Thursday, November 16, 2006

Quiet Revolution

Deborah Campbell, Middle East lecturer, author of The Heated Place and an adjunct professor of literary nonfiction at the University of British Columbia visits Iran and writes about Iran's Quiet Revolution.
" American threats serve the current political system and weaken the opposition, Razzaghi believes.

As water boiled for tea, he continued. "I'm not so optimistic about the future of things we hear regarding American threats and plans for a "Greater Middle East.' You can look at history and the interference of the US in Iran fifty years ago, which caused the Islamic revolution twenty-five years later. We don't know how American actions will affect the future, but I don't think they will bring democracy to Iranians in the long term."

Nor does Shirin Ebadi, a human rights lawyer and the most powerful woman in Iran. In 2003, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming Iran's first-ever Nobel laureate and the only Muslim woman to receive the honour. At her office in Tehran, she wielded a letter opener like a sabre as she described the human rights issues for which she has endured arrest and imprisonment. While she vocally opposes many of her government's actions, she is even more vocal in her opposition to regime change and military intervention. Change, she believes, must be internally generated, as has been the case in parts of the former Soviet Union.

"I never believe in foreign pressure," she told me, her hair protruding from beneath a white scarf. "I believe in Iranian public opinion. Look at Iraq and look at Kazakhstan. In Iraq it was foreign pressure and in Kazakhstan it was people pressure, from the bottom up. How much have they hurt Iraq Yet with no casualties, the people in Kazakhstan won."

See her interesting pictures


homeyra said...

Interesting, I didn't know this book. Will link to it. Thx Naj:)

Sophia said...

Beautiful pictures indeed. I particularly liked the one in the Park and the one on the snow. Will read the whole article later.

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Hi Homie, Naj,

Just noticed I had forgotten to add you to my blogroll…

But I have now remedied to this unforgivable ignorance!


naj said...

Thank you for your kind words, Homeyra, Sophia, and Dr Victorino de la Vega.

My favorite picture is the 4 women talking to eachother. You have perhaps noticed that is a motif in most of my postings. What I find extremely important and much neglected in the discourse about Iranians Islamic extremism is that it entirely ignores the respectful and peaceful co-existance of people of extremely different traditional or ideological points of views.

It will be unfair of me to not mention certain factions who excert "behavioral" authority on what they render lower morality. But they are often considered marginal (in spite of their ruling power) by both the modernists and the traditionalists.

homeyra said...

Good point Naj, this is one aspect of life that I like in Iran, we can live, deal and share with people of seemingly opposite backgrounds most of the time.