Monday, November 22, 2004

This time, defending national pride..

As you can see in the post below a few days ago, I mentioned how destructive and concerning racist approaches are in our society. Just hours after that post national geographic published its new Atlas and made some appalling changes in the map that are far beyond the word “Arabian Gulf” in the parenthesis being added to Persian Gulf. Naming the three Iranian islands “occupied” and renaming the Iranian Island of KISH to the Arabic name of GHEIS, is a clear indication that just like the passed efforts, there is a political agenda favoring Arab countries of Persian Gulf and especially UAE behind this change. Many Iranians have participated in showing their disgust and disappointment toward such move and have sent individual e-mails and signed petitions addressing National Geography Society. All this in my eyes is a normal reaction by a nation that has witnessed its pride being undermined and humiliated in the international community, on one hand because of the actions of its insane and backward theocratic government and on the other hand by the racist elements in the Middle East like Sadam Hossein that called Iranians; “bugs” and their creation “God’s biggest mistake.” Despite what this nation has gone through in 8 years of war and 200 years of occupation in 6th and 7th century by Arabs, we have to demonstrate that we are merely defending our territorial integrity and rich history in this case, therefore our protests must remain clear of any racist comment and should emphasis on the fact that national geographic must refer to UN maps for its Atlas. Calling Iranians Islands “Occupied” is a very inappropriate interference in a discredited claim by a country that was not even created when these Islands were part of Iran. All this aside, I came a cross an article by an Iranian friend of mine in a respected web log, Free Thoughts on Iran, in it he argued that since Iranians don’t have a bright record of group work and cooperation on any thing and hardly ever agree on one issue or another, therefore all this fuss and spirit of national identity is rooted in a historic hatred that Iranians have against Arabs. As some one that only few days ago had already condemned such feelings, I shall say that defending national pride, historic culture and heritage with a reminder in the side that racism must be condemned and fought against at all times, is one very healthy cooperation that a nation can practice and must be encouraged not downgraded. Of course we have a long way to go, but if my friend Yaser is, rightfully so, concerned about Iranians not being “persistent”, “patient” and “devoted” , he should take advantage of such rare opportunity that brings us all together, help give substance to the this mini movement and help it rich a victory and present it to all Iranians as an indication that working together without silly and cheap rivalries can produce results and we have to the same in other important matters such as women rights and human rights in our country. The Persian Gulf is an extremely important symbol for us and we will have to defend it.