Monday, September 05, 2005

Congratulations to me are in order as I think I have made my first ever enemy in the world of bloging; Mr Iranianteacher. I’m kidding, we’re not enemies, we just have a little disagreement over something that happens to be a serious pet hate of mine.
It all started when Iranianteacher left a comment on here a couple of days ago. When I went to check out his blog I noticed that I had already been added to his list of links. Naturally I thought about putting a link to his blog on mine but before doing that I had a read through some of his older posts and that’s when I noticed how racist this person really was and so decided not to add him to my links.
I didn’t give him a lecture on how and why he should not be a racist because I didn’t think that would have done him any good. I believe it’s impossible to change a person’s outlook on racism overnight just as it is impossible to invade a nation and force them into becoming a democracy. This kind of thing takes time and a lot of education.
So all I said was that I was not going to link his blog to mine because I couldn’t stand racism.
I can’t even begin to describe to you how saddened I was when I read my comments this morning and found a 790 words (yes I pasted it into Word and did a count. It’s the second comment on my previous post) essay on ancient Persian history and how all Iranians should hate all Arabs because they invaded us all those many years ago.
Mister Teacher, I don’t know if it’s even worth trying to explain to you how I think all that you had said there were so completely irrelevant in my view. And by ‘worth trying’ I don’t mean that you are not worth trying but that we are so on two completely different wavelengths that no matter how much I try, you are not going to get my meaning.
Maybe just try and think about these few things for me though: Is it right for the British to hate all Pakistanis because the people responsible for the London bombings were originally from Pakistan?
Or something a little closer to home: Is it right for the Americans to hate all Iranians because some of us stormed the American embassy some years ago and took hostages?
And if you are talking about war, do you think it’s ok for Indians to hate Iranians because of all those times that our kings invaded their country and massacred their people? If an Indian came up to you and said that he hates all Iranians because of this, would you not think that he was a bit nutty?
Do you think it’s right that everyday thousands of people in Iran shout ‘Death to America’? Probably not right? But you think it’s ok to hate Iraqis because they invaded our country, even though everyone knows that the Americans are probably just as much to blame for the war as the Iraqis.
And if we have to hate Arabs because of the things they did to us, do we have to hate the people in the south of Iran as well? Or are they ok because they are Iranians? And if they are ok how about the poor Afghans then? Is it not true that they were Iranians too up until only 250 years ago?
Well I’m not going to write too much since as I said before I don’t think it will do any good anyway. There is just one more thing though. You asked me, ‘Do you really and honestly have the same bashar doostaneh [Human loving] feeling for every people from every nation around you?’ Again I don’t know how to even begin to describe how much it truly pains me to have to answer to a question like this. But ok for you I will.
Yes teacher, hand on my heart I absolutely love all human beings in the world regardless of their race or nation.
Funny, I had always thought that this was how everyone felt.


Tazzy said...

Wonderfully said Shirin!
Still amazes me - the levels of racism that exist in every community(regional, cultural or religious)around the world!
Yes knowing history (i.e. diaspora of who invaded whom) is important for everyone(mainly so that they don't get repeated) but to drag it into the present is not only foolish but dangerous too.
You are right that its pretty much impossible to change the mindset of these people.
Only through the next generations may we be able to, if not eradicate, diminish all forms of racism. That is IF we get to the youth before the others do.

On another note, all your posts about Iranian food is making me hungry :P and I don't even know what they are! If only there were good Middle Eastern restuarants in Toronto. Sigh. I miss the real 'Shawarma'.

aud0 said...

Shirin: I came across your blog through a link I found on Sam's pictures:
Your blog entry about "Mr. Iranianteacher" was quite enlightening to me. Even though I live in America -- I know him too. Thank you for broadening my world view. I think you and I could be friends. Audrey

GazanKhan said...

Just wanted to add a little note to the geat lady, Shirin's logical points.
In fact Iraqis, Egyptians,Lebanese and...and most of the "now Arabs" had been "non Arabs" till the Islamic conquests in the seventh century, first in Asia then in Africa and Spain. If anybody wants to hate some people for that invasions he may just hate the people of {The Jezireh} the Arabian peninsula, people of Mecca in Sauidi Arabia invaded the the world and made some of them Arabs by destroying thier books and their way of life.
So if anybody wants to be a racist he can hate the innocent Saudi Arabians for the thing their ancestors did, like any other nation had and would have done in THOSE AND IN THESE DAYS when they get the chance, that is the power. They wanted to teach Islam that was good for those days and now some want to teach democracy, same thing always.

Mohammadreza said...

Just wanted to say, GazanKhan is completely right!

Kamyar said...

Thank you Shirin. Sometimes I think for as long as we think about other people’s faults instead of our own we will never achieve anything. As far as I know since the Persian Empire everything has gotten worst and worst. It’s like we are going 1 step forward 100 steps back and all we do is to hide our faults and highlight our ancient and out of date achievements always looking at the past instead of the future.
We are used to bowing to the strong, powerful and rich countries and letting them do what ever they want with us and completely ignoring the ones with the similar background, history and culture saying “piff, piff, piff you stink. We were emperors for Christ’s sake.”
I hope one day we will start learning from our mistakes.

Shirin said...

Thanks everyone.

Tazzy, my friend was telling me about this great Iranian restaurant in Toronto that she goes to sometimes. I’ll ask her what the name was and will let you know.

Audry, how come you have a profile page and no blog then?

Ghazankhan, you rock.

Mohammadreza, I just wanted to say that you are completely right! ;-)

Kamyar, I’m so proud of you honey. You’s a bit clever aint ya’.

Negar said...

well, i totally agree with you. i saw this guy's comments here and there and finally decided to visit his blog. unfortunately for him, he had written his incredibly offensive and ignorant post that very day. after reading it i made a mental note to myself not to ever go back. i'm glad to see that you wrote something in his response. you go girl!

Behrooz said...

You know Shirin, you have touched upon something which I think relates iteself more to our family upbringing rather than national presuppositions, though I admit that we have always had an endemic Arab-phobia, like what goes on between the Japenese and the Chines. So do not necessarily translate it into racisim. I think so.