To the West: We are not fighting against Islam…
Dear Western readers,
You may ask, why do Iranian protesters chant Allah-o-Akbar on rooftops? And you find yourselves lost in confusion over whether the protesters are Muslims, or not. The Koranic phrase was used as a cry for justice during the 1979 revolution against the tyranny of the Shah, and is here (see above YouTube clip) chanted every night since the election, as a reminder of how and why this so called “Islamic” constitution was formed in the first place.
Today, if one takes the time to read many of the comments on our YouTube videos, as well as those of others on the Iranian riots and protests, one will discover many anti-Islamic sentiments:
Comments made on our YouTube videos:
“Persian culure & islam dont mix”
“THIS IS ISLAM. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?”
“Neda wasn’t even with the protesters,
she was just watching it with her father, when islam came and done it’s magic again.”
“This is Islam today! Yes it is – Ur fools if u think its not !
Islam MUST Go away !
Death to islamic Government of Iran !”
Some of these comments may have been made by Iranians who associate the current government as synonymous with Islam. Others, might be Westerners who recently have seen pictures of rioters sporting clothes and styles which did not agree with their previous views of the Iranian people as fanatic-nuclear-bomb-obsessed suicide bombers, but rather as victims of an oppressive “Islamic” regime.
Nonetheless, women who choose not to wear their hijabs tightly are not necessarily Atheist, Christian, or anti-Islamic, even if some would prefer to completely throw off their hijabs. Furthermore, women wearing those tightly wrapped, black chadors are not necessarily pro-Ahmadinejad, pro-government, or even supporters of a so called “Islamic” “Republic”, both words intentionally put in quotation marks (see picture below).
There is much to say against Islam, and there is much to say in its defense. But that is not why we are rioting. We are not rioting against Islam. We are rioting against the arrogance with which our votes were treated. We are rioting against the arrogance with which protesters are being treated. And yes, even on the day when we will be able to replace this government with the voice of the people, we will still consider Hazrat Ali, an essential part of our culture. We will still consider Rumi an essential part of our culture. Two invaluable figures to Iranian-Persian culture and tradition, and both, were indeed Muslims, to say the least.
Now… while many Iranians fall victims for the state-produced propaganda machine, and seriously see Westerners as diabolic creatures – many Westerners have fallen for their respective propaganda machines, and believe Iranians to be either Talibans (i.e. evil) or soon-to-become-Christians (i.e. good). Needless to say, just like there are many well-informed and knowledgeable people in Iran, there are many examples of well-informed intelligent human beings in the West (and of course, the rest of the world).
Although, it should be mentioned that our protests should be left to be handled by the people independently, without the involvement of other nations, in order to avoid the construction of another regime whose sole purpose is serving others, rather than its own people.
What we can do, however, and indeed, what we should all do – Atheists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. – is to work together, in the quest of eliminating ignorance. In the quest of destroying intolerance. And in the quest for freedom and justice for all human beings, all over the world.
Thank you all for your tremendous support!