Over the last three years I have had hundreds of conversations with people about life in Iran. I have long believed Iran’s to be a deeply repressed society in which freedom is curtailed in the name of religion and by an assortment of ‘holy men.’ I was initially bemused when talking to people about this, good people with solid left wing principles, and having my criticisms dismissed as those of a ‘cultural imperialist,’ ‘a neo-con,’ ‘an islamaphobe,’ to name a few terms thrown my way. As time went on and I realised that these weren’t, sadly, the views of the odd person here and there on the left, but those of the left’s mainstream, I moved from bemused to shocked, to saddened and then to angry.
Looking at a society where it is codified into law that a women is worth half a man, where the morality police prowl the streets arresting men and women for such ‘unIslamic’ behaviour as holding hands, where stoning is still an allowed punishment for adultery, where children can be hanged, where being gay is a crime, I found the stance of my so called comrades on the left to be unforgivable. I also found it ridiculous. I honestly could not believe that anyone could look at this society and say that people had chosen to live like this – but it became clear that is exactly what they believed. And worse than that, despite the desperate cries for freedom we are seeing now, some of them still do.
The increasingly objectionable Seamus Milne (Guardian) has dismissed the protests as being led by ‘Mousavi and his western-backed supporters,’ the ultimate criticism from the Milne-esq ‘left.’
Full post at Harry's Place