Friday, April 28, 2006

The UK Home Office Blunders

The figure you see here is that of Mollah Hassani, the Friday prayer leader of Oroumieh, North West Iran. A frightening character, straight out of the dark ages. If one day his memoirs are translated, two things may shock a Westerner. Firstly that he calmly talks about the murder of his son, who was an activist within the Iranian Marxist Fedayeen organisation. In the brutal crackdown of the 80s on Iran's Left, his son's hideout became known to Molla Hassani. He writes with pride how he let the authorities know about this; which subsequently led to his son's arrest and execution. He even justifies his action by using Noah's sons as an example, where a "pious" man's children do not turn out to be like their "pious" father.
Hassani's daughter also committed suicide, and he refused to go to her funeral because suicide is forbidden in Islam.

However this should not shock you if you know Iran's mullahs. Hassani is not the only Iranian cleric who has killed his own kin. Ayatollah Gilani, for example, is another one who executed two of his sons for being activists against the Islamic state.

Next thing that may shock a Westerner from reading Hassani's memoirs, is how the UK Home Office readily granted him a visa to visit the UK, attend mosques in London, make speeches and poison young Muslim British minds. However this should not shock a Westerner either. Those of us who have dealt with asylum applications in UK, know how frustrating it is to see many decent genuine applications who are in real fear of their life and freedom being turned down for no good reason. Yet we see so many thugs and bogus applications succeed. The asylum application as a lawyer friend of mine once said "is a lottery".

I have written about this many times, but this week, the huge blunder of releasing more than 1000 illegal immigrant convicts, murderers, rapists, drug dealers ..., and then losing all trace of them by the UK Home Office, finally made the headlines in the British press. More cases became newsworthy too. For example a scam by Mohammad Faruq, the ringleader of an immigration scam that cost the British tax payer more than £600,000. Mohammad Faruq brought his relatives over who then changed their names and applied for asylum. Faruq who owns 60 houses; would provide emergency accommodation, costing up to £235 a night, and then claimed the rent back from social services.

Yet the British Home Office becomes so adamant when it comes to deporting a decent educated, Iranian family like the Farivars, whose 13 year old daughter is suicidal in fear of returning to Iran and being forced to marry a 43 year old man.

Some Iranian ex-pats, with limited means, are attempting to collect 1000 signatures, one per each convict released without a trace by the Home Office. Many Iranian ex-pats who go back and forward to Iran are scared of even signing the petition however.

The petition is in appreciation of Clare Short MP, who stood up for the Farivars in the UK parliament and highlighted the case of under age marriage state laws in Iran:

Full text of Q&A between Clare Short and Home Office minister, Tony McNulty:

Nazi Convert to Militant Islam

I spent several decades of my life fighting for what I regarded as my people, my race and my nation, and endured two terms of imprisonment arising out of my political activities.’ But his belief is now that: ‘The pure authentic Islam of the revival, which recognises practical jihad (holy war) as a duty, is the only force that is capable of fighting and destroying the dishonour, the arrogance, the materialism of the West . . .
For the West, nothing is sacred, except perhaps Zionists, Zionism, the hoax of the so-called Holocaust, and the idols which the West and its lackeys worship, or pretend to worship, such as democracy. They want, and demand, that we abandon the purity of authentic Islam and either bow down before them and their idols, or accept the tame, secularised, so-called Islam which they and their apostate lackeys have created.
This may well be a long war, of decades or more — and we Muslims have to plan accordingly. We must affirm practical jihad — to take part in the fight to free our lands from the kuffar (unbelievers). Jihad is our duty.’
Abdul Aziz ibn Myatt, previously known as David Myatt, a founder of the British National Socialist Movement (BNSM) and jailed for racist attacks. Now supports the setting up of a Muslim superstate.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Slogans and Realities

The slogan:

"The Islamic Republic will establish Islamic justice and with Islamic justice, everyone and everyone will live in freedom, prosperity and independence" - Ayatollah Khomeini Safiheh Noor, 2nd Volume pp18

The Reality:

Children of Iran, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, toiling in a brick factory, 27 years after the victory of the Islamic revolution.

Socialist Workers Party in UK, followers of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky and
"the champions of the working class :)"
, support the Islamic Republic, "the representatives of God on earth!"

What bizarre times we live in...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Softly approach (Pictures)

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Islamic dress codes should not be imposed by confrontation, Iran's president said on Sunday as police said they would be taking a softer approach during a summer campaign against "social corruption". Presumably this means that unlike the early days of the revolution, women will not be forced to wipe their make up with handkerchiefs which concealed razor blades. Yipee!! Iranian women should be so grateful!

On the other hand again according to Reuters, "Police said they would crackdown from Saturday on women ignoring the dress code, which requires them to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes to cloak their bodies. Offenders can be punished by fines, lashes or imprisonment. "

But then again, The police 'guidance' patrols are not commissioned for forced confrontation," Police chief, Talaie was quoted as saying by Tosea newspaper. So Yipee again that the 'guidance' patrols will not be used!

Meanwhile, below are some pictures of the "softly approach" by the Islamic Republic police and the militia women telling the Iranian women how they should dress:

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Crackdown on Un-Islamic Dress

The country is facing a possible military attack, sanctions, isolation, flight of capital, brain drain... and what do the Islamic authorities think is the top of their priorities? A crackdown on un-Islamic dress!

According to Robert Tait, from the Guardian, the dress purge is led by a Tehran city councillor, Nader Shariatmaderi, a close ally of Mr Ahmadinejad who helped to plot last year's election victory. The clampdown recalls the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution, when women wearing lipstick were often confronted by female vigilantes wiping their faces clean with handkerchiefs, which were said to often conceal razor blades. Vigilantes would also stop women, if a few strands of their hair was sticking out of their scarf, saying every strand shown is a dagger through the heart of our martyrs!

The new campaign will hold taxi agencies accountable for their passengers' attire, police will be able to impound cabs carrying women dressed "inappropriately". Agencies guilty of repeat offences will be closed. Police have reportedly been stopping women motorists recently whose hijab was judged inadequate. Police have also raided fashion stores and seized brightly coloured manteaus.

Islamic Republic apologists, like Elaheh Rostami, have been using this argument that Iranian women have been able to show more of their hair, as proof of the country's liberalisation and instead of crediting the Iranian women, have creditted the ruling Islamic authorities. What will the likes of Elaheh Rostami cling on to now, in order to portray the mullahs as caring and progressive to the gullible Western audience?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Nazanin's Petition Reaches Over 37000 Signatures

The petition to Save Nazanin, started by Iranian born Miss World Canada 2003, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, has now fetched over 37,000 signatures. The petition is also the current most active petition on

Another petition has also started today in support of the UK MP, Clare Short, who has defended the Iranian Farivar family from deportation to Iran. The case of Farivar family also highlights the inhumane Islamic Republic state law which allows girls as young as 9 years old to be wed.

See: Stop the Under-Age Marriage Laws in Iran

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday Crucifixion Stunt

Fathers' rights campaigners, Simon and Paul, who climbed 60ft up the Westminster Abbey to stage a protest were arrested and have now been released from Charing Cross Police Station.

They carried up a dummy on a cross to signify that fathers are being "crucified" with unequal treatment in the UK courts over access to children.

The men, aged 30 and 48 and from the north-east of England. The older man is suffering from a terminal illness. He hasn't seen his child in four years, despite having numerous contact orders which are just flouted time and time again.

The fathers finally came down after Anne Widdecome, a supporter of Fathers' rights to equal parenting, asked them to. Widdecome made the offer and gave her word that within the next two weeks she would speak publicly on camera of her support for the right of fathers to be equal parents.

Simon and Paul are due to appear at Bow Street Magistrates court next Friday 21st April at 10am, lets show them our support.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Beautiful, Brainy and Passionate about Iran

When Nazanin Afshin-Jam won Miss World Canada, I read about it in a Persian language weekly. Of course, I was proud. The success of any Iranian makes me proud, but I didn’t glean on it too much at the time. In the back of my mind, I probably thought to myself, here is another pretty Iranian girl whose cosmetics bag is probably more precious to her than the destiny of her country. Perhaps, I thought to myself, here is another pretty Iranian girl who has been landed with a unique opportunity to voice the plight of her people to the world, but will probably refuse to get involved in Iran related issues. At best, I thought, she may take up some more fashionable cause, which has nothing to do with Iran. I remember a friend of mine, whose son, has a talent for song writing and playing the guitar. He played a recording of his son to me once. It was about the troubles of Bosnian refugees. All very good, I told my friend but do you encourage him to record a song for the Iranian people too? “Oh, he doesn’t want to have much to do with Iran!” was my friend’s strange blasé reply!

May be, I am a cynic, but when I watch the likes of tennis player, Andrea Agassi, publicly resent their Iranian roots or read about the likes of successful entrepreneurs, Sahar Haschemi ((Skinny Candy!) – who say they consider themselves Persian not Iranian! and don’t really want to talk about Iran, then I have some right to be cynical, no?

I can name tons more names that fall in this category both famous and those not so famous that I have personally come across. You know the type I mean, turning up their surgically manipulated noses, and cautious about the tons of make up they use not cracking up, saying something like “ooh, I don’t want to get involved in Iran stuff!”.

But boy, was I wrong about Nazanin Afshin-Jam? I was so wrong, I should eat my hat – if I had one that is!

Nazanin Afshin-Jam is in fact, beautiful, brainy and passionate about Iran and her people. She is what I call a woman of substance. Unlike most other Iranian girls in her shoes, she is not afraid to use her position for the good of her people. Most noteworthy she has taken up the cause of another Nazanin, a less fortunate 18 year old compatriot who has been sentenced to death in Iran for killing a man in self-defense when she and her niece were being assaulted (the men were trying to rape them). Nazanin has since adopted the cause of her namesake in Iran.

She has also recorded a song of hope for the young Iranian generation. “Some Day” speaks to the young Iranians who are suffering from the “regressive revolution” of their previous generation. It speaks about staying strong, rising above hardships and driving forward to free our country from the curse of the totalitarian theocratic regime in Iran.

Read the lyrics to Some Day

Nazanin, is also very approachable and down to earth. She was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

I questioned her about the apathy of a large section of Iranian ex-pats, but rather than mirroring my emotional resentment, she was more analytical about some of the underlying reasons. She told me :
I don't know if most Iranian ex-pats have "forgotten" their roots. I think they are just lost as to what they can do or should do. I think that many who were witness to the atrocities during and since the Revolution are still fearful to speak out. Even living in free corners of the world like Canada, US and Europe, they still feel they are being "watched". Others want to visit their family members in Iran but do not want to be put on a "black list". As for "pretending they have nothing to do with Iran anymore", I think this is also divided. There are those who are very proud and outspoken about their Iranian roots and there are others who do not want to be associated with how Iran is being represented in current times. With Islamic fundamentalists ruling the state, and with a President claiming that Israel should be wiped off the map, I don't blame people for wanting to be removed of such extreme rhetoric. By doing just that, however, they are denying the world the opportunity to learn about the true, rich, ancient culture of Iran and the strength of Iranian people. We Iranians have the oldest culture on Earth, we have persevered through many battles and we remain strong and determined people. Iranians are recognized at the top of their ranks in all fields around the world. We should not be ashamed of our true being and we should be proud and work towards bringing our "compatriots" forward so that they will have better opportunities.

She co-wrote the lyrics of “Some Day” with her talented brother-in-law.
When I heard about young Nazanin I wanted to dedicate my song "Someday" to her and the other oppressed youth of Iran, so I added it on my site and hopefully I will get to send - or better yet hand deliver- the song to her.” Nazanin told me.

As our conversation was shortly after the Nowrooz festivities, I asked her how she celebrated it. “I was blessed to be able to celebrate Nowrooz with my beloved family. We had a simple "haft seen" set up, the sweet smell of "sombol" and the muffled sound of a Persian television program counting down the last seconds. My mother was well aware NOT to have goldfish in a bowl from years of complaints from my sister and me claiming "cruelty to animals. Of course we brought in the New Year with lots of hugs and kisses. What made it particularly special was having my amazing 89-year-old grandmother with me.

Finally, I asked Nazanin, some day will we meet up in Iran?
Her reply was full of optimism and hope.
Yes, dear Potkin, "someday" we and the rest of Iranian youth will meet up in a free, democratic Iran walking the path that Cyrus the Great had paved. I can't get over the irony that the very country that brought forth "Human Rights" is now among the countries furthest from such beauty."

Winter Doesn't Want to Give Up!

Last week saw some signs of blossoms on the trees, the weather was getting milder and it looked like finally the spring was in the air. This weekend however, it looked like winter wasn't going to give up that easily. There was sleet and snow in some parts, football matches were cancelled, and London saw frost and freezing temperatures overnight, it rained cats and dogs most of the weekend and the incompetent water authorities in UK still ranted on about a draught!!

Its as if winter is desperately clinging on and despite all expectations saying, I am not quitting yet. It is actually quite amusing and you have to admire the tenacity of the old man Winter.

Not being a superstitious person, I dont know if this is a good omen for the year ahead or not, but 40 years of life experience tells me that things gained through a hard struggle become more precious to hold. Perhaps, this time round the Spring will be more precious than ever. Perhaps this time round it wont just be taken for granted
and we will embrace it tighter.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

10 Year Old Girl's Father Beaten Up in the Airport

Islamic Republic religious police stopped a 10 year old girl from boarding on an internal flight to Kerman in South Iran, because her overcoat - known as Manto in Iran - was too short! Presumably the Islamic officials found a short overcoat on a 10 year old girl too sexually provocative for their taste.

When the father protested at the officials, he was beaten up in front of his 10 year old daughter who was crying all the time.

Did such awful incidents ever happen 27 years ago before the Islamic revolution?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

One More Post on Nowrooz

The 13 day period for Nowrooz celebrations is over, but allow me to have just one more post on Nowrooz and how Iranians across the world celebrated it. Perhaps the most impressive was the Nowrooz parade in New York. Beautifully decorated floats, each representing one aspect of Iran's history or culture, but most importantly all Sun & Lion flags only, no IRI flags in sight.

Iranian Jews in Israel celebrating Nowrooz:

More pictures can be seen in:

and Nowrooz celebrations in San Francisco:
San Francisco

A big well done to all the organisers of Nowrooz events across the world, who have made us feel very proud of our heritage.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fool's Day

"where in the world does it say that just because our forefathers 100 yeas ago voted for this present constitution, we should still be committed to it. Why should we be obliged to follow our forefathers just because they were too stupid to write this constitution" Ayatollah Khomeini on the previous constitution of Iran which was drafted after the victory of the constitutional revolution almost 100 years ago.

Twenty Seven years ago today also, coinciding with April Fool's day, our previous generation, voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Islamic Republic in a referendum. Those opposed to the Islamic Republic were not given a platform nor any media access to voice their opposition. There was no debate and no secret ballot. Voters had to choose between a green card and a red card in front of the eyes of the ballot box officials. Our fathers who voted for the Islamic Republic, had no idea what it was about. There was no written constitution nor a manifesto of the Islamic Republic, only a mass frenzy and a blind obedience to the new unknown leaders which drove them to cast their green cards.

In accordance with Ayatollah Khomeini's statement, our generation too should not in any way be committed to a mistake made by our previous generation. A theocracy is not an appropriate way to run a country in the 21St century. The days of ideological revolutions and states is over. The days of executing those who oppose our ideology is over. What we want is what the prosperous nations have achieved, freedom of thought and an accountable government. The ability to choose and change those who run the government.