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Iran Cracks Down on Bloggers 261

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-too-distant-future dept.
Wired News is reporting that dozens of Iranian Bloggers have been met with harassment by the government and some have even been arrested for voicing dissenting views in recent history. The article takes a look at some of the bloggers who are fighting for their rights and how. From the article: "The Iranian blogging community, known as Weblogistan, is relatively new. It sprang to life in 2001 after hard-liners -- fighting back against a reformist president -- shut down more than 100 newspapers and magazines, and detained writers. At the time, Derakhshan posted instructions on the internet in Farsi on how to set up a weblog."
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Iran Cracks Down on Bloggers

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  • by sammeal (859766)
    Iran is an example of how democracy and fascism are often compatible.
    • Excellent point. When the will of the majority becomes that of a totalitarian police state, what is there to stop it in a democratic society.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:59AM (#15017306) Journal
      Democracy ? Where ?
      Opposants arrested before the election, partisan commitee invalidating many opposants candidature, a "Supreme guide" able to veto or force a law...
      Elections does not imply democracy.
      • Elections does not imply democracy.

        Nor does democracy imply elections.

        Sometimes you need constitutional safeguards to prevent the majority from voting away their freedoms. Kind of like how it is illegal in Germany to hold referendums of government policy to a national vote or how the electoral college system was supposed to work in early America.

        And then you can have the extreme possibility where a dictator actually enforces freedom, rights, and equality to an extreme, but seeing that has never happened in
    • Iran is a theocracy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:05AM (#15017329) Homepage Journal
      that masquerades as a democracy. Democracy and Fascism are not compatible. One requires much personal freedom and choice and the other requires turning over control of much of society to the government and its leaders. Now a theocracy and fascism can be very compatible as both can revolve around a very strong and charismatic leader.

      Iran calls itself a democracy but its obviously not. Yes the people get to vote on leaders but who can run isn't exactly open to public choice. Where is the democracy when the people you can choose to vote for are no one you would choose? Iran, as many countries of this type (dictatorships, theorcracies, etc) love to represent themselves to the world in terms that boast about freedom while at the same time providing none of it to their citizens.

      Look at it this way, if you have to put the label in your name your probably not adhereing to that label's intent. A long time ago those lables meant something but today they are just words on paper (example : Islamic Republic of Iran )
      • by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss.Sean@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:25AM (#15017452) Homepage
        To be fair, here in the U.S. is the choice of who runs for high offices really open to much choice? Democrat or Republican, many felt that both choices were awful (and I intend to agree). Pretty much the same can be said of any third party candidate, too. As South Park has explained so well, pretty much every election in history has been about choosing between a douche and a turd, when in reality you wouldn't likely ever choose either one.

        There is a key difference, though, that I will openly admit. Voting for a U.S. president (or senator, or representative, etc.) is basically choosing which jark will try to screw you and censor you. In these elections, such as Iran's, IMHO, it's essentially about choosing who's going to try and kill who and censor you. (A bit of a generalization, I'll admit)
        • by cfulmer (3166)
          Pfft. "Many" believe in UFOs. "Many" people are in jail. "Many" believe what they see on TV. "Many" called the Coast Guard to tell them about this ship called the Minnow that was wrecked somewhere in the South Pacific.

          Most people can come up with an alternative who they would prefer to their Congressman, Senator or President. But, most people would not agree with that alternative. And, even fewer people would agree once they found out about the alternative and his/her beliefs.

          There are very, very few
          • I was not attempting to imply that the many had a better candidate truly, but rather just the simple matter that, in any election, regardless of its nature, a great number of people (I said many, because I refuse to say "vast majority" or "well over half" or whatever because I do not have hard data to back that up. This is my opinion alone, and I will admit I'm not overflowing with statistics and base this on my experiences alone. If someone can bring me or lead me to data to prove otherwise, I will gladly
        • To be fair, here in the U.S. is the choice of who runs for high offices really open to much choice? Democrat or Republican, many felt that both choices were awful (and I intend to agree). Pretty much the same can be said of any third party candidate, too. As South Park has explained so well, pretty much every election in history has been about choosing between a douche and a turd, when in reality you wouldn't likely ever choose either one.

          what south park leaves out is that there are other parties, or th

        • by Anonymous Coward
          If the US government censors, please explain Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, David Duke, Pat Robertson, DemocraticUnderground, Free Republic, DailyKos, Louis Farrakhan, Anne Coulter, Al Sharpton.

          And your own damn post.
          • You're making the false assumption that I meant to say the U.S. government censors everything. Bullshit. Don't put words in my mouth.

            I do not think the U.S. government is the worst country in the world when it comes to censorship. Not by a long, long, long shot. But it does do it in subtle ways. Remember the "Free Speech Zones?" How about the Patriot Act? (I know I just opend a can of worms right there, sadly, but it's true) How about that woman who was arressted during the President's State of the Union Ad
      • by vertinox (846076)
        Democracy and Fascism are not compatible.

        To be fair.... Hitler was legally elected into power before he assumed control of the government.

        Secondly, the annexation of Austria and Sudetanland was actually held to a German referendum (hence why referendum's are illegal in Germany these days).

        So yeah... Democracy and Fascism can tie into each other and elections can be used to create fascist states and take away freedoms.

        It is the reason why the founding fathers of the United States created the electoral colleg

      •   Where is the democracy when the people you can choose to vote for are no one you would choose?

        Funny, I live in the US, and I feel the same way...

      • Democracy and Fascism are not compatible.

        Yes and no. The most famous two fascist governments, early 20th century Germany and Italy, both were voted into power by popular vote. The Nazi rise to power came as a result of dissatisfaction with economic policies. Within a few years, due to a terrorist act (the Reichstag Fire), they passed laws giving the government the power to suspend provisions of the Constitution, followed up by a law that gave Hitler the right to pass laws without parliamentary approval.

        F
  • The cynic says... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:33AM (#15017194)
    The cynic in me says that this story is a careful plant by the Bush Administration to get the Internets to support the upcoming invasion of Iran. Not, you understand, that this makes the story any less deserving of outrage--but you have to wonder about the timing.
  • Nice one. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:33AM (#15017198) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone started up an adopt-an-Iranian-blog project, like the one that was done for the Chinese?
    • The main blogger they mention does not live in iran and is not a muslim, for any given country you will find people who don't want to live there and will happily complain about it. I don't say this invalidates his point but theres not much point adopting one if they aren't actually in iran.

      This is a funny quote from his blog from a few years ago :-)

      April 28, 2003
      Wired, ignorant or just lazy

      I really wonder why Wired News totally seems to ignore the non-English language blogosphere. Are they ignorant or just

  • Weblogistan? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Valdrax (32670)
    The Iranian blogging community, known as Weblogistan, is relatively new.

    I call SHENNANIGANS!

    Seriously, is there some sort of competition between bloggers to see who can come up with the latest "5 seconds of fame" painful, buzzwordy neologism? I want to know, so that I can find the organization responsible for keeping score and bomb them.
  • by Money for Nothin' (754763) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:33AM (#15017203)
    ...free and tolerant Islamic society we hear so much about! [youngmuslims.ca]

    (All religions are intolerant of each other, because each religion defines a mutually-exclusive lock on a God they believe exists (or in atheism's case, doesn't exist). Each religion fights over that lock, and therein lies the religious conflict. And all this fighting assumes their God -- or any god -- actually even exists; over 2000 years of non-proval of a god's existence sure paves the way towards a high probability that he/she/it does not.)
    • Ah, so this is the free and tolerant Islamic society we hear so much about!

      Iran was a relatively free and tolerant country up until the government decided to nationalise the oil industry. This was too much for the West to tolerate. The democratic leader Muhammad Mussadegh was overthrown by the CIA and replaced with a Western puppet dictator.

      These are essential facts for understanding why the current Iranian government is so 'paranoid'.
      • Iran and stalinism (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:00AM (#15017309)
        You are referring to Iran's brief brush with Stalinism, when the "one man, one vote, one election" dictator Muhammad Mussadegh sought to make Iran's oil wealth his personal property (or perhaps it should be said Moscow's personal property!) as he was following the model of his masters in Moscow.

        While the Shah and the US had some agreement (such as the idea that keeping left-wing fascism (i.e. socialism) and Islamic fascism out of Iran was a good idea), he wasn't the US's puppet. He tended to jerk the US around more than the US jerked his strings. Regardless, a very large and growing number of Iranians remember his rule as being very enlightened compared to the Islamic fascism which eventually took over.

        • by replicant108 (690832) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @11:18AM (#15017752) Journal
          You are referring to Iran's brief brush with Stalinism, when the "one man, one vote, one election" dictator Muhammad Mussadegh sought to make Iran's oil wealth his personal property

          Despite your ludicrous slur, it remains a fact that Mossadegh was a democratically elected leader and that the Iranian parliament voted to nationalize Iran's oil industry.

          While the Shah and the US had some agreement [...] he wasn't the US's puppet. He tended to jerk the US around more than the US jerked his strings.

          Not a good puppet perhaps, but a puppet nonetheless.

          It is amusing that you call the democratically elected Mossadegh a 'dictator', and describe the US-installed despot as 'very enlightened'.
    • Relativism (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amightywind (691887)

      Relativism doesn't cut it here. John Paul II and Benedict have been very concilliatory [catholicnews.com] to Jews. Compare that to Islam! Islam's relationship with other faiths is absolutely abysmal.

      • Re:Relativism (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ravenscall (12240) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:52AM (#15017276)
        Compare that to Islam! Islam's relationship with other faiths is absolutely abysmal.

        Aye, just like the 5000+ member Christian church up the street from me that says gays should be executed and all other religions are Satan's tools to mislead people from the One True Faith. Except Jews, they are all just going to hell for killing Jesus.
        • Ravenscall, that 5000+ member church sounds awful. It sounds like they are waiting in the wings to do the same thing in the USA that the clerics are doing in Iran. Be careful, though, that in pointing out problems in the Christian churches that you do not let the Iranian nutcases off the hook. They not only have those intolerant views but they have the power of a state backing them up. That makes them worse.

          I wish the current war had been pitched by GWB as a war of pluralism against fundamentalism. Where
        • Aye, just like the 5000+ member Christian church up the street from me that says gays should be executed and all other religions are Satan's tools to mislead people from the One True Faith. Except Jews, they are all just going to hell for killing Jesus.

          The above just proves that any form of extremism (whether islamic, christain or otherwise) is just a cancer to any society. The real problem is that people, in general, fear that which they do not understand. If religions would actively try to understan
      • by LukeWink (898707) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:42AM (#15017535)
        Hey, muslims may be seen as intollerant, but at least they don't go around killing people who convert from Islam to another religion. Now that would be intollerant!
      • Agreed. Look at, for example:

        http://www.john.lerwill.btinternet.co.uk/spirit/al laresame.htm [btinternet.co.uk]

        And see if you can spot the odd one out. A quick hint - "brother" is defined as a male (or female) _muslim_. I have asked many Muslims to double check this as best I can.

        http://www.macroknow.com/books/philosophy/religion .htm [macroknow.com]
        This table is good as well. Compare the religions and see how much Islam sticks out. Bias perhaps, but anyone is welcome to give me better quotes.
      • Relativism doesn't cut it here. John Paul II and Benedict have been very concilliatory to Jews. Compare that to Islam! Islam's relationship with other faiths is absolutely abysmal.

        Using a single example doesn't cut it here.

        Pat Robertson: Muslims are "Satanic" and inspired by "demoinic power" [bbc.co.uk]

        Jerry Falwell: Mohammed is a terrorist [theturkishtimes.com]

        Frank Graham: Islam is "a Very Evil and Wicked Religion" [cair-net.org]

        Rabbi Yosef: You must send missiles to them and annihilate them [bbc.co.uk] [about Arabs]

        I don't believe Islam is a 'religion of peace' -
    • over 2000 years of non-proval of a god's existence

      That's not true. His angels have talked to Muhammad and Joseph Smith since then. And his mother has made countless appearances in bushes, overpass stains, taco shells, etc.

      And, of course, he has *PERSONALLY* spoken to Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, and several homeless people who live on my street near where I work.

      -Eric

      • That's just more non-proof. I don't believe in any of them. They seem like caricatures made for selling something. I would consider Eric Cartman a more credible source, since at least he doesn't pretend to be real.

        Of course, the flip side of that argument is what kind of god would be so insecure as to feel a need to prove himself? Any god that weak would be out of a job pretty quick. Then he'd just be some homeless guy on the street talking about what god wants.
        • what kind of god would be so insecure as to feel a need to prove himself?

          Hey, the guy once killed every first-born son in an entire city just to make a point. Subtlety is NOT his strong suite.

          -Eric

          • According to the believers, he used to be vindictive and pull that kind of crap, but later realized that he needed to stop acting like a spoiled omnipotent child. Now, that same god is supposed to be more hands off and mellow. It's awfully convenient that he was an angry youth, giving people something to fear, but now he doesn't get involved, so there's no similar occurrences that people can experience first hand.
    • All religions are intolerant of each other, because each religion defines a mutually-exclusive lock on a God they believe exists....

      That's a very generalistic and I could say uninformed view. People are intolerant, yes, but not necessarily religions. As a matter of fact, for the most part, the leading minds behind most religions teach tolerance, acceptance, love and the like. It's just not what the people who follow tend to practice.

      Lewis stated that Christians should find some truth to their own f
    • All religions are intolerant of each other, because each religion defines a mutually-exclusive lock on a God they believe exists (or in atheism's case, doesn't exist).

      That is blatantly not true. Some religions do believe that their religion is meant for all of mankind (they are universalists). Those religions are a problem to others. Some religions however, believe that there are multiple ways to get to know God (or similar), and therefor don't see a point in trying to convince other people to believe their
    • After spending some time looking at actual history, I've concluded that religion is like a fluid that is poured into the vessel of politics. It is cited as the reason for the shape of politics, but there is no reason we have to take those self-serving claims at face value.
    • Hey, just because many Muslim countries aren't tolerant it doesn't mean that Islam is intrinically intolerant. You have to separate religion and the practice of it. The problem isn't with Islam, it is with intolerant Muslims. The irony is that they are violating the Quran while claiming to uphold it. As it states: "There must be no compulsion in religion"

      The article you so sarcastically linked to is a great argument for pluralism within Islamic societies.
    • "because each religion defines a mutually-exclusive lock"

      that's why religions have synchronization issues, eh? deadlocks, inversion of control, degraded performance due to excessive locking...
  • Boingboing has a guide to evading cesonsorware [boingboing.net]

    Should be useful to Iranians, as the US firm Secure Computing [securecomputing.com] is the company censoring Iran.
  • by Otter (3800)
    It's sure too bad we didn't give them control of the Internet, huh?
  • by pugdk (697845) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:41AM (#15017225) Homepage
    "The article takes a look at some of the bloggers who are fighting for their rights and how."

    Now, what exactly are those rights? I believe the only right you have in a state which is currently under the rule of Sharia ("Islamic law") is the right to remain *OBEDIENT* at all times.

    This whole blogging business doesn't seem very obedient to me... so exactly what rights are they fighting for? A change of religion? :D

    -pug

  • weblogistan?! Who comes up with this crap? And why is it perpetuated?
    • weblogistan?! Who comes up with this crap? And why is it perpetuated?

      I have it on good authority that it's those evil Podcastanians behind all this.

      • > evil Podcastanians

        Those splitters! Everyone knows it's the Podcastifarians. They're all jacked in to Applesphere 2.0, trying to extend their mindshare to far reaches of cyberspacistan.

  • Tor (Score:2, Informative)

    These people would be helped by a project like Tor. http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org]
  • by Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:55AM (#15017287) Homepage
    You guys are going to have to start killing those mullahs running things there. I recommend you start texting each other to get flash mobs at all the major TV and radio staions, and another huge mob wherever those mullahs meet. Rush the mullahs and stone them. You know it has to be done if things are going to change.

    Good luck. If you succeed, the French will finish up that nuclear power plant. Count on it.
  • by aquatone282 (905179) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:04AM (#15017320)

    . . . who are persecuted by their totalitarian government for exercising their natural rights than for the false bravado and excessive hubris of our own "dissidents."

  • by asad (65703) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:08AM (#15017344)
    Obligatory list of persian blogs [blogsbyiranians.com]
    Wiki article [wikipedia.org]

    A few that I personally like.

    Political blogs:
    Brooding Persian [blogspot.com]
    Iranian Truth [iraniantruth.com]
    Eyeranian [eyeranian.net]

    Funny
    Shirin [blogspot.com]
    Negar [blogspot.com]
    Lost in Texas [blogspot.com]
    Ok fine this is mine sometimes I think I am funny [evilasad.com]

    And a note on the numbers, I have no clue how they came up with that but I have a hard time believing any of it. Blogsbyiranians list any blog that Hossein comes across and it has a list of 100-200. My personal opinion is that there are about 5000 active persian blogs. Oh and cause I know someone will ask for it. some iranian porn [webstats4u.com]
  • by Zdzicho00 (912806) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:08AM (#15017348)
    Some links to explore:

    Faith Freedom [faithfreedom.org] site of Ali Sina
    TheReligionOfPeace [thereligionofpeace.com]
    EuroJihad [eurojihad.org] (in polish)
    Cox & Forkum [coxandforkum.com] (funny drawings)
    JihadWatch [jihadwatch.org]
    PravdaOIslamu [pravdaoislamu.cz] (in czech)
    Saudi blogger [blogspot.com]
    Egyptian blogger [blogspot.com]
    Hizb-ut-Tahrir [hizb-ut-tahrir.org] Islamic site

    /Z
  • by ehiris (214677) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:09AM (#15017353) Homepage
    I just went to the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam and the strongest things that stood out are:

    - The first freedom to go for anyone before total authoritarian dictatorship is the freedom of speech.
    - Repressing government are usually very very afraid of the spoken word.
    - Anne Frank's diary and history is one of the strongest evidences of the Nazi oppression and attempt to bring certain races to extinction.

    Look at the Mohamed drawings issue. The extremists didn't really care about depictions of Mohamed. What their problem with those depictions is, is the freedom of speech. They are afraid they'll no longer be able to brainwash free people into stupid theocratic thinking. They are afraid that they will no longer be able to engage humans into blowing themselves up in order to fulfill a focus group god'$ prophecies.

    Makes me puke that we don't even want to keep the freedom of speech around in the US but it makes sense why it had to be legislated. Everyone who tries to control someone will attempt to take that freedom of speech away.

    • by ianscot (591483) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:25AM (#15017455)
      Look at the Mohamed drawings issue. The extremists didn't really care about depictions of Mohamed. What their problem with those depictions is, is the freedom of speech. They are afraid they'll no longer be able to brainwash free people into stupid theocratic thinking. They are afraid that they will no longer be able to engage humans into blowing themselves up in order to fulfill a focus group god'$ prophecies.

      Leaders across the authoritarian states of the M.E. use "issues" like those drawings as a way to vent the frustration of their own people toward "the west." They manipulate whatever-it-is as a sort of social "wedge issue" to keep people angry at someone else. That's what the cartoons thing was about.

      Think Gay Marriage. Gay Marriage is something we should deal with, okay -- I'm for it, basically -- but is it among the biggest challenges for our society when compared to economic, environmental, foreign, and every other kind of policy in this country being run with only the enormous multinational business interests at the table and nobody from any other perspective having a voice? The monied interests behind the old Republican party discovered after the civil rights movement that they could patch together a coalition of fearful social conservatives and keep those fears yoked up to the party's economic interests. When the rank and file get upset, lo and behold, there will always be a distracting social "issue" to motivate them again. (Janet Jackson's bustier popped open -- OMG! OMG! Society is breaking down! Election cycle -- Oh No! Pass a bunch of anti-Gay-Marriage amendments, it's a crisis!)

      It's all about preserving authority, not about the specific faiths involved. Authoritarian religion turns to demagoguery like this to release pressure.

      • I agree with you 100% but at the same time I have to stand by my believe that by attacking freedom of speech is the only way for oppressors to retain control. I live in Communist Romania until 1989 and a moved to the US in 1997. I experience oppression first hand. Anne Frank reminded me at the isolation that the communist dictators put my family and me in. Anne Frank basically kept a blog that wasn't allowed to be seen to anyone else so that her family can stay away from the Nazi harm.
      • It's all about preserving authority, not about the specific faiths involved.

        Sounds reasonable. But...

        1) Iran is a modified theocracy - Islam is a major player. The president shares power with the head cleric.

        2) The Koran, unlike modern interpretations of the Bible, mandates conversion through various mechanisms. And punishes those leaving the fold.

        Islam is part of the problem. Is there a country with such high levels of "pressure" where the state sponsored religion isn't Islam?

        • Point #2 is well taken with respect to punishments for converts. However, it just has to be said:

          Is there a country with such high levels of "pressure" where the state-sponsored religion isn't Islam?

          Heard anything from Tom DeLay about "judges in black robes" lately? Here's a person, and a party, that believes Christianity is one of the foundational pieces of our society and government. After the Terry Schiavo thing, he played to his base by basically threatening... well, here's the quote:

          "The time wi

      • When the rank and file get upset, lo and behold, there will always be a distracting social "issue" to motivate them again. (Janet Jackson's bustier popped open -- OMG! OMG! Society is breaking down! Election cycle -- Oh No! Pass a bunch of anti-Gay-Marriage amendments, it's a crisis!)

        Dont EVEN bitch about the Republican party about this! Put the blame on the vast MAJORITY of the American public. They are the ones who cried out about this issue to all the news agencies and wrote to their representitives. The
    • Outstanding post... right up until this part:

      Makes me puke that we don't even want to keep the freedom of speech around in the US but it makes sense why it had to be legislated.

      Who's trying to take away our freedom of speech? The only thing I can think of is that you must be referring to campaign finance reform. Please enlighten us.

      • - Words like asshole, ... are now banned from our airwaves.
        - Janet Jackson's boobs.
        - Howard Stern censorship.
        - Everyone gets outraged and boycotts music groups for expressing themselves about government officials.
        - My friends get arrested and ticketed on the lake or on the street in Vegas for displaying their breasts.
        - Many supreme court cases about freedom of speech infringements.

        Please feel free to add but these are in my opinion just a few of the problems with Freedom of Speech and Expression in contempo
        • - Words like asshole, ... are now banned from our airwaves.
          - Janet Jackson's boobs.
          - Howard Stern censorship.


          I'm no fan of the FCC, but there's a plausible argument that public airwaves should be regulated because of the limited frequencies available. Their attempts to expand regulation to cable and satellite are of course BS.

          - Everyone gets outraged and boycotts music groups for expressing themselves about government officials.

          That's not censorship.

          - My friends get arrested and ticketed on the lake or on t
  • by deacon (40533) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:44AM (#15017551) Journal
    What do you expect of a place that hangs rape victims?

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all& q=iran+hang+girl&btnG=Search [google.com]

    Does anyone expect they are concerned about any other human rights?

    Sheesh people, wake up and smell the Sharia.

    • I think that one mistake we make, as occidentals, is judgind them by our own rules. but since we live in a different world than them, since we live in a different culture, with different values...different moralities we can't really be objective about right or wrong regarding how they live. Of course, I think hanging a rape victim because it dishonors the family is a crime, but in a country were honor as actually less value than money, who am i to judge what honor is worth.

      How does one know that what they'r
      • So, we can't say "Wow, they should have x freedoms" but they can say "Death to the great satan" and try to kill us?

        If they're trying to change how WE live OUR lives, you can't say "Let them live however they want" because it's infringing on OUR freedom to do so.
        • Well, there's a margin between accepting their way of life and accepting religious fanatism.

          I openly disagree with *any* kind of fanatism toward religion - especially when that fanatism leads to death in some way. After all, no prophet (Jesus, Muhammad for instance) nor any god wished for death. So anyone *enlightened* enough to think he's doing this or that in the name of the great jesus or allah or bouddah or...whoever is either nuts or just dirtying the name of deity in question.

          You're certainly allowed
      • I don't know if you understand how impossibly assinine your comments are. I'll use as an example:

        Also, human rights is a very subjective thing. it varies from country to country

        By definition, human rights transcend nation-states. Unless you maintain that Iranians are not human (which I don't think you are), you cannot say they have have different/fewer inherent human rights than any other member of the species. We have these rights because we are human, not because we live in the US, or Canada, or Australia
      • Your moral relativism turns my stomach. I hope you grow up and grow a pair someday.
        • I am sorry you feel this way, all I am saying is that we shouldnt judge them based on our morals.

          After all, isn't it their fundamental right to live how they want to live ?
          • Let's change one of your sentences a little bit:

            Of course, I think gassing Jews because they endanger cultural purity is a crime, but in a country were racial purity as[sic] actually less value than money, who am i to judge what cultural purity is worth.

            Can you appreciate how morally debased your line of thinking is now?

  • i just read a basic fluff piece on iran on time magazine. there was a quote that went something like this: "The young people like mohammad khatami becuase he lets them wear baggy pants and pink viels, they arent bothered by him restricting speech." this from an interview with weathly iranians at a ski resort in that country.
  • by Horatio_Hellpop (926706) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:51AM (#15017605)
    ... why? Iran's entire "government" is based on radical Islam -- meaning, "kill everyone who doesn't believe in Allah." Not sure why this is news. This is how it is, and how it ever will be, with most Muslim countries.
    • What is surprising is that someone modded your demonstrably untrue comment up. What would be surprising to me is if you have ever actually been to a predominantly Muslim country, or sat down with a Muslim for a meal.

      First, Christians and Jews all believe in Allah, just like Muslims do. Arab Christians actually do not speak American English when they pray. They speak Arabic, and so they say Allah where someone else might say God.

      There are over a billion Muslims on this planet, and I would argue that only a m
  • I completely misread that title, and at first thought it said "Iran Cracks Down on Boogers". I was thinking, "man, those guys are strict!"
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @12:46PM (#15018524) Homepage Journal
    Who wrote this crap, Jon Katz?
  • by nurb432 (527695)
    Internet access isn't a human right.

    Besides, this is iran.. no great loss anyway.

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