Quote of the Day (from Tehran)

Darius, an Iranian in Tehran, on the day after the Islamofascist Iranian regime stole the Friday election, wrote this to one of the threads at FiveThirtyEight.com:

I’m sitting in my grandparents’ house in Tehran right now and I’m hearing mini-explosions, there’s helicopters flying around, it smells like smoke, and it took fifteen minutes for this website to load because they’ve slowed down the internet so much here. On top of that they’ve basically blocked parts of Iran from the international phone network so I can’t even call my mother. 80% of the Iranian people did not enthusiastically turn out in order to re-elect someone who has ruined this country both economically and culturally. The Iranian people know that this election was rigged. How could it have been possible for Moussavi to lose Tabriz when he is from Iranian Azerbaijan and Ahmadinejad has abysmal approval ratings amongst Turkic speaking Iranians?

We need to vigorously and vocally support the brave young people of Iran, and their fight for freedom against 21st century authoritarian tyranny. May the media shine all the sunlight that it can on this wretched, demagogic, and dangerous regime in Tehran. Like the collapse of Eastern European tyrannies in 1989, this can be a historic moment for democratization and liberalization in the Middle East—or it can lead to another decades-long—and exceedingly dangerous—standoff with the West: 

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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10 Responses to Quote of the Day (from Tehran)

  1. homeyra says:

    Two objections Santi:
    I think you are more sophisticated to use a word such as “Islamofascism”.
    I seriously object this post 9/11 vocabulary – unless you tell me that you call “Christianofascism”, “Judeofascism” and “Judeo-Christian-fascism” other occupations.
    Objection 2: Speaking of myself, I don’t want your kind of liberation. If you want to help be simply truthful.
    Regards 🙂

  2. santitafarella says:

    Homeyra:

    I’d have to think about the validity of the term “Islamofascism” some more. I was upset on hearing how the election went, and the obvious stealing of it over the course of the past 24 hours, and I was angry (and I think rightly so) when I wrote the post this morning.

    Also, Iran is not some little globally insignificant backwater. What happens in Iran doesn’t stay in Iran. It affects me and my family here in the United States, and so I will have my say, blunt and repeatedly, with regard to anything that affects me and my family.

    And in this case, a religious authoritarian regime that has adopted the European fascist template for talking about Jews, Judaism, and Israel, is not just hard at work disenfranchising its own people. It is also hard at work attempting to get nuclear weapons, and in its rhetoric it is agressive toward Israel, my president, and my country. I was hoping that the election could set our two countries on a more peaceful path.

    And I frankly don’t like any regime that sponsors art exhibitions that deny the Holocaust. It’s noxious. Right now, I don’t know what you call, exactly, an Islamic Republic that combines religious authoritarianism with European borrowed Antisemitic motifs (other than Islamofascist).

    I do, by the way, believe that Christianity and fascism can be wed, and have been so historically in particular instances, and I know that Christopher Hitchens has defended the intellectual coherence of the term “Islamofascist.” I am not, by using the term, singling out Islam as uniquely susceptible to fascist impulses. But I would note that Ahmadinejad is a blatant Antisemite and Holocaust denier, and he and other Iranian leaders have spoken of Israel in eliminationist terms. I’m also seriously pissed at the execution of gay people in Iran. And I don’t like patriarchy, and will not shut up about the women’s liberation movement because Iranian fundamentalist clerics don’t like it.

    I wonder if you would agree with me that the Iranian regime is “wretched, demagogic, and dangerous.”

    —Santi

  3. homeyra says:

    I find it ironic that you – I assume within the US, with closed frontiers to foreigners and all the military arsenal etc., feel unsafe while we here, between two wretched countries with heavy US military presence, 7 military basis in Iraq and I don’t know how many more all around, with congress approved budget to “destabilize” the country (see Seymour Hersh), death squads (see Hersh again), etc. etc. are a threat to you.
    A famous US statesman said about some dictator that “I know that he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch.”
    I agree that our regime is sort of wretched, demagogic? certainly, dangerous? not more than any other country exposed to predators seeking more resources.
    I am afraid that the demonisation that you are obviously exposed to, is more due to the fact that our president is not “your son of a bitch” 🙂 than anything else.
    It is also ironic that I have to defend someone i don’t like, specially today when we are heavily mobilized against him within our country.

  4. santitafarella says:

    Homeyra:

    Because you are writing in such fluid English, I just assumed that I was talking to an Iranian American citizen or an Iranian student living in an English-speaking country. It didn’t register with me that you might be discussing Iran from Iran!

    I’m actually very sorry to have sounded obnoxious toward you. I have a great deal to learn from you, obviously. Almost certainly more than you have to learn from me. I’ll follow your blog, now that I realize that you are writing from Iran in English.

    I only just clicked on your name a few minutes ago and found your blog. Looks like great stuff. I admire your courage and public blogging. And I hope that our two countries can come to greater understanding and a lasting peace over time. It would be an enormous tragedy for the world if the United States and Iran did not find some route to a sustainable friendship.

    Sorry if I sounded ignorant to you. If it helps, just know that, as an agnostic, I’m caustic toward all fundamentalist religion mixed with politics, not just of the Muslim variety. I’m a pro-gay rights, pro-feminist, civil libertarian.

    If you have a book, written in English, that you would recommend to me that you think would give me a greater and more nuanced understanding of Iran, I’d be much obliged.

    So I’ll shut up now, and follow your blog and hear what you have to say.

    —Santi

  5. homeyra says:

    Dear Santi
    I was not offended at all, I am sorry if I sounded to aggressive. We have to fight the enemy within and the enemy outside at the same time. This is just too much for me to handle with grace 🙂
    In fact I learn a lot from people like yourself.
    Speaking of a book, look up “In search of Hassan”, it is written by an American who spent his childhood in Iran, and came back years later after the revolution to find his family’s … cook! I loved that book.
    It isn’t within the context of the current political rhetoric. Just a simple story. I have to think more to suggest something more contemporary.
    If you wish, you could also have a look at the “book category” of my blog, though it isn’t limited to Iran.

  6. tillb says:

    While Iran has declared Ahmadinejad the Winner, these numbers have been leaked out of Iran showing how the votes really accumulated:

    Maseeh Alinejad is an Iranian reporter who was censored in her reporting from the Iranian Parliament in 2005. I have no more information about this reported result which I got through reviewing articles in niacINsight, a blog for Iranian-Americans that tries to follow internal happenings. That publication released this e-mail they got this morning:


    “I am in Tehran. Its 3:40 in the morning. I’ve connected with you [by hacking past the government filter]. It’s a big mess here. People are yelling from their houses – ‘death to the dictator.’ They are setting up a military government. No one dares to go out. No one has seen Mousavi today. Rumor has it that they have arrested him. I don’t have an email but I will contact you again.

    Help us.”

    They couldn’t confirm the source.

    Did you notice? The chart lists more votes than there are eligible voters. Sooo… what could this all mean?

    Under The LobsterScope

  7. tillb says:

    I noticed that the chart didn’t come up on the post I just added, Please go to http://underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com to see it.

  8. santitafarella says:

    Homeyra:

    I’ll check out the book list at your blog and the book you recommend here.

    Thanks for helping me get a more nuanced perspective on Iran.

    And like you, I’m a Seymour Hirsch fan too.

    You’re on the side of the angels, Homeyra.

    As we follow one another’s blogs, I hope we will continue to stimulate each other’s thought.

    —Santi

  9. santitafarella says:

    Tillb:

    Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out.

    —Santi

  10. Logicel says:

    I have read that all internet connection has been cut in Iran. As of yet, no new post from Homeyra today. Though it is probably possible to circumvent the net ban, it may be a dangerous thing to do.

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