Although that is what the Nazis plus many Iranians believed (or do they?), ‘racially speaking’, there is no such thing as ‘Aryan’ and none Aryan --- although Arabs supposed to be ‘Semites’ just like the Jews, the Nazis never killed any Muslims only Jewish ‘Semites.’ Furthermore, although only ‘Aryans’ supposed to be allowed to join the SS, there was a (‘Semitic’) Muslim unit of SS soldiers under leadership of the (Palestinian) Mufti of Jerusalem.
To gain a new favorite status for an alignment of the Muslim world, Hitler with the help of the Palestinians wanted to exterminate half a million Jews in what is now Israel plus all Jews in Tunisia and Syria. SS Walter Schellenberg (Head of the Secret Service) wrote Summer 1942: The extreme friendliness of the Muslim world towards Hitler comes from the hope he will remove the Jews from the Middle East.” For this end, a family member of later President Yasser Arafat, leading pan-Arabist Mohammed Amin el-Husseini (1893-1974), met with Adolf Eichman to discuss a ‘Master Plan’ for the alignment of the ‘Arab World’ with Nazi Germany. In fact The history of the Middle East would have been completely different and a Jewish state could never have been established if the Germans and Arabs had joined forces.
A chauvinistic organization named "Anjoman-e Iran-e Javan" (the Young Jran's Association) officially began its activities in 1921, the year of Reza Khan's coup d'etat against the Qajar king Mahmud Afshar, a well-known pan-Aryanist, was selected as the chairman of the organization. The group published a journal titled Ayandeh (the future), as its official organ. In the inaugural issue of Ayandeh, published in June 1925, the group put forth its manifesto, expressing the urgent need for "National unity" in Iran. Achieving national unity means that the Aryan language Farsi must be dominant throughout the whole country, that regional differences in clothing, customs and so on must disappear, and that political autonomy of different regions must be eliminated. Unless we achieve national unity in realms of language, behavior, clothing, etc. we will be in constant danger of losing our sovereignty and territorial integrity. (Afshar, 1925, pp. 5-6)
In 1934 then, the government issued a directive demanding the renaming (in foreign usage) of the country from Persia to Iran. As a major justification for this name-change, the directive cited the strong connection between the name, Iran' and the 'Aryan race: "Because Iran was the birthplace and origin of Aryans:' it argued, it is natural that we should want to take advantage of this name, particularly since these days in the great nations of the world noise has gotten out regarding the Aryan race which indicates the greatness of the race 3lld civilization of ancient Iran. (Memo no. 41749, 3-10-1313/1934; also Kashani-Sabet, 1999, p. 218)
Later, linguicide, the deliberate killing of language, became the official policy of three states that divide Kurdish speakers-Turkey, during 1925-1941, and since the 1960’s to date. ”I have experienced linguicide as a native speaker of Kurdish. Born into a Kurdish family in a Kurdish town. I had to get my education in Aryan Farsi, the only official language in Iran, a multilingual country where Farsi was the native tongue of only half the population. Fearing prison and torture of her children, my mother burnt, four times during my life, the few Kurdish books and records we had, acquired clandestinely. Silence about the linguicide of Kurdish or other languages is, I contend, a political position which cannot be justified by claims to the neutrality or autonomy of linguistics.” (Hassanpour, 2000. pp. 33-39).
In fact there is a strong connection between one's sense of identity and the names that one uses to refer to oneself, one's ethnic group, and various features of the environment in which one lives, features such as land, territory, historical monuments, landmarks, rivers, and mountains. These names denote a profound connection between one's Language-culture and one's surrounding environment. It is not an accident that the eradication and replacement of indigenous names and words have been a major preoccupation of all colonial powers. Supplanting of names, words, and concepts gradually give way to the replacing of a language in its entirety. And when a language is banned, discredited, and destroyed, with it is destroyed a pan of consciousness that connects one to one' s people, history, land and culture into which one is born. In such cases, one cannot find, the right words' to tell his/her story, because such words no longer exist for him/her. One's indigenous language is the only direct means through which one transmits his/her people's oral knowledge, literature, myths, narratives, histories, and stories.
Deprived of his/her means of communication and expression, the colonized person becomes a faceless, tongue less individual with no past, no history, and no place to call his/her own. It is at this point that the dominant group becomes emboldened to lay claim on lands and territories that belong to the colonized and excluded Other.
Post-Qajar (1925-present) Iran presents a glaring example of this sort. In Iran's modem history, there is no indication of any attempt to suppress or eliminate the country's diverse languages, cultures, and ethnic groups prior to the beginning of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1925. Up to this point, ever since the demise of Sasanid dynasty in the seventh century, almost all of the major ruling courts were of non-Farsi ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. In spite of this, non-Persian dynasties never introduced their own language as the official language of the country. They never attempted to supplant the original names of peoples, territories, lands, and so on. Difference and diversity were accepted as a defining characteristic of Iran' s identity and were reflected even in the name of the country: The Independent Kingdoms of Iran, Memalek-e Mahruse-ye Iran. (Vaziri, 1993: Kashani-Sabet. 1999).
A policy of one-nation-one-(Aryan) language, became the official doctrine of the ruling elite in the country-hence the birth of an overall Aryaisation process to date. “Similar politics are still faithfully pursued in the Islamic Republic today.” (Banitorof, 2002).
colonial agenda behind such politics has been to replace all non Farsi names of territories, geographical locations,
landscapes, towns, cities and villages with Farsi names and words as a part of
a major attempt to Aryanise the entire country. Yet
already the name 'Persia' was an invention of the Greeks, popularized through
Herodotus, and later on adopted by Orientalists and Western scholars. 'Persia'
had currency only in foreign languages and meant nothing to either ordinary
Iranians or the dynasties that ruled them. At the time of initial contacts
between the Greeks and Iranians, the province of Pars had been the seat of the
ruling Achaemenid dynasty. And taking the part for the whole, the Greeks bad
referred to the entire country as Persia and to its inhabitants as Persians.
Thus, even the names 'Persia' and 'Persian' were not self-designations but were
designed by outsiders.
The influence of Aryanist racism and Nazi mentality was so evident in the name-change of Iran that the French newspaper, Echo de Paris in its February 10th, 1935 issue, claimed the whole idea to be initiated by Hitler himself.
Reza Shah' s son, identified himself as Shahanshah Aryamehr, which means. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the King of Kings, the Light of the Aryans. clearly reflects the degree to which the Pahlavi shahs were obsessed and infatuated by the West and its constructs such as Arian and Aryanism. Since then aranist enterprises affected all official institutions such as the education system, cultural organs, publishing industries. census centers, and so forth.
“Now the majority of Khuzistani cities have two names, which is to say, in Farsi and in official correspondences their Persianized names are used, and in conversations among the local peoples their historical names are used. (Azizi-Banitorof, 2002, p.7)
In the region of Azerbaijan for example, the ancient city of Urumiyya was renamed as Rezaiyyeh-people restored Urumiyyeh (Ormiyeh) after the Islamic Revolution under Komeini; Qoshachay became Miyandoab; the famous Mount Savalan became Sabalan; the villages ofAxmaqaya, Parkush, and Esfistan became Ahmaqiyyeh, Khargush, and Asbestan, respectively, all of which had derogatory, humiliating, and negative meanings in Farsi. In the province of Gorgan, "Gonbad-e Ghabus" was changed to 'Gonbad-e Kavus under Komeini;' in Kurdistan, "Abu'l-mu'min" was supplanted by 'Parsa' (Kashani-Sabet, 1999. p. 219). These Aryanist/colonialist policies against indigenous languages, names and words have continued to date (2006).
In addition to the supplanting of names of territories, towns, and landmarks, attempts have been made to replace and redefine the names of whole ethnicities and nationalities. For example according to Iranian intellectuals the homeland of Azeri-Turks, was originally populated by Farsi speaking Aryans who had later become Turkicified thanks to the Mongol invasion of Iran. So they concluded that the original Azari had nothing to do with the Turkic peoples and their language; it originally was an Aryan tongue. Thus a chauvinistic literature developed around the term 'Azeri' that aggressively advocated the following:
old 'Azari' language was a variant of Farsi; it fundamentally differed from the
current 'Azeri- Turcik;'
2) the ancient Azaris living in Azerbaijan were not a Turkic people; they were an 'Aryan,' just like the rest of 'the true Iranians.’
3) the current Turkic speaking Azeris have been Turkicified due to the intrusions to Iran by the 'Saljuqs' and 'Mongois' that took place in the 11th and 13th centuries, respectively:
4) the historieal name of "the Caucasian Azerbaijan" was not originally Azerbaijan; it was 'Aryan'(also written as Aran, Eran). The designation 'Azerbaijan' was given to that Caucasian region by the Ottomans, and later endorsed by Joseph Stalin of Russia, for the purpose of laying claims on 'the Iranian Azerbaijan' and annexing it in the future.
In essence, by constructing an imaginary 'Aryan' language and by equating it with an 'Aryan' race, is blatant racism. Nevertheless these views are becoming fashionable nowadays more than ever before.
This in spite of th fact that al Mes'udi, a 10th century Moslem historian, stated: ''al-Arran min biladi Azerbaijan" which literally means: "Arran is but a town in Azerbaijan" (Mes'udi, 1894, p. 78; Heyat, 1993. p. 6). Apparently, by rejecting the historical name of the Northern Azerbaijan, Iranian extremists today are trying to further isolate and marginalize the Azerbaijani community in Iran. In reality however Azerbaijan was a fenile land on which a multiplicity of races, languages and cultures flourished side by side. According to the tenth century Arab traveler, al-Muqaddasi. "over 70 languages were spoken in Azerbaijan" (1906, p. 260). Ibn Hawqal, another tenth century Arab historian determined the number of languages spoken in Azerbaijan and Caucasia to be "360 spoken languages" (1966, p. 82).
As such, it would not be difficult to dig out fragments of a variety of dead or living languages from that region. Thus, when certain groups in present day Iran, try to present one single language as "the only authentic and original and pure language spoken in ancient Azerbaijan." Obviously. this is a colonialist act which cannot be substantiated by any scientific and objective reasoning.
The so-called 'scientific' and 'cultural' collaborations between Iranian nationalists and the Nazi’s proved to be very fruitful. And the Iranian Aryanists followed an extremely racist ideology which sought to essentialize the “Aryan race” as the only true and authentic owner of larger Iran, and the Farsi language was elevated to the status of Iran's only authentic language.
example in May 2004, the Iranian government divided the Farsi-speaking region
of Khorasan into three provinces named Khorasan-e Shomlai,
Khorasan-e Razavi, and Khorasan-e Janubi
(North Khorasan, South Khorasan, and Razavi
Thus the policy that was set up during the WWII era is being implemented by the Islamic government.
example , the editor of Majalle-ye Iran-shenasi, in a 1992 editorial states:
In the currently vague and chaotic state of the world our Iran continues to grapple with its previous problems in addition to new problems that have emerged from the 1978 revolution and the long war with Iraq: panArabism and pan- Turkism are distorting the facts about [the province of Khuzistan and the Persian Gulf and Azerbaijan. And our eastern neighbor Afghanistan is not without intentions towards Khorasan. Some of our so called political panies in Iran and abroad are talking about "the multinational Iran" instead of a united Iran; they also talk of northern and southern Azerbaijan and of self-governance for the Kurds and Baluchs and Turks and Turkmens and Arabs and. (Matini, 1992, p. 234)
Matini continues the article by talking about the evils of separatism, panism, the ill intentions of world powers towards Iran and how these powers cannot wait to see Iran destroyed and divided into smaller parts.
In a later issue of Majalle-ye Iran-shenasi Jalal, Matini clearly states that his only concern is to obscure, problematize, and eventually deny the existence of difference and diversity in Iran. He writes that it made him very nervous when for the first time he read in a newspaper that "Iran is a multinational and multiethnic country" Iran keshvari-st kasir-ol melleh va morakkab az aqvam-e mokhtalef. (Matini. 1998, p. 229). He enlightens his colleagues that the concepts of multinational and multiethnic were infiltrated into Iran for the first time by Soviet communists. reflecting the unfriendly intentions that they had towards Iran. Matini wams his colleagues to take note that these concepts have not died out with the demise of the Soviet Union. On the contrary, the concepts have found more currency in recent years. What is to be done. then? "From now on, we should refrain from using such terms as 'Iran is a multinational country' or 'Iran is a country composed of different ethnic groups'" (Matini, 1998. p. 233). Matini's solution is typical of the dominant approach to issues of difference and diversity in Iran today. This approach stubbornly insists that the existence of difference and diversity in Iran is not a real social fact but is an illusion created by construction of a couple of terms and concepts. If these terms and concepts are not used, diversity will cease to exist. The dominant group does not want to accept that more than half of Iran' s population,have every right to have their political parties, speak their own language, write their own history, and represent themselves through their own voices. Yet by forcing them to abandon their indigenous names, eradicating their identities, supplanting their languages, they will not become different from who they already are. They will still be the same Turks, Arabs, Baluchs, Turkmens. and Kurds, with the same languages and cultures. Real progress would be to acknowledge their diversity and address it by way of human rights principles.
In Decolonizing the Mind (1986), Ngugi Wa Thiong'o highlighted the dialectical relationships between the two related subjects of language and culture: Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world. How people perceive themselves affects how they look at their culture. at their politics and at the soeial production of wealth. at their entire relationship to nature and to other beings. Economic and political control can never be complete or effective without mental control. To control a people's culture is to control their tools of self-definition in relationship to others. The domination of a people' s language by the languages of the colonizing nations was crucial to the domination of the mental universe of the colonized (Wa Thiong'o. 1986, p.16)
language is a most powerful source of creating culture, and Linguistic powers
and cultural values play important roles in the development of individuals,
communities, and societies.
Or as Phillipson, Rannut. and Skutnabb-Kangas (1994) have argued that in "many nation states the uneven distribution of power and resources is partly along linguistic and ethnic lines, with majority groups taking a larger share than their number would justify" (1994. p. 4).
In Iran, a minority regards its race, culture and language as superior to all other, cultures and languages. The minoritized groups are forced to believe that their history and culture are not sources of pride and dignity that their ancestors have said they were. In multiethnic societies dominated by a single ethnic group, shrinking the number of marginalized groups is a colonizing act that takes place for very obvious reasons. The dominant group does not want to let the international community know that the alleged ‘Aryans’ in Iran constitute a numerical minority, and that the minoritized so called non-Aryan groups are indeed, numerically, in the majority. That is why in Iran they never allow for a general population census to take place. Instead they present a distorted picture of the numbers.
example of how he took over the same colonization process as that existent around
WWII, in a message to the people of Kurdistan on November 17, 1978, Ayatollah
The great Islam has condemned all sorts of discriminations and hasn't allocated special rights for any group in particular. Piety and devotion to Islam are the only markers of man's dignity. In the bosom of Islam and Islamic Republic of Iran all nationalities have the right for determination of their own cultural, economic, and political destinies, in their own localities. (cited in Kurdistan, Nov. 1999. p.7; also McDowall, 1996. p. 271)
Also in the new constitution under Khomeini, article 15 singles out 'Persian script' as the only legitimate script to be used by all Iranians. It is noteworthy that in practical terms, the current Perso-Arabic script has a very divisive function in severing the linguistic/literary connections among a number of ethnic groups in Iran (e.g. Kurds. Azeris. Turkmens, Armenians) and their co-ethnics in the neighboring countries. Millions of ethnic Azeris, Kurds. and Turkmens are living in the neighboring Republies of Azerbaijan.
Turkmenistan. and Turkey (with a sizeable number of Kurdish citizenry) who use a Roman script. The exclusive use of the Perso Arabic script in Iran serves to keep the non-Persian ethnic groups of Iran unaware of important literary developments by their co-ethnics in the neighboring countries, and vice-versa. They cannot read each other's literature; nor can they write to one another due to an alphabet barrier. This is a phenomenon to which the late Azerbaijani president, Ebulfez Elchibey, referred as 'the Alphabet Despotism' (Elchibey, 1997; also Dei and Asgharzadeh, 2003).
In legal terms, Article 115 of the current constitution of the Islamic Republic clearly states that the president of the country should be a Shia Muslim (Man). Where over twenty percent of the population are either Sunny Muslims or non-Muslims--not to mention the over 50 percent female population along with a sizeable number of seculars.
Not surprising shortly after the establishment of an Islamic government in Iran they also dismantled the 'Family Protection Act ' made veiling compulsory; reduced the minimum age for marriage from 18 to 13, and while maintaining polygamy, took away the automatic right for divorce of a wife on the grounds of her husband's remarriage. Yet "The law of the four wives is a very progressive law," asserted Ayatollah Khomeini, and was written for the good of women, since there are more women than men. More women are born than men and more men are killed in war than women. A woman needs a man, so what can we do, since there are more women than men in the world? Would you rather prefer that the excess number of women became whores, or that they married a man with other wives? (cited in Sanasarian, 1983, p.134)
Thus it would be unfair to not mention the plight of women in Iran today. This includes, that 'blood-money' to be paid for a female victim of murder is only half of that paid for a male victim, plus women's testimony in court is only half the value of men's testimony, thus women can never participate in the legal profession. Since a woman's testimony alone does not carry any legal weight, proof of any kind of abuse or crime against is almost impossible according to today’s articles 5, 6, 33, 46,91, and 92 of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Penal Code.
"The prisons of the Islamic regime," an Iranian writer has observed, are full of women who have been subjected to the most degrading and inhumane forms of torture. Rape is one of the commonest, yet horrific, forms of torture. (Hendessi, 1990, p.16)
"From the religious point of view." says one of the grand Ayatollahs. "it is not decent for a virgin girl to go to heaven, therefore, on the eve of their execution, the guards (meaning gang rape) marry them to remove their virginity" (Ayatollah Montazeri, cited in Mojahedin, 1982, p. 121).
Elsewhere Amnesty International reported cases like: The lorry deposited a large number of stones and pebbles beside the waste ground, and then two women were led to the spot wearing white and with sacks over their heads. They were enveloped in a shower of stones and transformed into two red s acks. The wounded women fell to the ground and revolutionary guards smashed their heads in with a shovel to make sure that they were dead. (Iran Briefing, 1987, p.3)
spite of the fact that the policies described in the second part of our report
have been to some degree successful by now, so are also signs of resistance
growing, something apparently American intelligence is aware of.