Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Police Commander's Admission

"If we had not carried out the campaign against thugs and hoodlums, then you would have seen how the network that gives them orders to disrupt the society's security would have created havoc after petrol rationing." Islamic Republic Police Commander, Ismaiil Ahmadi Moghadam, speaking at the 'Police, Society and the Security of Society' seminar on Wednesday.

So there is no doubt now. The whole campaign and the reason the Iranian press photographers were purposely brought to cover these brutal public beatings, was to create terror and fear amongst the population in anticipation of public protests against petrol rationing in the Islamic Republic.

Commander Ahmadi Moghadam is also Ahmadi-Nejad's brother-in-law.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Half Moon

Last night, we went to watch the movie, Half Moon, directed by Bahman Ghobadi. I be honest with you, I am not really into arty farty films, with excruciating long boring scenes that no one really understands but pretends to understand. I remember I felt like the little boy at the Emperor's New Clothes when I was watching the award winning Iranian movie, Taste of Cherries. "What a load of boring crap that was" I remember was my candid comment to those who were pretending they had enjoyed the film while struggling to hide their yawns.

Half Moon, however is nothing like that. It will be amongst the best movies I have ever seen. Half Moon, is about the common struggle of all Iranians to preserve their joyous culture. Something that the intellectuals in the West just never understood or probably think of as "bourgeois nonsense". Ghobadi illustrates some of the hardship of what Iranians have to go through for what people in most other places take for granted, such as the baffling stupidity of why women can not sing in the Islamic Republic.
"So she sings, how is that a crime?" The old man who is leading his sons to perform a big concert says to the Islamic Republic Law Enforcement Officer without getting a worthwhile reply.

There are some magnificent scenes in the movie. Such as when Mamo enters the forbidden village where women singers are held, and 1344 women perform the Daf in their colourful dresses.

The film is about a people who are struggling to keep their joyous culture and as such the movie can not just be a sad and depressing one. In fact it is full of unique humour and despite all that happens, its unique humour remains a central part of the movie.

Some are hesitant to take part in the journey, some give up half way and turn back, some die, but at the end an incredibly beautiful woman who remains a mystery shows them the way and saves the day. Again another symbolic piece for the belief that the saviour of Iran will be the women of Iran.

The film is full of symbolic scenes such as when a woman's voice at a burial makes the dead person come alive again. I suppose this can be interpreted in many ways by different people, but for me it was the reawakening of men who had been denied life in its full by excluding the many pleasures of life that exist.

I can write more and more about the scenes, but let me not spoil it for you and just recommend you to see the film if you can.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fun Thing to Do!

I was reading in Hoder's post today a reference he made to the occasion when along with BBC Persian adviser, Massoud Behnood and another BBC Persian reporter, Behzad Boloor, they went to the Iranian embassy in London and voted for Rafsanjani to be the next president of the Islamic Republic.

Well I was not surprised to hear the scum bag, Massoud Behnood to go to the embassy to vote - on the first round of elections he denied voting on VOA Persian, saying he did not have valid documents to vote with. Scum bag Massoud Behnood's expertise is in nothing other than how to be close with whoever is in power. To hear Behzad Boloor also voted for Rafsanjani however, was a bit of an eye opener for me. I had met Behzad Boloor once in a party. He seemed like a regular guy and full of jokes against the ruling clerics in Iran. How could he be so naive to vote for the very person who was at the peak of his power during the mass execution of Iranian political prisoners in August-Septemeber, 1988??

I had to ask him and was hoping that he would say, Hoder is talking crap, I was never with him. Yet this was his reply to me:

'I know it look sstarnge now but that day it was a fun thing to do since I ran away from Iran during Rasanjani's time.
dar shahr e kooran ... yek cheshm padeshaast'

Well in the eyes of those who promote the Islamic Republic, Behzad's vote was just another statistics that people of Iran take part in these "elections" and that Islamic Republic is a "legitimate democracy". Its so sad to see so many Iranians refer to their past mistakes that have contributed to a sheer catastrophy for our country, as 'it was a fun thing to do at the time'!

And one wonders how all the likes of Hoder, Behnood and Behzad Boloor end up in the BBC Persian?!

May be I will bump into Behzad somewhere again, and may be afterwards I will be able to say about the encounter, "It was a fun thing to do!".

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Terror Free Tomorrow Poll

I have been so fed up with research from the so-called "Iran experts" and such, who base their "research" on simple anecdotes of "an Iranian man told me ...". Many times I have tried to explain to them not to expect a heartfelt true reply from an Iranian in Iran to a political question, because telling the truth in countries run by despots can have consequences. This concept can be difficult to grasp sometimes for people priviliged enough to live in countries where they don't have to look over their shoulders.

For this very reason, even I was surprised at the poll results by Terror Free Tomorrow. To think that 61% of Iranians were willing to tell complete strangers over the phone that they opposed the current Iranian system of government, just goes to show how fed up Iranians are with the Islamic Republic.

The report concludes what impartial observers of Iran have been saying for years, that the Iranian people are pro-Western, pro-American, and profoundly want a democratic government instead. Told you so! :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

What Did Lenin Say About the "Iraqi Resistance"?

Communists are very much like religious fundamentalists in many ways. One of these similarities is when they rely on quotes by their holy figures, who have died many years or centuries ago, to resolve their "intellectual dilemmas".

Just by chance browsing on the Internet, I came across a debate between some UK Lefties on whether the "Iraqi resistance" should be supported by them. Simon Assaf and Ann Alexander of the Socialist Workers(?) Party (SWP), were quoting Lenin in July 1916 :), when Lenin was discussing the Easter rising against the British rule in Ireland and the other side were bringing up other quotes by Lenin. And there I was bemused by it all. The "Iraqi resistance" includes Moqtada Sadr supporters who drill holes into their kidnapped victims by electric power drills and Al-Qaedeh who behead human beings like sheep, and here we are the "intellectuals" and "progressive :)" figures of the Left who have to rely on Lenin's quotes from 1916 to resolve their dilemma of whether they should support the "Iraqi Resistance" or not?!

Meanwhile a human being has been put in a sack buried up to his waist and stoned to death in the Islamic Republic of Iran this week while another human being, a mother of three children awaits her stoning next. Have any of you heard any condemnation from these "Internationalists"? any demos? simple statements? anything?

Perhaps they are looking for quotes from Lenin about stoning! May be somewhere amongst all that writing there is a quote which justifies stoning by the Proletariat or criticises it as a bourgeoisie activity before they can make up their "progressive" minds.

What feeble minds, what pathetic creatures!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pourya's Escape

We all saw the pictures and the film footage of the recent brutal Islamic police beatings of the Iranian youth on the Internet. The campaign to publicly beat the youth in the streets was solely aimed to instill fear and terror amongst the Iranian population. The Islamic regime rattled even by the recent punitive sanctions expects more and more social unrest like the protests at petrol rationing. The regime's answer, as always to the country's social difficulties, is to contain people by creating sheer fear in them. Such was the audacity of the regime that it brought along state media's photographers to film and picture the inhumane scenes of their beatings, and in order to dampen the international reaction to the graphical pictures of its barbaric nature, they claimed these were common "criminals and thugs" who had made life like hell for the local residents.

Two of those beaten in these attacks were brothers Pouria and Pouya Fazlollahi. Not only they are not thugs but they are most decent and likeable youngsters you will come across. Pouya is a national Greco-Roman style wresting champion and Pourya played for the national Iranian indoor football team. The two were local sporting heroes in their working class neighbourhood and much liked by the residents.

Yet they were targetted for the public beating campaign. Their crime was having been reported for spreading flyers in support of Reza Pahlavi. The residents who dared, protested as much as they could, but the beatings went ahead. Pouya's whereabouts is still unknown and Pourya was beaten up so badly that he was taken to hospital after several days of being held in a secret detention centre. His friends and supporters created a near riot in the hospital and managed to help him escape from the hospital. Pourya headed straight for the borders.

In the last four weeks or so, I have been nervously worried about organising Pourya's escape to safety. All the credit goes to my courageous friend, Afsaneh. This lioness who has suffered 8 years in the Islamic Republic prisons and lost her right eyesight as a result of continuous beatings to her head, volunteered to bring Pouya to safety through a perilous journey. Yesterday they both safely completed their journey. Pourya's wrists still bear the marks left by the tight handcuffs they had put on him, but he is remarkably in high spirits, particularly after Reza Pahlavi personally called him last night and listened to his horrific plight.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Threat to Europe

I spent four days in the sunny Algarve region of Portugal this week. Its a beautiful place, deep golden sand beaches enclosed by incredible rock formations in the shape of golden cliff rises, good food and an easy leisurely pace of life. If you ask a Portuguese native the directions to a place, he will probably reply something like this, 'you see the rotunda (roundabout), you go straight, then the traffic light, you go straight, then another one, you don't go left, you dont go right, but straight, then another rotunda, you go straight...' After a few minutes you realise that all he had to say was, 'keep going straight until you get there!' In fact it seems all you have to do to get to your destination in the Algarve, is to go straight and eventually somehow you will get there. If you keep going straight towards West, you come to Sarges, the most South Western point or the end of Europe.

Europe is not just a geographical entity however, it has also become known as a set of values and liberties since the end of the war and more so after the collapse of the Communist repression.

When I was in Algarve, I heard about the attack on Glasgow airport and the unexploded car bombs in London . Of course at first I was relieved that there was no mass casualties and fatalities but soon one starts to think how easy it is for the terrorists to get lucky just once. For now it seems the people in Europe have just lost one more small privilege because of the Islamist extremists, that of being dropped at the terminals, just one more stress factor added to the whole stress of flying these days.

This is of course nothing compared to the tragedies that can be just round the corner. The threat to Europe is so great, and so much of it is the result of European politicians not taking the Islamic threat seriously and not stopping those who vehemently despise the European values, from entering the countries in Europe and those who collude with Islamic extremists around the world and yet enjoy the benefits of life in Europe.

It boggles the mind when you come across so many Iranian secular asylum seekers with proven track records of fighting against the religious dictatorship in Iran, who are left in limbo with their asylum applications for years and yet it seems the Islamic extremists with proven track records of being a threat against European values, can so freely come and go as they please.

I was reading in the Telegraph about one of the bombers who survived the failed attack on Glasgow airport. If only the hospital that employed him or the UK immigration authorities asked for just one letter of reference from his university professors in Baghdad. Apparently this guy was such an extremist religious zealot that even his mother did not dare to be without her head scarf in front of him. He was such a nuisance in his university that they just let him pass his exams so that he would leave the campus as soon as possible and not be a threat to the rest of the students. Yet he seems to have been allowed into the UK and secured employment with no problem at all! Another badge of honour for the mess they call the Home Office in Britain.

As my immigration lawyer friend in UK once told me, getting asylum in UK is just like lottery, there is no sound logic or criteria for obtaining it, its just sheer random luck! This lottery of who you let in the country however, can one day mean the end of Europe as we know it however.