This timely discussion covers the recent campaign of harassment and intimidation against Iranians and the Iranian diaspora.
The talk features cultural intellectual Hamid Dabashi and former political prisoner and Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari, who have been accused of undermining the regime. This event is presented in conjunction with the Free Library's One Book, One Philadelphia initiative.
Maziar Bahari is an award-winning Canadian-Iranian documentary filmmaker, playwright, editor, journalist and writer who was detained in Iran on June 21, 2009, and held in solitary confinement in Tehran's notorious Evin prison following Iran's disputed presidential elections. Iranian state press claimed that Bahari had "confessed" to unwittingly playing a role in a Western media effort to instigate unrest after the presidential elections. He was released on October 17, 2009, and is currently an international correspondent for Newsweek magazine.
Bahari's accomplishments were honored as a finalist for the prestigious 2009 Prince of Asturias Award for Concord. His nomination was supported, among others, by Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Born into a working class family in the southwestern city of Ahvaz in the Khuzestan province of Iran, Hamid Dabashi received his early education in his hometown and his college education in Tehran, before moving to the United States, where he received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He is currently the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York, the oldest and most prestigious Chair in this field.
Professor Dabashi is a current affairs essayist, analyst, and commentator in major international newspapers and periodicals. He is regularly featured on CNN, BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera, and other global, national, and local venues. His essays regularly appear in al-Ahram Weekly in Egypt, Bir Gun in Turkey, and CNN in the United States.
Trudy Rubin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 2001 for her columns on Israel and the Palestinians. She has special expertise on the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe.
In 2003 to 2006, Rubin made seven trips to Iraq and two to Iran, and also visited Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, China and South Korea. She is the author of Willful Blindness: The Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her Iraq columns from 2002 to 2004.
Right, as stated in the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, to express information, ideas, and opinions free of government restrictions based on content. A modern legal test of the legitimacy of proposed restrictions on freedom of speech was stated in the opinion by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Schenk v. U.S. (1919): a restriction is legitimate only if the speech in question poses a clear and present dangeri.e., a risk or threat to safety or to other public interests that is serious and imminent. Many cases involving freedom of speech and of the press also have concerned defamation, obscenity, and prior restraint (seePentagon Papers). See alsocensorship.
Country, Middle East, southwestern Asia. Area: 636,374 sq mi (1,648,200 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 74,196,000. Capital: Tehran. Persians constitute the largest ethnic group; other ethnic groups include Azerbaijanians, Kurds, Lurs, Bakhtyari, and Baloch. Languages: Persian (Farsi; official), numerous others. Religions: Islam (official; predominantly Shi'ite); also Zoroastrianism. Currency: rial. Iran occupies a high plateau, rising higher than 1,500 feet (460 metres) above sea level, and is surrounded largely by mountains. More than half of its surface area consists of salt deserts and other wasteland. About one-tenth of its land is arable, and another one-fourth is suitable for grazing. Iran's rich petroleum reserves account for about one-tenth of world reserves and are the basis of its economy. It is a unitary Islamic republic with one legislative house and several oversight bodies dominated by clergy. The head of state and government is the president, but supreme authority rests with the rahbar (leader), a ranking cleric. Human habitation in Iran dates to some 100,000 years ago, but recorded history began with the Elamites c. 3000 BCE. The Medes flourished from c. 728 but were overthrown in 550 by the Persians, who were in turn conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE. The Parthians (seeParthia) created an empire that lasted from 247 BCE to 226 CE, when control passed to the Sasanian dynasty. Various Muslim dynasties ruled from the 7th century. In 1501 the Safavid dynasty was established and lasted until 1736. The Qajar dynasty ruled from 1796, but in the 19th century the country was economically controlled by the Russian and British empires. Reza Khan (seeReza Shah Pahlavi) seized power in a coup (1921). His son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi alienated religious leaders with a program of modernization and Westernization and was overthrown in 1979; Shi'ite cleric Ruhollah Khomeini then set up an Islamic republic, and Western influence was suppressed. The destructive Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s ended in a stalemate. Since the 1990s the government has gradually moved to a more liberal conduct of state affairs.
The Green Movement in Iran apparently, like these speakers, doesn't want to get rid of Islam, or weaken Islam through secularization. It is hard to see - as much as these demonstrators claim to want democracy - how democracy can occur on the foundations of Islam.
I've read commentators who think that this "democracy movement" is for the most part merely used by the elite to re-jockey for power. Maybe we take it much too seriously. The speaker's attempt to see it in the paradigm of the American civil rights movement I do not find credible.
Islamic societies because they produce a society of "slaves of Allah" are not inventive. They can use cell phones or the internet but they cannot create or build these devices themselves. Like nuclear devices they need to import them. They are parasitic. They need us more than we need them.
If America facilitates internet connections as suggested it might encourage more "democratic" unrest in Iran. It probably will also encourage an outflow of Islamic propaganda that will affect more vulnerable members of our Western societies. There are always vulnerable people who seek the security of cults and Islam is a large and successful cult.
Without questioning Islam and secularizing Islam this "democratic" movement is going nowhere. We would probably be better dealing with Iran and the rest of the Islamic world as we did with communism, using containment. Reduce immigration significantly, don't give them technology, barrage them with democratic ideas and especially ideas that question Islam, and let Islamic states collapse under their own weaknesses and contradictions.
Very informative thank you www.foratv.org ! my Favourite!
I don`t agree with the comparison of Americas Black Civil rights movement and the Iranian green movement that has failed horribly. You can`t tell one Iranian from another, until they voice their opinion. Civil rights in America was blantant and obvious very black and white, not so in Iran. In USA, separate public facilities, separate hotels, nightclubs, sports, bathrooms,super mkts, and EDUCATION, not so in Iran, only the treatment of women might be a closer comparison, Women treated as Slaves. Originally all TV was white.
Martin Luther King was not a Supreme leader, only King by name alone, not like Iran. the river that the Professor compares this to, this river is contaminated by false distorted history, illusions no substance, vast population under 40 years old; therefore The OLD suppress the Young and contaminates an entire generation with violence. As long as the past is jammed into the future the present is abused destroyed, on the road to Paradise Allah Akbar. The KING-Supreme Leader, must die so the people can live! Power to the people!