of the people there get in trouble because of Rozen's lack of initiative to dig for truth.
Rozen then mentions Ahmad Batebi, having distanced himself from Fakhravar on his blog. Rozen may not know this, but detained dissidents in Iran have often appeared on state TV, to recant after having suffered extreme duress. For Iranians, these forced confessions no longer have any credibility. We all know the human tolerance for pain and deprivation is limited, what matters is not what people are forced to say under duress but what they said when they were free to say. Rozen and her comfortable armchair revolutionaries just do not seem to grasp this. They think dissidents in despotic countries have the same freedom as her in expressing their true opinions.
Lastly Rozen tries to go for Fakhravar's jugular by quoting Nasrin Mohammadi. Fakhravar has pictures of himself with Nasrin's brother, Akbar Mohammadi, another victim of the Islamic Republic, and yet another Iranian dissident whom Rozen never tried to publicise his plight while he was still alive and resisting the Islamic regime's henchmen. When I was in US, Nasrin rang Fakhravar on his mobile. Fakhravar was helping her other brother Manouchehr while he was stranded in Turkey. Fakhravar was too humble to even mention the Rozen article to Nasrin, so I grabbed the phone from him and asked Nasrin myself. I have known Nasrin ever since her brothers were imprisoned. Nasrin was in so much distress because of Rozen's article and swore to me that the email about Fakhravar to Rozen was never sent by her.
In fact today, she copied me on her email to Rozen, which prompted me to find time and finally reply to Rozen. See email below.
Finally my last words to Laura Rozen and the likes of her in the West is this. I understand you are anti neo-con, Perle and Bush etc. This is your privilige which living in a democracy entitles you to, but why try to sacrifice our comrades who have suffered so much? And if you do not want the Iranian pro-democracy activists to associate themselves with the neo-cons, then try to help them yourselves. Win them over, write about their plight, mention the brutality of the religious apartheid in Iran. Until that happens, I can't blame Iranian activists for accepting help from wherever it comes.
I remember an ANC military official was once put under pressure for accepting funds and arms from Communist countries. The ANC guy did not deny it, he said "Their help is enabling us to fight Apartheid, if you help us we will gladly accept your help too."
Nassrin's email to Laura Rozen which I was copied on:
Iam writing to you about an article published in Mother Jones against Fakhravar.
You wrote something on my behalf.
I would like to inform you that my E-mail was hacked and is destroyed. those are not from me.
Those are not my words.
Please call me at --- if you have any questions