Let all tongues speak

Freedom of Expression: Commentary on a poem


Let all tongues speak
by Majid Naficy

This speech was presented in a conference sponsored by "The Norwegian Pen Center" and "The Iranian Writers' Association in Exile" in Oslo, Norway, April 1999. PERSIAN TEXT

On November 22, 1998 after hearing of the murder of two Iranian dissidents Dariush and Parvaneh Foroohar, who were stabbed to death by the secret police at their home in Tehran, I wrote this poem:

O dagger
I wish you had rebelled
Against that hand!

You ripped their chests
And cut their tongues
So that a single voice would remain.
You forgot that one who only listens
To one's own voice
Is a madman, oh no!
But a desperate tyrant

Let all tongues speak
Let all pens seek
So that Dialogue would replace sermon
And beauty prevail.

O dagger
You look more beautiful
In your sheath

Why does the poet address the dagger? Why not the murderer? And more importantly, why not the murdered? If the poet speaks with the murderer, then he will open the door of anger, and by adding a sentence like "O Executioner, shame on you!" he can urge the reader to challenge a regime in which for the political opposition there is nothing but prison, torture and execution. However, if the poet speaks with the murdered, he will demonstrate his sorrow for the loss of dear ones, and perhaps by adding a sentence like "O Martyred, your path will not be abandoned" he will depict the ethical supremacy of the martyred and will urge the reader to defend their barricades.

Yet the poet does neither take the road of epic nor the path of elegy. Instead, he addresses the dagger which although it is a tool for murder yet by itself is harmless and as long as it is not taken by a person, it cannot take one's life.

If the poet wants to take the path of anger and revenge, he will naturally address the murderer, that is, the user of the dagger and not the lifeless instrument. But he does not want the dagger to become the vehicle of his anger and hit the murderer's heart. On the contrary, he wishes that at the time of the crime the dagger had rebelled against the murderer and disobeyed his command. In other words, the poet does not want to retaliate and respond to the anger of the killers with anger and murder with murder. No! He imagines the creation of a society in which people are not killed because of their beliefs, and instead, the logic of words is used against words. Personal revenge does not solve the social problems: This is the poet's message when he calls the dagger to rebel against the murderer.

The next two lines allude to the words of the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Guards who sometime before the recent murder of dissenting intellectuals in Iran, the Foroohars, Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad-Jafar Pooyandeh and... said "We will shut the mouths and cut the tongues" pointing to their plan for the impending killings. The goal of this bloody crackdown is to secure the survival of a monophonic system in our homeland; a theocratic regime which considers its subjects a flock of sheep in need of a shepherd called "vali-e faqih" or "clerical guardian". In this system there is no room for debate or tolerance and all citizens are obliged to listen to one voice, which allegedly belongs to God but comes out the mouth of the Guardian. Silencing the voice of the others and maintaining a monophonic system appear to be similar to the habit of the mad but in fact is different. The mad talk to themselves because of loneliness and social pressure, and their monologue is caused by their lack of listeners. Whereas the Clerical Guardian secretly murders his political opposition because he has been unable to solve the political crisis of his regime and through these desperate acts attempts to restore his lost prestige.

If the poet addresses the murdered, he will travel the path of elegy and as a result the poem would be filled with sorrow. The poet does not choose this path, but if he does will he be successful? Speaking with the martyred and about them requires familiarity with the victims. It is hard to write a moving poem about the loss of a person if some ties have not already connected the poet with the deceased. In any case, did the poet know the Foroohars?

I once saw Dariush Foroohar close up when he was the Minister of Labor in 1979. Unemployed workers and the leftist intellectuals had gathered at University of Industry in Tehran in order to force the Provisional Revolutionary Government to implement an unemployment benefit plan. At that time I saw him as an enemy and thought that his participation in Bazargan Cabinet and Khomeini regime meant blocking the revolutionary passion of the people. I knew that he was the founder of "Party of the Iranian Nation" and during the Shah's time in the '60s he was incarcerated because of his opposition to the independence of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. In fact, I heard his name for the first time from my late friend, Hossein Okhovat-Moqaddam who after a riot against the increase in the municipal bus fare in Tehran had been sent to Qezel Qaleh prison along with other high school students. He said that we ran around the backyard of the prison, shouting: "Cry out! Cry out!" and there was a prisoner there with a big moustache called Foroohar who admired our slogan. In recent years I heard the voice of Dariush and his wife, Parvaneh a few times interviewed on telephone by 24-hour-Persian Radio at Los Angeles, and was surprised by their bold and direct words. However, it was only after their murders that I became to some extent closer to them because I spent a night with their son, Arash by chance. Through his words and also their family album, I could see Dariush and Parvaneh not as members of a political group but rather as two human individuals. I saw the pretty picture of their wedding in which they were standing proudly side by side, as well as a photo of wounded Dariush when at the gathering of "National Front" in Karvansaray Sangi, near Karaj at the threshold of the 1979 Revolution, they were beaten by the pro Shah vigilante mob and he was bleeding from his head.

When I heard that the Foroohars were murdered for a while I could not speak with them or write about them. My mind had blocked my feelings for them. Like a censor it crossed out their names asking me: How do you want to speak about a man who had previously been a "Pan Iranist" and then a minister in the Provisional Government of Khomeini? My mind still remained in the year 1979: I was a devoted Marxist, self righteous and intolerant of other's beliefs and he was a Liberal Nationalist dreaming of "the great Iran". Was I not the victim of a censor inside who wanted me to suppress my natural empathy toward the victims of a brutal regime? If a leftist and a nationalist both advocate Human Rights then why can they not stand side by side against the theocracy and in spite of their ideological differences tolerate one another? Perhaps moved by the murder of the Foroohars I was finally able to open a door to myself and in the form of poetry rebel against my internal censor. The second stanza of the poem is still addressing the dagger but at the same time it challenges that self righteous ex Marxist housed previously within the Poet:

Let all tongues speak
Let all pens seek
So that dialogue would replace sermon
And beauty prevail.

In a didactic device as "lecture" and its religious counterpart "sermon" only one voice is heard and there is no room for exchange of ideas. As a result, in this form of communication not only the audience do not fully use their mental capacity but the speaker also suffers from lack of criticism and cannot revise and improve his/her opinion. Stuck in this situation, people have no room to observe, contemplate and debate in search of relative truth.

Looked upon from any point of view, freedom of expression is the basis of Human Rights and democratic governments. Some Marxists see it as a safety valve which prevents uprisings to build up. Some liberals believe that freedom of expression functions as a market in which ideas compete with one another and whoever becomes popular and receives the majority vote will be closer to the truth. On the contrary, I think that receiving a majority vote does not guaranty the correctness of an idea and many times the view of the minority would be closer to the truth. However, in order to reach the relative truth there is no alternative except debate and tolerance toward the opposite views. No group of elite, civilian or religious, can exclude the other people from the process of discovering the truth.

In our society in order to establish a system where freedom of expression is respected it is necessary that a culture of tolerance gradually develops and civility strengthens in social relations. To do so, contrary to the views of John Stuart Mill(1806-73) in his classical book, On Liberty regarding Akbar (1542-1605), the Mogul Emperor of India, I believe that we Iranians do not need any benevolent dictator. Our society has the potential to move toward a democratic system. For this purpose the role of Iranian intellectuals in exile is special because many of them live in Western political democracies. Daggers must be sheathed and pens should be taken out. Will our desperate tyrants who have no word except dagger, be able to hear this message? Our society will not wait for them.

March 8, 1999



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Re: Amal va veghaahat

by jamshid on

veghaahat ham hadi daareh. Foroohar SERVED khomeini BEFORE and AFTER the revolution. He was an idiot and a traitor to the people of Iran.


He was a traitor to me and many I know. Because of the likes of Sanjabi and Foroohar, we were deceived and bought into accepting Khomeini.


Had they joined Bakhtiar in one solid unit and totally against khomeini, as Bakhtiar did, today Iran would be without mullahs and without a shah.


I was in the streets in those days in 1978. The majority of the people were neither leftist nor Islamist, and had a lot of respect for what members of jebheye melli would say. Unfortunately jebheye melli took side with khoemine and not with bakhtiar.


In a liberated Iran, Foroohar and Sanjabi should have both been tried, nurenburg style, for betraying their people.


Foruhar said in 1978 about

by amal (not verified) on

Foruhar said in 1978 about Khomeini "this dark cloud is coming and we have to stay and do our best." He saved many generals from execution and helped them escape. Then after a few months he resigned as Labor Minister and opposed the regime openly. He soon had to hide and when his friends were threatened he went home to be arrested and severly tortured and jailed. He was the leader of the opposition with his wife because they were so brave and talked like no one dared. They were cut into pieces in a ritual.

Shah knew he had only a short time to live but did not want to stay as advised by Dr Saddighi and a few generals. He imprisoned his top men and generals and gave the key to Fardoost who was running the country for his foreign bosses under him and setup the new mullacracy for them too. Those men were executed although Foruhar helped some escape. Shah took his two dogs and billions and others with big mouths who never did anything except be part of neo-colonial system ran too, to talk big from abroad.


why not to write about British attorcities in Iran?

by Iran Ghotbee (not verified) on

It is time to start writing about the truth. This was sent to me and you might want to read it unless you and family are well groomed by London:

تشکیل لژ اسدآبادی ملایان
توسط شریف امامی

پس از انتشار اسناد مهم و شگفت انگیز شبکه فراماسونری در ایران توسط اسمائیل رائین، آن هم در زمانیکه حاکمیت ماسونها در ایران برقرار بود این گمان بوجود آمد که به زودی شاه از طریق اقدام کودتا مانندی به حکومت دویست ساله این باند فاسد و خیانت پیشه خاتمه خواهد داد ولی دیری نپایید که واکنش های تند و خشم آلود رهبران این شبکه نظیر شریف امامی که از حمایت و پشتیبانی دولت و طراحان انگلیسی برخوردار بود، زمینه سرنگونی شاه را فراهم نمودند که سبب شادی و شادمانی هر چه بیشتر این شبکه فاسد گردید.
تعداد زیادی از رهبران و رؤسای لژها و اعضای سازمان فراماسونری ماهها و هفته ها پیش از سقوط رژیم پهلوی و حتی پس از انقلاب با حمایت انقلابیون با خارج نمودن سرمایه های نامشروع خویش ایران را ترک نمودند و تعداد معدودی هم زیر چتر حمایت حکام شرع قرار گرفتند و با آنها همکاری نمودند.
پس از انقلاب، شریف امامی در انتقال بسیاری از سرمایه ها و ثروت های بنیاد پهلوی که بعدها نام بنیاد مستضعفین را به خود گرفت، نقش اصلی را عهده دار بود. در ابتدا او توانست شبکه عظیم فراماسونری ایران را زیر چتر انقلابیون خارج کرده و در لوس آنجلس بازسازی نماید و سپس رابطه های جدید شبکه خارجی فراماسونری را با حکومت اسلامی فراهم می سازد. آشنایی دیرینه او با ملایان در ایران زمینه ایجاد لژ فراماسونری اسدآبادی را در حکومت اسلامی امکانپذیر می سازد که در سال 1361 تشکیل لژ اسدآبادی که محل اجتماع اعضای آن در میدان ونک تهران می باشد صورت گرفت. ریاست آن را به آیت الله مهدوی کنی طبق تشریفات فراماسونری می سپارد. چنین اقدامی و تشکیل چنین مجمعی با آگاهی ارتباطات بسیار نزدیک و دیرینه آیت الله مهدوی کنی (که همسر او نیز انگلیسی می باشد) با دولت انگلیس بوده است. نام لژ اسدآبادی از جمال الدین اسدآبادی یکی از مزدوران فراماسون انگلیس گرفته شده است که در نشر استعمار مذهبی، خدمات فراوانی کرده است و لژ فراماسونری اخوان المسلمین توسط شاگردان او با حمایت انگلیس در مصر بوجود آمد.
همانطور که می دانیم در زمان سلطنت پهلوی در لژهای همایون، مولوی و لژ بزرگ ملی ایران که محمد رضا شاه ریاست آن را به عهده داشت و همچنین در لژ اسدآبادی حکومت اسلامی تابلوی بزرگی از سید جمال الدین با پیشبند فراماسونری و در لباس استادی در محافل خود نصب می کردند و می کنند.)
سید جمال در مصر با لژهای دیگر فراماسونری نیز در تماس بوده و در محافل آنها نیز به عنوان مهمان (ویزیتور) شرکت می کرده است، از جمله:
۱- گراند لژ محلی مصر Grand lodge of Egypte
۲- لژ مازینی Mazzini که به زبان ایتالیائی کار می کرده
۳- لژ نیل Nile Lodge
۴- لژ یونانی قاهره که به زبان های یونانی و فرانسه کار می کرده است.
سید جمال الدین پس از چهار سال فعالیت در لژ ماسونی وابسته به انگلیس و رسیدن به مقام « استاد اعظم » در سال ۱۸۷۹ به گفته ای به دلیل اعلام نمودن لائیسیته و مذهبی نبودن، از لژ کوکب شرق اخراج شد چرا که لژهایی که مستقیماً به انگلیس وابسته می باشند نهایتاً می بایست مذهبی باشند در صورتیکه ما می دانیم که سید جمال و دستیار او شیخ محمد عبده و جورجی زیدان از بنیانگذاران فکری اخوان المسلمین می باشند یعنی در مسیر پروژة استعمار مذهبی انگلیس فعال بوده اند، بنابراین او چگونه می تواند ناگهان اعلام لائیسیته کند؟ و این نیز سناریویی بود که در آن زمان توسط انگلیس برنامه ریزی شد.

معماران و استادان سازمان منحوس و مصیبت باری که نام فراماسونری بر آن نهاده اند، بعد از انقلاب شوم 1357 زمانیکه دو سه میلیون ایرانی باسواد و میهن دوست از مملکت خویش مهاجرت نمودند برای اینکه مبادا این نیروی عظیم انسانی با امکانات فکری و مالی خویش علیه حکومت اسلامی برخیزند، سه گروه از عمال مورد اعتماد خود را که سالها پیش به عضویت شبکه فراماسونری در آمده بودند مانند دکتر شاپور بختیار، فرح دیبا، مسعود رجوی و ... را مأمور نمودند تا با همکاری با سازمانهای جاسوسی سیا، انتلیجنس سرویس و موساد و همچنین دریافت کمکهای مالی اپوزیسیون خارج از کشور را به دست آورند و با استخدام گروه بیشماری از باند روشنفکران و مزدوران خودفروش، نیروی سه چهار میلیونی میهن دوستان را خنثی نمایند.

به گزارش ساواک مورخ 26/9/1356 :
« در حال حاضر اعضای شورای عالی، درجه سی و سوم 16 نفر می باشند که قریباً آقای شریف امامی استاد اعظم لژ بزرگ ایران به عضویت شورای عالی پذیرفته خواهد شد ... »

سند شماره 14: سوگندنامه نامبرده
« من جعفر شریف امامی اسوار و سرباز حقیقت این شمشیر را چون رمز تکلیف و نشانه فداکاری در راه دفاع از دیگران (یعنی سایر اعضاء) و کتاب آسمانی را چون چراغ راه خود می پذیرم (کدام کتاب آسمانی؟ انجیل؟! تورات؟! یا قرآن؟!) و به ایمانم و شرافتم و دینم (کدام ایمان؟ کدام شرافت؟ کدام دین؟) سوگند یاد می کنم و پیمان می بندم که با وفاداری همه تکلیف های یک بزرگ بازرس کل و با اختیار درجه سی و سوم (بزرگترین درجه فراماسونری در ایران) انجام دهم ... »
هم اکنون لژ اسدآبادی متشکل از بیش از سی لژ وابسته که انجمن حجتیه، مؤتلفه اسلامی، جامعه واعظ در آن جای دارند، با قدرتی بیشتر بر دستگاه رهبری عمل می کند. همه آخوندهای بانفوذ و مؤثر در حکومت اسلامی مانند رفسنجانی و ... در شبکه های فراماسونری اسدآبادی عضویت دارند و همچنین از بازاریان بانفوذ همچون عسگراولادی و ... در مسیر هماهنگ با سیاست های استعماری انگلستان به پیش می روند. این شبکه های فراماسونری اسدآبادی با همکاری فراماسون های مزدور رژیم سابق در لوس آنجلس ارتباط مستقیم دارند و در ترفندهای ضد ملی و میهنی برای استمرار حکومت اسلامی اشتراک مساعی می نمایند.
روزنامه مكزيكو هرالد فاش كرد كه در كنگره بين المللي فراماسونها كه بطور محرمانه در اكتبرسال ۱۹۸۲ در مكزيك برگزار شد، دونفر نماينده از طرف خمينی ، بنامهای سيد محمد شيرازی و سيد محمود دعايی، شركت داشته اند (مكزيكو هرالد، چاپ مكزيكو سيتی.مكزيك-اكتبر۱۹۸۲)
ارتباط خمينی و دارو دسته اش با فراماسونری بين المللی، پيشتر ها آشكار گرديد. محمد بهشتی، عبدالكريم موسوی اردبيلی، ربانی املشی، سيد عبدالله شيرازی و عده ای ديگر عضو لژ اسلام فراماسونری بوده و هستند كه پس از آنكه خمينی جنايتكار از سيد جمال الدين اسد آبادی، اين سرسپرده انگليس، صهيونيسم و فراماسونری جهانی بعنوان نخستين رهبر انقلاب اسلامي خاورميانه نام برد، لژ اسلام به لژ سيد جمال الدين اسدآبادی تغيير نام يافت و مهدوی كنی رييس مادام العمر اين لژ است كه همواره يك پايش در تهران و پای ديگرش درلندن است. سيد محمد خاتمی. هنگامي كه دوشادوش بهشتی معدوم در آلمان و در شهر هامبورگ كار مي كرد، ديگر مدتها بود كه عضو فراماسونری بود. خود بهشتی در زمان اصل چهار ترومن در دفاتر اصل چهار كار می كرد و از آن هنگام به عضويت فراماسونری در آمد.
در اينكه بيشتر رهبران و دست اندركاران رژيم جمهوری اسلامی يهودی -ماسون هستند بر هيچكس پوشيده نيست. شيخ خزعلي، عطاالله مهاجرانی، برادران لاريجانی، ناصر مكارم شيرازي (كه زني انگليسی- يهودی نيز دارد)، نوربخش، هاشمی عراقی شاهرودی (از يهوديان عراق)، كمال خرازی (وی هنگامی كه در سياتل آمريكا درس می- خواند به همه هم دوره ای های خود گفته بود كه يهودی است) حبيب الله عسكر اولادی تازه مسلمان (از آنجا وی تازه مسلمان است كه پس از مهاجرت خانواده اش از عراق به ايران، از دين يهوديت به اسلام گرويدند. گرويدن به اسلام مليت يهودی عسكر اولادی را تغيير نمی دهد. از آنجا كه امام يازدهم شيعيان فرزندی نداشت و بدين خاطر افسانه مهدی موعود پيش آمد، خانواده عسكر اولادی نيز خود را اولاد عسكر خواندند و بدينگونه به ريش مسلمانان اينگونه خنديده اند.) از جمله يهودی-ماسون های حاكم بر ايران می باشند.
از باند-خانواده هاشمی رفسنجانی سخن نمی گويم كه اين مسئله مانند روز برای هر ايرانی روشن است. باند-خانواده رفسنجانی مانند باند خانواده خواجه رشيداالدين فضل الله همدانی وزير يهودی اشغالگران مغول. تمامی اهرم های اقتصادی-سياسی را در دست دارند. باند يهودی- ماسون رفسنجانی بی اعتنا به خامنه ای تمامی كارهای خود را انجام می دهند. اين باند با در دست داشتن راديو و تلويزيونهای درون و برون مرزی (تلويزيون تپش و ديگر راديو و تلويزيونهايی كه مزدور عليرضا نوری زاده با آنها كار می- كند) چندين سايت اينترنتی از جمله سايت رادیو فردا، رادیو اسراییل، رادیو بی بی سی ،روزي دات كام و گويا و... تلاش می كنند ايرانيان برون مرز را نيز همانند ايرانيان درون مرز كنترل كنند. بايد افزود كه پس از خواجه رشيدالدين فضل الله همدانی، سعدوالدوله يهودی وزير مغولها شد كه مردم پس از پيروزی بر مغولان، سعد الدوله را تكه تكه كرده و جلوی سگ انداختند. در ايران هم روزی می- رسد كه مردم ما ماسونهای فرمانروا بر سرزمين ما را تكه تكه كرده و جلوی سگ بیاندازند. آن روز پشت دروازه است.

کامران بهروزی - سازمان دانشجویان مبارز


Re: Sadighi and Forooghi

by jamshid on

Dr. Sadighi did not accept Shahs' offer to become prime minister since the Shah was not willing to give him a guarantee that he would not leave the country. Foroohar had little to do with it.


I respect Dr. Sadighi and Bakhtiar who both read and figured Khomeini's evil plans.


On the other side of Jebheye Melli we had Sanjabi and Foroohar who betrayed Iran by taking side with Khomeini. I still remember Sanjabi's speech on the "greatness" of "Emam" Khomeini's character and leadership. Why else did so many Iranians, including myself, were deceived?


Today they are both dead and will forever be known as the "Salman's" of the reovlution and as intellectual traitors who failed at the responsiblities they had to the people of Iran.


Mosadegh would turn in his grave if he knew these first class traitors were using HIS name to justify their bankrupt leadership.


At least Foroohar stood like a man and died fighting against his new masters. Sanjabi on the other hand... he is a different story.


The Joy Of "IRAN"

by Shae'r (not verified) on

My Land, My Life, My Being ..
My Vein, My Spirit, Lingering ..
Love, Passion, Worship ..
The Perfection of Senses, My Iran ..
Calamity, Earthquakes, Pestilence ..
Famine, Sorrow, Crying ..
My Brethren,
Our Land,
Our Nation ..
The Juice Of Our Ether, The Pride of Our Joy ..
Though We May Be Far "Apart" ..
Yet Our "Spirits" Are As Close As Oneness ..
Eternity "Beckons" ..
My Heart "Throbs" ..
Angels "Summon" ..
Yet My "spirit" Will Not "Surrender" ..
O' Iran O' Iran ..
Many A Great "Men" Have Come Thru Your "Bosom" ..
Yet As A "Pregnant" Woman Ready For Birth ..
Many "More" Are Yet To "Come" ..
The Blessing of God Be Upon "Thee" ..
The "Joy" Of "Salvation" Yours To "Have" ..
May "Greatness" Follow Thee, Pride and Joy ..
Iran, Iran .. My Love, Iran


Pharaoh's Journey Trajectory Path

by Danesh (not verified) on

AM: Distinction with Honor
In autumn
Each leaf
Separates itself
From the mother tree
And comes down
Not like any other leaf
In its own unique trajectory
Flip flopping
Like a unique figner print of a
New born child
To announce to the world that:
"I am now a leaf never seen before on earth"
A.H. Danesh
Copyright ©2007 AH Danesh


Revolution eats its own children, even small ones........

by Unknown (not verified) on

As a former Marxist, an essayist and possibly to a certian degree a historian, you ought to know that the Revolution eats its own children.

As gruesome and horrific their murders were; in the larger context of history, they made a choice, praising and helping khomieni's takeover of Iran.....

Intellectuals such as these paved the way for the dark days that engulfed our nation.

Mr. Forouhar went out of his way to persuade Dr. Sadighi not accept the Shah's offer to become the next prime-minister. Instead he went along with clerics to esatblish IRI. Was it naivete or pure ignorance?

Again, their horrific murders, which nobody deserves, does not sanitize them.........

If they argue that the 1979 Revolution was stolen by the clerics, yet it is another evasion not to take responsibilty that they, too, were part of this caravan.