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Posts Tagged ‘ Ramadan ’

  • 18 July 2012
  • Posted By Jessica Schieder
  • NIAC round-up

Iran News Roundup: July 18, 2012

Netanyahu Blames Iran for Fatal Terrorist Attack in Bulgaria; Vows Retaliation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for a fatal terror attack in Bulgaria, saying “Iran is responsible for the terror attack in Bulgaria, we will have a strong response against Iranian terror.”

Panetta: U.S. Would Hold Iran “Directly Responsible” for any Hormuz Disruption

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday of a potential Iranian obstruction to the Strait of Hormuz, “The Iranians need to understand that the United States and the international community are going to hold them directly responsible for any disruption of shipping in that region, by Iran or for that matter by its surrogate.” He added, “We’ve invested in capabilities to ensure that the Iranian attempt to close down shipping in the Gulf is something that we are going to be able to defeat, if they make a decision to do that” (Reuters 7/18).

IRGC Official: Sanctions Aimed at Fomenting Regime Change

A senior official of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Ali Ashraf Nouri, has said the U.S. sanctions strategy is designed to “break people’s tolerance threshold and force them [to take to the streets] like during the 2009 sedition” (Radio Free Liberty Radio Europe 7/17).

Iran Condemns Assassination of Syrian Defense Minister

  • 3 September 2010
  • Posted By Setareh Tabatabaie
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

In the Spirit of Ramadan, Attack that Cleric


Since Sunday, pro-government militiamen have been gathered outside Mehdi Karroubi’s home, in effort to prevent him from attending the annual Qods Day rally that took place today. Usually a state-sponsored rally to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people, last year Karroubi and other opposition leaders marked the day by gathering tens of thousands of their supporters into the streets, resulting in violent clashes with security forces. Last month, Karroubi announced that he would attend the Qods rally this year as well.

Consequently, for the last five days, the plainclothes militia have been pelting stones, breaking windows, shooting guns, and spraying the walls of Karroubi’s home with paint and slogans like “Death to Karroubi.” Chants among the crowd have included  “We congratulate the union of the United States and Karroubi,” “We are responding, O Khamenei,” and “If only Khamenei would give us the order to fight.” Today’s attack, however, was more intense than all others, with Fatemeh Karroubi, Karroubi’s wife, claiming that it seemed as if the crowd wanted to kill her husband.

All the while, policemen stood by watching.

Both Fatemeh and Karroubi’s son Hossein Karroubi are attributing the continuation of the attacks to the Supreme Leader. In an open letter to Ayatollah Khamenei on Wednesday, Fatemeh Karroubi wrote, “These obvious crimes are taking place in your support and in front of the security forces who do not dare to approach these attackers.” Hossein Karroubi questioned Ayatollah Khamenei as well, saying, “You think of yourself to be just like Imam Ali [Shia’s first Imam]. Is this the way of Imam Ali? Is this the way of Ali, that you want to confront someone, have attacked the home of a 73-year-old man and have blockaded his home and set it on fire?”

One of Karroubi’s bodyguards, “Mr. Yari,” was even assaulted and is now in the hospital.  In addition, aside from being vandalized, Karroubi’s home also no longer has phone service, electricity or running water, leading Hossein Karroubi to compare it to Palestine and its occupation.

The ironic part is that despite all this effort, the Qods Day rally today still did not turn out the way the government wanted. In fact, Fars News Agency attacked both BBC and al-Arabiya for minimizing the turnout in their articles. Moreover, it seems that the story on Mehdi Karroubi has overshadowed the story on the Qods Day rally, an unintentional backfiring of the attack.

It is quite sad to see the Iranian government’s reliance on intimidation and threats in order to try to silence its critics and would-be reformers. As the late Ayatollah Montazeri said, it seems Iran is neither Islamic nor a republic. What is especially ironic, though, is that this attack took place during the holiest month in the Islamic calendar: Ramadan. Instead of gathering with family and friends to break the fast, reflecting on the self, or giving back to the community, some people instead chose to attack a 73-year old man and his home, somehow believing it was more Islamic. So tonight, when I break my fast, I will pray for them, and all the people of Iran.

  • 21 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran

New Moon Conflict in Iran

In a dispute between senior clerics in Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei officially declared  Sunday to be the Eid al-Fitr (the end of the holy month of Ramadan), while the majority of high-ranking Shiite clerics in the cities of Qom and Najaf declared it to be on Monday, according to BBC Persian.

Although the new moon conflict is not new among the Shiite clerics in Iran, there is no such thing as an insignificant conflict between senior Shiite clerics and the Supreme Leader since Iran’ post-election state violence this summer.  Added to the mix, the recent arrests of many family members of Grand Ayatollahs in Qum only exacerbate the already high tensions.

Mowjcamp listed the Grand Ayatollahs who announced the Eid to be on Monday. The number is obviously more than the last years. Many Muslim Shiites in the world including Iran religiously follow and obey other Grand Ayatollahs (Marja’ Taghleed) in Qum and Najaf, therefore they celebrated Eid on Monday despite the state-run media’s decision to ignore this influential portion of Iran’s religious leadership.

  • 8 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Khamenei to lead this week’s Tehran Friday Prayer

According to PressTV:

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will lead this week’s Friday Prayer at Tehran University.
Ayatollah Khamenei will lead the Friday Prayer on September 11, which marks the 21st of the holy month of Ramadan, the office of Tehran’s Friday Prayer announced on Tuesday. The 21st of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of the first Shia Imam, Ali (PBUH).

Meanwhile,  mowjcamp reported that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran on the Quds day. Karroubi confirmed last week that the reformist leaders (Khatami, Mousavi, and Karroubi), like previous years, will actively participate in the rally and Friday Prayer in Tehran in the International Day of Quds on the last Friday of Ramadan (September 18th).

  • 1 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Qadr Nights ceremony not to be aired live for first time in 20 years

According to ayandenews, the religious ceremony that takes place on the 19th, 21st, and 23rd nights of Ramadan might not be aired live this year for the first time in 20 years.  Laylat al-Qadr or as they are called in Iran, shab-e-Qadr means the Nights of Decree or Nights of Measures, and are the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred in the holy month of Ramadan.

It is the anniversary of the night that Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed, and many Shi’a Muslims in Iran strongly believe that their fate for the following year will be determined on these nights.  Iranian people usually spend the whole night in religious sites including mosques and holy shrines, specifically the holy shrine of Imam Khomeini, which traditionally hosts thousands during this time.

For the last 20 years, Iranian national TV has aired the ceremony live from the Imam Khomeini shrine. But, as the schedule has already set this year for the presence of Hojatu-al-islam Nategh Noori and former President Khatami, as the prayer leaders, along with the possible attendance of Karroubi and Mousavi, the IRIB is expected to replace live programming from Imam Khomeini with a live program from Imam Sadegh University, Abdul-Azim holy shrine or Mahdieh religious site in Tehran.

Nategh Noori has usually served as the prayer leader on the night of 19th, Khatami in the night 21st, and Hojatu-al-islam Hossein Ansarian on the last night of Qadr, the night of 23rd in the holy shrine of Imam Khomeini.

  • 10 August 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Culture, Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009, Iranian Youth

Green Ramadan?

This is a message that came to us from an Iranian student, looking toward the upcoming month of Ramadan with unease about the possibility of further clashes with security forces:

In less than two weeks we will have Ramadan. It is the best month of the year for Iranians to fast and pray. But this year’s Ramadan is different from the last ones. People who are still chanting Allah Akbar (God is Great) to show their frustration and anger with the 2009 election result and state violence against peaceful protests, are looking to actively participate in group prayers and  religious ceremonies in the Mosques during Ramadan. They will continue their peaceful protest against the state’s violence while exercising traditional and religious practices.

During daytime in Ramadan, all restaurants are closed and eating and drinking publicly is banned based on the Islamic law. But after breaking fast (Maghreb), people pour into the streets to enjoy the cool and busy nights, as well as to say their prayers in Mosques and recite verses from the Qur’an. These nights are the best time for people to gather together, mingle, and share their thoughts. People usually stay awake late and go to work late in the morning since Iran’s government reduces the work hours during Ramadan every year. Iranian Shiites also mourn the commemoration of martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH) and pray during Ghadr Nights (19th, 21st, and 23rd and in some narratives 27th and 29th of Ramadan) when they believe the Qur’an was revealed to their prophet Mohammad (PBUH) by Allah. Many Iranians spend the entire night awake on these days in Mosques and holy shrines.

After the disputed 12 June election in Iran, the government has been forceful in preventing people from gathering, but during Ramadan it will not be able to ban people from celebrating this holy month by taking part in public gatherings. If the government were to do this, that would go directly against every previous year’s precedent in which they officially encouraged people to actively participate in religious celebrations.

This Ramadan is also different because Iran has recently banned Iranians from performing the Umra in Saudi Arabia during the holy month of Ramadan to slow the spread of swine flu in the country. The Umra can be performed at any time but is popular during Ramadan in which thousands of Iranians travel to Saudi Arabia for at least two weeks of pilgrimage.

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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.



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