Iran Nowrooz No Pride No Joy
Since 1979, the Iranian New Year’s celebration, Nowrooz, has been a struggle between the ayatollahs and the population. Nowrooz comes to us from our forefathers, thousands of years ago. In comparison, as far as history goes, Islam is a new phenomenon. However, Islam qualifies as pagan all things before itself. For the Islamic gangs, pre-Islamic remains have to be destroyed and forgotten.
Nowrooz is our renaissance. We love it because it is springtime, nature dances and we want to dance with it. We love it because togetherness is the word.
For the last 35 years the ayatollahs have spoiled it for us. The Chaharshanbeh Suri is sinful – Haram. In the early days of their despotism, the ayatollahs even sought to prohibit the New Year’s festivities. It was a psychological mistake: no one was to accept the dictate.
Falsehood is one of the pillars of political Islam for the ayatollahs and anyone following them blindly. So the ayatollahs had to invent an Islamic justification for it. Nowrooz was attributed to Emam Ali. Therefore it was Halal, permissible and OK to celebrate, albeit no so publicly. Nowadays the whole country takes leave of all social activities. Large towns are deserted and offices closed for two weeks.
Nowrooz: Playing with Islamic Interdicts
We have kept our Nowrooz. Its symbolism is with us but its spirit has gone. No more happy public displays. Nowrooz is now celebrated in the seclusion of our homes.
Today, we are just goldfishes in a bowl, developing a ghetto mentality. We swim alongside terrifying sharks: bassijis and pasdaran. The starfishes are nuclear. How long can we survive in this bowl?
Social codes of behaviour
Having the Nowrooz in mind, we asked our correspondents to list the social behaviours that lock people in reactionary conduct and prevent them from building the healthy self-confidence essential to democracy and freedom of expression.
Below is a list deliberately written in first person singular, in no order. The list can be summarised in three words: pathological egocentrism, mistrust; breeding grounds for poltroons.
Despite the over-simplistic approach, the points provide food for thought. The list can be used as a rough test to check our social reflexes, how we perceive others and how we want to be perceived. In Iran, we grow up with domestic despotism. It prepares us to consent to political despotism as a natural phenomenon, and to revere a father figure, the Supreme leader or the Shah. Since despotism, domestic and political, kills our hopes and aspirations from an early age, we learn to lie and to hide our thoughts and our deeds from our parents, and from our friends. In return, we expect to be lied to.
• Being negative and pernicious is my second nature; I resist change.
• Believing in miracles is sweet; logical thinking exhausting.
• Give me free rope and I’ll hang myself.
• I am slave to anyone flattering me.
• I cannot stand successful people, but bow to despots with money.
• I enjoy telling people what they must do.
• I give my word all the time; I hardly ever keep a promise.
• I hate being criticized. The critics are malevolent and my thoughts unquestionable.
• I have an opinion on everything. I hate to say “I do not know”.
• I idolize the dead, my martyrs. The living are a nuisance.
• I know my failings, but I will not reform my habits.
• I let providence and luck run my life, not my freewill.
• I live in bygone times and alter history as I please. I am not concerned about the present. The future is not my business.
• I loathe to think ahead, plan, and take risks.
• When I can get away with it, I disobey discipline and regulation, just for the fun of saying no.
• I love to please, so I have invented Taarof. Funny how the foreigners believe in everything I say.
• I weep when ordered, I dance when ordered. Let others decide and take responsibility.
• My driving force is fear; I judge first and never learn from my mistakes.
• My heroes are the poets and the ayatollahs. The first let me dream when the vapours of the opium or alcohol affect my mind. The latter tell me what to think and do when the effects of the opium or alcohol have gone.
• My petty private interests are always more important than any collective aim.
• My son is an honour; I respect his whims. My daughter is a burden; I order her around.
• I am not backing the condemned critics of the ayatollahs. They are a nuisance and best avoided, even if I agree with them.
• People are always plotting against me; conspiracy theories are the concepts I understand.
• When I fail, I find someone to blame. If I cannot denounce somebody, then the failure was written by an invisible hand.
• When I have no argument, I shout at, yell at and insult my opponent and never talk to him again.
• When I spread false and malicious rumours, I start by saying: “Everybody knows it.”
• I seldom open a book, hardly ever finish one. But I can review any book when asked to.
• I feel bright and clever when I cheat on others and get away with it. If caught, I feel wretched and I make up a weepy story to justify myself.
We are grateful to all our correspondents and readers for their contributions. In contacting us, they face impending trouble with the ayatollahs’ censors and agents.
Some of us are too old to be able to see the back of the ayatollahs in the near future with their own eyes. Perhaps, their grandchildren will. We are committed to them, wishing them all the happiness in a better world.