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Brandishing The Islamic Stick And Carrot

Sharagin says religious conservatives in Iran would be insulted to compared with the Taliban, but if you asked them to tell you the difference, "they would take all day."

Sharagin says religious conservatives in Iran would be insulted to compared with the Taliban, but if you asked them to tell you the difference, "they would take all day."

Blogger Sharagim compares Iranian hard-liners to the Taliban:

Since [my blog entries] no longer appear even in the Google Reader, thanks to my dear brothers, defenders of Islamic values. I ask myself, have these bastards progressed so much that they can now filter the blog feeds? And if they have in fact advanced that much, why was I their victim? There are thousands of other blogs that insult the government each and every day.

In the midst of all this, someone by the name of Eshrat appeared in the comment box with a stick in one hand and a carrot in the other...and a thick carrot, so to speak. He insists that either everyone embraces Islam or he will send them to [hell].

Now I am stuck confused between his stick and his carrot. a difficult choice because this tribe as I know them don't just offer you a glass of carrot juice that will leave you with a bad conscience.... They would copy it from the West and do the rest in their own way...just like all their other deeds -- just like in the case of elections where they took the concept of collecting votes and sealing the ballot boxes from the West, whereas they did the counting of the votes and announcement of the result in their own traditional way....

Or in the case of their constitution where, following the West, the freedom of gatherings and sit-ins and the like are the people's rights, while in practice they would run their vans over those who have gathered and welcome them with batons, pepper spray, tear gas, and bullets -- and eventually the casualties would be announced as desecrators of the holy days of Moharram [an important month on the Shi'ite calendar]....

Or why go so far, just take a look at the nearby Kahrizak detention center. They say they made Kahrizak for the thugs and hooligans, but the mistake of the police force was that they dealt with the sissy kids who were asking for their votes in the same way as they would have dealt with the thugs.

This consequently led to the death of the weak ones, bringing humiliation.... This is again a faulty imitation of the West.... Perhaps they had read Michel Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" when they decided to build centers to put the thugs away and possibly reform most of them. But the rest was carried out by Agha Mohammadkhani into building what we now know as Kahrizak.

Interestingly, they would be offended if you described them as Taliban.... They think they know a lot, they are much more modern and better. But if you ask them to give any difference between themselves and the Taliban that once ruled the Afghans, they would take all day. The difference between them and the Taliban is that the latter was pure; they wouldn't lie and would show what they truly were. But these people say nothing but lies.

This dear Eshrat -- who has become a firm member of my blog representing the divine-seeking, the martyr-rearing, the leader-oriented -- should tell us all the difference between him and [Taliban leader] Mullah Omar. What better has he found than him in the religion if Islam? What has he learnt other than boasting, other than beating and killing and threatening? Before I am taken to the interrogation room and confess to my mistakes on the television cameras being guided to the "right path," tell me, what does this religion have to offer for me to be attracted to its embrace?

What is the use of all this? Eshrat and his associates are at ease. Why would they be bothered to explain to someone with opposing thoughts, why would he try to convince them? Their last words always come from the barrel of a gun. What's more simple and convincing than a bullet? Those who are in power today have said the last word to all: a protester is equal to someone against God and is punishable by death.... Now come out and protest if you dare.

The city would be calm for some time. But we do not forget that this is the path that many have taken before us. The story is the same as always, the transition to democracy. It doesn't matter what the government is protecting itself with. The political school of thought, race or ethnicity, nationality or religion -- the mechanism has always been the same for all of them. You would first be neglected, then humiliated, and finally they rise against you with all they've got. That's when you become the winner.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.