ABC News tells us:
Pharrell Williams says everyone should be able to celebrate their joy — including Iranian youths who were arrested for posting an Internet video of them dancing to his song "Happy."
Some in Iran see the video as promoting the spread of Western culture. Iranian laws ban women from dancing in public or appearing outside with their heads uncovered.
Williams says he has "the utmost respect for people's religious views" and doesn't know much about Iranian law.
But he added: "The present is a gift, and if you just want to celebrate your happiness, you should be allowed to do that."
Speaking at an exhibit opening in Paris on Monday, he said, "They are just dancing."
And when you peel that garlic you discover that the much vaunted Iranian technocratic middle class has no hope of every making the least change in their society. Not because they are unable, but because they are comfortable.ReplyDelete
The green movement failed for two reasons equally important - 1) they were beaten down by street violence and 2) they would rather not, thank you. Protest in middle class Iran is behind closed doors. Secret satellite dishes, parties where men and women drink, women who try to socialize without hijab. And so on. And the Ayatollahs give them just enough freedom to keep them quiet.
Sure, arrest a few kids for dancing. Then let them go with a stern warning. Meanwhile hang someone for secretly running a Christian church. That guy doesn't work for the government - he's of no consequence and can be done away with and the middle class thanks Allah it wasn't them as they head to the next secret party.
The critical point being missed by most people here is that there really is no difference in Iran’s government between “moderates” and “conservatives,” especially when the entire governmental structure — civil, judicial, economic, military, foreign policy — is answerable to the religious ruling council and the Supreme Leader in Khamenei.ReplyDelete
It’s also important to remember that Rouhani was for a long time in charge of many of the military and security institutions that have been responsible for some of the most brutal crackdowns in the ’90s and start of the 2000s. So when we consider arrests such as this, they are unfortunately the norm and not the exception under Rouhani’s leadership. If you want more info, I suggest you check out the blog hassan-rouhani.info.
Fortunately folks on social media are rightly skeptical of his attempts to reach out to the West with nifty little tweets and pics, since he heads a government stubbornly refusing to change its brutal tactics. As an aside, it’s also noteworthy that under Rouhani’s leadership, Amnesty International now counts over 700 executions in Iran, most in horrific public hangings and many including women and children. How’s that for moderation?
Given all the terrible things in Iran, Syria and others at the behest of Iranian regime, it's hard to get worked up about these kids getting arrested, but if it helps snaps people around to really understand just how backwards Iran is and why loosening economic sanctions during nuclear talks without a concurrent improvement in human rights in Iran is really a dumb, dumb idea.
Thanks for dropping in, Vanderwater.Delete
I think a little story like this vividly illustrates cultural differences.
Are we in Sam Huntington's "clash of civilizations"?
I do not know, but you are very welcome here and I hope to read more of your insights.
Whoever made that video should be arrested for animal abuse. The first dog had no choice but to stand on his hind feet, he was being pulled you by his lead.ReplyDelete
Oh, for G-d's sake!Delete
Shirlee, I am certain that no animals were harmed in the making of that video.
Y'know, Norman, I do not think that that is true.ReplyDelete
Which is to say, I have never met anyone who is literally afraid of being blown up by terrorists. Heck, I even received a death threat via email by someone with an Islamic name and I did not believe for one moment that there was actual danger to my body or life.
The left has a tendency to sympathize with terrorists because they accept the post-colonial notion that Islamic terrorism is the result of western and American imperialism.
They are not afraid of getting hurt, but honestly believe that, given western history in eastern lands, the moral scale actually favors the guys in ski masks holding aloft semi-automatic weaponry with a desire to kill Jews.
It would be something akin to sympathizing with the Klan directly after the Civil War.