Pseudo-Support for Iran From Ignorant Westerners

iran_flag

It goes a little something like this:

Bob: Hey man, did you see the new trailer for Transformers 2?

Steve: No, I didn’t.

Bob: Oh, you gotta see it, it’s freakin’ awesome!  Here, sign on to YouTube real quick.

(Steve types in the web address for YouTube).

Bob: What the…?

Steve: What?

Bob:  What’s this thing at the top?  Breaking news from Iran…

(Steve clicks on link)

Steve: Oh, it must be about the protests.

Bob: Oh yeah, against Akmadina-whatever the hell his name is?  The guy who wants to kill all the Jews?

Steve: Yeah, that #@$ing anti-Semite.

Bob: It’s awesome that the people are standing up against him.

Steve: Yeah, finally!  It’s about time.

Bob: I heard the elections were jacked.

Steve: That’s effed up.

Bob: Yeah, and I also heard that the other guy is like Obama.

Steve: Screw Obama, I voted for McCain.

Bob: No, what I mean is, he wants to modernize the country.  McCain even supports him.

Steve: Oh nice.  But Iran is Muslim, right?

Bob: Yeah, but these people are moderate.  They’re for democracy, that’s all I know.

Steve: Yo, these Iranian girls are pretty hot.

Bob: Haha, yeah I know, man.

Steve: We definitely need to liberate their country.  Get those stupid rags off their heads.

Bob: Hells yeah.

Steve: We should go to their rallies, man.

Bob: Oh yeah, we should.  We’ll meet some Iranian chicks!

Steve: Hahaha!

(Bob looks at the clock)

Bob: Yo, it’s almost time for paint ball.  You still coming?

Steve: Yeah, of course.

(Bob grabs car keys)

Bob: I’m driving.

Steve: Oh hold on, wait.  Let me change my facebook profile picture real quick.  I like those “Where’s my vote?” signs they’re holding.

13 thoughts on “Pseudo-Support for Iran From Ignorant Westerners

  1. RCHOUDH says:

    Uugh! This reminds me of the stupid jokes I once read American soldiers making about why they were going to Iraq and Afghanistan, which basically all came down to taking those “sheets” off their heads…and the worst part is when these guys believe they’re such hot shit and such “better” men than Muslim men that all these chicks would be falling head over heels in love with them and that the only reason they’re not running away with them is because of their “domineering” fathers (uh huh yeah right)! It’s hard to believe but some people actually believe such nonsense; and then they wonder why Muslims (both men and women) are pissed off at them for meddling in their countries.

  2. Jehanzeb says:

    RCHOUDH – I know, I remember when people were saying the same thing about Lebanon. Just because they saw “hot Lebanese girls,” they were like “let’s liberate their country.” And now I’m hearing the same things about Iran (which is why I wrote this).

    It’s frustrating and quite insulting. It has that whole “western savior complex” ring to it. The non-Muslim White men have to “save our women” from Muslim men. So stupid.

  3. Chiara says:

    I’ve been talking to an Indian (Hindu) friend recently about some of the discrimination he and his family experienced when he was growing up, and that he currently experiences, being mistaken for a “Paki” then, and generally an Arab (ie terrorist) now. His own experiences of being assaulted (including at age 6 routinely, and later by skinheads with baseball bats), and of watching a bicyclist harass, verbally abuse and spit on a woman in full hijab (all black, headscarf, niqab) for, well, crossing the road, have been eye opening, even though I was aware of some of this previously. As he says, most of his friends are Muslims, whether South Asian or Arab, as they have a shared bond.

    “White guys”, as my female South Asian students call them, should be neither so presumptious, nor so vulgar.

  4. I’m not intending to direct this to you in any way, but
    this somehow reminded me of how sick and tired i am of of various muslim brothers and sisters that love AN (ahmadinnejad) because of his anti-israel, anti-imperialist rhetoric. We have a that argument usually goes sth like this (we have a persian saying that goes sth like this: before sticking a nail into someone else, try a small needle into yourself”, this is my attempt at that needle to the collective muslim community since a great majority of the one’s I’ve talked to have been like this):
    [my nationality or AN’s name somehow comes up]
    brother/sister- Oh! i LOVE your president!
    me- oh really? hehe, why?
    b/s- he’s standing up against the US, Israel, he is so cool!
    me- aha, would you like YOUR president/ head of state to talk like that? why don’t they?
    b/s- … well, you know, they can’t be so blunt, …we are a developing country/economically dependent on the west, we can’t afford to darken our relations with them … they are cowards too, they are afraid to talk like that..
    me- did you ever think that this has caused sanctions/economic problems for Iranian people?
    b’s- [starts to think about this for the first time] …
    me- have you thought that actually this rhetoric plays into the hands of the Israeli’s hand’s, representing all Iranians/Muslims as fanatics?
    b/s- hmm….
    me- do you know what sort of superstitious/crazy kind of religion he believes in?
    b/s- …
    me- do you that he uses this as a distraction from the mess he has made inside iran, economically, socially, ….
    b/s- [surprised, either genuinely thinking of these and looking at it from a new perspective but still skeptical about me and my views, or doubting my Iman or sth …]

  5. Salaam Sara :)

    Welcome, and thanks for your comment! I am no supporter of Ahmadinejad and I totally understand what you mean when you talk about Muslims who support him for superficial reasons. I remember Reza Aslan saying that Ahmadinejad wasn’t very popular in Iran, but was popular of Muslims OUTSIDE of Iran because of his stance against Israel’s military occupation. I think people should refrain from making such statements, especially when they’ve never been to Iran.

    I have an Iranian friend who is in Iran right now. I know from my Iranian friends that most people are fed up with Ahmadinejad. At the same time, they were very much opposed to the Bush administration’s vilification and misrepresentation of Ahmadinenad and more importantly, the Iranian people. Unlike the right-wing conservatives and republicans who wanted to wage war on Iran, the Iranians who despise Ahmadinejad are against that.

    This post of mine is based on a conversation I was having with some non-Muslim White people. It’s dramatized a little, but this is basically what they said.

    • yeah, i know what you’re talking about in the post.
      there would be few people in Iran who would actually approve an invasion by any foreign force, AN supporters are much more than the number of these I would say …

  6. Chiara says:

    Some real support
    “Mo” posted this on Susie of Arabia’s website:

    Mo said…
    I know you are aware of how difficult it can be in a different culture. A memeber of CDP http://tehranlive.org/
    has gone missing. There are many articles on the news channels here is the Life report

    http://www.life.com/image/first/in-gallery/28782/eyewitness-from-tehrans-streets

    Can we help find him?

    The link of his Life magazine photos and their message about an email from his family that he has gone missing are stunning:

    http://www.life.com/image/ugc1002972/in-gallery/28782/eyewitness-from-tehrans-streets

    Here is the other link (they don’t come up as linkable on Susie’s blog:

    http://tehranlive.org/

    The last one is to the blog: Tehran 24 Daily Photos From Tehran

  7. Chiara says:

    Mutual vilification serves extremists of both sides, and leaves the majority, and all innocents, caught in the middle.

    I have another comment awaiting moderation, that offers an idea of what real support is, with some interesting links (probably why it is awaiting moderation).

    In brief, an Iranian photojournalist and his friends/colleagues have been arrested (disappeared). His photos for Life magazine give a key witnessing of what is happening at the protests.

    Hi Sara, glad you made your way here, and excellent points!

  8. Chiara says:

    Sorry about the double referencing of the links above (and wasting my own time :( ). As I stated, they are not clickable in the original blog comment. In fact it was on the other of Susie’s 2 blogs: Susie’s Big Adventure, and she has since incorporated Amir’s plight in today’s post on Photography Can Be Hazardous:

    http://susiesbigadventure.blogspot.com/2009/06/photography-can-be-hazardous.html

    Her other blog: Susie of Arabia is an excellent daily photo journal of life in and around Jeddah.

  9. Hi Chiara,

    No problem. I don’t know why the comment was awaiting moderation. I have comment moderation off, but I think it’s because you included links.

    Anyway, thank you for the lyrics. It’s great to see information coming from Iran rather than the western media reporting it. What stands out to me is that website seems to focus on the protests in Tehran, which I know is very pro-Mousavi. What about other parts of Iran? I heard that protests also took place in other parts of the country, but counter-arguments are saying that most of the support for Mousavi is coming from Tehran.

    Would Love to hear some thoughts and information on this.

  10. Chiara says:

    I hope others more knowledgeable than I will add to this, especially about the protests outside Tehran.

    From what I have read, and those I’ve seen interviewed on intellectual long format programs, the main issue is the false elections, and there is increasingly good evidence that the votes were “miscounted”–more than one district where the votes exceeded the population, miraculous reversals of voting trends in rural areas giving Ahmadinejad much higher counts etc.
    Even those who supported other candidates than Mousavi have taken to the streets, the airwaves, the internet, print.

    I have spoken to people involved in the 1979 revolution (either in the streets protesting, or active outside the country, or intending to return to take part until it became impossible) and they say they wanted the Shah out, but most of those against him didn’t want Khomeini, who took advantage of the situation.

    Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi’s biography is interesting, about this. She talks of many like herself who wanted Khomeini (who was downplaying his intent), despite being told by her professor how mistaken she was and that she would be one of the first harmed by a Khomeini regime, but she only realized it later (when she was demoted from judge to legal secretary).

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