Apr 22 2014

5 Greatest Shortcomings of the Rouhani Administration

Since I have been a vocal supporter of Rouhani, and for good reason, and because he needs to be known accurately among the westerners, many might think that I do not hold anything against him, but I do. Here are the fivethings that I hope Rouhani will change soon, and these are what he had failed to do the right thing about.

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Apr 20 2014

Rouhani Contradicts the Supreme Leader on Women’s Rights

If you take a look at Rouhani’s speech today, it might not seem very brave or anything special, indeed he talks very cautiously, as he should. But in the context of Iranian politics this is a big deal because it contradicts what the Supreme Leader said yesterday, even if to a small degree, and that is very important, showing that Rouhani will continue to do his best in spite of things. Sadly most of the western outlets have chosen a headline that distorts what he really had said and its significance in the context. Via Tehran Times, which doesn’t distort what he said:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the country will not achieve progress unless due attention is given to women, though he acknowledged that there are still many shortcomings in regard to the issue of women’s rights.

“Moderation, prudence, and hope will not be established in the country without women’s contribution,” Rouhani told a gathering of women professionals in Tehran on Sunday, which was the anniversary of the birth of Hazrat Fatima (SA), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S), and which is also Women’s Day in Iran.
Rouhani said that according to the tenets of Islam, neither is man the first gender, nor is woman the second gender. “Man and woman are not the opposite of each other. Women are side by side with men and have the same human dignity and position.”
He went on to say that women have suffered cruelty in previous eras and in the modern era, though concrete steps have been taken since the victory of the Islamic Revolution to improve women’s condition in Iran.
The Iranian president rhetorically asked why “some people think the presence of women is a threat,” adding that efforts should be made to ensure that women feel safe in society, in the street, and everywhere else.
“Is it possible to put [women] in a corner and sideline the role of half of the society? Women should enjoy equal opportunities, security, and social rights,” he said.
“We will not accept the culture of gender discrimination, especially against women,” Rouhani added.
I still don’t think anything major will happen soon. Rouhani cannot do anything without sanction from Khamenei. But it is still good to see that he is on the case.

Apr 19 2014

The Iranian Supreme Leader Speaks Up Against Women’s Rights

From the English Farsnews (which belongs to Revolutionary Guards and is one of the most extremist fundamentalist far right sites):


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Apr 18 2014

What Do You Think of Cannes 2014 Line-Up?

So today the 2014 Cannes line-up is announced, and while you have Venice and Berlin and Oscars and BAFTAs and other awards, let’s face it, if you want the best of cinema each year, usually your best shot is looking at Cannes line-up.


Via Rope of Silicon, these are the films in competition and other categories:

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Apr 16 2014

“Coming Out Atheist” by Greta Christina: A Must-Read Book

Today Greta Christina’s book, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why came out. I have read the book and I absolutely loved it. I want to tell you why I loved it, my thoughts about coming out as an atheist in Iran (as a theocratic country).


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Apr 16 2014

Make Sure to Check Out Steve Zara’s Videos

Steve Zara is a British scientist and atheist. I follow him on Twitter and Facebook. His take on matters is always thought-provoking and deeply ethical, and you can never disregard his reasoning and positions even if you disagree (and we sometimes do). He also writes a blog which is equally thought-provoking and I have learned a lot from it. Now, he has started a vblog, that is, a video blog on YouTube, and I strongly recommend you all to subscribe and to watch every video. You will learn something, whether you agree or not. Here is his first video:

Apr 15 2014

Iranian Conservatives Threaten Riots If Richard Nelson Frye Buried in Isfahan


This is another story that shows how vapid and inhumane the Iranian conservatives are. Richard N. Frye passed away few week ago, and he had left a will asking to be buried in Isfahan, on the bank of Zayandeh River. Now the Iranian conservatives are throwing a sissy fit.

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Apr 14 2014

Update on UN Appointee Controversy

If you remember, I already covered the controversy over Iran’s envoy to the UN. The controversy is that Aboutalebi was allegedly among the students who raided the US embassy in Iran in 1979, taking hostages for 444 days, which caused the two countries to have their relationships sour which has caused most of the problems Iranians face until today. Aboutalebi has denied having a role in the hostage taking and he says he was merely an interpreter. Now, the story has considerably developed. Aboutalebi has been formally named the Iran’s envoy to the UN, Congress has overwhelmingly joined the Senate and the bill to deny him the US visa has passed, and the White House has announced that the US will not grant him a visa. Iran has formally complained to the UN saying that withholding visa is against the international laws.

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Apr 13 2014

An Open Letter To James Croft About How to Criticize Islam

James Croft has written this article, called “Responsible Religious Criticism: Part One – Questions of Power” back in May 2013, but he has reposted it on his Facebook wall because of the recent controversy over Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I give my own reply to it here. I’m personally a huge fan of James Croft, I love his work. In this post I disagree with what he says, and I’m going to address him – it feels more comfortable. I’m not going to quote him here, I’ll write with a supposition that you have already read his piece.

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Apr 12 2014

Link Round-Up #2

First off, I didn’t know siblings day existed. Happy siblings day! I don’t have any siblings, so I’ll celebrate with this picture instead:


Now on to the links!

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