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Like Fish In A Bowl

Blogger "Maryam" is upset about censorship in the Islamic republic, including the blocking of her blog by authorities:

I’m just sitting and waiting for the filtering here to be removed. Many of my friends have called and said how upset they are that [my blog] has been filtered. I wanted to tell them, "Thank you for coming to read here." Apparently, Blogger also had the same problem but the filtering has now been removed. The filtering has led many to stop blogging. I know three or four people. I don’t know whether it’s the right thing to do or not. Filtering is not the first limitation we’re facing. In general, we’re living in censorship and online and real filtering.

When one looks, we actually do lots of filtering in our private lives. We filter ourselves and others. I don’t know whether it’s an Iranian thing or it’s the same elsewhere. They say you should know that if something bad happens to you, you did the same to someone else. That’s why I think the issue of filtering, which is getting worse every day, is a little our fault (just a little bit).

I’m surprised by those friends who are protesting against the filtering just now. It’s wrong. This has been going on for the past five or six years. I remember the first site that was filtered and which I came across was Hossein Derakhshan’s blog
[Iran’s "blogfather," known as Hoder, who is currently in jail in Iran -- eds.]. It then kept expanding. I advise these friends to review their lives. They protested only after their blogs and the blogs of their friends became filtered. Whatever will happen to the nation tomorrow they will not care about and they won’t raise their freedom-seeking voices unless it happens to them.

Another thing that is important to know is that when we live in such a society where censorship is so widespread, we don’t have much of a right to choose. Therefore, we don’t understand whether we’re really making the right choices about life and our ideas. ... When a fish lives in a bowl, it can’t expresses its opinions very much and think that it’s right about the fish that live in the sea. The poor fish doesn’t know it itself. Those who have imprisoned the fish have brainwashed it and said, "You’re free." They’ve also given the fish some books they’ve written, and the poor fish with this illusion has a happy life in that narrow [space].

But what a day it would be when the fish reaches the sea.

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.


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