Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Injustice Against the Three Iranian Students

Their names are Ehsan Mansouri, Ahmad Ghassaban and Majid Tavakoli, they have also become known as the 'Polytechnic 3' amongst their student colleagues. They were accused of having insulted Islam and Islamic sacred figures in the student publications, a charge that they immediately and vehemently denied.

In an open letter they immediately stated that the publications were fake and carried out by the University Baseej militia to lay the ground for their arrests and imprisonment.

"...At a time when the slightest criticism of the state's policies can lead to our kidnap and imprisonment, how could we possibly have published such things?"

The parents of the three students also pleaded with the Islamic Republic's Head of Judiciary, Ayatollah Sharoodi, citing 15 methods of torture, their children had been subjected to in order to extract a false confession from them by Islamic intelligence interrogators.

At the end, it was too obvious that the publications were fake and the three students had nothing to do with them. After seven months of constant torture and intimidation, the Islamic courts had to concede that the three students had nothing to do with those publications, yet they still received 22 months (Ehsan Mansouri), 26 months (Ahmad Ghassaban) and 30 months (Majid Tavakoli)!! Why? As any sane person may ask. The Islamic court's reason was that the students had accused the university baseej militia of having published those articles. No further attempt was made to investigate who really was behind printing the insults. Suddenly that was not important.

It is amazing that when a writer, film maker, cartoonist or any private citizen in Europe is deemed to have insulted Islam, the Islamic Republic is at the forefront of the protests which demand to kill the offender, yet for its own political purposes the clerics and their lackeys in Iran are even prepared to make these insults against Islam themselves.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two Generations in a Picture

A picture speaks a thousand words. This one may speak even more. It shows two generations of Iranians side by side in a Friday prayer. The older generation, which got us in this mess, is shown shouting empty meaningless slogans with the usual enthusiasm and zeal, screaming from the top of their heads, with fists clenched and raised.

The younger generation however is silent and bemused. They are either laughing amongst themselves or looking at the dinosaurs with amusement.

This should be a lesson to those who want to collaborate with the outdated archaic clerical regime. Just like this older generation, the Islamic Republic is on its way out. Whether by sheer change in demographics or by some violent change, its here for just a brief period. No one can stop time or nature.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baharloo's Latest Clanger on VOA Persian

As if it wasn't bad enough for the VOA Persian's mediocre presenter, Ahamd-Reza Baharloo, to present some one like Hossein Derakhshan (Hossein joon) as an opposition figure and a dissident to millions of baffled viewers in Iran, Baharloo and his incompetent program researcher, Faraj Ardalan, once again didn't do their research properly and confused millions of viewers in Iran by mis-representing one of the most abominable Iranians I have ever come across as some economics expert. One caller from Iran, even referred to Babak Emamain as a Dr! :))

In fact, Babak Emamian does not even have any A-Levels nor any formal education, let alone a PHD in economics, and despite having been in UK since he was 16 years old, still struggles to speak English properly. He is not even an entrepreneur, he is a life insurance salesman working for Zurich Life Insurance! It is so embarrassing to see this loathsome overweight lump of lard in a broken English, telling some distinguished Iranian 'I can ENTEEGRATE you into the British society'

Worse still, is this detestable character's insatiable and unapologetic desires to creep up to whoever is at the top.

I have written before about how at a press conference, this sycophant, claiming to represent the British-Iranian business community! proudly stated "I voted for Ahmadi-Nejad, because his message to the poor touched my heart".

It is such a shame that the US state department continues to pour so much of US Tax payer's hard earned money into this establishment run by total amateurs, who continue to confuse the Iranian population inside Iran. A Television station which has no clues on how to make programs. Talk shows and copy & paste of irrelevant news is the full extent of their program making initiatives. When will the State Department understand the damage they are causing?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shiraz Explosion, Total Disregard for Life

From the reports I have been reading about the explosion in the Shiraz mosque which led to so many deaths and injuries, it seems the most likely cause was the ordnance display at the mosque which was not made safe for public. It strikes me that when we talk about the total disregard for life by the Islamic Republic rulers, we shouldn't just think about their disregard for life of their enemies, rivals and dissidents etc. Even the lives of their own supporters for them is worth nothing, as it has been demonstrated so many times in the past.

The reaction of the "enlightened reformists" living in London was also interesting. Mrs. Jamileh Kadivar, the wife of Atollah Mohajerani, the former Minister of Guidance during Khatami's presidency, who now lives in the exclusive Chelsea district of London, speculated that the Baha'is were the perpetuaters of the Shiraz explosion!!

Meanwhile Jamileh Kadivar's husband, Ataollah Mohajerani, is actually advertising and selling his book in defence of Ayatollah Khomeini's death sentence against Salman Rushdie on his web site. Both have the full protection of Her Majesty's Government.

On the other hand, Safa Einollahi, the plaintiff against Khatami, a victim of torture during Khatami's presidency, is living in hiding after the UK Home Office ruled it is safe for him to return to Iran!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Temporary Marriage Online

When religion and government become one as they have in the Islamic Republic of Iran, so many forbidden matters just simply change name. Interest rates for example, regarded as usury and forbidden in Islam became 'bank charges' and how can anyone think below is anything other than legalised prostitution?

Edict authorises online short-term marriages - AKI

I know who?! Haleh Afshar and Elaheh Rostami will present this as emancipation of women by an anti-Imperialist regime threatened by the US, amongst their "progressive" circles which they circuate around :)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Free Tibet

I swear I had no intention of getting involved with the Free Tibet protesters, I was in fact on my way to the Ideal Home Exhibition in London's Earls Court with my family. My route to the exhibition however took me through Notting Hill Gate, just one location amongst several where the Olympics torch was carried through in London. I am no expert on Tibet, but my gut instincts is that China has no business being there and the Tibetans don't want the Chinese there either. I can not get involved in every cause there is in the world but in any case China is close to the Islamic Republic and protest against the Chinese one party Communist system can not be a bad thing.

As I saw the protesters with their Tibetan flags ahead along with the heavy police presence and slowed traffic, I knew what was going on and tried to quickly explain to the kids about Tibet and China and the Olympics torch. I pulled the window down and started sounding my horn shouting 'Free Tibet, Free Tibet". The kids had got all excited too and were shouting "Three Two Bet!" until I told them how to correctly say Free Tibet. My loud voice quickly attracted the protesters on the other side of the road and they handed us Tibetan flags, which we gladly accepted and started waving them from the car, while waiting for the Traffic to move. I could see a few suspicious grim looking plain clothes Chinese with earphones mingling around and talking into their microphones as if they were reporting the situation to somewhere. One of them was trying to cross the road in front of my car, when I made a particularly loud and sudden sound with my car horn, which made him jump. "Are you a Chinese secret agent?" I asked him! He looked nonplussed and didn't know how to react, while the kids laughed their heads off from the way he jumped and kept repeating the question to each other "Did you see the way he jumped?".

By now the kids had more practice and we were all shouting in unison 'Free Tibet! Free Tibet!' but the kids had made up their own versions to chant too which they were thoroughly enjoying "China Sucks! Tibet Rocks!".

The torch finally came, protected by about 10 Chinese stern looking body guards in blue and white track suits, ringed by English policemen. A further ring of uniformed police was added when the torch was being exchanged from one runner to the other. Its a shame all that snow in the morning had melted away, I think we would have all enjoyed throwing snowballs at the torch.

The traffic finally started moving and I missed the part when a protester grabbed the torch from the TV presenter, Connie Haq, and the ones who tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher.
Further up near the Russian embassy, we saw about a half dozen police surrounding a lone woman protester, who was pinned against the railings. Again we pulled the windows down and started shouting 'Let her go! Let her go!' as the police turned around, the woman managed to clench her hands together above her head and I signalled the horn as sign of solidarity to each other.

So there you go, I don't often get involved with non-Iran related causes, Iran already takes up so much of my free time, but there I was right in middle of cause for justice and it was such good family fun and educational too :))

Its April and its Snowing in London

When we celebrate Nowruz, we mark the end of winter and the beginning of the spring. This year in England it seems we are marking the end of the spring and the beginning of the Winter!

While the February was mild and sunny, one week into April, all is covered under the snow. Still it looks beautiful and serene and I wonder what all this global warming nonsense is about, other than an excuse for further taxes.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Iranian Student Activist Elected as NUS Honorary VP

The NUS (National Union of Students) conference in Blackpool, UK, has elected Anoosheh Azadbar to become the honorary Vice President of the UK's Student Union, in order to show solidarity with Iran's students.

Anoosheh was amongst the many Iranian students who were arrested or kidnapped on 7th December, for trying to organise student protests to mark the Student Day in Iran.

Anoosheh was nominated by students from 28 of UK's universities and colleges. Anoosheh is now the third Iranian pro-democracy activist who has been elected as the honorary Vice President of the NUS. Previous Iranians elected to this post have been Ahmad Batebi and Mansoor Osanlou.

Amongst the past non-Iranian honorary NUS VPs are the likes of Nelson Mandela, Tasleema Nasrin and Yanar Mohammad.

No One Would Buy Mullah Flags!

Undoubtedly amongst the Iranian ex-pats, the magnificent Nowruz parade in New York, is a big source of pride and joy. Sadly I have never been able to attend this event but I always follow the news and reports on the parade with much enthusiasm.

I came across a report on the NY Nowruz Parade yesterday which I thought was worth a post on my blog. An American street peddler, who follows carnivals and parades and sells flags and whistles and so on, was given a large number of Islamic Republic flags to distribute freely amongst the people by an unknown person. The poor American did not know what the significance of that flag was and what the difference with the Sun and Lion flag entailed for Iranians, and so he was surprised that no one would touch the Islamic Republic flags.

Finally someone came and warned him sternly, "If you don't put those flags away, I'll burn them here and now in front of you", which made the American peddler hide the Islamic Republic flags away and suffice in selling his own usual carnival paraphernalia :))

My salutations to the patriotic Iranian ex-pats in New York as ever.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Zimbabwe Elections v Islamic Republic Elections

I don't want to sound pro-Mugabe at all, I am definitely not pro anyone who has remained in power for 28 years. I view any leader who has stayed in power for more than 10 years with great suspicion. However, if like me, your only source of information about Zimbabwe has been the BBC News and the British media, then its very likely that your impression of Mugabe is that of an evil dictatorship which suppresses all forms of dissent with no support amongst the population.

Yet the same media along by some opportunistic or simply naive statesmen and politicians will tell you that there is a democracy in Iran, perhaps not a fully fledged one, but one which is "the best in the region!" I wonder if "the region" includes Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, Israel, Lebanon and so on.

Few examples to demonstrate my point:
"Iran is far from being a full democracy, but it is a great deal more democratic than almost any country in the Arab world or Central Asia." BBC's John Simpson.

and even worse:
"Islamic Republic is as an advanced form of shining democracy in the region". Lib-Dem MEP, Emma Nicholson, in the European Parliament.

While the BBC always grumbles about being banned from Zimbabwe, the BBC's knight in shining armour, John Simpson, always manages to get a report out about the country in some heroic way:
"The elections were conducted against a backdrop of violence and criticism"
"the whole process has been far from free and fair" John Simpson reporting from Zimbabwe elections.

Now lets put the BBC reporting aside for a minute and remind ourselves with some facts. In the Islamic Republic an unelected body vets the candidates. This vetting process has seen the disqualification of Islamic Republic founders, war veterans, clerics, and even people who have been in the government or the parliament before. In other words the slightest dissent means being banned from standing up as a candidate, no matter how loyal one's past record is.

Even the vetted candidates who win this very restricted process can still get disqualified afterwards!

Despite all this control, the regime still cheats in counting the votes, the Baseej are mobilised to vote several times and even use false ID cards.

On top of all this, even if through all this restricted process and tight control, God forbid the Majles votes for something as apolitical as raising the age of marriage for girls from 9 years old to 12 years old, the Guardian Council vetoes the Majlis approved bill.

Yet it seems that in Zimbabwe, there is no vetting of candidates. Opposition parties can run in the elections, there is a free press, there is freedom of speech and there is a much more independent judiciary than there is in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

So please, bright and intelligent politicians, and unbiased journalists, someone tell this lay man how is it that Mugabe is such an unforgivable dictator and the Islamic Republic is such a shining example of Democracy? Where is the consistency in your reporting?