‘Defiant innocence’

In an analysis that says what many of us have thought, Aziz Motazedi describes the election miracle as a shift in opposition activity from positive (which inevitably involves tactical compromise) to negative (dissociative) expression:

[…] the boycotting Cover of Aziz Motazedi's Two Talesof goods and services promoted on state-run television (or imported from China), the orchestrated honking of car-horns, the deliberate power-outages caused by turning on electrical appliances when government officials are scheduled to appear on television.

This does indeed have precisely the effect he attributes to it:

If people in the free world today look on Iranians as people not unlike themselves, and certainly different from the ruling minority that governs its country, this is the achievement of the protesting young Iranian generation. In its continued refusal to allow its innocence to be sacrificed for the benefit of this or that group, this generation may yet find a remedy for the deadlock of Iran’s past thirty years.

It is no surprise that Motazedi is a writer (in Farsi) of long, historically rich stories. Would that they were available in English.

Trapping the rats

The Regime of the Rat really has caused an immense amount of anger among the ordinary population. If a sizeable crowd isolates a group of the despised plain-clothes police on their own, then it really is all up with them. This video shows a traffic jam of irate commuters, all honking their horns at a group of basijis, two to a bike and in plain clothes. The basijis eventuallyCandle power turn tail and escape against the direction of the traffic. One hopes that no-one was hurt, but several bikes are left in flames.

A new ‘people’?

I am reminded of an old joke that occurs in Brecht:

The Secretary of the Writer’s Union had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee, stating that the people had forfeited the confidence of the government and could win it back only by redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier, in that case, for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?

Bertolt Brecht, The Solution.

The remains of the remains

There is currently much anxiety that the regime will destroy, displace or otherwise obscure the site in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery of the ‘mass burial’ of protestors, tortured to death or simply executed. Pity those families who don’t even have a body to mourn or, more numerous, don’t know for sure whether their children are dead or live. There is some embedded wobbly YouTube video footage here showing what appear to be gravestones with many bootprints in the sand. Not so unmarked graves, perhaps.

The Age of ReasonHeaddress

In response to an article by Mr Mehdi Ghani attacking, and trying to refute, the claims and teachings of an unnamed sect under the title of ‘The end of reason’, an anonymous writer responds with a another article called ‘The dawning of the age of reason’ at the Critics on history site (in Farsi).

According to this writer, the Age of Reason began:

    1. When the twelfth imam was born from the right thigh of his mother.
    2. When a woman whose relatives were all imams didn’t know that Shi’a prophets all grow as much in a day as a week, in a week as a month, and in a month as a year, so that the eleventh imam was forced to explain to his sister how this came to be.
    3. The destruction of the libraries in Alexandria and Iran by the order of Omar on the grounds that, if these books are against the Koran, they should be burnt, and if they are not against the Koran, then the Koran itself is sufficient.
    4. God was confused as to whether the creation had taken place in six days or eight days, so the Koran mentions both (and nobody objected).
    5. God told men, Women are your fields: sow in them as you please.
    6. The history of past peoples changed in the Koran, so that nonexistent people suddenly appeared and, equally suddenly, disappeared again.
    7. Abraham, instead of sacrificing Isaac as in all other sources, suddenly, in the Koran, sacrifices Ishmael instead (and nobody objected).
    8. The prohibition on fighting was announced: Do not fight or you will become weak, because you will pass wind.
    9. The result of all this reasoning is that although one claimed Mahdi was questioned in court about Arabic grammar, nobody questioned Mohammed about grammar (the Koran is full of such mistakes); as a result the hadith [traditional spoken teaching of the Prophet] are so contradictory.
    10. All the interpreters of the Koran, in the face of these grammatical errors, historical mistakes and inaccuracies, did not know what to do.
    11. The monotheistic religion of Mohammed became so entwined in trouble that, despite Ali, all the brothers started fighting each other.
    12. And as a further result Mr Mehdi Ghani (the original journalist) ceased to occupy himself with Islamic matters and started taking an interest in the beliefs of others.

More prison rapes

These tales continue to eke out, sadly mitigated by the sheer modesty of the victims:

“I was in prison, I was blindfolded and my hands were tied,” the young man told Mr. Karroubi. “I was beaten nearly to death, and worse than all of that, they did something to me which even unbelievers and idol worshipers would denounce.” […] In his statement to Mr. Karroubi, the young man who said he was raped said that in his case, his questioners suggested he was to blame, even asking if he enjoyed the attack. Then they threatened him. “While we were waiting, the officer told me he didn’t think anyone was capable of such an act and accused me of lying,” the man said. “He asked me if I realized the kind of trouble I would get into if I couldn’t prove the charges.”[…] He said that one day, when Mr. Karroubi was filming their discussion, three government men came to Mr. Karroubi’s officeProtestor on Rat's car to question him. The young man agreed to go with them to visit a doctor. On the way, he said, “I asked them why they had done this, why they had treated us like this, what had we done?” The response was, “When the supreme leader confirmed the election result, everyone should have recognized it.”

Sour grapes

A selection of images of the green protest is anthologised here to accompany the release of BuddaHead’s new single, Sour Grapes. Many of these we have seen before, but all are moving. Bonfires in the rain. Young faces. Men fighting, girls impressing. I hope they are all alright.