Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Who's missing, who's found?

Update!



"We bear you no ill will. On the contrary, we respect Iran as an ancient civilisation, as a nation with a proud and dignified history. The disagreements we have with your government we wish to resolve peacefully through dialogue." Thus spake Tony Blair


==================================================================================
Once the drama of the 15 British navy crew reached its climax, the old lion laid low and departed with its bellicose posture. Then, both Iran and the UK gestured wise in the eyes of their populace and began to speak in a civilized manner, ... well sort of!

Yesterday, Iran laid its negotiation terms, and today, one of the Iranian diplomats was released. To date, the diplomatic status of the Iranians kidnapped in Iraq, was adamantly refused by the coalition. In response to a suggestion for detainee exchange, the empire had said: no way Jose! This is encouraging because it shows that even senile empires can learn a lesson, or less optimistally, that their almighty strategy could backfire.

Now something more interesting just popped in the news: A former FBI agent goes missing in Iran!

Given that Iran and the US are supposed to have no business relations, one would certainly wonder: how did an American FBI agent manage to get a visa to go on business in Iran?


aaand finally on the occasion of Prophed Mohammad's birthday and Easter, Ahmadinejad Frees the British detainees, as a gift to the British people!

Smart timing Mr Ahmadinejad! Well done!

140 comments:

Mystic Rose said...

hmmm...one wonders what goes on behind the scenes anyways. that seems to contribute to half the mess in the world. at least.

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Naj, maybe the FBI agent was Iranian, and maybe he was from the CIA.

Iranian diplomats held in Iraq, and exchange for prisoners - not a peep about that one over here.

The most that has been said is that the drifting sands and the changing tides, means that GPS readings make it difficult to ascertain where Iranian territorial waters bein & end.

Carolina Akkad said...

Great blog, i loved to read your post, and surely i'll be back in yuor pages..

Carolina Akkad said...

Great blog, i loved to read your post, and surely i'll be back in yuor pages..

Tim said...

It's an interesting and complex situation. I wonder how it will all play out. Seems like it would make an interesting research case study.

Good post.

Damian Zerek said...

Weren't those Iranian diplomats arrested while working in a Iranian liaison office in Iraq? But I guess when you make an enemy out of a nation you got to go seize nationals from that country regardless of what they are doing (whether they are civilians or international diplomats).

Cheers!

Aardvark EF-111B said...

[Given that Iran and the US are supposed to have no business relations, one would certainly wonder: how did an American FBI agent manage to get a visa to go on business in Iran?]

well, check my comment there, it covers exactly this point!

it is #11
http://www.sandmonkey.org/2007/04/02/how-the-mighty-have-fallen/#comments

Naj said...

Carolina
Welcome to Neo-Resistance! Glad you find it useful.

Mystic Rose
half of the world is messed up by despots who act silly out in the open; the other half by so called democrats who act silly behind the scenes!

Quasar9
Not surprised it's not on the front page. In fact, it very soon slid into background; I was lucky to wake up early today and catch a glimps of it.

tim
Hi!

Damian
There is a little game of courtship going on. I am convinced the negotiations are underway and both Iran and the US have come to agreement that theis muscle shows are more for the news items ... wasn't it amazing how today we suddenly got a tour of Iran's nuclear facilities on Associated Press?

Aadrvark
:) I have to admit I saw your comment last night, and I didn't quite get it :) decipher brother, decipher! (do you mean all these little crises are smoke screen? )

nunya said...

Naj, Kish Island is where the proposed Iranian oil bourse is. I understand why the Washington Post ignored that, but you?

I sent you this story, I just didn't know he was FBI, it wasn't mentioned, but Kish was. American missing several weeks in Iran

Naj said...

Kish island ... i overlooked it.

The Iranian Oil bourse is not operational yet. The building is said to be built in Kish.

But Kish is also a free trade zone.

check this out Nunya:

Naj said...

George bushi's reserve terrorist!

the Link!

Sophia said...

Maj,
Hi.I received a mail from jewish Voice for peace and Just Foreign Policy to sign a petition in support of bill s.594 restricting the selling and the use of cluster bombs. Although I would have preferred a total ban, I signed the petition and I am asking you if you are interested in signing the petition and/or spreading the word.

nunya said...

Sophia have you read that bill?

Lotsa loopholes.
bill look up

nunya said...

Naj, I know it's not operational yet, & I know that the US doesn't do business with Iran that's why I wonder just what the heck that guy was doing there.

Aardvark EF-111B said...

Yes Naj, you got me right.

USA & Iran can't go in all-out-attack against one another

Same time, They are not willing to set their disputes like Cold War summits (remember Henselki?)

so they are gaining points from sporadic crises [Iraq rebellion, Sadder ousted,Irani officials cidnapped, arrested, fled, bla bla bla..., Hezbullah, Hamas, instability in iran southwest & eastern provinces, and finally the Royal Marines, and will not be the last].

they are all smoke screens to cover the general strategic stalemate, but the general situation still in favor of Iran so far.

at some time [2001-2003] there was some points where Iran & US interests went parallel together, and there was real collaboration.

Coffee Messiah said...

It's all smoke and mirrors.

You simply never know what's really going on, until it's too late and the bastards are long gone! ; (

excuse my french.....

Amre El-Abyad said...

naj quit posting in egyptian chronicle using "another name" "god bless america" i figured out it was you from the kind of argument and english.

dont make an Egyptian site unclean........dont let me repeat this again.....

Zeinobia said...

first of all I can't hide my admiration with the beautiful carpet the British are sitting on

second of all you are mostly welcome in my website , don't listen to Amr ,I am the owner of the blog

third I think it is very smart move from Nijad , I didn't know that you celebrate Prophet Mohamed birthday tomorrow ,I mean I thought that we have the same date , anyhow I like the move

The FBI agent is 100% CIA , it doesn't need too much brain to know that

Naj said...

Sophia, Nunya
I signed up with my own request. Loop holes? .. one step at a time.

aardvaark
Did you hear the Ameircans under Cheney are not having Pakistani militia attack Iran's eastern borders?

coffee
Yah smoke and mirrors, and every now and again a guy like Ahmadinejad does something quite odd!

Zeinobia
Yes the rug is nice, but I loved the bowl of nuts :)
This was a BRILLIANT move, pulling out Iran's demand for apology and catching the world by surprise. I loved it!

Naj said...

aardvark

This si what I was talking about

(read "not" as 'now')

Anna said...

Amadinejad at his pressconference has released the 15 british marines. The news goes round the globe like wildfire. The are in the british embassy now. Tomorrow they will be at home. It's official!
Most of the western media of course qualify the decision - how could it be otherwise! - as a hypocritical PR-action

Naj said...

bwah ... who cares what they qualify it as! The truth of the matter is they are released, and they debunked ALL notions of Iran trying to provoke anyone into aggression or to use these as political assets.
and it came at a PERFECT time!

He did a smart thing!
And when peopel do smart things in direction of peace and humanity, whatever their politics, I cannot but admire them!

Aardvark EF-111B said...

Associated Press
4:45 PM GMT
Crisis Solved
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070404/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_britain

Amre El-Abyad said...

i told you whore not to make egyptian sites unclean

Amre El-Abyad said...

dont leave a comment in an egyptian sit again or even write the word egypt. persian dirt

Anna said...

I'm very glad and admire the decision and its circumstances as well.

There simply are people who once in their lifetime perhaps should start understanding, that not everybody is a puppet of theirs and acting according to their expectations :-)

Naj said...

Yes Anna, Aardvark, I am very pleased about the outcome of this as well.

I haven't been as happy as this in a long time.

Amre El-Abyad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amre El-Abyad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Naj said...

I am deleting the firing of a psychologically ill mind.

The previous deleted posts are of this nature.

This blog has a no censor policy, but psychopathic behavior needs to be dealt with in healthcare forums!

Amre El-Abyad said...

as i told you naj i get offended when a persian dirt mentions, types the word Egypt, leaving alone, visting an Egyptian site.

again i say for the last time: dont ever come near by an Egyptian site.That goes for both yourself and those stuck in your old web

case closed................

Naj said...

But Amre it was just last week that you said:

by your side Naj i stand in peace.

Remeber that i signed the petition of protest against at 300.

Therefore, i expect from you sympathy and support to my Arab nation. Because if that doesnt come from our Islamic neighbour the guardian of a great old civilsation and culture, then who else would support our nation


I hope you will soon change your mind and adopt the language of civility and peace. You have created a hatred post about me, and you are obsessed with your hatred for Iranians. It's not doing you any good.

Anonymous said...

naj:

In regards to Amre:

From the urn oozes what it contains!

Amre El-Abyad said...

you also did the same you pretended to be friendly and humanitarian.

However,in your posts and the debates at Dr V's you expressed an obvious lack of objectivity...and became infurated at my argument about the precedence of Arab nationlism over Persian nationlism.......In the mean time all your friends' Pen-Nameh fanatic utterances about arab nationalism being "unislamic" and his fanatic and obvious hatred for Arab unity and solidarity and KILLING ALL SUNNI MUSLIMS was just funny for you...............

That speech of mine i dont call hate because I listed out clear points you can challenge if you want....never the less i admit that the language was very passionate...........


In the mean time, you get dodgy and avoid any utterance about your governments crimes in Iraq.....and in a old post where there was no one debating you expressed sympathy with Arab cause while i was debating with you

Paradoxically, in the next post yo expressed shear hatred for Arabs.

Moreover, when you first dropped bypost you expresed racist malicious attidude where you talked about the exceptional merits of Persians, chinese and Egyptians.while otaly overlooking Iraqis who are older and has mor sophisticated civilisation than yours.....

Just to verify your racist behaviour you called the Arabs "crowd" and isisted that Egypt is better than them...which i find a very evil attidude to try to dig a wedge between "brothers"

The links I specified in my last post would verify every single word in this comment, when folowed in chronological order.

One last thing, it was you who started to shift from the manners of respectful "democratic" dialogue when you started to make fun of my comments...........and respond to my argument by talking about irrelevent things.........like Arab hatred for Iranians................etc


I would have considered the fact that you are woman...and it is not the manners of Arabs to crack down on women..........but you claim to be a feminist and you firing on me....so I have decided to disregard the gender issue.......

Aardvark EF-111B said...

I am shamed!!!!!!
Naj, please quarantine, this kind of pollution is harmful to my eye & my soul

allBlog said...

Could anybody please tell me if it was Bush, Cheney or another neo-con who once said:

"too bad you dont expect an Amercan massacre against dirty iranians to take place soon. I'm really horny to see some iranian blodd spilled"

Ooops ... sorry, I just found the answer myself: It was our best friend Mr. Amre El-Abyad AKA: "The Greatest Egyptian Ever Lived" who said that here:
Please, click and see for yourself.

Naj said...

Anonymous
yuppp, we have that saying in Persian too!

Amre
You made your point, and I am sure peopel can judge for themselves if I am a racist hate mongering individual or not. I really suggest you spend time writing your own posts instead of spending your life reacting to people who (allegedly) hate you.

You see, you have been calling me names, have been saying you are sad that Iran and UK won't fight because you wanted to see Persian blood spilled, you call people niggers in other blogs. And still, I do not hate you!

But can you respect my wish to not engage in conversation with you?
(this is the LAST time I will address you in any post.

Aardvark
Yes, I honestly think if a Zionist were to visit this blog and see these comments, he would be utterly pleased. I will not tolerate such behavior any longer.

Amre El-Abyad said...

naj case closed

Anonymous said...

Naj:

As you can see there are always enemies.

pen Name

Naj said...

Pen Name ... I know.

I won a big thick blue Nahj-albalagheh when I was 10; because I ranked high in Koran memorization contest (Bizarre becaue I have no memory of what I had memorized then :) )

That was a big beautiful book; and I was told it is like reading poetry. Of that I have little memory as well.

But I grew up with the concept of "javanmardi" being engrained in my conscience, on that which became my later life philosophy.

I cannot succumb to the level of my enemy ... I refuse to ...

Anonymous said...

understood about javanmardi - it is called Chivalry in the West.

But since you are a woman you are not required to be javanmard - perhaps shir-zan.

At the start of the War, many Iranians were under that illusion of javanmardi vis-a-vis the Iraqis.
Many were killed becuase of that - it was a stupid waste.

pen Name

Naj said...

But you know Pen,

I am starting to actually get a sense of what kind of culture Mohammad tried to reform ...

The recent attacks on me have been far educational!

I do not consider myself a muslim, and I don't like the Islamic government of Iran, but I think I have a far better grasp of Islam than many of people who look similar to me in their hate for IRI. And in all fairness I am compelled to defend Islam against all sorts of xenophobic accusations.

Honestly, don't you think Ahmadinejad's gesture today beheaded a few enemies? ;)

Naj said...

LOL

Allblog

Amre is going around deleting his comments.

No worris I have kept a record of them, because he has been uttering threats against me; and I will use them should I be forced to take security actions against his hate-posts!

He perhaps doesn't know about google's no-hate policy!

Anonymous said...

I do not think that it is a good idea to characterize yourself as a non-Muslim. Both for reasons of safety and also for accuracy. You see; everyone is a Muslim - i.e. surrendered to the Will of God until proven otherwise. Certainly in some commentaries of the Quran - such as Rumi's Mathnavi - this point has been emphasized.

People hate IRI for a variety of reasons; just like any other event in human life there were winners and there were losers during the Iranian Revolution. Perhaps hatred is too strong a word - despising might be a better choice. I attribute most of this to akhoond-bazi & Islamic bigots of the lower social strata that came up through the Revolution.

The Prophet had tried to bring people together (that is actually the meaning of the word "Religion" in Latin - to bring together) and IRI has had challenges in reaching to those Muslims and non-Muslims that did not conform to the IRS's kitsch - what or how a Muslim should be. It is improving but we have a long way to go in that regard.

I am not surprised that most people who hate IRI do not know much about Islam. In fact, the poverty of Muslims polities in general and Iran in particular affected the general levels of knowledge in the society. There is not just the physical poverty but also the spiritual, cultural and artistic poverty. I am always struck by how ignorant the so-called "educated" Iranians are in regards to their own heritage. They clearly have been poorly educated. That is why Tehran is such a disappointment - Professor Arthur Pope writes 12 a 12-volume book on the History of the Iranian Art and Tehran has been built as though none of that ever existed!

I think that Dr. Ahmadinejad is a very shrewd politician and he has made a deft move. He is also a product of Infantry fighting - dangerous and extremely sapping of mind and body. Those who go through that searing experience of infantry fighting are forever transformed - often in negative way - in their psyche.

But you are right - he did a good job and fulfilled the aspirations of a people whose heart have been trampled over many times before - including even Arabs.


pen Name

Naj said...

reasons of safety?
(yes I know what you mean, but that needs to change, and I need to be able to say my faith is personal and will not be labled as one or the other.)

And the cultural poverty you mention is so true. I am of the opinion that culture needs to be brought out of ivory towers and made accessible to the public.

Speaking of Arthur Pope. How many people/libraries actually have it? How many Iranians actually know about it?

That was the objective of one of my earlier posts: pointing the finger to us Iranians for failing to communicate our culture.

I frankly think the best thing that came out of this standoff with America was to get a chance to interest people in our country and culture. It's beauty transpires. People just need to see for themselves.

Yes Ahmadinejad is very shrewd. I have liked his interviews with the foreign press, really. Frankly, I trust the Iranian goverment to sail us safely through these rough waters. And onmce that is done, then we can focus on fixing other things.

Like you, I have a great hope for Iran; and its patient resilient people!

W Dean said...

15-0 to Iran, I think, for they way they handled the hostage crisis and made Bush and Blair look like pathetic hypocrites.

Aardvark EF-111B said...

I take these words from the mouth of Pen Name

[In fact, the poverty of Muslims polities in general and Iran in particular affected the general levels of knowledge in the society. There is not just the physical poverty but also the spiritual, cultural and artistic poverty. I am always struck by how ignorant the so-called "educated" Iranians are in regards to their own heritage.]

Naj & Pen, you can't imagin how this etiology implies to the status of the Egyptian society today.

after decades of totalitarian authority the Egyptian society suffers the most staining crisis of identity, we get strange results ranging from left-wing Quasi-Fashist Arabism (you tested some yourself recently!) to raical muslim brotherhood.

In the middle of the coas, the roling dogma strenthen its position as the only souce of sanity & stability in the country!

Anonymous said...

naj:

I do not take great joy in the way the current stand-off is terminated since I do not care about such "victories" since they fail to get me to where we need to be - open and trusting borders among all Middle Eastern states (even those in occupied Palestine that have only managed to create a ghetto for themselves).

About Professor Pope: the only reason I mentioned him was to indicated the richness of the Iranian Artistic History and to point out that in contemporary Iran you do not see very many beautiful things - Persian rugs and a few handi-crafts. But the buildings, the roads, the cars, the furniture leave a lot to be desired.

My hope rests actually with the Iranian women - their high participation in higher education and the continued elimination of illiteracy among them will change the character of Iran - I am just sorry that I will not to live to see those days when a new generation of Iranians have been bred and raised by these much better educated women.

Aardvark EF-111B:

Understood. I do not know what to suggest except try to teach & educate the women and hope that God will ask La Vache Qui Ri to his presence soon.

God Bless!

Naj said...

W Dean Welcome to Neo-Resistance.

Aardvark & Anonymous

The only way ignorance can be fought is with perseverence. I think the greatest teachers of the world are those who teach by their way of life. Abstract ideas, images, histories, philosophies come and go. Identity is something that needs to be planted in a person in ones family first.

Anonymous, your suggestion that "future mothers" are the greatest hope for a society is something that even scientists have started paying attention to, seriously. (wait for a noble prize to be granted soon to Michael Meaney, or to Steven Suomi, the names that readily come to my mind every time I think about an overdue need for revolutionizing the darwinian sociobilogy--yes science is moving away from its reductionist determinist fashions) ...

Iran needs to heal ... so does the rest of the middle east ... this is time for great vigilance, and for great hope ...

Pen Name,

I don't consider the hostage release a 'victory' ... but I think it is important to show the "empires" that they need to learn to negotiate and stop bullying the world of the lesser people.

Iranians sent a strong message:

1) we will defend our territorial integrity, even if you are pointing your nuclear weapons at us.
2) we want peace, even though you provoke us.
3) we are not a hateful vindictive nation.
4) we will not give in to bullies and will insist on our rights.

Mutual respect is what the world needs ...

Peace to you all!

Naj said...

p.s.
the usage of word "hostage" was a mistake. I meant "detainees".

Brother Tim said...

It's amazing that, when the US and the UK take people, they're 'capturing and detaining enemy combatants', but when their people are taken, they're 'kidnapped and held hostage'.

Even more amazing, is the fact that the MSM and the American people buy into it.

Mrs.Akkad said...

Naj,
i dont agree with almost all come (ok, all) from Ahmadinejad, but the "slap" he gave yesterday to the west it was simply great and i can deny him a blink of simpathy...
"you did a mistake, but i forgive you"
Useful weapons now in his hands.

Speaking about culture.
Is complicated, is not just that a country must be ready to spread out its culture and identity...From the other side there must be ppl ready to catch, and to make it they need culture too, a lot of.

I am italian (so pls forgive my bad english), my housband is syrian, i am catholic, he is muslim.
One day, friends of mine (with a so called culture, i thought) they asked him when his "day name" was.
May you imagine?Which could be the "Saint" of a muslim?He was sad understanding that there is no real knowledge about Islam.
Is just a lil example, but the reality is that most of us have not culture about "others" No need, no will, then why?
And to "enjoy" culture, of course, we need a brain.

Peace

Mystic Rose said...

good morning naj! :)

Aardvark EF-111B said...

amazingly, I don't take [anonymous] comment as a joke, in fack he/she hit a target

women liberalization, education , integration in labour & economic independence should liberate 50% at least of the society.

within 25 years this must maginalize every form of radicalism (whether ethnic or sectarial).

Aardvark EF-111B said...

I agree with Pen Name..

the raising education levels among females in Iran & integration in business sectors (especially specialized sectors requires higher academic education), will eventually adjust the zealous course of IRI regime.

I feal heartache every time i wonder what the situation would be if the islamic revolution never erupted!!!!

Naj said...

Brother Tim

I guess we all have a tendency for putting our trust in people that we "think" we have chosen through democratic process.
People in countries like Iran, having undegone a good dose of war and revolution and etc, are cynical about their governments. In america people are a bit more innocent (i.e. naive) I look at it as the naivite of a child; it is not their malaise.
Once they learn that their leaders have messed up, they will become more aware next time around.
===============================
Mrs Akkad

I too do not agree with Ahmadinejad; but one must acknowledge when he does something right. My disagreement with him, however is more on his internal conduct and his hasty economic errors. He blundered over the Israel wiping issue, but it wasn't his fault; purposefully the zionists lost him in translation.
I personally think the west hasn't deeply looked at the history of the second WW. It's one thing to have lived it, it's another to watch it from a neutral and distant POV. Ahmadinejad was demonized over his "holocaust denial", an accusation that was none but media spin! And he (and Iran) was branded ant-semitic; on absolutely false and ungrounded bases.

Iranians by and large are open to "other's" culture, but they can also be traditionalists. But I like yous statement:
It takes a brain to enjoy culture
==============================

Mystic Rose

Goood morning!
Let me know how the soup turns!
I haven't tried Turkish food, but I think Iran's food should be most similar to the Turkish one. But I may be biased because of my own turkic roots :)

==============================

aardvark

Anonymous doesn't joke :)
But also keep in mind that Iran has a surplus of academically educated people! People with university degrees for which there are no jobs.
If you are a student in Iran, starting grade 3, you will have a course matter called "composition"; they give you a topic and you have to write a little article about it.
from grade 3 to 12, invariably you get this topic:
Knowledge is better or wealth?
And damned will you be if you dare to write an essay expressing preferance over wealth! Faut pas! :)
One of our national motos is:
From cradle to grave, learn!

Anonymous said...

Aardvark EF-111B

I was not joking about the importance of women's education.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

On the issue of the Holocaust (Shoah) Jews and Western people have clearly "lost" the Muslim people.

What Mr. Ahmadinejad says is what hundreds of millions of Muslim believe - and I would say more than half of Muslim statesmen and government leaders also agree with him but afraid to say so.

There is a religious war now between Jews and Muslims in Palestine. With a lot of effort and patience it might be possible to bring it down to the level of a war over land again.

About Italians - I liked Italy because it is a religious country - the Catholic Religion is the core of their idenity. They reminded me of Iran and the Shia Religion.

pen Name

Naj said...

Hi Tamara,

Welcome to neo-resistance :)

You don't have a blog ... but I feel I know you from somewhere ... where where where?

:)

Naj said...

a corrupted religious elite using a corrupted religious dogma to support a corrupt ruling class in their corrupt ways.

Resonates ... resonates humorously! :)

Tamara said...

Pen Namehye aziz -- what you say is sadly true. The decline of great empires is inevitable, unfortunately -- leaving the door wide open for subsequent dramas and abuses. But let's not forget the golden age... or at least, the ideals we humans are also capable of....

May the light always twinkle brightly in your eyes ;-P

Anonymous said...

Naj:

Whom do you have in mind?

Were Khomeini, Beheshti, Taleqani, Shariatmadaro, Bazargan corrupt?

Are Sistani, Shahroudi, Khatami, Khamenie, and Ahmadinejad corrupt?

pen Name

Tamara said...

Naj -- where DO we know each other from?!? I'm thinkin', I'm thinkin' ;)

"The middle age did not start with these ... we have our Quajar ancestors to thank for it!"

No kidding.

What I meant was the overall historical timeline of Islam. It is now, what 13hundredsomething or other -- burning witches, etc.. :(

"I do see a renaissance in horizon though ... I do!"

I do too. I doo, I doo! I'm trying to keep my eyes wide open.

Anonymous said...

Tamara & Naj:

You are assuming that the Western European history is the normative history of mankind.

I emphatically disagree with that. Our history is different than theirs and shall remain so.

The Europeans killed 80 million people in that are from 1914 to 1945. I should hope that in the year 1945 of Hijra we will not have witnessed 80 million Muslim deaths.


pen Name

Tamara said...

Pen,

We could argue till we're blue in the face (assuming I understand where you stand -- which may be questionable), but here's the conclusion I've come to: it's really almost a matter of aesthetics and identity.

Iranians are "Indoeuropeans." I'm no scholar, but basically, as far as I'm concerned, it means a rare and lovely combination of two very interesting roots -- an orientation towards individual mysticism and a bright rationality. In its abstract essence, it does not stand for any kind of monolithic subservience/surrender.

What has always astounded and saddened me isn't so much the development of Islamic politics (and societal values) per se, but rather the fact that it's taken root in the form that it has in a nation that is, by definition, INDOEUROPEAN, rather than Arab. That's all I'm saying.

Naj said...

Tamara, how did you find my blog! I am turning blue in face trying to figure out where I e-met you :))

Pen,

Taleghani, Beheshti, Bazargan lived so short ... can I reserve my judgement for reasons of safety? ;)

Pen,

I'm afraid you made a presumption about me again:

"You are assuming that the Western European history is the normative history of mankind."


Renaissance = re-birth!
If we have not been a western civilization, we will not be REborn into its norms, right?

Tamara,
I am familiar with this Indoeuropean discourse ... and I understand the core to which yo refer as our ancient heritage, but I think MUCH harm have we Iranians done to ourselves, by denying the golden ages Iran has lived after the Sassanid empire! (Most of us are still stuck on Achamenids, so some 1200 years of fastforwarding is slightly refreshing ;) )

Take a trip to Isfahan, to shiraz, to Mashhad, to Kerman and Yazd, you'll see what I mean!

In Kerman, there exist ruines of a 7 thousand years old civilization in Tappeh Yahya, I am sure some of that has survived in our genes, but we are mainly creatures of our environment and not ancestory. We need to extract our Identity from antiquity, be it Islamic or Zoroasterian, and bear our own fruits.

That is my very personal opinion, and I am not trying to convince anyone.

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

There are certain Indo-European elements inside the Iranian culture that ties that culture both to Europe and to India such as the State language of Iran – Persian.

Indo-European entails both racialist and cultural features. While some of us might physically look more or less like a (Southern) European, most of us do not think of ourselves that way. In fact, in the South of Iran you will meet Iranians who are as black as soot.
Yes, our aesthetics is different than Arabs but not similar to Europeans either – more similar to Turks of Anatolia and Central Asia in fact.

Culturally, also - while we have some Indo-European elements our culture also includes Arab, Turkic, and other elements. As an example consider the whole genre of "Ashiq" music and literature in Azerbaijan. In fact, even our music is different from Europeans and our poetry owes its power to the Arabic poetic forms.

We also have certain things in common with Indians - very strong extended family bonds for example. And that family bond does not exist in the West.

Or just take the way the Hindus implore a picture of Ganesh for protection during the day - just like some of us would do the same from a picture of Ali or the Prophet.

We are the Shia of Ali, the Comrades of Imam Hussein, and Lovers of the Household of the Prophet. We cannot be rational the way you envision - then we will cease to be Iranians.

Shah Abbas called himself “Dog of Ali's Gate" - "kalb-e Astan-e Ali". And Ferdowsi wrote: "I'm the dirt of Ali's path" - "ke Khak-e pey-e Hedyar-am!"

I also will have to disagree with you in regards to the individual of mysticism in Iran; that mystical practice has been active in the political life of Iran - Sheik Safi al-Din was a mystics and so was Khoemini. It is because of Shi mysticism that Iran exits.

And in fact, the commemoration of martyrdom of Imam Hussein in Iranian Shia Islam and the Death of Siavash are conjugate ideas that have been fused into an Iranian version of Islam that is vastly different from the Sunni Islam with its parched and sterile legalism.
pen Name

Tamara said...

Naj-jan -- you'll have to refresh my memory/educate me about "the golden ages Iran has lived after the Sassanid empire" and what appeals to you most about it. I'd love to hear it.

The reason why I hark back to our ancestry isn't entirely nostalgia and an unrealistic idealism (although it may be some of those things too;), but I believe an archeology of one's roots/soul can be bear many fruits for the present. For one thing, it gives and confirms a sense of identity.

However, it's understood that while digging, one encounters many layers. And for one reason or another (and again, it could be a matter of "aesthetics"), we each find resonance with different layers.

In my humble opinion, there is a certain core to the Islamic identity (which is undoubtedly beautiful architecturally and otherwise) that is fundamentally (no pun intended) at odds with what I, Tamara, understand and identify with as a Persian.

It's all very interesting, and in the end, it's all good....

P.S. Thank you so much for creating this forum :) It's a pleasure....

Anonymous said...

naj:
I apologize for making an incorrect assumption about you.

I know what "Renaissances" means - I know French.

It also had religious connotations since "Being Spiritually Reborn" was a big part of the conversion to Christianity.

In fact, it was for this spiritual re-birth considerations that the Prophet's Appointment to Prophecy is called "Ba'ath-at".

And that was the intent behind the "Ba'ath".

I agree with your assessment of our cultural identity – “Iran” after Islam. But really, Iran did not exist after Islam - the Safavids were those who resurrected Iran.

pen Name

Naj said...

Tamara-jan,

We have a legacy of survival:

I love these characters of post-sassanid history (frankly I virtually know NOTHING about the Sassanid one, coz I am naive and not well educated in matters of history!)

There is Samanians; there is Zandiyeh; there is Shah Abbas-e Safavi; I mean, are we ready to drop Avecina, Birooni, Ferdowsi, Razi, toosi, Molavi, Hafiz, Attar out of our heritage?

Empires die for a reason. Sassanid dynasty expired. Also, I think empires are built on the blood of others. I personally prefer to take solace in a poem, under the vault of a mosque, in the ruines of Bam citadel; and think of them as products of human creativity; and not necessarily a national identity.

Giamboliani makes me cry; the dome of Masjed-e shah does too, and I care little about what language the artist spoke, or what religion he/she practiced. I want to carry my civilization in my heart.

And I battle any form of imperialism, ISlamic or western one!

pfewh! Okey Naj enough of issuing shahanshahi statements! LOL

Tamara said...

Pen Nameh:

Thank you for your elaborate response. I really appreciate it, and you bring up some very good points.

What I meant by individual mysticism in its peculiarly Persian manifestation is not the Shiite sect/religion, but rather Sufism -- a pure expression of the Persian (poetic) soul... fused with (ahem, excuse me) what I see as an alien and enforced vocabulary, i.e., Islam.

I would also argue that the European culture is far from being strictly rational. It has pagan roots (with fascinating linguistic correlations between certain Gaelic and old Persian words) as well as a long standing tradition of Christian mysticism that is alive and well in its bastardized form in what is known as the bible belt of the U.S., where Jesus is no less a personage than Hazrat Ali, and is the supposed inspiration behind many an interesting political agenda (including those of George Bush).

Culturally, I agree with you -- Iran is a fascinating smorgasbord of lots of different influences. I simply wish that it would HONOR and celebrate all this diversity, as historically, it almost always has.

My deep felt revulstion against Islam -- as an Iranian (and it's important that I make this distinction) -- is my perception/understanding of the basic philosophy of the religion... which is ABSOLUTE SUBMISSION to a God. I am no less repulsed by the same attitude as I see it in the bible belt, or in Israel. It's just that for me, as far as Islam is concerned, there is much more emotion involved: I see the rape of my motherland, and the dispersion/draining of millions of my fellow country people to foreign lands. It makes me weep, and I have this all too "perfect" religion to blame for it all.... :(

Faramin said...

With all my resentments towards the rgime in Iran, let's give them credit for not treating the detainees anything close to how the Anglo/Americans treat their detainees, ie in Guantanamo and Abu Ghreib and many of their hidden prisons around the world.

Tamara said...

"I want to carry my civilization in my heart."

Well said, Naj Khanoom :) Methinks we sing in the same choir.

Down with imperialism!!!

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

I am sorry to see that you have chosen to live in a fantasy world that has nothing to do with the real world in which we live.

I am also sorry to see that you do not know much either about the ideas or the realities of Islam, the Christian Religion, or the Judaic Faith.

It is true that wherever you go you will meet many frightened individuals that are desperate for that little bit of psychological and psychic security. These are pathetique people really and they tend to be religious bigots.

But there are enlightened people who that have not put their minds on Auto-Pilot and are Religious - I have known a few of them - they were Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. I think that you have had a bad experience (or many) with these bigoted and frightened people.

A few years ago, a young woman who was raised in US by (Muslim) Iranian parents was reporting from Israel. She was looking for a place to stay and found these 2 American girls (one was studying to be a Rabbi) who were looking for a room-mate. They did not want her since "they did not feel comfortable with a Muslim in the house" - the girl was totally secular - similar to you.

One of my relations, long ago, was studying Hebrew and once her teacher found out that she was not a Jew she kicked my relative out of the class:"for only Jews should learn & know Hebrew".

Our soldiers in the War of Sacred Defense did not fight and die for the concept of Iran - they walked over the minefields saying "Ya Ali" or "Ya Imam Hussein". It was the Shi believers who defended Iran.

For the majority of Iranian people (excluding small religious minorities) Iran and Shia Islam are so inter-woven that it cannot be un-mixed.

People like you who posit an Iranian identity that is separate from the Shia identity are not justified. Only the Jews, the Zoroastrians, and the Christian Iranians can lay claim to that sort of pure Iranian identity. The rest of us cannot.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Naj & Tamara:

The only people who may clain to have carried their civilization in their hearts are the Jews.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

Christian mysticism in the West died with Meister Eckhardt.

It certainly does not exist in the American Bible-Belt for I have been there. Christian passion is there but not mysticism.

Sheikh Safi was sufi and so was Khoemini. They were not dead-dog liberals though; they were fighters.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

Islam as absolute submission to God is a form of spiritual exercise to fortify the soul and the psyche against bowing to individual human beings - no matter how scary or powerful.

Thus Muslims prostate themselves to God during their daily prayers so as to learn and to remind themselves not to bend their knees or backs to the Rich, the Famous, and the Powerful.

pen Name

Tamara said...

Oh God... my back is killing me -- I have to stoop; forgive me.

Pen, just FYI -- my entire family is from Azarbaijan. I'm definitely not Jewish; nakheir! You won't find more passionate muslims than the Turks, but you also won't find anyone with a sharper outsider's perspective on matters "Persian"!

My great grandfather was a famous master of the Sufi tradtion; books were written about him. From what I understand, he never wrote a treatise, as the wise Sheikh Khomeini did, on which foot to place first inside a mostarah. There are the wise, and then there's wisdom....

Ya Ali

Naj said...

Faramin

Yeah!
But I can't help but be DISGUSTED by teh way the British and the American media/politicians are behaving now.

I shall post about it soon!

Anonymous
With all due respect, I would be grateful if you refrain from issueing judgemental blanketing statements about other's views.

I also disagree with you that it was only the Iamam-Zaman lovers who fought for Iran in teh sacred defense. I suggest you share teh country with the rest of us; because you may belong to or side with the ruling elite, but until the IRI accepts the rest of us, it is not a legitimate governemnt.

Tamara
I dread two forms of fundamentalism:
Religious fundamentalism; secular fundamentalism.

People are entitled to their faith, or their lack of. Neither in the name of religion, nor in the name of secularism is any group of human beings entitled to push, bully, insult, discriminate, exclude the other one.

The only right to fight bestowed to us by nature is to fight for our physical survival. I spit on ANY ideology that is fight-worthy!

I carry my civilization in my heart; I belong to the human society; and all of its civilization is mine!

My goodness, 79 comments on this post ... and most of them not relevant to the title of the post ...

Well I shall move on to expressing some disappointment about new wave of BBB: Blaire-Bush-Bullyism!

Tamara said...

P.S. I'd rather prostrate myself before a drakhteh chenar -- something very REAL. I don't go for fantasies.

Naj said...

Tamara

We have to meet at some point on this earth! Maybe in a conference!

I feel so silly to not have remembered you earlier! SoRrY!

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

Indeed it was because of Azeri Turks that Iran exits.

I suggest that you are mistaking akhoond-bazi with Islam.

Every Ayatollah, as a Doctor of Religious Sciences and Jurisprudence - write such a book. And many ordianry people use those "Guide" books to make decisions. the notion of Law in Islam, just like Judaism, is very important. Without Law, we will all be savages.


Naj:

Yes, there were people who fought and died for Iran. But the overwhelming people who fought had Islamic Iran in their minds and hearts.

Also, you are wrong if you think faith is just personal - it is also social that Law depends on its Justification of Religion.

I do not have any problem with you - if I could affect this sharing that you seek I would have done so. I am powerless to make changes.

The people in power in Iran are convinced of the rightness of all their actions and ideas. They do not feel that they need to listen to people such as yourself. On the other hand, people such as yourself and more so Tamara, do not feel that Islam has anything useful to say.

Both groups dislike people like myself since I am not with either side and consider both groups to be mostly wrong, in my judgement.

But I do what I can here and elsewhere.

Naj said...

Anonymous:

I like you!

(trust me I would get edgy with anyone who tries to teach me anything; I was a HORROR to my teachers, university professors, etc :) )

But you are right, I cannot stand Akhund-bazi. (call it over-exposure, leading to auto-immune reaction!)

I want to do good for people; they can have ANY religion as the want.

I want to live life with the mind of a child ... c'est tout!

Anonymous said...

naj:

You are a woman and Nature pushed you out of childhood/girlhood. You cannot be a child.

A man, on the other hand, can remain a child but only to his own detriment (inside every man there is a crippled child.)

Jesus said: "For unless you become like children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." but he has a special condition in mind - I think.

Mais, pour moi, jee voudrais vivre en tant qu'homme complet et en complètement.

Tamara said...

Moi, je voudrais vivre comme une enfante terrible! LOL

Anonymous said...

vous ne pouvez pas vivre comme un enfante (terrible ou pas terrible) puisque vous êtes une femme - la nature ne vous a pas permise de rester une fille.

Et pourquoi pas vous aiment-elles être une femme développée?

pen Name

Naj said...

Welll, since Tamara's my mirror ... (sorry I don't dare write in French because my French friends will rire!)I erspond on behalf of both of us:

Who said we don't like being une femme developee?

grownups, with their ideas of perfection and maturity are just boring inflexible dudes ... I can live without grownuppism in mind, even when teh nature has made me into a senile grandmother!

Tamara said...

Yeah, what Naj said! C'est ca, c'est ca :)) javascript:void(0)

Tamara said...

Pen... dude! You sound like you've got a towel wrapped around your head. Take it off. PLEASE!

Naj said...

Tamara, dear.

I have a little rule and that is to ask my visitors to be nice to each other.

I have much respect for Pen Name's knowledge and if you get to know him better you will realize for yourself.

I just wish I knew who he really is.

Tamara said...

Naj, you're right. I apologize. Pen, that towel looks really good on you ;-)

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

If you mean by towel the turban - I do not war one. Afghans, Punjabis, Biharis, and many many other people in the world still wear turbans. Some are Muslims and some are not.

Clearly you are too poorly educated to know much of the rest of mankind.

But I have been called worse things, so to speak: rag head, towel head, sand nigger, and sand crab.

And all your vaunted "modernity" is reduced to a slur - just like the white trash of North America and Australia.

Naj said...

Pen ... you are old enough to know better ... patiance ... patiance ...

Tamara said...

Pen, I don't get this. If you can take pride in Imam khomeini's doctorate thesis as a guide book to stir ordinary people away from "savagery" and sinful ways of (excuse me) defecating, why can't you take equal pride in one of the overt signs of "imamhood" -- i.e., the wearing of the turban...? My humour aside (shame on me), where is your muslim pride and dignity???

Naj said...

Tamara. You are a new guest, but I am dealing with prejudice on different fronts and I may be forced to exercise some imprisoning of expression, against my wish.

May I ask you nice people to please pay attention to my wishes and do not prosecute each other.

Please?

Naj said...

Anonymous, Tamara ... there IS a way we can RESPECT each other in the middle ...

I am SICK AND TIRED of our JUDGMENTAL CULTURE!

We NEED to stop findng teh fault of the other!

WE MUST!

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

I think it will be a good idea for you to hold your tongue on subjects of which you are aware but dimly.

The Islamic Law, in its development, left no subject untouched. It developed exhaustive rules and regulations for all aspects of life: there is Contract Law, Inheritance Law, Government Law, Personal Law, etc. Its purport was to develop and expound the principles of Right Conduct given the Quran and the Traditions of the Prophet.

It has covered areas that may not have been covered by other legal traditions such as Anglo-Saxon Law or Roman Law. But Talmudic Law and the Catholic Church's Cannon Law covers many of the same grounds.

Islamic Law also attempts to make the profane activities also sacred (similar in this to Hinduism). In Islam, all of Creation is Good and thus as long as man is following the precepts that God has ordained, man's actions are sanctified by God - even the act of defecation. Thus the profane, through the revelation of the Quran, becomes sacred; as long as man is behaving in accordance with the Divine Will.

For many humble Iranians (and Muslims in general) have believed, through the centuries, that they have been participating in the Sacred Life of the Universe through conforming with their prescribed rituals: birth, sex, defecation, prayer, fasting, hadji, divorce, marriage, death and so on.

I realize that you do not agree with this conception of the universe as a sacred being created by God. But that is how the Creation is viewed by Muslims and Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jews. That Creation is Good and that man needs to submit to the will of God to participate fully in the sanctified and sacred Life of the Universe.

I realize to you all such people are pathetique and ignorant people. But, unlike you, they are not educated beyond their capacity to comprehend. And they try to regulate their lives based on a desire to conform to the Will of God and his injunctions; thus the need for such guide books.

You ask why am I not proud of being a Muslim so as to wear a turban. Being proud is a sin - in Islam, in Judaism, in Christianity and in the Zoroastrian Faith.

Islam is about being dignified but with humility. And that religion has endowed the most humble Muslim with an inherent dignity that cannot be matched by any new fangled ideas coming out of the West.

The wearing of turban was banned in Iran by Reza Shah in the 1920s. By Iranian Law, only the scholars of the Religious Sciences can wear it. I am not a scholar of Religious Sciences and thus I do not wear it.

And wearing a turban is not obligatory for those scholars. Two years ago, Ayatollah Khamenei was visiting Bam to gauge the relief effort there and he was wearing a jacket and pants and hat. No turban. And no one even recognized him.

As for "imam-hood" = just an Arabic word meaning "Leader". And beside Khomeini, who rid Iran of that 2500-old cancer called monarchy, no one else has been called that in Iran.

pen Name

Faramin said...

Here is a question brought up by a friend:

"if the UK government is truthful about the british sailors' position (in iraqi waters), that means iranians went into the iraqi waters to pick up the sailors. where is the cry from the either iraqi or british government on iranians tresspassing into iraqi territory?"

Naj said...

Tamara,

I haveasked Pen to write a post for my blog about Mr Khomeini.

I don't care much about "adaabe mostarah". But I do KNOW people who really think if they do not step in with the right foot first, god will be unhappy with them. They are afraid of "hell"! Literally.

Frankly, I think such views root in idolatery; but they don't bother me!

What does bother me, is Mr Khomeini's Fatwa to "kill" Salman Rushdi! His order to "kill" political opponents. And what bothers me is to be FORCED to be a Muslim, FORCED to wear Hijab, FORCED to go step in the toilet with my right foot.

Any philosopher or religious man who spills blood is assuming himself to be god; and that I cannot stand!

I agree with Pen that Ijtehad makes shiism a flexible religion (that's why it's considered heresy in parts of the Arab world) but it is not evolving fast enough for this world. And actually, even when it does (take Rafsanjani's opening the doors of siigheh to legalize the already blooming 'dating' industry) then there is a lot of traditionalism in Iran that is preventing it from changing the norms in the society. I know a person in Iran, who has decided the new fatwas are too liberal, and refuses to change her marja-e taghlid; and is now compiling different "ahkam" from different "resaleh" to make sure she is doing things as archaicly as possible so she is close to the ways of Mohammad!

Anyways, I don't throw a baby out with the bath water.

All I ask Islam is to give me the right to "doubt" and to question.

Anonymous said...

naj:

Mr. Khomeini’s Fatawa, at the end of Iran Iraq War, was based on Islamic Law. If you do not like it, you have to get that item changed. Moreover, it was a deft political move by him – in spite of our inability to realize our war aims, he showed himself to be the Leader of Islam and Muslim people. No Muslim head of state or head of government criticized or condemned him – none. Yes, it made us look bad to the US, EU crowd by so what – they were helping our enemies in the War of Sacred Defense.

I personally disagree with that law since I do not believe that the Prophet’s legacy and history needs that level of protection.

Mr. Khomeini was neither a saint nor ever claimed to be immaculate. What he did was for Islam (and Iran) to the best of his abilities. Undoubtedly many mistakes were committed by him or by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some of these mistakes were acknowledged and were corrected later – some still remain to be redressed – some individuals were executed wrongly, they should be rehabilitated and their families should be compensated and the blood-money be paid.

The Quranic statements regarding hijab are rather vague and open to a variety interpretations. While those statements can never condone halter tops and hot pants, they also do not support burqa and chadur. Moreover, since the Quranic statements are in the form of suggestions, it does not and should not be acquiring the force of the law. It all depends on the principles of jurisprudence – if Quran is not explicitly forbidding something, then it must be permissible.

But the less restrictive approach above can be criticized since it gave rise to drug use and pedophilia among Muslims.

What you experience in Iran in this case really is the culture of the lower middle class that is being enforced. I am powerless to change that – we have to wait for bigots, the narrow-minded, and the stupid to die.

Islam does not forbid you to think – the Quran certainly encourages you to think and make your own mind. But the Muslim people are frightened and unsure and insecure. People who are afraid will not be tolerant. People whose interior lives is weak cannot listen to dissenting views. This is the condition of the Islamic people right now: poorly educated, poorly lead, and for the most part physically poor.

There was a time, in Baghdad, 1000 years ago, that atheists would argue openly with believers without fear of being attacked. Because, at that time, the interior life of Muslim- in their hearts and minds - was vigorous strong. The believers were building a new civilization and there was joy and confidence in themselves. What you experience now is a sign of the weakness of the Muslim people and lack of confidence and belief in their own Tradition and Civilization.

One final note about Mr. Khomeini: he carried he load forward in the direction of our hopes and aspirations for a few steps. If you can, help moving it forward as much as you can.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Naj:

Mr. Khomeini’s Fatawa, at the end of Iran Iraq War, was based on Islamic Law. If you do not like it, you have to get that item changed. Moreover, it was a deft political move by him – in spite of our inability to realize our war aims, he showed himself to be the Leader of Islam and Muslim people. No Muslim head of state or head of government criticized or condemned him – none. Yes, it made us look bad to the US, EU crowd by so what – they were helping our enemies in the War of Sacred Defense.

I personally disagree with that law since I do not believe that the Prophet’s legacy and history needs that level of protection.

Mr. Khomeini was neither a saint nor ever claimed to be immaculate. What he did was for Islam (and Iran) to the best of his abilities. Undoubtedly many mistakes were committed by him or by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some of these mistakes were acknowledged and were corrected later – some still remain to be redressed – some individuals were executed wrongly, they should be rehabilitated and their families should be compensated and the blood-money be paid.

The Quranic statements regarding hijab are rather vague and open to a variety interpretations. While those statements can never condone halter tops and hot pants, they also do not support burqa and chadur. Moreover, since the Quranic statements are in the form of suggestions, it does not and should not be acquiring the force of the law. It all depends on the principles of jurisprudence – if Quran is not explicitly forbidding something, then it must be permissible.

But the less restrictive approach above can be criticized since it gave rise to drug use and pedophilia among Muslims.

What you experience in Iran in this case really is the culture of the lower middle class that is being enforced. I am powerless to change that – we have to wait for bigots, the narrow-minded, and the stupid to die.

Islam does not forbid you to think – the Quran certainly encourages you to think and make your own mind. But the Muslim people are frightened and unsure and insecure. People who are afraid will not be tolerant. People whose interior lives is weak cannot listen to dissenting views. This is the condition of the Islamic people right now: poorly educated, poorly lead, and for the most part physically poor.

There was a time, in Baghdad, 1000 years ago, that atheists would argue openly with believers without fear of being attacked. Because, at that time, the interior life of Muslim- in their hearts and minds - was vigorous strong. The believers were building a new civilization and there was joy and confidence in themselves. What you experience now is a sign of the weakness of the Muslim people and lack of confidence and belief in their own Tradition and Civilization.

One final note about Mr. Khomeini: he carried he load forward in the direction of our hopes and aspirations for a few steps. If you can, help moving it forward as much as you can.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Tamara:

A sad, angry, and confused post!

You call religion opiate and you do not understand what you are talking about – for you this is an abstraction. But that young man who, with his sister, was burying his son and his wife after the Bam earthquake said: “Please Sir, move one! God wanted my son and wife to die! Please move on!” For he understood that God, in God’s inscrutable ways, had caused his wife and son to die in Bam. And he accepted that as God’s Will. I realize that you will fin people like him strange and incomprehensible but that I what Islam has given him and people such as him: the ability to endure pain and suffering. And those are the Iranian people and you cannot give them anything superior.

The separation of the Church and State in the West is due to a Hadith of the Prophet Jesus in the New Testament. There is no such injunction in Islam. Islam is unitary, jut like reality, and it does not make the distinction between profane and sacred spheres of life. Muslim polities cannot be secular in the Western sense. Ibn Khaldun, whose name you might have heard, discussed this very point in his al Muqaddamah 600 years ago.

Every Muslim polity that is supposed to be secular is so by bayonets where the military force is keeping Muslims from practicing their religion in the way that they want.

You say you do not know the answer, but I do: Islamic republic of Iran where the principles of republicanism and popular sovereignty had been amalgamated with the principles of Islam (through the work of Mr. Khomeini). Take you pick: Secular Despotism (Egypt, Pakistan, Syria) or the Islamic Republic (of Iran).

And let me add that I am as much against Islamic obscurantism as th next guy. But I have accpeted the impossibility of rapid change - my only regret is that I will not live to see the day when many of these issues are finally resolved and Muslims can once again be full of confidence and joy.

And I am not ashamed of being a human – God offered that great Amanat to mankind and I am proud to carry it. I might feel sorry and frustrated at times, but such is the world.

Pen Name

Naj said...

Pen, Tamara;

I am happy to see you are asking eachother teh questions I would be asking; so I am enjoying your exchanges, but I need to meet deadlines; forgive my absence from the arguments.

I also apologize the moderation flag. The Egyptian bigot Amre has surpassed all levels of profanity and I am receiving requests by Egyptians as well, to not let him ruin their reputation with his mania!

Just one Question: Pen, why do you keep talking about Bam?! Have you been there recently?

Naj said...

Tamara, just a tiny note:

Reza Shah did good to give women possibility of dropping the veil.

But he also marginalized thoese who were a part of the constitutional revolution, and did NOT want to drop their veil!

Forced Hijab or Bi-Hijabi is two sides of teh same coin.

Enfant Terrible said...

"Forced Hijab or Bi-Hijabi is two sides of teh same coin."

Exactly right, my friend. That's what frustrates and shames me so much about being human. Every coin has two sides and two wrongs don't make a right. What can I say...?

I wish we would learn from history and physics -- that you can't destroy anything; that suppression of anything will eventually give rise to a much uglier form of it.

It's got to stop somewhere. Maybe if I can tell "Pen" that I completely respect his religious interpretations of Islam, and he can settle for "allowing" me to wear halter tops and hot pants if I want to, without having to bow down to the centuries' old writings and suffer "consequences" in a court of "law." Maybe then....

Anonymous said...

Tmara:

These are the pertinent Quranic verses:

“O you Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you raiment to cover your shame as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.” (Quran 7:26)


“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands' fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers, or their brothers' sons or their sisters' sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:31).

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)

These verses clearly leave a large space for autonomy in the selection of clothing and adornments that Muslim women can wear. But, in my opinion, they also clearly indicate the limits – I cannot see how halter tops and hot pants could be endorsed by these verses.

Incidentally if you try to enter many Catholic Churches with your shoulders bared (suggestive of breasts) you will not be admitted.

About Ibn Khaldun: he was not infallible. He had discussed the issue of the separation of Church & State 600 years ago and provided his reasoning for his opinions that such a separation is not possible in Islam. You or others such as yourself who believe in the possibility of such separation in Islam ought to provide reasons for your opinions and thus rebut Ibn Khaldun’s arguments.

On a personal level, I am pleased that the work of Ibn Khaldun and his conception of “Assabiyyah” – after 600 years – has been profitably revived and used in historical analysis by scholars such as Peter Turchin in his book: “Historical Dynamics”.

Regarding Spirituality and Religions: they are different but there are overlaps.

While every extant Religion has a spiritual core, there are spiritual traditions that did not have a religion – East Asian Spiritual Tradition for example. The conception of Islam, Judaism, Zarthushti, and Christianity has been to extend the core spirituality to all of mankind – i.e. bring people together into the same spiritual tradition but with discipline and order. Ritual is thus a form of spiritual exercise that enhances one’s spiritual strength & abilities through the yoke of discipline (Yoga is also come from the same root – yugh in Persian).

On the other hand, spirituality without the religious framework will have no constraint on itself. Being spiritual, being open to what your mind senses outside of Reason is not going to make you a better person, or a more moral person. Mystic experience, left to itself, is neither Good nor Bad. Charles Manson and his gang, using drugs, had deep spiritual & mystical experiences. But since they lacked religious convictions and a sense of Right and Wrong, since they did not accept or believe in the unitary nature of God and the role of Man in God’s scheme, since they had no discipline and understanding that comes from religious doctrine, because of all of that and more – they murdered Sharon Taite, her unborn child, and her guests. I have no doubt that Charles Manson and the members of his gang were spiritual human beings.

In Islamic mysticism, before joining the Path (Tariqat) you have to have been able to obey the Law (Shariat). For without demonstrating the ability and the discipline to adhere to a set of rules, the paths of mystical knowledge shall be closed to the seeker lest he harms himself or others.

Pen Name

Anonymous said...

Naj:

No I have not been to Bam recently.

In Turkey, if you are a Muslim woman who wears a scarf you are discrimanted gainst. In Iran, if you do not wear hijab you'll get arrested.

In either polity there is no room for moderation and the Muslim people are forced this way and that way. No one seems to be interested in letting the Muslim people decide on their own what they want to do.

Iran & Turkey - the best that Muslim people have achieved in reforming their societies.

As is siad in Persian: "az deh roon-de va az shar moon-de!" - Kicked out of village - not yet in the city.

pen Name

Naj said...

:)
Speaking of hijab; every time my mother got arrested for her falling scarf (my poor mother lost her career because she just felt asthmatic wearing one, and she thought it was disrespectful to men she worked with because her Hijab would suggest that those men were incapable of controlling themselves!) she would recite a verse from Nessa', and would turn teh table of "Amr-e be Ma;roof and Nahye az Monkar", and would do that so patiently that the "sisters" would get bored with her lectures. Once in a bus, one such sister recognized my mother and was very pleased to have met my mother again :))

We still laugh at that!

But I agree with Pen, it is the "Pa berahneha" who have hijacked our country for now ... alors, patiance!

Anonymous said...

Enfante Terrible (Tamara, I persume)

You can wear whatever you want - I hope you look good in them.

As I said, I do not believe that these verses of the Quran require enforcement by the Islamic Law - but that is my opinion. And since I am not a Doctor of Religious Sciences, my opinion does not carry weight with the Muslim people.

Halter tops and hot pants look good only on a few very young women with the body to for it. Just like sari, I cannot recommend them for most women. Moreover, different women clothes send different messages: some dresses say “Open me!”, some say: “Bit me!”, some say: “Untie me!”. Halter top say two things: “Bite me!” and “Pull me down”.

The hijab, specialy as practiced in Arabia and now in Egypt is great for ugly women – you must admit.

pen Name

Naj said...

LOL!

Well Pen, now that was a sexist comment "ugly women". If I were a feminist, I would be all screaming indignation that you have an objectifying view of women!

But I agree with you ... I feel so much more self-confident when I walk the streets in my Burka, than when I go on diet trying to do bump-reduction!

LOL

sorry guys ...

Naj said...

L'enfent Terrible,

Have you read Hoboot (by Shari'ati)
I read it for its poetic value when i was young and there was one metaphore that has deeply influenced the way I see my relation to nature:

the forbidden apple that we bit, was the apple of "danestegi" (knowing)

There is that very unfortunate mutation of our DNA that is separating us from nature, thrusting us into this dreadful web of humanness: our "will", our ability to defy the nature.

We are humans and to think as humans we can live as natural animals (which I was I wish we did) means we will have to drop a whole lot of that which constitutes our civilization: language, creativity!

Empathy, violence, fear, intersubjectivity, memory ... are NOT the building blocks of our humanity: to speak is; to build is!

I wish I was a cauliflower. And I too, am sad that I am forced to be a human! So I may as well try to fulfill the objectives of that humanity, whether indoctrinated by nature, nurture, culture, religion, politics, etc!

Enfant Terrible said...

"But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best."

Pen,

THAT statement speaks most eloquently -- to those who will ponder the meaning of "righteousness." And to be completely honest, I'm still pondering that word; I have been for many years....

It's a little bit like the word "deserve." One gets what one deserves. Hard to tell what exactly that means; it could be something good, or maybe not so good....

Unfortunately, subtlety is hard to come by these days, and it's to be found neither in the village, nor in the city....

The great Amanat that you mentioned earlier, is in every human heart. For every Charlie Manson, there are thousands of "ordinary" saints you never hear about, and don't see in the human-built dwellings of God. It's true....
Why be so literal?

Living this life as a human being is both shameful and a great mystery, and not all of it has been captured by the prophets and their books. Poets of every ilk have also made their contributions.

There is more than enough self-righteousness to go around, my friend. Instead of shouting, perhaps we should all try exercising a little more trust in the inherent goodness of the human heart, and learning by setting an example ourselves -- adab az biadaban yad gereft.

Enfant Terrible said...

Well, to be honest, Pen... regardless of whether or not I look good in hot pants, I personally hate them; or rather, the whole emphasis on female charms and looks, and where it can and cannot get you.

I personally have experienced "sexual" discrimination in a professional setting, and much to my detriment. I lost a great deal in my career as a result -- right here, in the U.S. of A. I have said (it's true) that it would be much better to wear a hijab and be free of such nonsense. (But again, I'm not so foolish to believe that even with hijab, women can get away from certain forms of male oppression.)

The point I was trying to make is... very briefly... the ability of a goverment -- even in a nation where the majority of folks identify themselves as Muslim -- to TRUST its citizens... as a parent trusts its children... knowing that mistakes may very well happen along the way, but TRUSTING, that through the general health of the culture/upbringing... in the end, people who choose to, let's say, wear holter tops, aren't really trying to pimp themselves. RESPECTING people's intelligence.

Have you ever noticed that what goes around comes around? That what you project onto a person/situation will eventually be mirrored right back to you...? That's what I'm talking about; it takes a lot of patience and a lot of enlightenment. And I'm glad that at least we agree that the current Iranian regime is indeed a "shar moon-de" version of the system of the "Pa berahneha" -- astaghforellah!

P.S. I won't deny that I have gotten away with many a speeding ticket based on my pretty little face :-)

Enfant Terrible said...

"I wish I was a cauliflower."

Really? :) I wish I was the deep green of kale leaves!

Anonymous said...

L’enfente terrible:
I do not believe that I have been shouting.

I agree with you regarding “Righteousness” or rather the ability to choose it or to recognize it when one encounters it.
This is a fundamental paradox of all Religious & Spiritual traditions. Thus Lao Tzu states that Tao (i.e. “Path”) cannot be intellectually grasped. And why the Christians state that men cannot save themselves by their own efforts and they need God’s Grace to do so. And that is why the Quran begins with “Ihdina Sarat al Mustaqim” prayer – asking God’s Grace to the Path of Righteousness (Tao).

My point about Manson was that Spirituality without Religion can be harmful. My larger aim was to address your initial question regarding the relationship between Spirituality and Religion.
That there are saints in everyday life – I have no doubt. But even the word that you use, “Saint” – is only meaningful within a religious tradition.

Living life as a human being is only shameful if one posits that there is a God, a Superior Spirituality and Consciousness and Reality beyond what our senses perceive – it is only within that Monotheistic Tradition that you can feel a sense of shame: “No man is justified in the eyes of the Lord” as the Christians would say.

There are many mysteries in being a Human: Mystery of Existence (of the Universe and all that is contained in it), mystery of Life, and mystery of the Consciousness. You see and sense all these mysteries and yet you deny God.

I cannot trust the inherent goodness of human heart – when I desire some one else’s wife – what happened to that goodness? In fact, in my judgment, we human beings have a love-and-hate relationship with members of our own species. That is the allegory of the Fall of Man. And that’ why Hafez wrote: “Whomsoever entered the world has the Sign of Corruption…”.

Ultimately, of course, God is responsible and Man has to confront God with such issues and questions.

Pen Name

Anonymous said...

Naj:

I do not wish to be an animal - have sex wth my own mother and the rest of that.

I am happy to be a human and live my life with that Amanat.

As for violence - you are mistaken about it. Without it we could not exist. Even sex is Violence.

pen Name

Naj said...

lol

well Pen, I don't know about who you like to have sex with, but I doubt animals have sex with their mothers. Tam, you're the biologist here: help me! I really think nature has mechanisms in place to prevent that and if that happens it must be a disorder.

(violence + sex are animal)
(we are animals + language + creativity)

Anonymous said...

l'enfant terrible:

That yiu have encountered sexual discrimination is USA does not surprise me.

About the government trust and all that - Islam, like Judaism, has a negative view of human nature. Thus it has a very strong emphasis on Law and outward conformity to it. Behind it is the fear of anarchy: political, personal, exual, etc.

The Western Christians, in addition to the Legacy of Rome, have the Legacy of the Personal Liberty of Northern European Germanic tribes.

There is no such tradition in Islam and its development will take centuries. (Chinese and Indians do not have this tradition of persoanl libery either.)

I am aware of what a woman can get away with between the ages of 15 and 45 in the West. While young men have to work hard to establish themselves and act silly to get a silly girl once in a while - the young women are having fun.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Naj & l'enfent terrible:

Why don't you like being women?

Anonymous said...

naj:

Man is an intermediate creature between Heaven and Earth.

That we are animals is without question.

But we are not only animals.

And there are no built-in incest taboo amnong animals.

Naj said...

Who said I don't like being a woman!

In fact, I would have HATED to have been a man. I think men are mutant creatures: their Y chromosome is just an under-developed X chromosome! smaller, shrunk, deprived!

I just wish I was a cauliflower for simple reasons:

-short life
-no decision making
-no desire
-no responsibility
-no having to go to school and making her bed!

My womanhood has neither impaired me, nor accelerated me. I use it when I "want" to; I wall it when I "want" to.

But my identity is built on a heritage of matriarchy; I would have it no other way!

In fact, I do have a serious quarrel with that brand of feminism that makes women genderless!

Anonymous said...

naj:

You wrote:

short life
-no decision making
-no desire
-no responsibility
-no having to go to school and making her bed!

You want to be a child not an adult.

Enfant Terrible said...

"That there are saints in everyday life – I have no doubt."

THE BUDDHA/GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL IN EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE. ONE NEED ONLY OPEN ONE'S "EYES" TO SEE....

But even the word that you use, “Saint” – is only meaningful within a religious tradition.

I REFUSE TO PLAY SEMANTIC GAMES.

Living life as a human being is only shameful if one posits that there is a God, a Superior Spirituality and Consciousness and Reality beyond what our senses perceive – it is only within that Monotheistic Tradition that you can feel a sense of shame: “No man is justified in the eyes of the Lord” as the Christians would say.

SHAMEFULNESS CAN COME IN AT LEAST A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT VARIETIES:

1. HAVING ENOUGH SELF-AWARENESS TO NOTICE NOT ONLY OTHERS' BUT ONE'S OWN HYPOCRICIES.

2. IN THE SENSE THAT RUMI TALKS ABOUT -- A CERTAIN FORGETFULNESS OF ONE'S OWN DIVINE GLORY... A SUBCATEGORY OF SHEEPLIKE SUBMISSION TO A "GOD" CREATED BY OTHERS; OR ALTERNATIVELY, AN ALL TOO HUMAN "FALL" INTO SELF-PITY... AND GENERAL LACK OF TRUST IN LIFE & REALITY.

There are many mysteries in being a Human: Mystery of Existence (of the Universe and all that is contained in it), mystery of Life, and mystery of the Consciousness. You see and sense all these mysteries and yet you deny God.

NOT AT ALL. AND WHO SAID "GOD" IS NOT A "GODDESS"??!!!

I cannot trust the inherent goodness of human heart – when I desire some one else’s wife – what happened to that goodness?

NO ONE SAID BEING GOOD WAS EASY.

In fact, in my judgment, we human beings have a love-and-hate relationship with members of our own species.

TRUE.

That is the allegory of the Fall of Man. And that’ why Hafez wrote: “Whomsoever entered the world has the Sign of Corruption…”.

LIVING GOOD IS HARD WORK.

Ultimately, of course, God is responsible and Man has to confront God with such issues and questions.

ULTIMATELY, ONE MUST CONFRONT oneself WITH SUCH ISSUES AND QUESTIONS. AND WHETHER YOU LOOK AT FROM A LITERARY/PSYCHOLOGICAL/SPIRITUAL/REALITYPBASED PERSPECTIVE... LET'S FACE IT: WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE SELF. WE ALSO HAVE A UNIFIED AND UNIFYING SELF... AND THE POINT OF "RELIGION"/SPIRITUALITY/GOOD HONEST LIVING IS ULTIMATELY TO FIND/EXPERIENCE THAT... AND LIVE FROM THAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Tam, you're the biologist here: help me! I really think nature has mechanisms in place to prevent that and if that happens it must be a disorder.

HOW DID WE GET TO INCEST?????? BUT I CAN'T RESIST THIS: IF WE WERE TO TAKE THE MONOTHEISTIC TEXTS LITERALLY (I.E., ADAM & EVE), THEN WE'RE ALL PRODUCTS OF INCEST!!!!! MAYBE THAT HELPS EXPLAIN ALL THIS ANOMALY... OUR SEPARATION FROM NATURE... BUT ALSO THESE GIFTS OF LANGUAGE/CULTURE/ETC.. SO WHO KNOWS... MAYBE INCEST ISN'T SUCH A BAD THING!

About the government trust and all that - Islam, like Judaism, has a negative view of human nature. Thus it has a very strong emphasis on Law and outward conformity to it. Behind it is the fear of anarchy: political, personal, exual, etc.

EXACTLY. IT'S ALSO THE FASCIST POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.

The Western Christians, in addition to the Legacy of Rome, have the Legacy of the Personal Liberty of Northern European Germanic tribes.

NEW THOUGHT: NOW THAT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF IRANIANS WHO HAVE LIVED/GROWN UP UNDER THESE "ALIEN" SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT/CULTURE, HOW ARE WE TO INTEGRATE ALL THIS?

AFTER ALL, IRAN/PERSIAN EMPIRE IS/WAS FAMOUS FOR ITS FLEXIBILITY... ITS ABILITY TO ASSIMILATE DIFFERENT INFLUENCES, WITHOUT SUPPRESSING THEM. BEYOND ISLAM OR ANYTHING ELSE, I THINK THIS IS THE HALLMARK OF "PERSIA."

FOOD FOR THOUGHT....

There is no such tradition in Islam and its development will take centuries. (Chinese and Indians do not have this tradition of persoanl libery either.)

ENFANT TERRIBLE SPEAKS: DON'T YOU THINK IT'S A LITTLE ODD THAT THE BOOK (I.E. THE KORAN) THAT SUPPOSEDLY, BEYOND POLITICAL AMBITIONS, NOW RULES IRANIAN EVERYTHING IS IN ARABIC... A LANGUAGE WE DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND?

YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, IT'S A LITTLE WEIRD.

EVERY CULTURE HAS ITS OWN "HADITHS" AND ALL I'VE BEEN TRYING TO SAY (FROM MY VERY FIRST POSTING) IS BASICALLY THIS: IRAN HAS ITS POETRY AS ITS "HADITHS" AND SHARIA, WHICH SPEAKS AMPLY AND ELOQUENTLY; THERE IS NOTHING -- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING -- THAT IT DOES NOT ADDRESS IN WAYS THAT ARE SO FAR AHEAD OF ITS TIMES (EVEN BY WESTERN STANDARDS).

WHAT IS SO GODDAMNED SAD IS THAT THE IRANIAN PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO MAKE RULES OF LAW BASED ON THEIR OWN GENIUS.

THERE'S NEVER BEEN A NEED TO BORROW FROM ANYONE, LEAST OF ALL THE ARABS. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN A PEOPLE BECOME COLONIZED BY AN ALIEN CULTURE, THEY LOSE A GOOD MEASURE OF PRIDE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE... AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES CENTURIES BEFORE ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT IS EVER RECOVERED AGAIN.

WHEN NAJ TALKS ABOUT A RENAISSANCE, THIS IS WHAT I DREAM OF....

I am aware of what a woman can get away with between the ages of 15 and 45 in the West. While young men have to work hard to establish themselves and act silly to get a silly girl once in a while - the young women are having fun.

I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG YOU'VE LIVED, PEN... BUT BELIEVE YOU ME, I'VE SEEN PLENTY OF EXAMPLES OF IT HAPPENING JUST THE OTHER WAY AROUND. THERE ARE LOTS OF SILLY MEN OUT THERE TOO....


But my identity is built on a heritage of matriarchy; I would have it no other way!

AMEN, NAJ!

Enfant Terrible said...

"That there are saints in everyday life – I have no doubt."

THE BUDDHA/GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL IN EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE. ONE NEED ONLY OPEN ONE'S "EYES" TO SEE....

But even the word that you use, “Saint” – is only meaningful within a religious tradition.

I REFUSE TO PLAY SEMANTIC GAMES.

Living life as a human being is only shameful if one posits that there is a God, a Superior Spirituality and Consciousness and Reality beyond what our senses perceive – it is only within that Monotheistic Tradition that you can feel a sense of shame: “No man is justified in the eyes of the Lord” as the Christians would say.

SHAMEFULNESS CAN COME IN AT LEAST A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT VARIETIES:

1. HAVING ENOUGH SELF-AWARENESS TO NOTICE NOT ONLY OTHERS' BUT ONE'S OWN HYPOCRICIES.

2. IN THE SENSE THAT RUMI TALKS ABOUT -- A CERTAIN FORGETFULNESS OF ONE'S OWN DIVINE GLORY... A SUBCATEGORY OF SHEEPLIKE SUBMISSION TO A "GOD" CREATED BY OTHERS; OR ALTERNATIVELY, AN ALL TOO HUMAN "FALL" INTO SELF-PITY... AND GENERAL LACK OF TRUST IN LIFE & REALITY.

There are many mysteries in being a Human: Mystery of Existence (of the Universe and all that is contained in it), mystery of Life, and mystery of the Consciousness. You see and sense all these mysteries and yet you deny God.

NOT AT ALL. AND WHO SAID "GOD" IS NOT A "GODDESS"??!!!

I cannot trust the inherent goodness of human heart – when I desire some one else’s wife – what happened to that goodness?

NO ONE SAID BEING GOOD WAS EASY.

In fact, in my judgment, we human beings have a love-and-hate relationship with members of our own species.

TRUE.

That is the allegory of the Fall of Man. And that’ why Hafez wrote: “Whomsoever entered the world has the Sign of Corruption…”.

LIVING GOOD IS HARD WORK.

Ultimately, of course, God is responsible and Man has to confront God with such issues and questions.

ULTIMATELY, ONE MUST CONFRONT oneself WITH SUCH ISSUES AND QUESTIONS. AND WHETHER YOU LOOK AT FROM A LITERARY/PSYCHOLOGICAL/SPIRITUAL/REALITYPBASED PERSPECTIVE... LET'S FACE IT: WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE SELF. WE ALSO HAVE A UNIFIED AND UNIFYING SELF... AND THE POINT OF "RELIGION"/SPIRITUALITY/GOOD HONEST LIVING IS ULTIMATELY TO FIND/EXPERIENCE THAT... AND LIVE FROM THAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Tam, you're the biologist here: help me! I really think nature has mechanisms in place to prevent that and if that happens it must be a disorder.

HOW DID WE GET TO INCEST?????? BUT I CAN'T RESIST THIS: IF WE WERE TO TAKE THE MONOTHEISTIC TEXTS LITERALLY (I.E., ADAM & EVE), THEN WE'RE ALL PRODUCTS OF INCEST!!!!! MAYBE THAT HELPS EXPLAIN ALL THIS ANOMALY... OUR SEPARATION FROM NATURE... BUT ALSO THESE GIFTS OF LANGUAGE/CULTURE/ETC.. SO WHO KNOWS... MAYBE INCEST ISN'T SUCH A BAD THING!

About the government trust and all that - Islam, like Judaism, has a negative view of human nature. Thus it has a very strong emphasis on Law and outward conformity to it. Behind it is the fear of anarchy: political, personal, exual, etc.

EXACTLY. IT'S ALSO THE FASCIST POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.

The Western Christians, in addition to the Legacy of Rome, have the Legacy of the Personal Liberty of Northern European Germanic tribes.

NEW THOUGHT: NOW THAT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF IRANIANS WHO HAVE LIVED/GROWN UP UNDER THESE "ALIEN" SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT/CULTURE, HOW ARE WE TO INTEGRATE ALL THIS?

AFTER ALL, IRAN/PERSIAN EMPIRE IS/WAS FAMOUS FOR ITS FLEXIBILITY... ITS ABILITY TO ASSIMILATE DIFFERENT INFLUENCES, WITHOUT SUPPRESSING THEM. BEYOND ISLAM OR ANYTHING ELSE, I THINK THIS IS THE HALLMARK OF "PERSIA."

FOOD FOR THOUGHT....

There is no such tradition in Islam and its development will take centuries. (Chinese and Indians do not have this tradition of persoanl libery either.)

ENFANT TERRIBLE SPEAKS: DON'T YOU THINK IT'S A LITTLE ODD THAT THE BOOK (I.E. THE KORAN) THAT SUPPOSEDLY, BEYOND POLITICAL AMBITIONS, NOW RULES IRANIAN EVERYTHING IS IN ARABIC... A LANGUAGE WE DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND?

YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, IT'S A LITTLE WEIRD.

EVERY CULTURE HAS ITS OWN "HADITHS" AND ALL I'VE BEEN TRYING TO SAY (FROM MY VERY FIRST POSTING) IS BASICALLY THIS: IRAN HAS ITS POETRY AS ITS "HADITHS" AND SHARIA, WHICH SPEAKS AMPLY AND ELOQUENTLY; THERE IS NOTHING -- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING -- THAT IT DOES NOT ADDRESS IN WAYS THAT ARE SO FAR AHEAD OF ITS TIMES (EVEN BY WESTERN STANDARDS).

WHAT IS SO GODDAMNED SAD IS THAT THE IRANIAN PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO MAKE RULES OF LAW BASED ON THEIR OWN GENIUS.

THERE'S NEVER BEEN A NEED TO BORROW FROM ANYONE, LEAST OF ALL THE ARABS. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN A PEOPLE BECOME COLONIZED BY AN ALIEN CULTURE, THEY LOSE A GOOD MEASURE OF PRIDE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE... AND SOMETIMES IT TAKES CENTURIES BEFORE ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT IS EVER RECOVERED AGAIN.

WHEN NAJ TALKS ABOUT A RENAISSANCE, THIS IS WHAT I DREAM OF....

I am aware of what a woman can get away with between the ages of 15 and 45 in the West. While young men have to work hard to establish themselves and act silly to get a silly girl once in a while - the young women are having fun.

I DON'T KNOW HOW LONG YOU'VE LIVED, PEN... BUT BELIEVE YOU ME, I'VE SEEN PLENTY OF EXAMPLES OF IT HAPPENING JUST THE OTHER WAY AROUND. THERE ARE LOTS OF SILLY MEN OUT THERE TOO....


But my identity is built on a heritage of matriarchy; I would have it no other way!

AMEN, NAJ!

Naj said...

Well dear ones, may i now draw your attention to other posts?

:))

Anonymous said...

l'enfente terrible:

I am not disagreeing that God permeates the Creation – although I cannot agree with your conflation of Him with Buddha – a finite historical being. And since I have not studied Buddhism in detail I do not wish to make any more comments about the nature of the Buddha here.

You stated that one only needs to “open one’s eyes to see…” the Divine – but I thought you did not believe in God and Divinity? Was I mistaken? And even if one ha the innate capability of seeing with the Spiritual Eye (and not every human being is so endowed) – even then – you have to be able to assimilate that Beatific Vision and you may not be able to – like the Manson gang.

Have you experienced that Beatific Vision? Have you had that mystical experience? Or are you arguing for the sake of arguing?

And when I said sainthood is only meaningful within a Religious Tradition I was not playing semantic games with you. Sainthood does not exist in Islam or in Judaism. Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists have it but not us.

Regarding shamefulness – we will have to agree to disagree:

Nothing we do can be construed as shameful unless and until we agree to the existence of an aim and a purpose for human life. Once we agree that such a target & goal exists then we can decide that the type of behaviors that detract us from reaching them are indeed shameful. This goal comes from our Religions and not from our spirituality: for as God stated in the Quran: “I am going to create a vice-regent on Earth…”. So such is the Status of humanity and thus the origin of shame since we are in the state of Fall – we have not been able to live up to God’s expectations of us.

I do not know what you meant by recognizing hypocrisy in ourselves – why is hypocrisy any different than our other faults? Why do select that. Jesus stated: “And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” So we are all at fault and we are sinners as explained in the Torah and in the Quran. But still it goes back to God’s expectations from us.
Rumi, whom you quote, was a Sunni Muslim whose Mathnavi was a commentary on the Quran from a neo-Platonic point of view. He was a rigid scholar that was awakened by Sham-e Tabrizi. What you quote and its connection to the sense of shame is not clear to me at all. Could you please explain which poem of Rumi you have in mind?

The God that I write here is not created: “lam yaled wa lam yulad, …” – it is not a figment of anyone’s imagination – it is the underlying substance of the creation and the sustainer thereof. It is not created by others.

You wrote: “AN ALL TOO HUMAN "FALL" INTO SELF-PITY... AND GENERAL LACK OF TRUST IN LIFE & REALITY. “ Yes we fall into elf-pity because we are weak small and finite creatures that are born with death. Rilke said it best: “ Death lives within us and cries softly for us.” What do you expect from us? To be protagonist of some sort of cheap Hollywood movie in which nothing touches us? And we are afraid, that is why we do not trust Life. And what do you mean by Reality? What am I supposed to trust in? Life, which leads me to madness and death? Reality, which brings me pain and suffering? And why should I or anyone else be ashamed of these weaknesses – we were born with them and we cannot change them.

In regards to God’s gender: “Allah” is a neuter word in Arabic.

Being Good is only meaningful within an ethical system. That system is only provided by our Religions. That was one of the many failures of the European Enlightenment project – the creation of profane and non-sacred non-religious morality.

Perhaps you have more than one self – I am aware of only a single “pen Name” in myself. And I would quite afraid if I sensed more than one. Now I might be able to agree with you that we have many different desires and wants and needs that cannot be reconciled together at any give time. That’s when our moral hierarchy comes to our assistance to help guide us towards a decision.

This statement “ULTIMATELY, ONE MUST CONFRONT oneself WITH SUCH ISSUES AND QUESTIONS. AND WHETHER YOU LOOK AT FROM A LITERARY/PSYCHOLOGICAL/SPIRITUAL/REALITYPBASED PERSPECTIVE... LET'S FACE IT: WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE SELF. WE ALSO HAVE A UNIFIED AND UNIFYING SELF... AND THE POINT OF "RELIGION"/SPIRITUALITY/GOOD HONEST LIVING IS ULTIMATELY TO FIND/EXPERIENCE THAT... AND LIVE FROM THAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE” is confusing to me. Could you please explain it in more detail? [Surprising that you are now positing a purpose for Life.]

No idea what this means either: “Tam, you're the biologist here: help me! I really think nature has mechanisms in place to prevent that and if that happens it must be a disorder.”

The Torah, The Quran, and even the New Testament are not to be taken literary. They are texts worthy of study which are written in a very dense manner. They need to be viewed as a set of questions that need to be interpreted.

Adam & Eve were not brother & sister. And we are not separated from Nature – we are part of her. The separation that you describe is the separation from God – because of the Fall of Man. Language was a gift from God: “And God taught Adam the names of all things…” Culture, like Civilization, is a machine – a way for us to live our lives on this planet and work together. It might be a gift or it might be an invention – I cannot tell.

Please do not let your rebelliousness go so far as to question the horribleness of incest. Do not make light of an abomination that damages people’s psyche for all their lives.

I disagree with your statement that the Judaic, Zoroastrian, and Muslim emphasis on Law is a Fascist Political Philosophy. What separates us from criminals and savages is precisely this – that we have the Law – and I do not care whose Lay: Anglo-Saxon Law, Roman law, etc.

The people of Iranian descent who have lived abroad will have a difficult time adjusting to the Iranian culture. They would experience the same thing in India – had they been Indians. Ultimately, they will have to become more Islamic and less Western.

Persian Empire is dead and gone. We have nothing to do with that. We all came from under the Mantle of Sheikh Safi. It was the Azeri Shia Turkish tribes and the Safavids who revived Iran after 800 years.

We assimilated those who invaded us because they were culturally inferior and their numbers were not large.


You wrote: “DON'T YOU THINK IT'S A LITTLE ODD THAT THE BOOK (I.E. THE KORAN) THAT SUPPOSEDLY, BEYOND POLITICAL AMBITIONS, NOW RULES IRANIAN EVERYTHING IS IN ARABIC... A LANGUAGE WE DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND?” No it is not odd – Eastern and Western Europe had the New Testament that was initially written in Ancient Greek – a dead language. Tibetans studied Pali Texts of Buddhism even though Pali was a dead Indo-European language that was not related to the Tibetan language at all. This is not unusual at all.

The Persian poems that you are referring to were written by poets that were using Arabic poetic forms to express a fundamentally Muslim ethos. Hafez and Rumi, Attar and Nizami cannot be understood without reference to Quran and the Hadiths of the Prophet.

This statement is silly: “WHAT IS SO GODDAMNED SAD IS THAT THE IRANIAN PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO MAKE RULES OF LAW BASED ON THEIR OWN GENIUS.” And please refrain from using foul language – I find it disturbing and specially unbecoming in a woman.

We have borrowed all the time. The Architecture of Persepolis is borrowed from Babylon. The script that the Sassanids used was based on Aramaic. Our script today is derived from Arabic. All of our poetic forms have their roots in Arabic poetic forms. Nowadays we are borrowing Sciences, new Literary forms such as the Novel, cars, Parliament, voting, popular sovereignty, etc. from Europeans. Before that we learnt Chai from Northern China, Samovar from Russia. I do not find anything wrong with borrowing from other people and learning from them. Least of all the Arab people: they are part of the same Civilization as us.

I do not consider Arabs an alien people – I have known many. But they are currently under the ideological hegemony of Arabism (as Gramsci would have it).

I have lived longer than you and I can agree with you that there are many men who do things which looks “stupid” to a woman. But they are not silly in the sense that young childless women are.

I have no idea what this sentence means: “But my identity is built on a heritage of matriarchy; I would have it no other way” – perhaps either you or Naj can enlighten me.

Pen Name

Naj said...

Oh boy ... you do like writing :)

No idea what this means either: “Tam, you're the biologist here: help me! I really think nature has mechanisms in place to prevent that and if that happens it must be a disorder.”

does this clarify it?

the rest of questions, will have to wait for later, for me to answer. By the way, Amre el Abyad, the Egyptian "gentleman" (HAHA) is going around, taking pieces of our conversations here, and throwing them in different comments! LOL

You might wanna have fun debunking this dude here and there!

Amre El-Abyad said...

Naj

Unfortunately, my gentlimaness has gone over my consciense. I have deided to cessate all hostilities on my side.

It is beause you are a woman I'm doing this.

i dont expect any price on your behalf. In the mean time, i will keep on writing what i think is jut and fair

peace

Enfant Terrible said...

Naj -- you asked for "help" yourself about 10 posts up; I was just quoting you. And I just looked at that link -- whooeee! I guess it's been proven: kin detection mechanisms exist in humans. okay then. mirror detection mechanisms definitely exist! lol.

Pen Nameh,

Grass is growing out of my fingertips, and that's a dangerous thing!

But I agree with you on one thing: we just have to agree to disagree. Because aghayeh aziz... clearly, you and I have very different notions of our history and identity; and time is precious.

Ya Hagh

Enfant Terrible said...

Ferdowsi:

بسی رنج بردم در این سال سی
عجم زنده کردم بدین پارسی

"For thirty years, I endured much pain and strife,
with Persian I gave the Ajam verve and life".

Khejalat to those of us who have so quickly forgotten the shame of being a conquered people... and the consequences of that.

Naj said...

Amre,

I don't think a real gentleman would send a man or a woman over 200 messages, calling her ...well I cannot repeat the terms you have called me.

I was also in no war with you.

But I am happy you have chosen the path of peace.

I wish you will give yourself more time to become more bjective and to not let your emotions distract you from Serat al mostagheem.

I think the best thing that came out of your ordeal was me meeting really nice Egyptian bloggers.

Cheers

Enfant Terrible said...

P.S. For those of us who may have also forgotten the meaning of the word, ajam:

Ajam (عجم) in Arabic literally means "one who is illiterate in a language", "silent" or "mute", and can refer to non-Arabs in general, or specifically Persians. In the former sense it is a neutral term meaning "stranger" or "foreign." In the latter sense it can be considered a racist, derogatory term by Arabs towards Persians; it has also been used as a part of a propaganda against Iranians by some Arab countries encouraging conflict with Iran.

Khoda Hafiz

Naj said...

Enfent Terrible,

With all due respect, I don't see what is "the shame of having been conquered 1300 years ago?!!!"

Arabs were not the only ones who conquered Iran, there were also Mongols, Macedonians, Turks, Afghans, Russians ... what's the big deal?

Giram pedare to bood fazel, az fazle pedar to ra che hasel?

I also think you are confounding Islam with Arabism! If you take stats teh greater population of world's muslims are NOT Arabs!

It is a very slippery slope, for any national/cultural identity, to be defining itself in opposition to another!

Az koozeh haman borron taravad ke dar oost!

And as nature and culture are dynamic entities; such static definitions of cultural identity is rather unproductive, in my opinion!

Enfant Terrible said...

Naj jan, right you are again. This is definitely a slippery slope, and consider me fallen. But as I may have mentioned to you earlier, my short-term memory is unfortunately very long-term; I can't help it.

Naj said...

:)

I don't know how I can consider you fallen. and one doen't fall on slippery slopes, one rolls (ghel mikhoreh)!

but I still don't get your short-term long-term memory analogy!

I really think our little mohammad-reza shah did our generation a HUGE disfavor by his 2500 shahanshahi year coronation! That, plus Mohandes Bazargan's resignation, is the one recent historic even that I hold a grudge against.

But I don't think I can get anywhere by blaming or glorifying my ancestors; I just hang to the rope of future, instead of putting the history's rope around my neck. It's decorated with jewels alright ... but if someone pulls it, I won't have a power to not prevent myself from strangulation!

Anonymous said...

l'enfente terrible:

I tried to engage you in a serious discussion in spite of your intellectual incoherence.

My time is a valuable as the next person - but I am disappointed by your replies.

On the other hand, I am not especially surprised; my encounters with persumably sophisticated and educated Iranians often ends up in this manner - not a Hegelian give-and-take.

with malice towards none
with chraity to all

pen Name

Enfant Terrible said...

Speaking of strangulation... I think I'll go and make myself some khoreshte fesenjoon right now, thank you very much. Jaye hame khali ;P

Anonymous said...

naj:

I did not particularly enjoy writing that long response to l'enfente terrible. The length of the response was caused by my attempt at imposing order and coherence where none existed - she had written in a manner reminiscient of stream-of-consciousness novelists.

A web-log is an educational instrument - I believe I have accomplished what I had set out to do on this thread.

pen Name

Naj said...

Merci Professor Pen name and Dr. Terrible; it's been indeed an enlightening experience for me.

Thank you for your contributions.

Anonymous said...

warning
This is a very important message about a terroristic Attack.

کیر خر تو کس ننه هرکی سیده.
سنده ملت جهان تو کس ننه حافظان شریعت اسلام

کیر خوک تو کس ننه فاحشه => پاسدار یا بسیجی یا اطلاعاتی یا جاسوس اسلام یا سید یا حزب اللهی

گوه خوک تو ننه امام حسین شد امام حسن

سنده شیطان تو حلق محمد رسول الله قرآن شد.

خرطوم فیل تو کس ننه پیامبر اسلام.

الله اکبر
خامنه ای عنتر
مرگ بر دوست ولایت فقیه
درود بر آمریکا