Friday, December 19, 2008

The Shoe Intifada and Identity

There was an encrypted SMS message floating around on the eve of Ghadir Eid this week. In addition to Eid greetings, there was something in the text about the commencement of the shoe intifada .Alongside all the media coverage given to this event, this text message referring to the shoe-cide actions of the Iraqi reporter against President Bush, only less than 24 hrs after the event was very interesting.

I had the opportunity to attend a book launching ceremony in the Quran Museum on Wednesday. The museum is headed by Mr.Masjed Jamei , who was the Minister of Guidance during the reformist government and now is my colleague at the Tehran City Council. A copy of a hand written version of the Holy Quran, dating back to about 500 years ago ,during the Teimouri age, has been published by the Museum . The magnificent piece of art , including calligraphy and paintings or tazhib, as it is known , makes the manuscript unique and invaluable.
At the ceremony, held on the occaision of Eid Qadir. President Khatami mentioned the importance of this day, and noted how some use this day to highlight differences among Shia and Sunni and to emphasize each on their identity. Khatami spoke about the identity issue and how it is defined according to Imam Ali. He quoted a phrase from a famous sermon of Imam Ali calling to his governor Malik. In that sermon he sets the norms for good governance ,as we know to be a virtue for the global community even today. He notes: Fill your heart with the love of the people for they are two groups. Either they are your brothers and sisters in religion or they are your equals in humanity.

What Khatami stressed upon was that identity is an important challenge for individuals and societies. Imam teaches us that while maintaining your personal and religious identity, you should cherish your human identity since its recognition allows for a dynamic flow between cultures and religions, a valuable exchange of experiences and knowledge for humanity as a whole. The globalization processes entail a sort of negation of identity according to some. There are intentional efforts to install a single politically obedient consumerist and materialist culture as the world culture which would serve the interest of the few that claim to rule the world. On the other hand others consider fundamentalism as an effort to consider only one religion, culture, and identity to be authentic and everything else as fake. Global peace requires leadership that carries Imam Ali's vision.


Anonymous said...

SHAME on IRI for this:

Iran needs a "Shoe Intifada" against those who advocate barbarianism in the land of a 2500 year old civilization!


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar, please post this one as a comment here and also as a response to your Farsi post:

My answer to those impostors is best described by these words, words that were Hallaaj's answer to those who accused him of heresy (kofr, sherk) for saying "anal Hagh":

Hallaajam, enssaanam, jooybaaram, va agar hasstam o agar nisstam, hasst o nisst-e man az man nisst. dar tamaam-e khatt-e seyr-e omri ke teiy kardeh-am, khodiy-e khod raa bar sang-haaye atraaf-e jooybaar koobideh-am va be har gaam ke be daryaa nazdik shodeh-am hamaan andaazeh az khodiy-e jooybaar faasseleh gerefteh-am taa dar aan khodiyee ke hamey-e jooybaar-haa o rood-haa dar aan mahv mishavand az khodiy-e jooybaar rahaayee yaabam va be aaraam o sokooni ke dar sarnevesht-e daryaa hasst dasstress biyaabam. agar jooybaar be daryaa mipeyvandad va az aancheh khodiy-e jooybaar asst rahaayee miyaabad na be aan ma'naasst ke dar masseer-e raah-e kheesh daryaast, faghat az vaghti daryaasst ke digar jooybaar nisst.

Of course this was Hallaaj's answer to the impostor pious (zaahed) fanatics of his time who could not understand anything beyond their (motehajjer) blind piety (zohd), and dared to accuse this spiritual "aaref", this mystic, this truest form of "Man of God", of being an infidel or a "moshrek"!

You see Dr. Ebtekar? I love God, God is forgiving, and all my life, I have always believed that we are here to try to be like God! ... a friend sent me this poem, and I think by doing so she meant to tell me what she thinks of me, and I LOVE her for it:

که شکیبد ز تو ای جان که جگرگوشه جانی چه تفکر کند از مکر و ز دستان که ندانی

نه درونی نه برونی که از این هر دو فزونی نه ز شیری نه ز خونی نه از اینی نه از آنی

برود فکرت جادو نهدت دام به هر سو تو همه دام و فنش را به یکی فن بدرانی

چه بود باطن کبکی که دل باز نداند چه حبوب است زمین در که ز چرخ است نهانی

کلهش بنهی وآنگه فکنی باز به سیلی چه کند بره مسکین چو کند شیر شبانی

کله و تاج سرم را پی سیلی تو باید که مرا تاج تویی و جز تو جمله گرانی

به کجا اسب دواند به کجا رخت کشاند ز تو چون جان بجهاند که تو صد جان جهانی

به چه نقصان نگرندت به چه عیبی شکنندت به کی مانند کنندت که به مخلوق نمانی

به ملاقات نشان ده ز خیالات امان ده مکشش زود زمان ده که تو قسام زمانی

هله ای جان گشاده قدم صدق نهاده همه از پای فتاده تو خوش و دست زنانی

شه و شاهین جلالی که چنین باپر و بالی نه گمانی نه خیالی همه عینی و عیانی

چه بود طبع و رموزش به یکی شعله بسوزش به یکی تیر بدوزش که بسی سخته کمانی

هله بر قوس بنه زه ز کمینگاه برون جه برهان خویش از این ده که تو زان شهر کلانی

چو همه خانه دل را بگرفت آتش بالا بود اظهار زبانه به از اظهار زبانی

Unknown said...

I just read this article and it made me feel even more OPTIMISTIC than I usually am, which is saying something!!!

Go for it Iran, I hope you will say YES!!!

Just remember IRI, this is Egypt talking, the peers and equals of us Persians when it comes to contributing to the Islamic Civilization, Thought, and Culture! This is the descendants of Ibn-Khaldoon who defended us in front of the ignorant, racist, common Arab man who called us "ajam", those who dared to take credit for OUR Ibn-Sina, OUR Byrooni, OUR Khawarizmi, OUR Ghazzali, OUR Razi, and ...! This is NOT the "enemy", this is our brothers in Humanity AND in Religion, just as Imam Ali said!

The "enemy" tried to show the astray al-Qaeda and the infidel Taliban as the face of Islam, NOW this is OUR chance, to get together with OUR civilized brothers and sisters from the Islamic Golden Age (i.e., the Egyptians, the Turks, the Phoenicians, ...) and to reclaim OUR beloved Islam back from the fanatic fundamentalists and terrorists who have taken OUR Prophet Mohammad's teachings and OUR Holly Quran as hostage for the past few decades! This is Islam's CHANCE for a Rebirth or a RENAISSANCE, and WE MUST be not only included, but we owe it to our ancestors like Imam Mohammad Ghazzali and Avecina and Razi and Attar and Hallaj and Mowlana and Khayyam and Khawarazmi and ... to be the most important part of it, the producer of MOST Thought, the defender of MOST Justice, and the speaker of MOST Rationality!

Go for it Iran! Go for it!

Anonymous said...

I just saw these pictures of the event you were talking about in this post.

Now, be honest people, is this NOT the face of the PERFECT 21st Century, 3rd Supreme Leader of IRI, to be "softly" handed that mantle from the second one? Of course after celebrating the achievements of the second one who has done such a magnificent job for the past 2 decades, defending Iran's INDEPENDENCE, and (ensha-Allah) bringing our NATION to its rightful position in the Muslim World, a position it had not enjoyed for the past 2,3 Centuries???

Is this NOT the man who can ensure Iranian people's FREEDOM, and uphold the promise of Iran's Islamic Democracy as envisioned by IRI's Founding Fathers???!!!

Come on people, why be so shy??? why not talk about it in public? why not lobby for it in front of the "wise men" of the Assembly of Experts?!!!! I'm sure Ayatollah Khamenei wouldn't mind retiring after he succeeds as a National Hero in ensuring that total political INDEPENDENCE for Iran, and as a Shiite Islamic Leader in finishing his "hojjat" of helping the Palestinians get their INDEPENDENT state!

So, why feel intimidated to say it out loud??? After all, a REPUBLIC is not supposed to have ANY "maadaam-ol-omr" lifelong positions for ANYBODY, including its Commander in Chief!
Let's start getting the Bassiji and IRGC people warm up to the idea of a future Ayatollah Khatami as their commander! Let's do the MOST "expedient" thing for IRI, and sacrifice "khodi" ego for "khoda" God!

p.s. please don't censor this Dr. Ebtekar, I'm just ONE lone voice, who cares what I say??? I have a feeling Ayatollah Khamenei won't be angry at me for saying such a thing, b/c it means I see him as much more selfless and spiritual than most expats do! I'm sure he's cool with me calling for his retirement so often! I just think IRI needs a 21st Century face-lift and for that it needs a Changing of the Guards! that's all!

Roller shoes said...

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