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Posts Tagged ‘ Friday sermon ’

  • 28 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • 1 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Khamenei Appointed Moderate Friday Sermon Leader

Most major newspaper coverage appear to have missed that Khamenei had appointed a moderate Friday sermon candidate, in hopes that his speech might set a moderate tone. Today’s Friday sermon called for unity, in contrast to Ahmadinejad’s pre-sermon speech, and tried to change the focus of the debate. Another sign that Ahmadinejad might have ruffled Khamenei’s feathers with his speech today.

From Fars News with the headline, “The Crimes of the Zionist regime are Amongst the Most Exceptionally Horrible in the World:”

Substitute Friday Prayer leader Hojjat-ol-Eslam Kazem Sedighi called the Zionist Regime’s crimes amongst the most exceptionally horrible in the world and said, “This regime uncourageously steals the youth of Palestine, this regime tears out their [the youth of Palestine’s] internal organs, and returns the bodies in the worst condition to their families for holding funerals.”

  • 14 July 2009
  • Posted By Sanaz Tofighrad
  • 0 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

State media downplays, attacks Rafsanjani before sermon

Rafsanjani

After a long absence, Hashemi Rafsanjani is going to lead the upcoming Friday sermon. Rafsanjani is a very powerful member of the Iranian establishment who was a major supporter of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and opponent of Ahmadinejad before the election. However, state media, including  IRNA, Raja, and Iran newspaper are portraying this as an insignificant event and are even making arguments that he be striped of at least one of his government positions.

Raja news, which belongs to hardliner Fatemeh Rajabi (the wife of the government spokesperson), claims that the reformist movement is “worried about the prayer attendees protesting against Hashemi Rafsanjani.” “Because of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s positions during the presidential elections and his inappropriate letter to the Supreme Leader, a widespread wave of criticism has formed against him among the people…,” says  the report.

Also, the state run media appear to be trying to lay the groundwork for removing of Rafsanjani from at least one of his government posts.  Raja, Iran newspaper, and IRNA have all published articles in support of article 141 of Iran’s constitution being applied to the Expediency Council. Article 141 of the constitution forbids government employees from holding “more than one Government position [or] any kind of additional post in institutions of which all or a part of the capital belongs to the government or public institutions, or [being] a member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.” Currently, article 141 does not apply to the Expediency Council, which is headed by Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani is also head of the powerful Assembly of Experts, which is officially tasked with supervising and selecting the supreme leader.

While looking to use and expand this constitutional provision, there are extensive reports of Iranian hardliners  violating other constitutional protections, such as Articles 27 (freedom of assembly), 35 (right to legal counsel), 38 (ban on torture), and 168 (the right to jury trial in an open court).

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 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.

Sincerely,

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