Thursday, May 25, 2006

Akbar Ganji on Simin Behbahani and the courage to know

Please read the whole thing. Understand an Iranian intellectual and it makes our protesting students look so very sad and pathetic.
Ms. Simin Behbahani is one of Iranian heroines, who, in the past years, has been in the front line of Iran's liberal movement. In this path, she has been insulted and beaten. She was treated unjustly and endured magnanimously. Behbahani could move a generation with her poems, but her work is not limited to poetry and literature. She actively and bravely defends the victims whenever the civil rights are trampled upon. One day she shows up in front of a hospital to defend the disregarded rights of an imprisoned dissident. On another day she is in a park to protest the extreme, unbelievable, and painful inequality of women compared to men and to say we are human too and human, on being human alone, is entitled to rights and dignity, and no regime, ideology, belief or culture could not and should not discriminate between human beings based on imaginary and ancient divisions and ignore their need to dignity. Still on another day, in another setting, she protests the murder of dissidents and with her poems keeps their memory alive. She has the courage to think.

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