Friday, October 5, 2007

Robert Lindsay on Iran

Monday, June 05, 2006

What's Going On In Iran?
Those wishing to see the Danish Muhammad (pbuh) cartoons that are causing so much controversy can see them on this site by
clicking here. Even worse anti-Muhammad (pbuh) cartoons can be seen on this site here and here.The latest death toll figures from Hurricane Katrina can be seen on this website here. Most people do not realize that the famed Shah of Iran was actually a blood and soil Persian supremacist ethnic nationalist, primordialist volkisch fascist along the same lines as Hitler's Nazis and Milosevic's Serbs. Yet it is true - in fact, the Shah even formed an alliance with Nazi Germany.The Nazis attempted to form all sorts of alliances with people they mistakenly regarded as genetic inferiors - including Bosnian Muslims, Palestinian and Iraqi Arabs, Ukrainian, White Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian rightwing nationalists, Iranians and some of the upper-caste peoples of East India.The East Indians, of course, are the original Aryans - the light-skinned invaders who descended from the steppes into India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan at various times in the past 3,500 years. In India, they displaced the native Indians - the Dravidians or South Indians - and pushed them to South.They also twisted the Hindu religion by adding on their casteism, which was apparently not present in the original pre-Aryan caste system. Originally, those at the top were the lightest-skinned and the lowest castes tended to be the darkest. It is interesting that over thousands of years the Brahmins have become progressively darker.The Nazis were fascinated that these Brahmins regarded themselves as fellow Aryans and even send researchers over to India to measure skulls and analyze the facial characteristics of statues and other peculiarities of Nazi racial research. The Brahmin class of India has always returned the favor and many have long been supporters of Hitler, Nazism and fascism in general.This fascinating article linked above deals with something that is little known to most Americans - a neat summary of many of the views expressed by what are best termed Iranian nationalists. Americans have no understanding at all of this ancient, proud culture.The piece notes the Western deceit that modern nationalism began with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1600's Europe, when the principle of inviolable national borders was first codified. In fact, this is a Western narcissistic view. Other nations, in particular Persians and Iranians, have a long history of what could be called nationalism, depending on how one defines the term, dating back maybe 2500 years to Cyrus the Great.US idiots like George Bush and the council of clueless super-Zionist advisors whispering in his ear provoke this ancient culture at their peril.The piece goes on to discuss the minorities question in modern Iran. Most people do not recognize that Persian and Iranian are not synonymous. Persian is an ethnic group, but Persians only constitute 51% of all Iranians. Azerbaijanis are a huge group in the northwest, constituting 23%.US imperialism and Kurdish nationalism make much of Azerbaijanis supposed desire to break away from Iran, but there is not much truth to that. Those who say such things do not understand history. It is true that there is an Azerbaijani minority that invokes irredentism and wishes to break away from Iran and reunite with "northern Azerbaijan", the independent state of Azerbaijan.But the majority Azerbaijanis have no desire to do such a thing. People do not understand that despite the racist Persian ethnic nationalism of the Shah, Azerbaijanis have typically ruled Iran for many centuries now. In fact the Supreme Jurisprudent Khameini is an Azerbaijani.The Sassanid Empire, one of the most prominent empires in the world in the period of 200-600, and a rival to the Roman Empire, was ruled by Azerbaijani Iranians. This culture, to many, represents the pinnacle of Iran's power in the world. Its religion was Zoroastrianism and it was characterized by great tolerance towards religious minorities, especially Christians and Jews.The Sassanids were defeated in the mid-650's by invading Arab Muslim armies, many Iranians were put to the sword, and many Iranian nationalists have resented the resulting forced imposition of Islam ever since. According to these nationalists, there is a difference between those societies where Islam was "native" - supposedly Arab societies, and those where it was imposed by force - supposedly all non-Arab countries.This greatly simplifies matters, and in many ways is false. For instance, Islam has deep roots in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Muslim India, Eastern China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kirghistan, Turkey, Albania, Kosova, Bosnia, the Caucasus and in Africa.So the case of Iran is not generalizable. In most cases, where Islam conquered non-Arab lands, many of the natives converted and become passionate Muslims. In fact, some of the world's most ferocious and fundamentalist Muslims have traditionally come from non-Arab lands like Afghanistan and Sudan. But in Iran, something different happened: Islam ran up against Persian nationalism.To understand the conflict between Iranian nationalism and Islam is essential to understanding modern Iranian culture. The Khomeinists have enraged Iranian nationalists by declaring wholesale war on Iranian nationalism. According to the mullahs, there is no need for Iranian nationalism since Islam supplants it. Many Iranian nationalists will be theologically diverse, secular, atheists, agnostics, or even Zoroastrians.Even worse, the mullahs seem to have imposed a pro-Arabism on Iran. This is sure to infuriate Iranian nationalists. Iranian nationalists have always had a resentful and bigoted attitudes towards Arabs (and some towards Muslims - who they regard as having a barbaric Arab religion).When you hear an Iranian nationalist hurl an insult like "lizard-eating Mohammadens", this is the rage they are mining. It is the rage at a primitive culture of desert barbarian wanderers - so barbaric, in fact, that they "ate lizards", that invaded the glorious , superior, Sassanid Zoroastrian Empire and destroyed it, supplanting it with inferior Arab Islamic culture and religion.The mullahs have not only waged war on symbols of Iranian nationalism, but they have also tried to import Arab culture and language, much to the fury of Iranian nationalists. Since, to Islamic fundamentalists, Arabic is the language of Islam (a bigoted and irrational construct on its face), they tend to promote the Arab language and Arab language over native culture and language.This tends to produce friction between Islamic fundamentalists and non-Arab nationalists in the non-Arab parts of the Muslim World. For instance, it is often difficult to find a copy of the Koran in any language other than Arabic. And many non-Arabs claim that Arabs, especially Saudis, look down on them and despise them when they go Mecca on hajj.The Arab chauvinism in Islam has been a long-term hindrance to spread of the religion. Furthermore, for centuries after the conquest of Islam, the greatest Iranian poets, authors and scientists - beloved by all Iranian nationalists - were ordered to be killed by the fundamentalist Islamic morons ruling Islam at the time. Few of these heroes of Iranian culture were killed, but the fact that their deaths were even condoned stings.It is important to note that Shia Islam was also imposed at the point of the sword sometime later and many Sunni Iranians were put to death.This remains of this violent religious imposition can be seen today, when one notes that Sunni Islam (Iran is only about 75% Shia Muslim) continues to hold sway in the outliers of the Iranian state - in the Balochi wilds of the southeast, in the northeast near Afghanistan, and in the wildest, most mountainous parts of Iranian Kurdistan in the northwest.All of these parts of the Iranian state remain largely outside of the regime's control and Sunnis continue to complain, legitimately, of discrimination by Iranian Shia Muslims.The rage between Iranians and Arabs is difficult for outsiders to fathom, but is essential to understanding the region. Sunni Islam is synonymous with Arab identity and nationalism, as Juan Cole astutely notes, in the same way that White Christianity is synonymous with American nationalism. Hence, the secularism of Arab nationalists has always been a bit of a lie.The Arab masses and regimes are Sunni. Shia minorities have been traditionally suppressed to varying degrees in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and even in Lebanon. This is the root of the Sunni-Shia conflict that rages ferociously in Iraq today.See here for a particularly bigoted and insane example of Sunni Iraqi bigotry from the interesting blog of a secular Iraqi woman. Note that she ridiculously claims that Shia Islam was invented by the Iranians to destroy the Sunni Islamic civilization of the Arabs. I realize that sounds like the ravings of a mentally ill person, but this is how many, and perhaps most, Sunni Muslims, especially Sunni Arabs, regard Iran and Shiism.When we understand this sick, crazy, racist hatred, we can understand why Saddam attacked Iran, and why he supported in that war by all of the states in the Arab peninsula. We can understand why the secular King of Jordan intones darkly about a 'Shia Belt" snaking ominously from Iran, across Iraq, to Syria and southern Lebanon under Hizbollah control.We can understand the insane, Nazi-like massacres of both the Sunni Islamist guerrilla animals and Saddam's secular, Shia-hating fascist Arab nationalists. We can understand why the government of Yemen launched a murderous war on the Shia of northern Yemen, who constitute 40% of Yemen but are locked out of the state.We can understand why the Sunni Muslim states of the Gulf are supporting the preliminary plans for a US attack on Iran, and why these states and the Iraqi Sunni-Nazi rebels will stand up and cheer till they can't talk if the US invades Iran. We can understand why the viciously racist Sunni Arab bigots of Iraq intone darkly, "We will never be ruled by the blackhats (the Shia)".While the Arab attitude towards Iran and the Shia has always been one of sheer, Nazi-like racist hatred, the Iranian attitude towards Arabs has tended to be one of the disdain of a supposedly superior people for a supposedly inferior one.I have droned on enough on this subject, and we need to move on to the rest of the post. If you wish to dive into this fascinating matter further, click the link above and take a crash course in Iranian history, the minorities of Iran and modern-day Iranian nationalism. I hope you enjoyed this excursion.

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