Thursday, June, 25, 09

Iran – How Halal is an Islamic State?

Filed under: a moment in my head — theradishpress @ 6:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

by theradishpress

The thing with the Islamic Republic of Iran is, that is an oxymoron.  All theocracies  seem hypocritical. While everything is political, including our class, race, education, religion, and so on, I fail to see how a religious state is true to whatever faith it claims to uphold.

As far as the three major world religions are concerned (I cannot speak too much on other religions as I am less familiar with them) all humans are equal, god is merciful, peace and harmony are ideal, so on and so forth. So then, how can a country like Iran justify what is going on right now? How can the religious leaders of Iran claim Islam as their guiding force when they are arresting people like Ebrahim Yazdi, who was in hospital? Apparently Yazdi’s work is a threat to the Iranian state. What about the arrest of Maziar Bahari, a journalist for Newsweek? These are people who are getting coverage because of who they are. There are plenty of others who have been arrested, killed, and are fighting against the government.

So here it is, here is why Iran is not an Islamic state: The Islam I was taught is one that calls for each follower to be their own leader. The Qu’ran is a guide, and accompanying it are the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and the 12 Imams (like saints in Catholicism). It is up to each Muslim to be their own teacher, to use the Qu’ran and the words and life lessons of the prophet and the saints to determine how to practice, what is right, what is wrong. There are things that are clearly laid out, and others that are not. And most Muslims do follow one or two ore maybe more people they consider to be more knowledgeable than themselves. Someone who is well versed in Arabic and the Qu’ran, like those men who sit on the Guardian Council, but even then, Islam is very much a faith of independence. It is about one’s relationship with the creator and themselves.

People who want to follow Khamanei, great. Go for it. But how can Khamanei really call himself a true Islamic leader when he condones Islam being forced on people? This is not Islam. And isn’t that one of the classic arguments we Muslims have? That people like Osama bin Laden do not represent us. His Islam is not true Islam. It’s like saying George Bush represents Christianity. I am fairly certain that Jesus would not invade Afghanistan or Iraq. He also would not plant military bases across the world. And let’s face it, while the US may not officially be called a theocracy, a lot that goes on here is determined by religion. The last time I checked though, god did not really care about being stamped on money, or denying women and people of color and queers their rights. But hey, what do I know?

What I fear is that Iranians who are fighting will make the same mistake that was made 30 years ago. That they will go from one extreme to the other. The revolution 30 years ago was supported by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. And then the Shah was removed and one force took over another. Again, where is Islam in here? True Islam.

Here comes my next question. I was talking to a fellow Iranian and we were discussing violence when fighting oppression. When people are backed into a corner how else can they react but with violence? And when confronted with violence from the state, of course people will fight back with whatever means necessary (yes, this is a reference to Brother Malcolm X). So here is the real question, assuming that those fighting for a different regime in Iran are victorious, how will they be any different? Will they set up a state that has a military? Will they enforce their laws and rules with violence as well? Will they arrest anyone and everyone opposed to their laws? I think that violence can be a very necessary action against oppression, but what happens when the violence does not end? What happens when the cycle continues just from a different ruler or state and for a different purpose?

Why is violence from the state – military and police – acceptable, but people fighting back is not? And why do we accept some people fighting back? The US government uses tear gas, guns, and arrests protesters, but then this same government supports Iranian protesters…?! Sounds to me like unrest in Iran is self-serving for the US. And are the same people over here in the US who are calling for a free Iran – whatever the hell that means, let’s define things people – the type to protest US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan? Do they stand up for US folks who protest the wars, who protested George Bush stealing office, who continue to fight against the military and institutions like The School of the Americas? Maybe they just want Iranian women to take their scarves off, wear bikinis, and get breast implants…FREEEEEEEEEDOM!

Sunday, June, 21, 09

South is South

Filed under: Uncategorized — theradishpress @ 5:00 pm
Tags: ,

by theradishpress

Read this blog:

Elections all over again…Iran

Filed under: a moment in my head — theradishpress @ 4:59 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

by theradishpress

So, I have been silent on here. Not in other instances, but here. I have a lot going on in my head right now, and I am not even in Iran. I am physically removed from that home of mine. I did not vote either. I thought long and hard about it, and for a while I kept close tabs on this election. I lost touch with it a little ago so much so that when it came to the week of election I did not even realize until a few days before Friday.

My main reason for not voting was that I felt that not living in Iran makes it unfair. Then I thought that does not matter really, because I am still going to feel the effects of election results. These things being said, I do not regret not voting.

And that is not the point of this either. The point of this is to talk about what is going on now. And the truth is, I do not know how to begin talking, well, writing. So I will just write what comes to mind. It may not make sense and I may repeat myself, but I need an outlet. I need my mind to have some sort of outlet, nice for me to have this and not worry about getting hurt.

Iran is a large country, Tehran is a small part. That is in no way said to minimize what is going on there. And I have heard it said over and over again that governments should fear their people. I agree. They should. And good for Iranians for standing up for themselves. They always have. The revolution, while it happened before I was born, was not long ago. I am not so far removed from the revolution as I am from the one in the US. So what that I was not born in Iran and that I have not lived there, nor been there since childhood, the fact of the matter is I feel connected to that home of mine. And I love that home of mine and I love that I am part of a people who refuse to be held down by anyone, especially their own. We, Iranians, do not like to be told what to do, we do not like to take orders, we do not like interference. Maybe that’s why I can relate to some anarchist ideals.

Whether Ahmadinejad won or not is beside the point now. (Also, can we take a moment to not forget that George Bush stole the presidency and we here in the US did not so much as bat our lashes. We should have taken our anger to the streets. We could learn a thing or two from not just Iran, but just about every other nation out there. How sedated are we? And yes, I include myself in this. I am not without fault. We need to all be held accountable.) The point now is that there are a lot of people who are not happy with Ahmadinejad as president again. There are a lot of people who are not happy with how things are run.

I of course cannot help but go back to feeling on the defensive of who I am and where I come from, of how we Iranians, Middle Easterners, Muslims are portrayed by Western media. We yet again are violent people, irrational, crazed, and the list goes on. I am no expert on Iran or politics or Islam or people my age or the revolution; I am only an expert on myself and my experiences and how I am reading the media and watching the media. There is truth to the idea that people are indifferent until things are in their own backyard. I am not indifferent to things in the world, but certainly feel removed. Until now. Now I feel overwhelmed and powerless and I want to help and I feel like I do not know what to do or where to start. I suppose this is some sort of start.

I cannot help but feel some annoyance too at the sudden rush of love for Iran and Iranians that a lot of folks here in the US have. On the one hand it is great to know that folks are paying attention and showing support. On the other hand it feels self-serving, or like the usual colonizing mind-set of  “we know what’s best for you savages.”

There also needs to be a serious analysis of the media – though that needs to always be the case – because everything is so completely one-sided. I am not one to ever take sides with government, and I am not here. and that is it, the media tends to be in support of government and corporate interests, I am not talking Iranian media here. It is old news that the US media is controlled by five corporations. Hello, Fox News is not the only one full of liars and thieves. They just happen to be more honest about … well, about lying. So as I read stories on CNN, BBC, NYTimes, Washington Post, PressTV, etc. I keep thinking, “what is not being told? what has been left out? whose voices are not being shared?” But mostly I think, “whose interests are being served here?”

One thought that crossed my mind, and here comes that orange jumpsuit for a permanent stay in Cuba, is that this is so convenient for the US. Iran is more than vulnerable right now. But having Ahmadinejad as president is great too, because he only adds to already existing tension. He creates turmoil. He will be the end to Iran as it is known. And yes, all governments fall, and I will be the first to say that there is a lot that needs to change in Iran, but who is Ahmadinejad helping anyway?

Monday, June, 8, 09

I have decided

Filed under: a moment in my head — theradishpress @ 5:48 pm

by theradishpress

I have decided that some people need to chill out.

Chill out you chill out! (Thank you David and Matthew).

Seriously, calm down. It’s not that deep.

Tuesday, June, 2, 09

Crying on film

Filed under: a moment in my head,cinema — theradishpress @ 3:43 am
Tags: , , ,

by theradishpress

I have decided that Claire Danes has the best crying face. Her chin quivers and then the flood gates open.

For examples, watch:

Romeo and Juliet

Little Women (particularly the scene where she takes food to the Hummels)

Igby Goes Down

Blog at