Saturday, December 31, 2005

Iranian Kulturkampf
Iranian Kulturkampf
Once again Iran and Iranians are threatened by foreign invasion. As in the past the invaders threaten not only the livelihood of Iranians but also Iranian culture and civilization. This is something that may be old news but has been regularly used on a mass scale in the 20th century. It’s called Kulturkampf. Kulturkampf, the war of culture and civilization used to smother another culture and civilization, often used in genocidal plans as with the jews in nazi Germany, Natives and Africans in the Americas, indigenous peoples in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific by the british. Fortunately for Iranians in america, Kulturkampf can work both ways. One of the advantages that Iranians in America have in comparison to other peoples from countries threatened by america is at present they have a sizeable number of Iranians in prominent positions. Compare this to Afghans and Iraqis, as well as Haitians and Liberians, who have next to none of their kind in prominent positions in America, and Yugoslavs and Palestinians do not have many of their kind in quantity. But Iranians/ One look at American society and you will find people of Iranian ethnicity and heritage in almost every walk of life. We have Dustin Ellis, Parviz Sayyad Kate Bell, Rudi Bakhtiar, and Shohreh Aghdashloo in the entertainment industry, Andre Aggasi, Abbas Khatami and a phone book full of Iranian weightlifters in the sports scene. In business the head of Carnegie is Tabriz native Vartan Gregorian, who as President of Brown University from 1988 to 1997 was the first Iranian to head up an ivy league university. Don’t forget that there are Iranians who run ebay and yahoo, though not without many vocal complaints. So if anything there are at least Iranians in prominent positions to speak out against any atrocities that would happen to their community and who people would be affected by if something were to happen to them. However it is not enough to have people in positions of prominence. During any crisis what matters the most is how these people behave. One thing that has been noticeable, for instance, is the lack in quantity of Iranians who oppose American aggression against Iran who are open about their opinions. As I have documented in the past many protest groups, among them international answer, iso, and ufpj, have harassed many Iranians who oppose the war but who do not fully agree with many points these groups have, into attending or demonstrating in massive numbers. While this intimidation is wrong it is also wrong for the Iranian community to put up with it instead of demonstrating in large numbers to counter these groups and obtain mass sympathy. Another thing is the lack of many ordinary Iranians who are in touch with the everyday masses in America. One reason peoples like the jews in nazi Germany and natives and Africans in the Americas were able to be victimized was that they were out of touch with the opinions of the everyday person in the countries they lived in, thus easy to vilify as the holocaust and mass murders and arrests during the civil rights movement showed. Today, your average Iranian is well off, has a high paying job, plenty of material possessions, and so absorbed in their own life that anyone who has been denied a driver’s license, been arrested, or been homeless is considered odd to them. In other words, living a lifestyle that is largely out of touch with your average person. Many Iranians in America are so out of touch that they are more concerned with their shabeh jomeh parties than making sure they are not stranded some 50 miles away from where they live with less than $10 in their pocket and with taking trips to California than that state’s oppressive criminal justice system. Plus while the Iranian community was able to mobilize against the renaming of the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf successfully I have yet to see a movement to correct Iranian names in history textbooks. After all by teaching kids Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes instead of Kurush, Daryush, and Khashayar is to spit on Iranian heritage, especially with hostile attitudes towards Iranians in America today. Plus look at Iranians portrayed in the media. Notice how one of the stars of the show 24, in which Iranians are portrayed as terrorists the same way Italians are portrayed as Mafiosi, is Shohreh Aghdashloo, as if to spit on her heritage. Plus movies like Alexander, Gladiator, and Spartacus abound but there has yet to be a movie about Carrhae made. One thing that must be remembered is that Iranians must act from a position of strength, not of dominance in cultural matters. In doing so it is easier to build popular support. Remember, the nazis were able to build popular support against jews since the majority of people in prominent entertainment and legal positions in Germany were jewish. The Africans in ameirca screwed themselves with affirmative action, which racists like john stennis and jesse helms used to build their power base by pandering to poor wasp Americans and the kkk and neo-nazi movement has done the same to build a power base and grow stronger than before. Nor let us forget how the british used first their merchants then their soldiers to impose themselves throughout Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. One reason Iranians have been respected throught the world is because of tolerance and respect for others as practiced since Kurush, however if Iranians in America can be softened by American culture they can be influenced by the negative side of American culture. By using our influence just to survive and flourish, not to impose and dominate, will we avoid the horrors others have experienced. We must never forget that quiet wars like Kulturkampfs are just as destructive as physical wars. Whenever Iranian culture and civilization is threatened we must always respond if we are to survive.
Peter Khan Zendran


Blogger Robert Lindsay said...

Nice blog, I like it. Good job man. I like your point of view.

11:38 PM  

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