My Blog has Moved to since 1 November 2011

Monday, July 09, 2007

Discussion on BBC Asian Network

Listen to my discussion with Nihal on today's BBC Asian Network as well as with callers on the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Islam and political Islam by clicking here. I am on during the last half hour of the programme.


Anonymous said...

The Totalitarian Abyss of Communism

Mariam, this was a very pathetic attempt by you to warn the world of the evils of Islam...what about Communism? Take Cambodias killing fields for example,the mass murder of nearly one-fourth of the country’s population was a human catastrophe rarely paralleled in human history.Tibet, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, South America, Vietnam, Russia, Afghanistan,Eastern Europe.
Starting from Nepal and extending southwards to Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, where they are challenging the rule of the Indian State with their murderous campaign. Their ultimate aim is to overthrow the democratic system in India and replace it with communist dictatorship, of the kind that prevailed in erstwhile Soviet Union (under Stalin), China (under Mao Zedong), Cambodia (under Pol Pot) and in other former communist-ruled countries. It must be noted here that in each of these three countries, communist extremism was responsible for some of the worst genocides in the history of mankind. Experts have estimated that together communist mass killings in these three countries account for nearly half of all deaths by atrocity in the 20th century.

PLEASE READ THE AMNESTY REPORT OF THE CHINESE GENOCIDE OF ITS MUSLIM MINORITIES...This post is subject to removal because Mariam Namazys Communist ideology requires a total surrender of personal freedom and privacy, I.D. cards in the UK is a good start!

AND, PLEASE REMEMBER...June 12 WAS an historic day -- a day of remembrance of the more than 100 million victims who died under communism's cruel yoke, and a day of resolution that never again will peoples and nations allow so evil a tyranny to terrorize the world.

Like ISLAMIC EXTREMISM, Namazy is yet another monster, bent on world domination, with the ultimate goal of total elimination of individual freedom. Yes, this includes you, even if you think that since you call yourself a communist, you would have ended up at the top. (SECULARIST OF THE YEAR!!??)

Anonymous said...

Iranian: A Complex Identity and Identity Complexes, By Pouya Alimagham

"We live in a world where the West, namely the U.S., is exporting its culture on an international scale and is finding a receptive audience the world over. American commentators claim that the people of the world are embracing its culture because its culture is superior while others would contend that it’s more a matter of having the means and technology to export that very culture. Among the many concepts that “culture” can encompass, appearance, style, and beauty can be included.
Beauty is a matter of perception. Where one culture views dark hair as beautiful, another culture can find red or blonde hair more attractive. I believe that Iranians, like many other people on this planet, have an infatuation with the West. There’s nothing wrong with admiring other cultures. As a matter of fact, Iran is famous for borrowing venerable traits from other cultures throughout time. This fascination, however, has resulted in associating nominal things like appearance and styles as superior if it’s coming from the West.

Here’s some food for thought: Imagine an America and a Europe where most of the continents’ inhabitants had black or dark brown hair and had large hooked noses and this standard was glorified in its influential media and displayed to the rest of the world to consume as the Western standard. If this hypothetical scenario were true, do you think many Iranian men and women would be getting nose jobs and coloring their hair blonde? If the world’s only super power championed such an image, who would reject it? There’s no real way of knowing, but one can speculate.

I believe that instead of admiring the American work ethic, we, as in us men and women, admire their stereotypical looks. I say “stereotypical” because there is no single American facial feature, but stereotypically, most people associate white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes as American. Thus, because of Iranian admiration for the West and the U.S. in particular, both men and women employ blonde hairstyles, color contacts, altered noses, etc., and lighter skin is preferred. I can just hear the response, “What if I look good in blonde hair or with color contacts?” I’d say looking good is a matter of perception. What has conditioned you to think blonde hair is attractive and dark hair not so?

How can one be conditioned to have such a mindset you ask, here’s a case study: A young man named Reza grew up in Iran. All his life he watched American films and dreamt of immigrating to the romanticized west and marrying a white-skinned, blonde-haired, and blue-eyed woman, and he did just that. Through films and other media avenues that America has employed to export its culture, Reza was conditioned to think that these features displayed by a glamorous character in a standard Hollywood romance film are more attractive. Attractiveness is a matter of perception and by undergoing socialization, Reza perceived such characteristics as appealing. To sum it up, he developed in inferiority complex by believing the other’s traits were more striking than Iranian features.
The inferiority complex theme within the Iranian community abroad and inside Iran is precisely the main point of this article. The adoption of foreign superficial elements and standards like appearance is indicative of an internal conflict, an inferiority complex. This complex can further entail more important themes like language and national identity. Within Iran at the time of the Shah, the monarch personified this complex and the mentality persists until today. In terms of Iranians abroad, this unhealthy mindset views the Persian language as weak in comparison to perceived exotic Western languages like French, Iran as backward in relation to America. If given the choice to travel to Italy or visit Iran, our motherland, individuals suffering from an inferiority complex would rather visit the former, even if they have never been to Iran.

The inferiority complex is a subconscious issue and therefore, the individual is uninformed about it. And Iran is not alone as most of the developing world has been dealing with these identity issues. Even the movie “The Last Samurai” (which I thought was a weak excuse for a movie by the way) touched on Japan’s inferiority complex/identity crisis that occurred decades ago. What’s more, the issue is at a boiling point in Turkey where some see Turkey as Western and therefore a natural future member of the European Union while others believe that Turkey is Muslim and part of the Islamic community of nations. Furthermore, where Iran is not alone in this problem, neither is the Iranian-American community as many other immigrant communities in America have visible characteristics signifying inferiority complexes and its byproduct identity crises. I’d like to emphasize that many immigrant communities suffer from similar issues, whether they are in OC, America, Canada, or Europe, i.e. African-Americans straightening and/or coloring their hair or bleaching their skin color.

As the first generation of Iranians to grow up abroad many of us have suffered from an inferiority complex that has led to an identity crisis and whether we know about it or not, for some it persists today. Take me for example, as a child I disliked speaking Persian in front of non-Iranians because I feared they would ridicule the “kh” sound. Because of my fear of mockery, I wasn’t very proud of the Persian language. I felt the “kh” in Persian made our language seem ghastly and since language is integral to one’s culture and identity, it was one reason I rejected my Iranian identity. How proud can you be of your Iranian identity when you shun the language? But that was long ago and I have since solved my identity question. What about you, is your identity in question? We are the first generation of Iranians to grow up outside of Iran and thus far, we’ve already sacrificed so much of our culture, history, and identity. The Iranian identity is too historic to be disgarded. This is our challenge and we owe to all the Iranians who came before us to be aware of our identity and to represent it.@