Ali-Reza Panahiyan: The clerics weird and paradoxical hate for the USA and the EU, has led our country into the most devilish alliances and situations in the Middle-East.
Iran West ISIS Terror In an open letter, Albertine Ahmadi replies to the declaration of Ali-Reza Panahiyan, Iranian politician and Shiite clergyman on: “The Westoxified among us are no different from takfiris and ISIS”.
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Dear Ali-Reza Panahiyan,
This letter is to express my deepest discontent with your recent declaration in Tehran. This is because I identify myself as an Iranian, westernised and liberal.
A few things about me: I was born in Iran, I grew up in a province among people that the present regime you back so ardently, despises. I have travelled to a dozen countries. I have lived and worked in six countries, in both public and private sectors. I speak three languages. I hold degrees in economics, history and political sciences. I have shared moments with the people in countries struggling for their lives. I have shared with them, amid crisis and tragedies, their bread and salt.
“Westernised” for me does not mean destroying the Iranian identity in favour of an allegedly superior Western one. It means blending the two. I can understand cases, where being westernised can mean that one lives only to work, earn money and spend it on trifles, as it is the case in some workaholic classes and countries. Indeed, this is NOT for me a path to pursue. However, being an expatriate/a refugee from your regime for the last 35 years, I can also find cases where this fusion, i.e. my Iranian background impregnated with some western ways is worthy. Take the simplest: calling for a rendezvous at 12H00 and showing up on time, keeping my word once given, and speaking truthfully my mind without fear of violence. I guess you can yourself personally attest to that this is not the mainstream culture in modern-day Iran. In modern-day Iran, we have walled ourselves, we have withered, and we have lost rationality.
So, the characterisation “Westernised Iranians are as bad as ISIS terrorists” is at least absurd…
Westernised Iranians are human beings that have the privilege to pick the best out of two worlds. Many Westernised Iranian will be honoured, – humbly -, to share their experiences, sweet and bitter, with both their Iranians and Western fellow citizens.
Perhaps, you would care to notice, Dear Ali-Reza Panahiyan, likewise many other “westernised” Iranians, I FEEL Iranian, I AM Iranian, to the point I would die for my country, if it did make a difference.
I am no Zionist. I believe that different people can and must live, side by side, in peace. I do NOT like the US and EU politicians with a hidden agenda in foreign policies. I do NOT like the Realpolitik and the cynicism of the international relations where human beings are forgotten and scarified. I do NOT like the rotten Saudi regime. I loathe the ISIS terror and savagery against ALL the innocent people. I do NOT like the foul dogmatism of the modern Western world, consumerism, extreme individualism to the point of egoism, and cowboy capitalism where bank traders hijack economy. I despise the coldness of technocracy. So, in a sense, there are many grounds that, I suppose, you and I we could cover.
BUT there are also many things that I do not like in MODERN-DAY Iran, as you have helped to shape it. How about the corruption? How about religious oppressions? How about ethnic persecutions? How about political nepotism? How about lack of free speech? How about massive-scale propaganda and brainwashing? How about international isolationism? How about opacity in public and political affairs? How about rigged elections? How about destroying the future and the hope of young generation? How about the sham discourse on women’s dignity while treating them as second class citizens, servants to men? How about lies, hypocrisy, and double crossing? Don’t you acknowledge that all this exists? And if so, are you satisfied with them?
I can and I will fight against all that I do NOT like in the Western societies, through the ballot boxes.
I cannot fight the things I do NOT like in modern-day Iran through the ballot boxes. The Vali-e Faqih will not permit it.
I am no devil wanting to bring MY COUNTRY to its knees. I am here to advocate for a better future for her. A future made by general consensus of ALL Iranians, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, sex. I feel that being liberal would help and lead MY COUNTRY in that direction. I do not ask you to fully grasp or agree with my viewpoints. But I feel that a DIALOG between you and me is of the HIGHEST IMPORTANCE for Iran to move on. Sure, I may miss a point in what I think; so, you are there to let me know about it. And vice versa: you may miss a point in what you think; so, I am there to let you know about it. In that sense, I am necessary to you. And the characterisation of “westernised Iranian liberals as bad as ISIS terrorists” is at least absurd, laughable. It disgraces you more than it ever will humiliate me. Let us avoid silliness.
Your weird and paradoxical hate for the USA and the EU, has led our country into the most devilish alliances in the Middle-East. With the help of the equally stupid and inconsistent strategies shaped in the USA and the EU, it has opened the doors to hell.
No account can and will be settled by violence, all those who believed in that sooner or later have failed. Let us change the path and leave behind hate, enemy fabrication. The Islamic Revolution in Iran is over. Forever, we cannot as a nation, secure our future in the theocratic despotism and its unfulfilled promises.
Let us build our country in which it will be sweet to live and rise fearlessly our youngsters proud of their country, true to their beliefs, and ready to share with other people from other nations their sweet and bitter experiences.
I have no blade. I have my words.
Albertine Ahmadi, Westernised Iranian