Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Free Iran !!! A Survey of Human Rights

Mad Funny Iranian Satire Video


Iran has attracted the most attention because of its race to acquire the atomic bomb. Its stated intention to use such a bomb to wipe Israel off the map invites a comparison to convicted felons who under criminal statutes are barred from owning guns for the protection of society.

Iran is only 51% Iranian. Forty nine percent of its people are of other ethnic groups and speak other languages than Farsi. In this respect, it is much like Russia, which pulls large numbers of non Russians under its political umbrella.

The overthrow of the Shah in 1979 interrupted an ambitious program of economic and infrastructural modernisation. There is strong resentment of Iran's military adventurism within Iran. The regions in Iran which are most rich in oil are both non Iranian and poor. It is particularly ironic that Iran's four million Arabs are forbidden from wearing the signature keffiyeh that Ahmadinejad dons on international visits to show his solidarity with "Palestine". Money that could improve education, health and infrastructure in that part of Iran is instead used to spread death and destruction throughout the Middle East. This adds deaths by neglect to Iran's toll of deaths through violence.

Iran pursues the development of the atomic bomb despite glaring weaknesses in its economic base that weaken it strategically and blight the lives of its citizens. Despite being a leading petroleum producer, it must import gasoline. There are no refineries in Iran that produce gasoline. For this reason, Iran has had to introduce gasoline rationing. It is obvious that
self sufficiency in gasoline production would improve both the strategic independence of Iran and directly enrich the lives of its citizens

The median age in Iran is 24 compared with America's median age of 36. This is the average age of the entire population. This means that a large plurality of Iranians have at best vague childhood memories of life under the Shah.

Despite this, the government's policy of ham fisted (excuse me) religious coercion has not created a breed of model Islamic citizens. Turning a blind eye to alcohol, drugs and parties has been a necessary safety valve for the Islamic regime. Despite having lived under no other form of government, it seems that many Iranians have an instinctive yearning for a measure of personal and political freedom.

The status of Iran's women is widely known to be deplorable. What is less known is the practice of "sigheh" or "temporary marriage". Every day, 221 abortions take place in Iran, often as a result of these "temporary marriages".( Article on Prostitution in Iran) (Wikipedia on temporary marriage) This safety valve for regulating premarital sex has degenerated into the forcible marriage of children for the purpose of prostitution. (Abuse of women and child abuse in Iran)

Unlike America, Iran's religious freedom is limited to a list of religions considered to be "people of the book." Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians are on this short list maintained by the regime. Bahais , despite being monotheistic are considered to be worse than idolators and persecuted with no legal protection. Mandaeans are a non Christian monotheistic gnostic faith that prohibits circumcision, baptises weekly and prays in Aramaic. They venerate John the Baptist as a prophet. They were removed from the list of protected faiths under the Islamic regime in Iran. Many Islamic scholars believe that the Mandaeans (also known as Sabeans) were originally one of the protected faiths listed in the Koran. They accept no converts, are pacifists and present no material threat to Muslims.(Mandaean Human Rights). Conversion out of Islam remains a capital offence. But even the limited protections offered under Islamic law are often violated in Iran.

Despite elections taking place in Iran, no one who presents a significant threat to the regime is allowed to run for office. Allegations are widespread that charges of sedition and heresy are used as cover for confiscation of property by the mullahs. (Pronounced moolah) (Iranian human rights violations including property confiscation)

Iran's condition remains bleak. A full accounting of those wronged by the regime in Iran is beyond the scope of this article. Discontent is brewing beneath the surface in that repressed country. Despite the regime presenting nuclear weapons as an assertion of Iran's sovereignty, the conflict with the America and Israel is losing its effectiveness as a diversion for the people of Iran. Whatever action is taken to neutralise the threat coming from Iran, we must not lose sight of the fact that the people of Iran are victims of their regime.


To add a note of levity to this glum report, I have added a satirical video produced by Iranians . I do not understand the words, but the humour works on a visual level as well. I would welcome a ranslation from any reader fluent in Farsi.

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