What were the positive and negative aspects in the American president’s recent Middle East speech? President Obama’s recent Middle East speech merits serious investigation for one particularly ironic reason, namely, that it went almost unnoticed in the Middle East and that you could not but observe that it proved to be a nonevent.
Hamid Dabashi is Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.His book Iran, The Green Movement and the USA: The Fox and the Paradox (Zed Books, 2010) was published in 2010.
Dr. Elizabeth M. Bucar, an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, has recently published a book comparing the feminist politics of U.S. Catholic to Iranian Shi’i women. Such a comparison might seem strange and challenging at first glance, but Bucar’s views on feminism and the nature of Shii and Catholicism seem even more challenging than the subject of her book.
Yes Mr. Mario! You writers are the ones who encourage sedition. You are the ones who reproduce sedition with your dark books and blasphemous pens. Reading these books one begins comparing the existing situation with that of the fiction and becomes encouraged to do something.
For some time now, Bahrain has been witness to the uprising of the people of this country against the Al Khalifa dynasty and the violent crackdown on this movement. What is interesting here is the level of intervention by Iran in Bahrain. This interference reached a point that Hossein Shariatmadari, the license holder of Kayhan newspaper and close ally of the Supreme Leader in Iran, asked for the direct military intervention of Iran in Bahrain.
“The way I used the term does not refer to criticism of American or European policies, or even cultures. ‘Occidentalism’ is a violent fantasy that imagines the West to be so wicked that it must be destroyed. This is a symbolic West, of course, a demonic image associated with sin, greed, corruption, sexual depravity, etcetera. It is a form of dehumanization, because it holds that Westerners have no souls, just base appetites.”
“I think the onus for self-criticism is mostly for those outside of the country who spent much of the fall and winter of 1388 (especially around Ashura) presenting a triumphalist message that the Greens were going to out-maneuver the state. Not only did these pundits over-estimate the organizational breadth and coherence of the Green Movement, but they downplayed the agency of the regime.”
I don’t want to stick to clichés, but I like my country because I have grown up here. All the mountains, polluted rivers, ancient places that have been destroyed by now, draw me like a magnet. If I was born somewhere else, I would feel the same about that place. But I don’t want to feel defeated. I don’t want to admit that I am giving this land away to the people who have no interest in it and are fantasizing about the day it is ruined. We should stay and resist and call back all Javads, Nasims, and Farhads, and try to put things back to where they should be.
We should of course not forget that the main culprit in all of this is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which forces people like Kambiz to flee their dictatorial regime. But once these people are here, we should show them that we are democrats and not barbarians. We should not let them live like drifters for eleven years and let them end up in flames on a sunny day in the city centre of Amsterdam.
Every sentence in Brown Skin White Masks is an indictment of one of the greatest injustices of our times – the dehumanization and humiliation of Muslims and Arabs in order to justify imperialist wars waged by the US and its allies.
What is dictatorship? What are its different forms and the techniques they employ that help them all too often survive the most severe winters of popular discontent?
The most important thing the Green Movement is in need of is an efficient intellectual resource that analyzes the situation and provides several solutions for the problems. This is more necessary now that the movement leaders are captivated. The movement is now facing a dilemma and its future depends on the days that lie ahead. It is now in a difficult phase and much consciousness is required.
Injustice is the only thing that makes sense to the Iranian regime. It is the only thing with which they can satisfy their sick brain; it is the only thing that makes them feel powerful and alive when they are looking in the mirror. And when they do so, they can only see their own image and not that of people suffocating in the great prison that Iran has become.
The death of the reformist era in Iran is giving birth to a new revolutionary consciousness, a mindset that benefits fundamentally from the reformist era’s emphasis on the civil rights that play such an important emancipatory function in the United States. There cannot be a return to the original reformist attitude any longer.
Plain clothes hid their faces behind masks, whereas last year the protesters hid their faces – but now the regime’s forces are doing it because of fear of detection by people!
We are children of the virtual area, after all we move behind the boundaries set, and we make everyone hear our voice loud and clear. Our manifesto, declaration, and koktel-molotov are Facebook and Twitter. This generation cannot be defeated.
These days, I can truthfully use the word ‘stress’ to describe my state of mind. Let me inhale deeply, then breathe out calmly and tell you why: I am stressed about the 25th of Bahman, the day on which a protest march will be held in Tehran in solidarity with the people of Egypt.
If there is one sensible comparison that can be made, it is between the protesters in Egypt today and the Iranian Green Movement of 2009 – in their democratic motives, peaceful procedure and inventive use of social media.
What happened in Iran’s streets last year, namely the Green Movement, is far more progressive and has deeper roots than what happens in Arab countries now. I believe that Iran’s movement is somehow the godfather of recent events. Moreover, the Green Movement, whether in the form of street rallies or in people’s homes living in the virtual area, is a polygonal movement including people of different types and social stratum.
It is my hope that Western Iranians will try hard to understand their fellows in Iran, but also that Iranians in Iran and the many who are coming to the West today try hard to understand their Western friends, in particular the multiplicity of their identities.