White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Iran, Denemark and protests in Muslim World

Today, the Danish embassy in Tehran was set to fire by students members of the Basij militia. Unlike other Muslim countries, the protest in Iran was clearly a staged action with a complete political agenda. Look at this photo. Does this guy look like a typical radical Muslim who wants to protect Mohammad's image? Or maybe a unemployed student who can be easily manipulated by economic advantage? This protest is clear muscle show off of the regime to the west: Look we can really mess up with you guys! Look how our young students are ready to fight even with our own religious police to kick your butt!! Iran also intelligently closed its trade relations with Denmark to get more supports in the Muslim world and even put some pressure on pro-west Arab countries. And don't forget that Denemark is just a tip of the iceberg. It's practically most of the EU members who have fundamental problems with Ahmadinejad's government. But does the West buy any of that? It looks like that Europeans are not giving a damn about the whole thing in Iran. There has been several other protests in front of the British embassy in the past few months. There were even a few clashes in the Iraq border with the British army. But the Britons were totally unmoved. Actually it seems that they have even taken an upper hand in the clashes and have extended it to the Iranian soil. Sooner or later Ahmadinejad and all Khamenei's camp will get it that their 80s style revolutionary actions won't work in 2005. It's a different situation and they have to give up their populist agenda and get back to the negotiation table. But certainly they will pay a big penalty for this period of mess up.

But beside Iran's story, I see the wave of recent protests against Mohammad's cartoon as a sign of a larger frustration in the Muslim world. The frustration are results of post Sept 11th policies of humiliation of this large community. Part of the humiliations are related to the racists policies against Moslems in European countries (and the US). And to large extents it related to the events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. And of course radicalism has been able to grow heavily in the Muslim societies with popular media outlets like Aljazeera. For me, the position of the European journalists is quite understandable to resist against the whole protest for the sake of freedom of speech. But unfortunately I don't see it a wise action at the moment. It's only adding to the dangerous flame that has been growing since Sept 11th. A flame that wants to kill many progressive things including the freedom of speech.
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