Date: Jun 10, 1999 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Jun 1999 to 9 Jun 1999

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Jun 1999 to 9 Jun 1999
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There is one message totalling 124 lines in this issue.

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Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 13:32:01 EDT

By Maryam Namazie
June 9, 1999

The Columbia University Middle East Institute organized "roundtable
discussion" on the press in Iran on June 7, 1999 firmly placed
the University once again in that award-winning role of defending
apartheid. This time, however, it was the gender-apartheid and
repression of the Islamic Republic of Iran and not that of the former
South African government.

Several awards must be given for outstanding performances in this
tragic drama. An award for his excellent supporting role must be
given to Richard Bulliet, the Director of the Middle East Institute. At
the outset, he clearly set the stage for the panel discussion (to
improve relation$ between the US and Islamic governments). He
also ran (quite fast I might add) to call security when an opponent
spoke out.

Columbia University guards must also receive a supporting role
award for having questioned opponents before the panel, having
banned the distribution of flyers on "Columbia property," and for
showing up in full force at the beckoning of Bulliet to make sure
no opposing opinions were aired.

The regime’s thugs, too, who were in the majority and present
everywhere to create an atmosphere of intimidation, must receive
honorable mention, though they did over-act given their
excessive practice playing such roles in Iran.

The academy award for the most well-played advocate of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, however, must undoubtedly go to
Hamid Dabashi, professor at MELAC (Middle Eastern Languages
and Cultures). Dabashi began his opening statement by denying
two decades of repression in Islamic Iran. Exiles, he stated, were
the result of the Shah's dictatorship, a brutal revolution and the
Iran-Iraq war. He repeated the statement that there was no control
over the press in Iran to make sure that all had heard a panelist
well. His revision of history and facts was remarkable. In the area
of language, his specialty, however, the eminent scholar, was
unfamiliar with the language of opposition though well-versed in
the language favorable to the regime. His censorship of words
and opinions not allowed under the constitution of the Islamic
Republic of Iran truly placed him among his peers - "journalists"
and an official of the regime who had come to defend the regime
and its president.

Dabashi was especially eloquent in translating the excruciating
details given by the regime’s official on paper. Such details
were necessary, since blank paper is just about the only thing
in Iran that has not been tortured, silenced, imprisoned or killed.

When in private Namazie told Dabashi that he should be ashamed
of himself for promoting the regime so blatantly, the only thing
this eminent scholar of language could scream was "Who the
fuck do you think you are?" Dabashi’s hysterical, finger-
wagging mannerisms truly outdid all others.

Well done Dabashi for an award well-deserved! The University
can now be assured that investment$ in the Islamic Republic
of Iran will soon approach those made in the former South Africa.

More to follow on the press in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


June 7, 1999

A mission from the Islamic Republic of Iran is speaking at a
roundtable discussion on the media in Iran today, Monday,
June 7, 1999 at Columbia University. The mission comprises
of a former official of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
and several members of the government-controlled press. This
roundtable is part of Khatami’s "dialogue of civilizations," which
hopes to amend the image of a criminal regime with the help of
its cohorts in the west (including Columbia University’s Middle
Eastern Studies). The discussion aims to highlight the increase
of publications in Iran to declare freedom of expression and press
in the Islamic Republic of Iran!

Despite such attempts, the fact remains that the increase
of government-controlled publications in support of Khatami is
not an indication of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression
is a freedom for opponents and the people and not freedom for a
faction of the regime to expand its activities.

The roundtable is nothing but an effort to justify censorship and
repression in Iran. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, any publication
that is socialist, pro-labor, egalitarian, pro freedom, against religion,
and opposed to the entirety of the Islamic Republic of Iran is banned
and its defenders killed.

According to the regime’s Press Law, the press’ role is to
struggle against manifestations of colonial culture and promote
and propagate authentic Islamic culture and diffuse virtuous
principles. The press is prohibited from promoting discourse
"harmful" to the principles and mandate of Islam. Any deviation
even by the pro-government press has been met with repression.

Clearly, a precondition to real freedom is the overthrow of the entirety
of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR)
International Campaign in Defense of Women’s Rights in Iran (ICDWRI)
International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR)
Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI)

For more information, contact Maryam Namazie or Keyvan Javid
GPO, PO Box 7051, New York, NY 10116. Tel: 212-747-1046.
Fax: 212-425-7260. E-mail:


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 8 Jun 1999 to 9 Jun 1999