IRANIAN NATIONAL SENTIMENTS
If a JEHOVAH WITNESS wrote some fanatic articles on SCI, I do not think anybody would really care to respond. I think most people would not even read it. You know they do not allow their children to have Christmas gifts, or go Trick or Treating on Halloween, or have Birthday Parties, etc. I think evenstrict Muslims would think of such religious orders as abhorrent. But why not any Iranian would care? I think it is because we would say, these are private ideas of the Jehovah Witnesses, and it does not affect our life.
Even Baha'i Faith, when their
theology was discussed on SCI, most people did not participate? Why? Because
they do not rule
You may respond that the issue is not just a private matter
for Pakistanis and may ask why the Pakistanis don't react to you the same way
[I have attached my post about details about the Pakestan
comparison below but I will focus on
I would say that the BIG difference with Pakestanis
is that Iranians in their history have not lived this way. For Iranians, civil
law has been pretty much there especially after the Constitutional Movement.
Just look at the holidays in
I am not talking about the time of the Shah, I am talking about NOW. It is NOT nationalism. It is NATIONAL SENTIMENTS that are way more stronger than religious sentiments. Iranians subscribing to any religion, or being from any ethnic or national or gender minority, or being the citizen of any country, share these national SENTIMENTS. This is their strength.
In fact, even the most celebrated religious day in
Even Ayatollah Khomeini wrote poetry in the mystical
tradition of Hafez. They have been published posthumously in
The traditional sport in
Zoor-khAneh stories portray Ali as
if he is an Iranian hero alongside the other pre-Islamic heroes. The same is
true in NAGHALI in the tea-houses of
There is no mention of Abu Bakr or
Omar or Osman in good faith. In fact, there is a prejudice against Arabs
Even non-intellectual Muslims, like my mother, know that
Imam Hossein married Bibi-Shahrbanou, who was the
daughter of Yazdgerd (the Third), the last Sasanid King and they mention that with pride as another
reason to respect Imam Hossein. The
Iranian women have a custom to go to a Mountain near
So many traditions of SOFREH among Iranian women are pre-Islamic, although they mostly have Islamic form now. They are not shared by Arabs. Arabs of Persian Gulf have a woman custom called ZAR which I THINK is also a Persian custom (See Mircia Eliade for details). The Sofrehs for Bibi-Shahrbanou, Hazrate-e Fatemeh, Hazrateh Roghieh, Hazarat-e Abolfazl, etc.
Iranians burn a doll, they call
Omar, on a day called eid-e Omar, in defiance of the
Omar's Invasion of Iran. This custom is
observed in most Shi'a areas of
Thus as one can see, it is not just Iranian intellectuals,
it is the Iranian people that have strong national sentiments. Iranian
nationals who are citizens of US and other countries are famous for their
national sentiments. There are not that
many Iranians in
We Iranians are lucky to have such strong moral and ethical national sentiments. I am sure other people have other ways to define their social identity. But this is ours and we are pretty happy about it. Go to any Charshambeh-Soori gathering of Iranians, anywhere in the world, and look how people's eyes shine, and you can feel what I am talking about.
If these national sentiments are channeled into nationalism, isolationism, and chauvinism, it is self-defeating, but if they are sources of power for Iranian nationals no matter what ethnic grouping, what religion, and citizen of what country they are, then it is a source of strength when living in a global village. These Iranian national sentiments have nothing to do with kings or Zoroastrianism today. It does not matter where or how these traditions have been born, they are just the identityof every Iranian in the world.
* The above article was first
posted on SCI (soc.culture.iranian) Usenet newsgroup
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