The recent earthquake in Azerbaijan (northwestern Iran) has given occasion for the Iranian government officials to show their true regard their countrymen. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC or Pasdaran) just arrested 35 volunteer students and relief worker who were helping earthquake victims, according to a report by The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“At midnight on August 23, security and IRGC forces attacked a relief camp set up to help earthquake victims in Eastern Azerbaijan. Thirty five volunteer students and relief workers who had gathered to help the earthquake victims at the camp, located on the road between Tabriz and Varzaghan, were arrested and transferred to Tabriz Intelligence Office. All items donated by individuals and stored in the camp’s warehouse were transferred to an unknown location and the warehouse was sealed.”
It does not appear that the Islamic Republic of Iran puts a high priority on human rights.
It does put a high priority on Islam, obviously. The ICHRI report reveals that most of the volunteers were members of the Bahai faith and some were journalists from the BBC, and the Voice of America.
…the 35 arrested individuals are all Baha’i faith followers or representatives of anti-revolutionary networks, the BBC and Voice of America. YJC [Young Journalists Clug] claimed that after the Azerbaijan earthquake, a secret organization for transmittal of reports and sale of news, masquerading as “eyewitnesses,” dispatched these individuals to the region to create rumors, sell false news, propagate the Baha’i faith, and collect exorbitant donations.
The report says that the Young Journalist Club is tightly connected to Iran security, and had obviously infiltrated the volunteers, thus enabling the YJC to report minute details immediately.
Amir Abbas Hoveyda, Prime Minister
of Iran, 1965-1977.
This is a nasty report, any way it is evaluated. Islam is utterly intolerant. That is perfectly clear. Islamic governments are quite cruel about it, as well.
But, what about Iranian people? Is the government part of “the people?”
Farah Diba Pahlavi, Shabanou.
When the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, took flight from his country on January 16, 1979, there were loyal generals who wanted civil war to defend the Shah. He wouldn’t have it. He explicitly forbade them to attack their own people. In fact, Shah Pahlavi did not even want his former prime minister Amir Abbas Hoveyda arrested as a concession. He new the opposition press maligned Hoveyda only to attack the Shah. All this, according to the Shahbanou, Farah Diba Pahlavi. (An Enduring Love, 2004.)
Certainly, Iranian Americans are great advocates of human rights. They are of course deeply against any war with Iran–not because they believe in the Ahmadinejad regime and the mullahs, but because they don’t want to see their own blood spilled aimlessly. Iranians for Peace and Justice is a news web site for all the activities of American Iranians in protest of violence.
One might ask, are not Iranians in the diaspora (those living outside Iran) still Muslim? Don’t they believe in Muslim ways?
In my personal observations, I think it is hard to say. To a broad-minded, normal Persian, there is a profound intuition of a Supreme Being. At this point, they inherited that genetic programming from the Achaemanid Emperors, and Ahura Mazda, whom the emporers considered to be God. I honestly believe that Islam is, to the free Iranians, just a belief in a Supreme Being. The Iranians I know do not practice Islam in a way that intrudes anyone else’s life. They are absolutely not evangelical about it. And their knowledge of it, frankly, is not profound. To them, Islam is like a special suit to wear to church, to a funeral, to a wedding, or some other social function. It is a community thing. It is not some aggressive motivation for living. They already have that in toto. I’m not saying they are insincere about their faith, but I have the feeling that their faith is ill-housed in Islam. Their faith is much broader.
Having lectured in Iran in 1999, I would still say the same thing. I was not evangelized in Iran. I had one visit to a theology school in Messhad, but that was the only occasion for direct discussion about Islam. Everywhere I went, the people made a special point of telling me how much they actually loved America! (I might add, they still loved Farah Diba Pahlavi, as well. Even in remote villages, or smaller cities like Torbat-e Heydarieh.
I think modern Iran is a case of a government that is against the people. The United States itself, today, is experiencing such a government under the Obama administration. Now, what I have never been able to figure out is how so many American Iranians are Democrat! I think they just want to say, theoretically, that everyone should have a shot at success. The fact is, they themselves work harder than Mexicans, they are completely accommodating to all people they deal with, and, as I said, I have never been evangelized by my Iranian friends–even the ones I know well.
Finally, I must say, the Iranian (Persian) people represent one of the oldest, if not the oldest, sector of the Caucasian race. Yes, there was a lot of Arab intermarriage in the early Medieval period, but, but the race is white.
In fact, it is so white that, in spite of the Islamic Iranian government’s fetish for Adolf Hitler, European or American Iranians would never do something so false or stupid as to create a clothing store named “Hitler.” Rajesh Shah, a Hindu businessman (–I say Hindu as a racial term, as it was originally used) claims he knew nothing of the identity of Adolf Hitler when he named his clothing store “Hitler.” This is pure anti-Semitic racism, with no veil but a lie. This is a racial claim of a Hindu–a white man. Yes, the Hindu people are scientifically classified as part of the Caucasian race.
In any case, American Iranians have no taste for racism at all. They have behaved themselves as model, patriotic citizens, people who contribute to the well-being of society. Now, if they can just shake that old early 20th century Communist notion about the word “democracy”! If they can just understand that the Democrat Party does not represent their values, their life style, or their American conservative approach to life!
Many say they are “liberal,” but they live like conservatives. They earn their own way. They have never been legally identified as a minority here in America, because they are white. And yet Hindu people do get special business considerations! This is a great irony. I want to see American Iranians experiment with the conservative political movement. Their “human rights” have obviously been “denied” by the Democrat Party.