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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Jun 1999 to 4 Jun 1999
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Jun 1999 to 4 Jun 1999
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There are 3 messages totalling 486 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. 26 Religious Minorities in Iran!
2. Chicago Maroon: Professor Azar Nafisi
3. Call for e-mailing against A.. Gulf Center at Exeter University
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 15:08:24 -0500
From: Mehran Sam <mehran_sam@HMS.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: 26 Religious Minorities in Iran!
Maybe Raelian Religion can now ask for recognition in Iran!
nine parties, groupings receive license
tehran, june 2, irna -- secretary of article ten commission of the
law on parties and associations assadollah badamchian said that
the commission issued licenses of establishment and operation
to nine new political and "specialized" groupings tuesday.
he told irna at the end of the commission's session that two
political groupings received operation licences.
the session also granted establishment licenses to a party
called "iran's independence party" and six associations and
turning to the supervisory task of the commission, he said
supervision means to help parties and groupings better recognize
their legal rights.
he called on parties, groupings and political pundits to
send their viewpoints on the optimal mechanisms of supervision to
the commission's secretariat at the interior ministry.
some 41 political, 20 specialized and one religious minority
groupings received licenses for activities during the past iranian
year, which ended march 20.
according to statistics given by badamchian in april, some 85
political, 115 specialized and 26 religious minority groupings were
active in the country.
::irna 02/06/99 12:21
Extraterrestrials created life on Earth!
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 20:03:57 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Chicago Maroon: Professor Azar Nafisi
(U-WIRE) CHICAGO Maroon
Discussing the state of Iran before the Islamic Revolution and the cultural
transformations that the country has encountered since then, Johns Hopkins
Professor in Advanced International Studies Azar Nafisi spoke about the
status of women, history, and literature in the country and its relations
with the West on Wednesday in the Social Sciences building.
Nafisi, a native of Iran, began by retelling the shock and confusion of the
Iranians upon the death of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
Several changes that the country underwent started with the death of the
Ayatollah, and continued during the establishment of the Islamic Republic.
The country's culture and literature, however, remain unaffected by the
change of power, according to Nafisi.
Indeed, Persians promoted the Persian language through its ancient
"Iran, which was invaded several times, just as we, at times, were the
invaders, is the very country that preserved its literature and its culture
which the people had absolutely no control over. We were taught to believe
that those who wrote in Arabic, 'persianized' their writing, while even the
Persians 'persianized' the Islamic religion, " Nafisi said.
Nafisi took into account the cultural transformations Iran was not only
experiencing, but was also witnessing in 1979. During this time, she
returned to her native country, reading the literature of Iran and
discovering new concepts that were similar to themes found in the Western
"It is very familiar to such romance novels as Romeo and Juliet and Tristan
and Iseult in which fatal love can only be defined by love, " said Nafisi.
By the end of the nineteenth century, however, the West began to greatly
influence Persian culture through often coercive means, according to Nafisi.
"The West came as one that exploited culturally and politically. It was a
great attempt at changing language and literature, and thus a
democratization took place. This all brought a sense of crisis,
dislocation, and a shift in both religion and language [in Iran]," Nafisi
As a result, the people of Iran experienced a serious identity crisis,
where their Persian heritage became intermingled with Western ideas.
"My country's present identity is that of one in exile, defined as
everything that you consider identity and culture becomes distorted, "
To portray how the distortion took place both in Iran and in the United
States, Nafisi gave the example of how other American children would
criticize and create derogatory terms from her childrens' names, Negar and
Dorah, which ultimately caused them to "Americanize" their names.
Although both names are uncommon in the United States, they are well
respected in Persian poetry. This misunderstanding "merely portrays how
names are redefined by another culture."
At the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, Iran's problems concerning
their own identity increased and the country's relations were being
affected as well, Nafisi said.
"When you talked of Iran, at the beginning of the Revolution, you think of
hostages...and other realities...but due to Iran's problems [at the time],
we opened our communication with the West and then suddenly everyone saw us
as a friendly and very communicative country, " said Nafisi.
When the Shah assumed power, he created a party system which caused Iran to
become more centralized, with no democratic elections despite some tallied
votes that were mainly seen as a political tokenism. The Shah stifled all
political opposition, according to Nafisi, and namely minority groups and
"During this time, everything was politicized and the opposition to the
Shah was mainly based on political rights," said Nafisi. "The targets of
Persian politics were now women, the minority groups, and the culture which
only led to the negation of the present and the past in Islam.
However, when the Islamic Republic came to power, laws were changed and the
past was also attempted to be changed.
Women were highly targeted, such that in the case that a Muslim man kills a
Muslim woman, the family of the woman would have to pay approximately half
of the 'blood money' to the man, since the woman was counted as only being
half of a person," said Nafisi.
One of the leaders of the women's revolution in Iran began with Tahere, a
Persian woman living during the mid-nineteenth century led a movement
asserting women's rights. Rebelling against tenets of the Baha'i religion,
Tahere also drew much controversy over unveiling herself -- an act which
many Persian men were astonished to see.
This caused such scandal, according to Nafisi, that a man slit his own
throat before seeing any more of the unveiled woman.
Tahere became a model for Persian women of the time, many of which led
similar rebellions. Later on, Persian women led protests and fought to
receive a public education and the right to teach in any institution. Their
influence throughout Iran steadily extended, and soon, women began
publishing their own magazine and forming their own organizations, Nafisi
The media, however, objected to accepting the role of women in Persian
society, according to Nafisi. For example, when Iran TV broadcasted a
Russian version of Hamlet, the part of Ophelia was strictly prohibited from
being shown on television. Similarly, in the broadcast of the English
version of Othello, the part of Desdemona was exempted, along with Othello's
own suicide, since in Persian society, the suicide of a man is not accepted
The country is still undergoing a search for its identity, said Nafisi,
with no clear end in sight.
"The most intriguing thing about Iran is that we are searching for our
identity. In my country, we have not had the chance to have a critical
dialogue with the past or present, and thus Iran is defined by a search of
the past," Nafisi said.
(C) 1999 Chicago Maroon via U-WIRE
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 1999 21:57:41 -0500
From: "Aryo B. Pirouznia" <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: Call for e-mailing against A.. Gulf Center at Exeter University
Dear Friends, Dear Participants,
Once again some of the Public Relations Companies located in Europe and/or
in the USA and some so-called historians (?) have been hired to accomplish a
cheap and shameful task...
This task is nothing else than a desperate try to change the Ancient name of
the well known "Persian Gulf" to the so-called Arabian gulf...
I would like to see the reactions of these individuals if someone was trying
to change the names of some parts of their countries or established
I'm sure that, as cheap as they're, they would not protest by seeing the
color of their salaries forgetting all decency, integrity and any historical
For centuries, thousands of Iranian died in order to leave us a legacy named
" Mother Iran" and today, because of the lack of a strong and popular
government, the task of the protection of this legacy and its transmittal to
the future generations is on each of us...
Its up to each of us to keep the holly name of "Iran" and the "Persian
We succeeded by forcing the islamic clerics who were trying to change our
National Identity to open their public statements by the
words of the "Father of the Iranian Nation" (H.. A. Ferdowsi) and by
recognizing the Iranian reality;
I'm sure that we will succeed to discredit the so-called P.R. companies and
the so-called historians (?) hired to change the history and make the World
and our neighbors understand that we won't be the silent observers of our
Just click on the subject or attachment lines and have a look....
Act as this Iranian Patriot (Having sent me this e.mail) has did...
I'm sure that by doing so, he deserve respect and merits his national root
This is what each of us shall do and I permit myself to add to his e.mail;
My call and a documentary on from when, where and why this gulf was baptized
under the eternal name of the "Persian Gulf" (See the below article titled
"The Persian Gulf is the Persian Gulf")...
Protest massively and spread the words while remembering these words of Ella
" To sin by silence, when we should protest, makes cowards
out of men. The human race has climbed on protest. Had
no voice been raised against injustice, ignorance and lust,
the inquisition yet would serve the law, and guillotines
decide our least disputes. The few who dare, must speak
and speak again, to right the wrongs of many "....
May God bless you all and the Land of Iran....
Courtesy of Dr. Assad Homayoun and Mehrdad Irani
A publication of the AZADEGAN FOUNDATION, a tax-exempt, non-profit
President: Dr. Assad Homayoun
P.O. Box 40152, Washington DC 20016, USA.
No. 3 March 1998 Washington, D.C.
THE PERSIAN GULF IS THE PERSIAN GULF
"...When the Americans, like the British before them, grow weary of their
imperial duties and sail away, Iran will dominate the Persian Gulf. It is
ordained. No nation in the region can match Iran's size, population or
power. The question is: What kind of Iran shall it be?"
Patrick Buchanan - The Washington Times, Commentary, January 14, 1998
Historical facts are known and self-evident. Throughout the years, a few of
Iran's neighboring countries have claimed many of Iran's men of sciences and
letters as their own. Sadly enough, now there is yet a new vain attempt to
re-name that body of water which for several millennia has been universally
known as the "Persian Gulf" to the "Arabian Gulf ".
There are those who are unaware of the historical truths and while they do
not bother to study the history of the region, they unintentionally
contribute to a psychological warfare against the Iranian people. Among
them, are certain elements in the U.S. Defense Department, specially those
who serve in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. In order to appease local
sensitivities, "they" use "Arabian Gulf" instead of the "Persian Gulf"
simply to please their hosts, unaware that they are refusing to accept
historical facts and international usage. Indeed they are offending the
national feelings of the Iranian nation.
The ancient Greek geographers and historians called this body of water
"Sinus Persicus". It is interesting that since before the time of Christ
until as late as the 17th century, the world greatest historians and
cartographers from Strabon and Ptolemy to famous Flemish geographer,
Mercator, along with Arab historians referred to the Gulf south of Iran as
either "Sinus Persicus" or "Mare Persicum", as distinct from "Arabicus
Sinus", the name they used to refer to what is known as the Red Sea.
The "Arabian Gulf" was the ancient name of the Red Sea, actually a gulf
prior to being connected with the Mediterranean via the opening of the Suez
Canal. For the last two millennia the term "Persian Gulf" has been used
universally by historians, geographers, scholars, strategists and
politicians. Also Arab historians and geographers from Ibn al-Mujawir to
Yusuf Kamal, author of "Monumenta Cartographica", used "Al-Khalij al-Fars",
or Persian Gulf. The late president Sadat of Egypt, in his book, "Revolt on
the Nile", correctly identified the Gulf by its historical and original
Anyone who has troubled himself to look at antique maps, contemporary
writings and research documents, historical accounts of the region and
encyclopedias written either by western or eastern observers and scholars
would conclude that there is but one single name that is applicable to the
Persian Gulf. It is the practice of the White House, the State Department,
the U.S. government agencies and also the United Nations Secretariat, and
National Geographic Society, to use in the document and maps the term
"Persian Gulf" to indicate the body of water between Iran to the north and
east and a number of other states to the south and west. It is a long
established usage that is followed by publishers of atlases and geographical
It was in the 1950s that and in order to manipulate the simple yet vital
nationalistic sentiment of its people, that the then Iraqi president Colonel
Abdol Karim Ghasem, ventured to refer to the "Persian Gulf", as the "Arabian
Gulf". His intention was to create a new common enemy for the Arab world
which were busy fighting Israel under the guidance of Egyptian Colonel ,
Gamal Abdol Nasser, and to divert the attention of Arab world from Nasser's
leadership in Egypt to his own in Baghdad. This strategy back-fired in the
true sense of the word The scholastic community in Baghdad as a whole, and
the faculty in the Baghdad University, specially due to overwhelming amount
of historic and geographical evidence, reaching back to records as ancient
as 2.5 millennia, refrained from supporting the belligerent and the
unfounded claim of Colonel Abdol Karim Ghasem .
Even later, when President Gamal Abdol Nasser under the pretext of enhancing
his Pan-Arabist ideology proceeded to use Ghasem's self-invented term for
the "Persian Gulf", he was instantly reminded of his own earlier comments
wherein he had emphatically described the boundaries of the Arab World as:
"Menal Moheet al-Atlasi elal Khalij-ol Farsi" (from the Atlantic Ocean to
the Persian Gulf).
As mentioned before, throughout history, educators, historians, travelers
and geographers have always referred to this region as the "Persian Gulf"
not only because of the vast coastal lines of various Persian Empire or the
number of its Persian/Iranian inhabitants, but simply, and in their own
words, to recognize the noble notion that, "The Persians were the first to
have developed and greatly improved this part of the earth".
Therefore, to apply the term "Arabian Gulf" or any other name to the Persian
Gulf is an error, and indeed is to become a party to the psychological
warfare mainly aimed against the Iranian people. Thus, this change of
historical name, especially by some in the service of the U. S. government
who are serving in the region is entirely absurd, counterproductive, and
does not serve the interests of the United States.
We can hope that sooner or later, the rule of reason and rationalism will
triumph in Iran and liberty and democracy will replace the Theocratic regime
in Tehran. Iranians and Arabs must live together in peace. The Untied States
and the Arab nations of the region need to deal with the people of Iran, in
a just and equitable manner, just as the Iranians need to deal similarly
with their neighbors. Furthermore, Iran must reestablish friendly
relationship with the United States on the basis of mutual trust and
equality . The U.S. Department of Defense and especially the Navy which
always take geo-strategic factors into consideration, must also take
seriously the historic sensitivity and the rightful concerns of the Iranian
It should be remembered that for three decades prior to the revolution in
Iran, the Pentagon trained close to 30,000 members of Iranian Armed Forces
and considered Iran a principal element of the regions stability. It ought
not forget the past and close the door to future friendly relationships
which will indeed be essential for stability and peace in the Persian Gulf.
It should be remembered also that the Iranian Navy played a crucial role as
the stabilizer for two decades following the British withdrawal from the
Persian Gulf in 1971. Indeed it was the Iranian Armed Forces which defended
both north and south of the Strait of Hormuz against Marxist subversion. On
one hand it prevented the fall of Oman, and on the other hand thwarted the
Yemeni inspired guerrillas to undermine the Persian Gulf Sheikdoms.
Iran is a land bridge between two centers of the world's most important
energy zones, and the only power among the Persian Gulf states that has the
capability to undertake military operation beyond its own frontiers. Iran is
in the heart of the Eurasian Corridor. Because of its geo-strategic
location, population, resources and cultural identity it can play a decisive
role in the security of the Persian Gulf.. Iran was once a moderating force
and it could, once again become a moderate regional force, friendly to the
For more information and clarification we would like to refer the readers to
following publication mostly written by historians, geographers and scholars
regarding the Persian Gulf. We are certain that only through rational
channels we can shed light on and sort historical facts from baseless
propaganda, which were at one time aimed to toy with the territorial
integrity of Iran, albeit currently being directed in reaction to the
short-sighted policies and irresponsible political behavior of the ruling
clerical regime of Tehran.
1) Revolt On The Nile, Anwar Sadat, John Day Inc. New York, 1957
2) Monumenta Cartographica et Aegypti ( Le Caire), Yusuf Kamal, 1926-51.
3) Geographie, De Strabon, Paris, 1805
4) Historical Geography of Iraq, Mohammad Rashid, Baghdad University, 1965
5) Science and Civilization of China, J. Needham, Cambridge University
6) The Past History of Arabs and Islam, Omar Abdol-Nasr, Beirut, 1962
7) Political History of Islam, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Hassan. Cairo, 1935
begin 666 Call for e-mailing against A.. Gulf Center at Exeter University.eml
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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Jun 1999 to 4 Jun 1999