Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Dr. Atefeh Oliai, my Persian professor, sent the following in response to this post which she requests I share with you:

Iran situation is a riddle: the question is this: " if Shah's regime was so progressive why is it that the publication of newspapers and books are Skyrocketing now: i.e.: after the rev. Literacy is 85% as compared to less that 50% before the rev. Much wider area in rural Iran is benefiting from Electricity now than under Shah. Iranian movie production doesn't need any explanation. And YES! human right is the main issue. But let's be fair and say that at least now people know what is happening in contrast to the complete forced silence and censorship under the Shah.

Finally I would like to point that surprisingly democracy is more present now than before, if we define democracy as people's ability to voice their concern publicly, act openly and get result. See Aghajari's situation. Wasn't he freed because of people's pressure? What about numerous demonstrations through which people voice their concern? Have you forgotten a simple student strike would result to student's emprisonnement from 2 to 12 years? The obvious fact of such harsh but explicit struggle between the two factions of the gov. is another sign in my opinion of the democracy And again: Yes, human right is worse than ever but nevertheless, today's Iran is one of the most dynamic society in the world if not The most. A lot to say, but I wonder if the fact that Farah looked more "modern" means anything! And yes! that picture of people kissing Shah's hand: what does this prove? Of course the present regime is to be criicized, but PLEASE let's raise the bar!

UPDATE: I just glanced at a headline about scores of arrests following protests in Iran. So I want to emphasize that the point of my posts is a historical one: The Islamic Republic is better than the Pahlavi monarchy. Hopefully the student movement will succeed in pushing the government into reform and set up a democracy not stifled by this sort of theocratic oppression.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading this post after years after it was submitted.
Just a correction:

Compared to the Shah's regime IRI took many huge steps back in terms of human rights, however people are more capable to take the political stage and vice their protest. IRI barbarism is tenfold compared to pre-revolution, but Iran is now a more intellectually dynamic society.

Atefeh Oliai

4:22 PM  

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