Sunday, October 10, 2004

For heaven's sake, why can't people just leave Ahura alone?

And, no, i am not referring to that lunatic who had too many people fooled that he would be flying into iran to liberate it, and then backed out based on explanations that were only slightly less contorted than the reasons he gave for going in the first place.

what i am talking about is the shallow and misguided efforts of some iranians who have decided to wage a cultural war on the Islamic Republic of Iran by simply replacing its terminology. Hence the gratuitous uses of Ahura and Ahurayee: "in the name of Ahura this", "by the will of Ahura that", "the Ahurayee soil of Iran", "let us have an ahurayee gathering in protest", and other such nonsense.

It reminds me of what a Pakistani friend of mine told me about Islamists in Pakistan trying to get people to change the way they said goodbye by saying Allah-Hafez (may Allah keep you) instead of the common Khoda-Hafez (may God keep you.

So what do our genius cultural warriors and resistors of the current regime in Iran want us to do, start saying "Ahura-Hafez"? Oh no, wait, they wont want the word hafez in there, god forbid, it is arabic in root. they'll have us saying "Ahura negahdar"!

If I were a Zoroastrian, I would be extremely annoyed at the appropriation of Zoroastrianism all over the place. True, Zoroastrianism is one of the foundations of Iranian culture and continues to be an integral part of it, but this doesn't mean that its symbols can be carelessly tossed around.

This backward-looking, knee-jerk attempts at subverting the Iranian regime by just switching its terms are more than just silly. they are dangerous. they encourage that which is racist, reactionary, and irredentist.

Please, we've been down similar roads before, it is time to aggressively speak out against these trends instead of merely laughing at them or ignoring them all together.


I'm sure everyone has heard by now, but Derrida died. Maybe John Searle will throw a party (if he hasn't kicked the bucket too, that is).