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Let Reason Chart the Course of Change in Iran, as Passion Gives it Life

By Kam Zarrabi

All human endeavors reach their conclusion through the interplay between cool-headed pragmatism and unmitigated passion. The success or failure of any movement depends on how intelligently these two necessary forces are utilized to achieve the desired objectives. Blinded by the glow of passion, objective ends disappear from sight, while with no passion no momentum can be generated. Each has its rightful place and must work with, rather than against, the other.

Reading through the flood of articles by the Iranian thinkers and political activists these days, there is a common pattern that is shared by a great majority of them. In these articles, statements of facts and analytical investigations are invariably drowned in passionate exaggerations and sloganeering. There is a difference between carrying banners and shouting slogans in street demonstrations, and writing a political commentary that deserves serious consideration and careful analysis. Adjective-laden, hot and furious rhetorical attacks against an opposing camp can be emotionally quite satisfying. But when, as the Persian proverb goes, one crow is represented as forty, everything else is automatically discounted accordingly, thus losing its gravity and impetus.

For example, I was at first rather impressed by a beautifully written article appealing for support for the plight of the struggling pro-reform movement in Iran. The presentation was quite well articulated and moving, until it began to deteriorate into a pedestrian rhetoric. Was it really necessary to make such blatant exaggerations as, "Iran has the youngest and brightest and the most educated population of any country at this time in history."? Who're we kidding here? Or, is it really correct to claim, "The Islamic Republic says NO to a population of 70 million."? Is the Islamic Republic of Iran really the only regime in the world "whose leaders work twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year, against her citizens."? Should we at least discount that a bit?

Later we encounter the rather cavalier statement that refers to Iran as an Islamic terrorist country. Now, whose line is the gentleman towing here? This kind of unsolicited hogwash is, again, unnecessary and, instead, cheapens anything else of possible value in the article as well.

Near the end of the article we confront the statement that "Iranians are hoping to eradicate the Islamic barbarity from the land of Aryans." I have read and heard this allusion to some mythological historicity, ad nauseam. How many of the 70 million Iranians are Aryans today? We know that at least 30 million plus Azeris are not. Neither are the Turkmans of the northeastern provinces, nor the Arabs of the southwest. Besides, what makes an Aryan an Aryan? Must we be all tall and handsome, speak Achaemenian Persian and write in Cuneiform to qualify as the "Noble" Aryans? Should we perhaps revert to Zoroastrianism, or should we go back even further into our prehistory, when the ancestors of only some of us, including Zaratushtra himself, lived around Aral Sea in Siberia, and practiced paganism? Is the religion that has been adopted by a nation, forced or by choice, for some fourteen centuries, and that has been responsible for the subsequent cultural developments to which we all owe our identities, Moslem or not, Persian, Azeri, Baluch, Arab, or Turkman, really a "foreign" religion? Haven't our own very Iranian scientists, poets and artisans contributed enough to the Islamic scholarship all these centuries? Didn't our great Abu Ali Sina, Razi, and many others choose Arabic as the language of science because it was more eloquent and expressive?

After all, isn't this phony claim to "Aryanness" simply a backlash or a reactionary response to the undesirable political situation in our country these days that needs to be addressed more objectively and intelligently?

I am personally sick and tired of all this faghaan-o- faryaad, that this monster, the "imposed" Islam, has polluted our noble Aryan heritage, and must be eradicated through some ethnic or cultural cleansing.

There are indeed points to be made and issues that deserve to be emphasized at this juncture in our homeland's history. Yes, the pro-reform demonstrators in Iran do need to know that they have our support and sympathy wherever Iranians live around the world. The way to do it is definitely not by pleading for help and imploring the "civilized" world, particularly today's American administration, to help us save our Aryan asses from the shackles of Islamic tyranny. I don't believe for a second that this genuine movement for democratic reform and liberalization in Iran would truly benefit from endorsements by, say, Ariel Sharon, George W. Bush, or, for that matter, Louis Farakhan, should he choose to do so!

It helps to remember that, just after the 9/11 tragedy, the Mayor of New York rejected the ten-million dollar gift from a Saudi prince, because a gesture of support from such a source would not sit well with the people of that city after what had happened. What would, pray tell, happen to some public protest in front of the White House, if Osama Bin Laden were to officially endorse that demonstration? Mr. Bush has decided to shun Mr. Mandela and not even meet with him during his South African visit, simply because of the latter's recent criticism of Bush's policies.

The most effective support we Iranians, and all others interested in encouraging a successful resolution to the brave actions of our compatriots in Iran can provide, is to convince all foreign elements to keep their hands off Iran and not tint that movement in their own respective colors.

That is, of course, if a positive change in Iran's affairs, and for the sake of the Iranians themselves, is the desired objective.

... Payvand News - 7/7/03 ... --

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