Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why is Jim Muir Back in Tehran?

I thought we had seen the back of the BBC correspondent, Jim Muir reporting from Tehran. Muir's shabby superficial reports and his constant bolstering of Khatami as a reform champion while ignoring the rest of the Iranian pro-democracy movement and the human rights abuses committed under Khatami was a disaster for the real Iranian pro-democracy and human rights campaigners as well as for the BBC's credibility.

Ayatollah BBC, the term used by Iranians to describe the British Broadcasting Corporation, was further enforced as a result of Muir's constant mild reports and over inflated adulation of Khatami.

Since Jim Muir's departure from Tehran, many were hopeful that there will be more realistic reporting and to some extent there was. Yet only the other day I came across this report on the BBC website: Women Taxi Drivers in Tehran, and as always with such reports, yes you guessed it, the inevitable comparison of Iranian women with Saudi women who are not allowed to drive and giving the Islamic Republic the credit for such acts of women emancipation. As always these silly comparisons are not like for like comparisons of course. Women in Saudi Arabia have never been allowed to drive, yet the women in Iran had many more rights and were far ahead of their counterparts in the region before the 1979 revolution, it is just that at the time such comparisons were never reported and appreciated by the likes of Jim Muir.

At a time when there is almost an undeclared martial law in Tehran, at a time when many student activists have been arrested or forced to go into hiding ahead of the regime's crack down in anticipation of the National Student Day on 7th December, at a time when there has been an unprecedented number of executions in just a few days, when the dissident secular Ayatollah Boroujerdi has been transferred to Yazd prison, when Ayatollah Montazeri's war veteran assistant, Mojtaba Lotfi has been sentenced to four years in prison, when the regime once again stopped the public commemoration of the Forouhars and so much more relevant news, Jim Muir writes about female taxis in Tehran, how pathetic!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Embarassing Iranian Millionaire, Farhad Hakimzadeh

I was so embarassed to read in the UK papers today about the Iranian millionaire and the chairman of the Iran Heritage Foundation, Farhad Hakimzadeh, who with the help of a scalpel has managed to cut out numerous pages from 150 books in the British Library. Books that have been part of the British people's collection and heritage for centuries. Damn these uncultured Iranian wealthy illiterate apes who are a constant source of embarrassment to our community. How low can they get?

What Hakimzadeh has done, embodies the worst of the bazaari mentality and the attitude of the very wealthy Iranian ex-pats. Their greed and desire for self interest only, their lack of interest in benefiting the wider community, their disregard for opportunities to share cultural treasures with others. No wonder these Iranian millionaire ex-pats never fund any political activity and no wonder they are always so keen on mingling with their Islamic Republic connections, for they are only ever interested in one thing, self interest and promoting themselves.

I read this article by Peyvand Khorsandi on Farhad Hakimzadeh, a while ago. Only now I understand how well Peyvand described Hakimzadeh and the Iran Heritage Foundation:
a self-appointed arbiter of Iranian culture with little distinction outside the circles of rich illiterates among whom he shines, a Tarzan among apes.

Very well put Peyvand.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tenth Anniversary of Forouhars

Ten years ago, Iran's secular dissidents, husband and wife, Daryoush and Parvaneh Forouhar were murdered in their home by Islamic Republic intelligence ministry agents. Their daughter Parastoo has returned to Iran every year on the anniversary of their murder to hold commemoration ceremonies for her slained parents.

In the last few years the regime has banned all public commemoration ceremonies and has even tried to restrict the private family gatherings in their house.

Despite all the obstacles and restrictions, this year too, Parastoo has returned to Iran and as she told Deutsche Welle radio, she will continue to commemorate her parents until she is alive. The commemoration ceremony is due to be held this Friday in the Forouhars' home were they were repeatedly stabbed to death.

Baby P

Of course this blog is first and foremost to write about Iran related news and events but sometimes I really want to say something on some non-Iran related issue and I think what the heck, I have a platform, I might as well get it off my chest.

The horrific and cruel treatment of Baby P has outraged everyone in UK. What that poor kid must have suffered, I can not even think about. Once again my anger is focused on the so-called Child Support Agency. So many good fathers in UK are denied access to their children and if they are a soft target for the CSA they are driven to the point of despair and some sadly even suicide, because the CSA is just a debt collection agency, with no regards for the welfare of the child. It automatically assumes the child should be with the mother, it cares not how the money paid to the mother is spent and worse of all it cares not how the child is at all. It does not even recognise that the welfare of the child means plenty of contact with the father. It is a disgrace of an organisation, set up by out of touch politicians and the kind of ministers we see in the Labour government with no real life experience or job other than having been a university or college lecturer before becoming a minister and their warped PC values.

Friday, November 14, 2008

As If We Will Hand in the Presidency on a Plate

Cleric Mohammad Ali Abtahi points out an interesting point on his blog made by Ayatollah Jannati during last week's Friday Sermon. Abtahi quotes Ayatollah Jannati when he lashed at the newspapers who have been criticising President Ahmadinejad's government saying 'They think we are going to hand them the presidency on a plate'. Abtahi then humours the sermon speech saying, so it sounds like the Presidency is an appointed position. Sounds like it is!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Will Obama Stand up for Esha Momeni?

It was reported that Esha Momeni, Northridge graduate student who was arrested in Iran last month was released on $200,000 bail on Monday. Her ordeal is not over yet however, she faces charges on "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the system" and she is banned form leaving Iran. Her father, Reza Momeni is a devoted Muslim, Esha is named after the evening Muslim prayers, and he took an active part in the 1979 Islamic revolution, but like so many of his generation, the revolution they helped bring about is now jailing their own children.

Esha's father has already had to appear on State TV to condemn her daughter's "illegal" activities as part of the deal to release her on bail.

Esha has dual Iranian and US citizenship. It will be interesting to see if Obama will stand up for this US citizen who has done nothing wrong but interviewed some of the feminist activists in Iran and help them collect some signatures. Hardly "acting against national security"!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Killers Suffered the Most

I was watching a documentary about the extent of co-operation between Hitler and Stalin during the Nazi-Soviet pact. Part of the documentary covered the mass murder of the Polish officers. More than 6000 Polish officers were murdered during this time at a rate of 250 a day.

What I particularly noted however was an interview with an NKVD Soviet officer, who was involved in the killings. He mentioned how those who took part in the massacre ended up suffering the most. Many of them went mad later in life suffering all sorts of mental and physical ailments and many ended up committing suicide.

This is a lesson for those who take part in torture and murder of others. It may be some sadistic fun at the time, but it will soon come to haunt them.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ayatollah Khorasani: Sunnis are Kaffir!

One day after the interfaith dialogue between the Catholics and Muslims and Hussein Nasr doing his usual charm waffle to fool the non-Iranian delegations, Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, according to Sunni News website publicly quoted some dubious Hadith and concluded that the Sunnis are Kuffar!!

Hussein Nasr, get out of this one :))

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Vatican's Interfaith Dialogue

The first session of Catholic-Muslim Forum ended in Vatican today. I tried to search and find out who the Sunni and Shi'ite religious leaders from the Muslim side who attended the forum were but I couldn't find any names. If there were any Islamic Republic affiliated Shiite clerics there, it would have been most hypocritical. Apparently a joint declaration has been signed at the end of the three days calling for religious minorities to be "entitled to their own places of worship, and they should not be subjected to any form of mockery or ridicule,"

I wonder how long it will take, if ever, for the Islamic Republic to respect dissident Shi'ite clerics who are calling for separation of religion and state, like Ayatollah Boroujerdi,let alone to respect followers of other religions. How can a Shiite state who imprisons and tortures a Shiite cleric ever respect other faiths and their followers?

Talking of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, I understand he has written many letters to the Pope and other prominent men of cloth, but when will these people ever respond to the plight of a man and his followers who have done nothing wrong other than wish for religion to be a private matter away from political manipulation and schemes??

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Democracy Wins in US

As I have said before neither Obama nor McCain have impressed me with their knowledge of Iran or with their policies on how to handle the Islamic Republic.

What a joy it is however to live in a democracy, where you can change your leader with your vote, without fearing any consequences. A privilege worth fighting for.
The fact that a dark skinned man with a Muslim name and a broken home can become a US president proves democracy provides opportunities for all.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Kordan's Boasts of His Time at Oxford University

The Kordan saga refuses to go away, despite Ahmadinejad's interior minister's admittance that his PHD from Oxford was a fake and fraud, he managed to win the Majlis (Islamic Parliament) vote of confidence. It has now been revealed that 135 MPs were bribed to vote for Kordan to remain in Ahmadinejad's cabinet.

President Ahmadinejad once again supported his interior minister, saying 'So what if his PHD was a fake, he has served this regime for 30 years'.

Kordan's fake PHD has become the subject of the most popular jokes in Iran today. Kordan's former students have also lodged a complaint citing how on numerous occasions, Kordan boasted about his studies at Oxford, often saying 'You haven't been a student until you have been at Oxford' :))

Good luck to Obama or anyone else if they wish to negotiate with these lot.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Iranian Cleric: People Loath the Clerics

It is always better from the horse' s mouth:
'In the beginning of the revolution, the clergy had a lot of respect amongst the people, but some of the clergy haven't conducted themselves well and have abused their position and therefore are no longer looked up to by the people, I am worried that the Baseej [IR Militia] may end up the same.' ISNA reported Hojjat-ol-Islam Mahmood Doaii saying this during a seminar of Baseej and the Media held in Mashad.

Doaii added, 'Sadly I have to admit this, although there are some clergy who are pious and shy away from wealth and power, but the enemy's plots have resulted in the population loathing the clergy. Now the enemy is trying to do the same with Baseej'.