• 15 March 2010
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Culture, Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

Yeah, not so much…. Nice try though.

The Supreme Leader on Sunday called for Iranians to shun Chaharshanbeh Souri, deeming it “void of religious roots and cause of great harm and corruption.” Chaharshanbeh Souri takes place on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year (tomorrow night), preceding Norooz and Saleh Tahveel (the Spring Equinox marking the New Year). More from Radio Zamaneh via Payvand News:

This fire festival… is an ancient Iranian pagan festival which involves the building of bonfires and symbolic gestures and chants that summon the fire to burn all sickness and lend its energy to a healthy new year.

A number of Shiite clerics have described the event “superstitious” and called for its dismantlement.

Iranian opposition forces have announced that they will take part in the events of the last Wednesday Eve of the year, which falls on March 16, and use it as an opportunity to reaffirm their protests against the current government which they claim has come to power through election fraud last June.

And from AFP via Yahoo! News:

Iranians celebrate the fire festival by lighting bonfires in public places on the night before the last Wednesday and leaping over the flames shouting “Sorkhiye to az man, Zardiye man az to (Give me your redness and I will give you my paleness).”

Some clerics see the ritual as heretical fire worshipping, although it has been marked in Iran for centuries and, like the Persian New Year itself and some other ancient rituals, has survived the advent of Islam.

For thousands of years Iranians have celebrated these holidays through thick and thin. No matter what culture or religion was thrust upon them by foreign invaders, they maintained their New Year festivals. Even those in the Diaspora have continued the celebrations abroad.

They’re not going to stop now.

Posted By NIAC

    8 Responses to “Yeah, not so much…. Nice try though.”

  1. Pirouz says:

    To a certain extent, this is a public safety issue.

    Keep in mind, Khamenei and other authorities usually make similar appeals toward not engaging in the bloody, masochistic rituals of Ashura, and that’s a Shia related observance.

    A very rough comparison can be made to US Fourth of July festivities, where in many areas personal fireworks are illegal based on safety concerns. But even so, an illegal firework trade persists, and come nighttime you can still hear it (and illegal gunfire) going on, on just about every neighborhood street.

    In the Iranian sense, where the activity is officially discouraged; in the American sense, it is actually illegal.

  2. Eric says:

    The dictator speaks, the sheep (& Pirouz) follow.

  3. Iranian-American says:

    It will be quite interesting to see how defenders of the Islamic Republic, such as Pirouz, will defend this blatant assault on the Persian culture. This is not new. Unfortunately, the religious theocracy in Iran, and especially those who have recently grabbed power from the people, have little respect for our culture and our heritage, believing instead that Islamic traditions are more important that our pre-Islamic traditions.

    My guess, they’ll ignore it, or make up a new more convenient understanding for the dictator’s comments that sits better with their conscience.

  4. Iranian-American says:

    Clearly the supreme leader is anti-Iran.

  5. Guest says:

    Stop with the childish “whatever religion was thrust upon them” rhetoric. You not only show an ignorance of history, but you alienate yourself from the vast, vast majority of Iranians who view the coming of Islam to Iran as one of the country’s greatest moments. Khamenei’s idiocy can be countered without resorting to the same level.

  6. Eric says:

    Please, can we call him the dictator? It’s honestly funny at this point to see Pirouz parallel EVERYTHING bad about the regime to America. The difference, however, is that leaders in America don’t discourage ANYONE from celebrating July 4th. It is openly celebrated, and just in the states where fireworks are illegal, professionals must be hired to put on fireworks displays. As usual for you Pirouz, apples and oranges. Maybe you can blame Israel for this one??? Anyone but the dictator and his pathetic little sidekick.

  7. Iranian-American says:

    And it looks like the answer is…
    “make up a new more convenient understanding for the dictator’s comments that sits better with their conscience.”

  8. Azadi says:

    Really Pirouz? Public safety issue? If Khamenei was so concerned with “public safety” he wouldn’t have unleashed the mozdoor baseej and revolutionary guards on Iranians peacefully demonstrating in the streets; he wouldn’t have condoned the beating of women and the rape and torture of women and men in prisons; he wouldn’t have presided over a morally bankrupt government that hangs young people instead of rehabilitating them. I think Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are a threat to public safety not chaharshanbeh soori.

Leave a ReplyLeave a Reply to Guest

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



Share this with your friends: