Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Pictures of Crackdown on Islamic Dress Code

Why do we let our mothers and sisters be humiliated in this way by these neanderthals?

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"Iranian women have more rights and are better off now since the 1979 revolution" Elaheh Rostami-Povy, lecturer at SOAS university, London talking at SWP meeting on Iran, Feb, 2006.

Why do we let these Islamic Republic apologists walk without the Islamic head dress in the streets of London?

and for my friend, the Prague Reader, another apt quote from Havel:
"Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace. "

Monday, April 23, 2007

Interfering in People's Personal Lives

What distinguishes Islamic Republic of Iran from other dictatorships is that not only the political decision making process is restricted to a few (known in Iran as khodihaa), but that the state also interferes in the non-political aspects of its citizens' personal lives.

Pictures below show the latest round of state crackdown on women who have not fully observed their Islamic dress code. The way Iranian women push back their scarves and cheekily show their hair is often praised by Islamic Republic apologists as how "liberal" Islamic Republic is. They conveniently forget that it never used to be like this in Iran before 1979.

Here is also a film footage of the arrest of Iranian football player Mehrdad Minavand:

Any where else what he is doing would be regarded as having a few drinks with friends, but in the Islamic Republic it is considered a crime.

"It looks like everyone is loyal and the regime will be here for centuries, that nothing will ever change, and its easy to believe that. " At some moment, though, the regime's invencibility facade cracks, people gain confidence that they can change things and soon it is all over. "Without anybody organizing a demonstration, the passersby had turned into demonstrators " - Vaclav Havel

Friday, April 20, 2007

This is the Islamic Republic of Iran

While Islamic Republic apologists and their pseudo-Leftist lobbyists are working overtime to portray an acceptable face of the Islamic Republic to the world, here is a snippet of what really goes on in the Islamic Republic. These are all recent events in the last few days.

Baseej Murderers Exonerated:

Six members of the volunteer vigilante militia group, the Baseej, who had murdered several people in Kerman, in gruesome manners, have been exonerated by the Islamic courts.
The six decided to carry out the murders after they watched a tape by a senior cleric, who ruled that the Muslim faithful could kill a morally corrupt person, without having to wait for the due process of the law.
Their last victims were a young married couple who the killers claimed were walking together in public!

Women Activists Receive Heavy Sentences

Meanwhile some of the women activists who took part in a peaceful demonstration last year,
have received heavy sentences. Amongst them, Fariba Davoodi-Mohajer who received a 4 year sentence and Soosan Tahmasbi, who received a total of two years. Their charge, was threatening the security of the state!

Students Kidnapped in Mazandaran

Fifteen students in Mazandaran university were kidnapped in broad daylight, from Mazandaran university by plain clothes agents and with the assistance of university security control, known as Herasat. The students were protesting about the canteen food by lining up their plates outside the dean's office.

Teachers Arrested in Front of their Pupils

Shahriar Moshiri, Member of the Islamic Assembly's Commission on Education and Research, expressed regret about teachers being arrested and handcuffed in front of their pupils in the classroom. "This was not an appropriate act, they should have waited after school before they arrested the teachers," Moshiri continued.

Teachers have asked for Islamic Assembly's own legislation on public sector workers to be applied to them. After their peaceful protests, they have been charged with threatening the state security.

Writer jailed for books already published.

Writers going to jail is not unusual in the Islamic Republic, however Yaghoub Yadali, has been jailed for his writings, although his books were already published with the permission of the Ministry of Islamic Guidance.

How anyone who tries to present an acceptable face of this evil regime, can look at themselves in the mirror, is beyond me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Turkey's Secular Protest

We don’t want to become another Iran, another Afghanistan,” said Hanife Sahin, a retired nurse, stooping under the red tent formed by a Turkish flag that ran like a river over the crowd.

Reports say that more than 300,000 secular protesters, who are alarmed by the creeping Islamization of the country, took part in the protest to keep Turkey secular.
Unlike the stupid Iranian intellectuals of the previous generation who lined up behind the Islamists in 1979, Turkey's intellectuals have seen what has happened in their neighbouring country, and will not follow in the footsteps of their Iranian counter-parts.

The Islamists in Turkey however, are not on their own. They are funded and organised. Iranian petro-dollars and aid to Islamist parties in the region enables the Islamists to win support through their charitable social programs. The secular forces in the region can only win if they remain in solidarity with each other and combat the regional threat of Islamic fundamentalism together through a regional unity. A secular victory in Iran, will be a secular victory in Turkey and other countries in the region and vice-versa.

If the secular forces in Turkey do not support the secular dissidents in Iran, the Islamic Republic funding and organising will soon win the day in Turkey. It is in our common interest to unite against the fundamentalist threat.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Whats Going On?

This propaganda war of who tortured their captives more, is getting more bizarre and stupid.

When the Islamic Republic diplomat, Jalal sharafi, was first shown on Iranian state TV, he wore a suit, walked unaided towards Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and they kissed and embraced each other. Mottaki kept squeezing him hard on the back without Sharafi complaining or giving any hints that he bears any scars on his back as a result of being whipped by cable during his captivity.

Now, he is paraded in front of the press, sitting in a wheel chair, in his hospital pyjamas, surrounded by "nurses" and connected to a drip. Sharafi then showed his torture scars, on his back and on his feet to the press.

So the question is, what has happened to Sharafi since he has been released to Iran?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

This Gets Worse

I couldn't stay away from watching the televised UK sailors press conference at 3:00 pm on Friday. I was curious to hear their side of things.

When they started reading their written statements, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Thats it?? Just a bit of solitary confinement, and a few aggressive interrogation questions and they played into the hands of the Islamic Republic?

When Lt. Felix Carman talked about mock executions, I thought well at least this is something, but even that small bit of my sympathy with the sailors went away when the sailors were interviewed later without reading pre-prepared statements, and one of them was asked about the mock executions Lt. Carman talked about. The sailor responded "I think that was more someone's imagination than anything else."
So even that bit was not a substantial harrowing experience.

I thought to myself you absolute wimps! Iranian teenagers welcomed death rather than play the games of the Islamic Republic in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. My friend Fariba Marzban, a female ex-political prisoner in the eighties endured 7 years of imprisonment including more than 400 days of solitary confinement and the horrendous torture which became known as the coffin torture, where female prisoners had to sit in a small confinement, draped in a chador, and face the wall for hours and days without uttering a word or making a movement, and Fariba still didnt give in to her captors. She was just an ordinary teenage sympathiser of a Left wing organisation at the time, caught while handing out leaflets.

Look at what Batebi has had to endure, what Fakhravar has been through, the mental pressures of "white torture" and several mock executions, and yet they did not break up like these UK marines did. In fact right on the day the British sailors were arrested, two Iranian women activists were jailed because they would not sign a submission to promise they would not engage in such activities again, and yet here we have combat trained marine officers betraying their country immediately after a few "aggressive questions" are thrown at them. Total utter wimps!

Iranian dissidents who have been forced to make TV confessions in the last 28 years have been through hell before they got to that point. Iranian journalist, Siamak Pourzand, in his 70s, put up more resistance before making a TV appearance, than these supposedly young, fit trained marine fighters . Just the sheer sight of Pourzand's weight loss made it known to everyone what he had been through.

Our heroic officers of the Shahrokhi air base, made a mockery of their live TV Kangaroo trial, and while they knew firing squads awaited all of them, they stood so tall and resolute to the mullahs that the live coverage of their so-called trial had to be suddenly cut off short by the state broadcasting.

Twenty-eight years of sheer resistance by Iranians had totally discredited the Islamic government of their staged TV confession shows. Yet here we have the UK marines restoring some credibility back to the Islamic government because they could not stand a few days of solitary confinement and a few aggressive questions! Thank you UK marines!!

I came across an excellent article in the Telegraph, Inside the Real Iran by David Blair and Damien McElroy. At least some British journalists had enough sense to distinguish between the people of Iran and their rulers, and not call the rent a mob Baseejis, led by the well known thug, Haji Bakhshi, outside the UK embassy in Tehran, as "Iranian Students".

Columnists like Stephen Glover, spelled out how I felt by the whole affair, and I was sort of reassured that the British public will in no way view these wimps as heroes.

But worse was yet to come! The news of UK marines being able to sell their stories for six figure sums to UK tabloids hit me like a baseball bat across the head, what? Have the chiefs of UK armed forces gone soft in the head as well as in their training procedures? But even that was not the end of it all. UK bishops, normally on the same par as the British judges in stupidity and absurdity, thanked and praised the rulers of Iran for their "faith in a forgiving God"!
Where was the "faith in a forgiving God" when pregnant women were being executed inside the Evin prison, or when Zahra Kazemi got battered to death during her interrogation, or Christian priests and converts murdered in Iran, where were these charitable Bishops?

Today Iranian Arabic Channel, Al-Alam released more film footage of the marines. They were playing table tennis and chess and the daft looking Lt Felix Carmen was shown joking with the camera men.

I have had enough, how can one relax in the middle of all this insanity and foolishness?

Uncle Napoleon, was the name of a fictional character in an Iranian novel, who suspected the British of being behind everything, even when his water supply was blocked by his neighbour. The term "Uncle Napoleon thinking" has become part of the Iranian vocabulary, if referred to someone, it means they are conspiracy theorists who believe the British to be behind everything. The Iranian masses also have a saying, 'lift a mullahs beard and you see the writing "Made in Britain" underneath'.

After the events of the last few days, I am not sure if I have become an Uncle Napoleon like thinker, or just think that "Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun". Their marines have humiliated their country but now they are rewarding them for it too. There seems to be a competition between the Iranian authorities and the British establishment, as to who can spoil these cute puppies even more.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

What IRI Gained from Capturing the UK Sailors

Ask an average Iranian, if he or she would like to see an Iran without the mullahs, but instead as a secular democratic country, and most probably he or she would jump with joy and say 'more than anything else'. Ask the same person, if he or she would like to do anything about it and the answer would most probably be "there is nothing we can do, its a waste of time, they are too strong and too shrewd"

This image of invincibility has been cultivated carefully by the mullahs for over 28 years now. Islamic Republic's top priority is to make sure the Iranian people become disappointed, hopeless, indifferent and accept the clerical rule as their only alternative.

I recall only on three occasions, in the last three decades, when the Islamic Republic's image of invincibility showed visible signs of crack. First time was just before Reagan became president and the mullahs had to release the US hostages in return for absolute zilch! Second time was when the regime was becoming bankrupt as a result of unnecessarily prolonging the war with Iraq, and Khomeini said having to sign the peace treaty was like "drinking a poison chalice". Finally the third occasion, was in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack, when Islamic Republic was desperately trying to get behind the negotiating table with America and the faithful during the Friday prayers were specifically told, for the first time, not to shout Death to America.

I see the way this saga of the captured UK sailors has unfolded as yet another feather in the invincibility arrow of the Islamic Republic. This is the biggest gain for the mullahs from all this affair. Once again they showed the Iranian people that even the major military powers are feeble in confronting the regime, so what chance have the ordinary Iranians got against them?

Iranians saw images of the Royal Marine officers, apologizing time and time again for having entered 400 metres into Iranian waters, jumping about and acting like school girls, ruffling each others hair when they heard the news that they are about to be released, and then bending over backwards thanking Ahmadi-Nejad for his hospitality. Iranians saw images of Ahmadi-Nejad telling off a UK sailor, not to cover the camera when he is shaking hands with him, and the Marine, then re-adjusting himself like a scared school boy in front of a headmaster.

UK news channels interviewed the mums and dads of these sailors, with mums talking about how much they are looking forward to cuddling and pampering their little boys and telling them off for having been such a naughty boy.

Hardly the same image of a military power that stood up for her citizens in the Falkland Islands, thousands of miles away, two decades ago.

In today's UK politics, it may be all this political correctness, being apologetic and portraying a soft image that wins the votes, but in Iran and in the Middle East, it is still power and powerful personalities that attract. Of all the articles I have read so far in the UK press, that have tried to weigh the pros and cons of this affair, none seemed to understand how much the Islamic regime has gained from further cultivating its image of invincibility to the Iranian masses and how helpful the undignified demeanour of the British sailors was for this goal.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fantastic Article on the Movie 300

I could not fault this brilliant article by Cyrus Kar. It is factual, well written and makes intelligent modern day comparisons:

Cyrus Kar was arrested by American soldiers in Iraq on suspicions of being linked to insurgents in Iraq! I can only imagine those who arrested him, had the same level of education and IQ as the immigration officers whom I have met when I have been to America.