The online dating story

What would have The Economist have done had a Briton been involved in a similar situation?


The online dating story
by Peyvand Khorsandi

Why should anyone get to know you? It’s a question I’ve struggled with for the past few weeks. Every answer that I put on to the singles website I’ve subscribed to is more ridiculous than the next. When I write about myself, my spluttering 15-year-old self takes over.

Many users of the site appear perplexed by the question, beginning their answers with very English expressions of mild embarrassment: “Ooh, this is a bit tricky.” At the moment I’ve hidden my profile from view while I regain control of my adolescent self, who stammers in self-deprecation instead of the urbane flow of his grown-up self.

As for my picture, well, crikey, that’s a bit tricky. I tend to pick the one that everyone else has the nous to hide. When I first signed on to the site, however, both image and words did the trick, winning a reasonable rate of responses – one for every five thousand people I’d ‘favourite’ would ‘favourite’ me back.

Within four days of signing on I went on a date with a 29-year-old PR girl called Nathalie (her real name was Natasha but I’m respecting her anonymity). We drank too much, had a kiss and cuddle by the Thames but the next day she failed to respond after I sent a text message to thank her for the meal I’d taken her to, which was always going to be a dumb move.

Eventually, she did get back but instead of her using her telephone, she reverted to the site, a distancing gesture, saying we should catch up when I returned from the short trip I was about to go on.

There I was, pacing around, like a teenager, biting my nails and bumping into things, wondering will she call won’t she.

It was a ridiculous waste of energy that I decided to channel in a more productive direction.

That week Voice of America TV’s Persian service had broadcast a lengthy interview with Ahmad Batebi, 31, imprisoned by the Islamic Republic after the student demonstrations of July 1999.  His face was splashed on the cover of The Economist.

Search engines yielded no reports in English of Batebi’s release yet there he was on VOA, talking away about his experiences.

I phoned Intelligent Life, the Economist’s sister title, an upmarket glossy, pitching the idea of an interview with Batebi. They weren’t interested. So I wrote to The Economist’s foreign editor:

“In July 1999 The Economist -- reporting on the student riots in Iran that summer -- ran the picture of student Ahmad Batebi on its front cover, brandishing a bloodied T-shirt. The image became emblematic of the students' struggle and Batebi its most famous political prisoner.

“He has recently absconded bail, smuggled himself out of Iraq with the help of a Kurdish political group and is now in Washington. Would The Economist be interested in an interview with Mr Batebi, charting his experiences of torture throughout his time in Tehran's infamous Evin prison, and his escape?”

The foreign editor’s reply was succinct, infuriatingly so -- “Thanks for the happy news but I don’t think we will run the story. Best wishes.”

I wrote back. “[Dear sir] Mr Ahmad Batebi -- Iran's most famous political prisoner -- has suffered nine years of physical and psychological abuse as a direct consequence of appearing on the front cover of The Economist in July 1999.... His death sentence was lifted only due to pressure from international agencies -- with no input, it should be noted, from The Economist. [He] has in no uncertain terms been stripped of his youth and this has happened because -- and only because -- his image was featured on the front cover of The Economist.” I pointed them to Batebi’s VOA interview

“Solitary confinement, unimaginable torture in one of the world's most notorious institutions and The Economist, one of the world's most respected does not see fit to offer news of his escape to its readers, even as a brief...”

The paper then wrote back, wondering, it seems, whether I was out to sue: “Thanks for providing this extra context. Can you please explain your position?  Are you a journalist offering a freelance story or are you a representative of Mr Batebi?”

I assured them that I was an independent journalist and that I was surprised how news of his release has not even registered in the English-language press, “in contrast to the high-profile release of the dissident journalist Akbar Ganji in 2006.”

(Batebi’s apparent decision not to sue by the way, is in my opinion a mistake.)   

I wrote: “The potency of The Economist cover as an image among Iranian opposition groups is only comparable to Alberto Korda's famous shot of Che Guevara -- it is one of the few images that they are all happy to use. As such, Mr Batebi's departure is far more of a blow to the Islamic Republic than Ingrid Betancourt's release is to the Farc rebels -- only journalists appear unaware of it. In terms of newsworthiness, it's very much like Mordechai Vanunu having escaped from Israel while he was in prison.”

Then came this: “You've persuaded me that we should do a piece on Mr Batebi.” Snag: “But since there is a direct Economist angle, I feel that this should be written by one of our own journalists.  I'd be happy to pay you a small fee for bringing this story to our attention.  Do you know how we can contact Mr Batebi?”

I did know how to contact Batebi but because I was on holiday by this point, Batebi was contacted on my behalf. He promised to hold out for an interview with me but once approached by The Economist, understandably, decided to talk to them directly. They thanked me for the story and paid me a small fee, and wrote a short and unsatisfactory piece on Batebi – almost nine years to the day since they splashed with Batebi’s image.

The report seemed at least partly aimed covering the paper legally. “Mr Batebi is a photographer himself,” it says (this is preposterous given that prison has prevented Batebi from establishing himself in any career). It goes on: “[Batebi] says he understands what journalism involves. Had we not published the picture, he says, another paper might have.”    

The piece is also misinformed, asserting Batebi was “cagey about how exactly he escaped.”   

In fact, he has given lots of details on that, not only in Persian to Nooshabeh Amiri, on Roozonline, but also in English to the New York Times.  

The Economist, an industry friend of mine said, seems not to have given the subject much thought even now. If they had read this and not believed it, they could have challenged him.”

The questions remain: What would have The Economist have done had a Briton been involved in a similar situation abroad as a result of a picture or report of theirs? The UK media agreed to keep quiet on Prince Harry’s presence in Afghanistan for weeks, giving up many changes of circulation-boosting stories and pictures. Batebi was about the same age when he took part in the Tehran protests.

What Batebi and The Economist do not know, however, is had the girl called me that day, none of this would happened. And what Natasha doesn’t know, is that her not calling resulted in a sloppy piece of journalism by The Economist which earned me £100, easily covering the cost of the date. How’s that for a reason to get to know me?


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To Kouroshs: Busted are we?

by eroonman on

Oh my! No, you are entirely correct, a man (and a straight Iranian man at that!) posting on a dating site is in it purely to find a nice girl to talk to. Possibly even a video chat and some one handed typing.

Got it. God, that's so hot!

Areh Jooneh Ammat!

Nah Baba, based on my understanding of PK's reekht (looks, clothes, hair) and particular "mating situation", my advice still stands. And will probably get him laid (if he doesn't talk so fast). Your's will only get him more text message rejection.



by Yek Vatandoost (not verified) on


بهايت رقيب ولايت؟
احمد باطبي - سه شنبه 12 شهریور 1387 [2008.09.02]

از اولين ساعات ششم مرداد ماه نتايج آزمون سراسري ورود به دانشگاه ها بر روي وب سايت رسمي سازمان سنجش ‏آموزش کشور قرار گرفته بود، و همچون سال پيش اکثر متقاضيان بهائي پس از ثبت اطلاعات شخصي خود بر روي سايت ‏با عنوان عجيب "نقص پرونده" مواجه شدند. هنوز آمار دقيقي از تعداد متقاضيانٍ نقص پرونده اعلام شدهء بهائي در دست ‏نيست و با توجه به زنداني بودن مديران جامعه بهائيان ايران شايد نتوان چنين آماري را‎ ‎‏ هم بعد ها به صورت رسمي بدست ‏آورد، اما ايراد‎ ‎‏"نقص پرونده" عجيب ترين مطلبي است که مي توان به جاي ارائه کارنامه به متقاضي اعلام نمود. زيرا ‏چناچه پرونده يک متقاضي داراي نقصي جدي باشد، در حدي که از ارائه کارنامه محروم گردد، طبق مقررات سازمان ‏سنجش از حضور در جلسه کنکور محروم مي گردد و به هيچ عنوان کارت حضور در جلسه براي چنين فردي صادر نمي ‏شود. ‏

اعلام نقص پرونده در عين حال موجب مي گردد که دست متقاضي بهائي از محاکم قضائي داخلي و حتي خارجي کوتاه ‏شود، زيرا در اين شرايط اثبات اينکه نقص پرونده در مورد چه مسئله اي بوده است غير ممکن مي باشد.
نظير اين گونه اتفاقات در سال گذشته نيز براي جوانان بهائي افتاده بود اما متاسفانه علي رغم پي گيري هاي گسترده از ‏مسئولين مختلف در دولت، مجلس، قوه قضائيه و ساير نهاد هاي نظارتي متاسفانه هيچ رسيدگي صورت نگرفت. استنباط اين ‏است که همين روند امسال هم ادامه خواهد داشت و همچنان تعداد زيادي از با استعداد ترين جوانان ايران از تحصيلات ‏عاليه، که طبيعي ترين حق فرد است محروم خواهند شد. جوانان ايراني بهايي حتي با گذشتن از سد آزمون ورودي نيز ‏همچنان از گزند کينه ورزي حاکميت ايدئولوژيک ايران در امان نيستند. براي روشن تر شدن اين موضوع توجه خوانندگان ‏گرامي را به متن رنج نامه حسام ميثاقي دانشجوي محروم از تحصيل جلب ميکنم.‏

‏"اينجانب در سال تحصيلي 85 در كنكور سراسري شركت كردم و در رشته ي مترجمي زبان انگليسي در مقطع ليسانس در ‏موسسه ي آموزش عالي سنايي اصفهان پذيرفته شدم. در اوايل ترم اول، در اولين كلاس معارف اسلامي استاد مربوطه از ‏دانشجويان پرسيدند: آيا اقليت مذهبي در كلاس داريم؟ بنده، خانم رضايي و دانشجويي ارمني اعلام كرديم كه اقليت مذهبي ‏هستيم. ضمنا بنده اظهار كردم كه واحد معارف اسلامي را همراه دانشجويان ديگر خواهيم خواند. سپس استاد مربوطه از ‏بنده خواست تا نام دين خود را ذكر كنم و بنده با توجه به اينكه اعلام آن را در كلاس جايز نمي دانستم از دادن جواب مستقيم ‏پرهيز كردم ولي به اصرار ايشان بنده نام ديانت بهايي را در كلاس ذكر نمودم. بعد از پايان آن جلسه بنده و خانم رضايي به ‏اتفاق نزد استاد رفتيم و از ايشان خواستيم تا به خاطر شرايط موجود از سوال درباره ي ديانت بهايي در كلاس و فضاي ‏دانشگاه پرهيز كنند چرا كه ممكن است مشكلاتي براي ما و حتي ايشان به وجود بيايد. ايشان هم قبول فرمودند و از آن تاريخ ‏در كلاس
صحبتي در اين باره نشد.‏

پس از پايان 2 ترم و گرفتن كارنامه در تاريخ 14/4/86 به ما ابلاغ شد كه در فروردين ماه بخشنامه اي مبني بر اخراج ما ‏از دانشگاه به دست مسئولين دانشگاه رسيده است و آنها نامه اي براي مقامات بالا ارسال و اعلام نموده اند كه نمي توانند در ‏ميانه ي ترم دانشجوي خود را اخراج كنند و تقاضاي تجديد نظر نمودند اما با مخالفت شديد مواجه شدند. نهايتا تصميم گرفتند ‏تا ما را همراه نامه اي به سازمان سنجش بفرستند تا وضعيت ما مشخص شود. (شماره ي نامه ها: 4/391/86، ‏‏4/390/86، 4/390/86) پس از مراجعه به سازمان سنجش و مدتي انتظار از ما خواسته شد تا به دانشگاه خود مراجعه ‏كنيم و گفته شد كه جواب براي دانشگاه ارسال خواهد شد اما ما اظهار كرديم كه بايد همراه جواب به دانشگاه خود مراجعه ‏كنيم. سپس به حراست سازمان ارجاع داده شديم و در آنجا از ما خواسته شد كه براي دريافت جواب به سازمان سنجش واقع ‏در تهران، خيابان كريمخان زند مراجعه كنيم. همچنين شماره ي نامه اي به ما داده شد ( 270/1/م-18/4/86) و گفته شد كه ‏اين نامه براي سازمان سنجش تهران ارسال شده است. در سازمان سنجش تهران با آقاي دكتر نوربخش ديدار كرديم و ايشان ‏گفتند اقدامات زيادي براي احقاق حق بهاييان انجام داده اند و در تلاشند تا راه دانشگاه را براي ما باز كنند. همچنين از ما ‏خواستند تا به سازمان هاي مختلف مراجعه نكنيم چرا كه تاثيري ندارد. پس از مراجعه از سازمان سنجش به وزارت علوم ‏رفتيم و در آنجا خبردار شديم نامه اي كه از دانشگاه براي وزارت علوم ارسال گشته مفقود شده(!) و به گفته ي يكي از ‏كاركنان وزارت علوم نامه ي مربوطه در اختيار دكتر مسلمي قرار دارد. پس از مراجعه به دكتر مسلمي ايشان اظهار بي ‏اطلاعي كردند و گفتند همه ي نامه ها را براي سازمان سنجش مي فرستند.

همچنين بنده براي نماينده ي اصفهان در مجلس شوراي اسلامي (دكتر كامران) نامه اي نوشتم كه منشي ايشان شماره ي ثبت ‏به بنده نداد و همچنين براي بسياري از نماينده هاي مجلس و همچنين رياست جمهور نامه هايي از طريق اينترنت ارسال ‏نمودم كه هيچ جوابي دريافت نكردم. مراجعات بنده به وزارت علوم، سازمان سنجش، شوراي انقلاب فرهنگي، دفاتر ‏نمايندگان مجلس و ارگانهاي ديگر تا به امروز ادامه داشته اما هيچ گونه جواب منطقي به بنده داده نشده و همگي خود را بي ‏تقصير دانسته و اين موضوع را به ارگان هاي ديگر ارجاع داده اند. اکنون پس از گذشت دو ترم تحصيلي هنوز هيچ گونه ‏جواب يا حداقل نامه اي مبني بر اخراج دريافت نکردم. طبق قوانين وزارت علوم، هر دانشجو که 2 ترم در دانشگاه حضور ‏نيابد و تحصيل نکند انصراف او خود به خود صادر خواهد شد و اکنون بنده يک دانشجوي انصرافي محسوب مي شوم! ‏ضمنا بنده براي معافي از خدمت اقدام نمودم و در کمال ناباوري بنده را دانشجوي موسسه آموزش عالي سنايي معرفي ‏نمودند و به دليل معافيت تحصيلي، معافيت بنده از خدمت سربازي صادر نشد. (جالب اينجاست که جوانان بهايي از تحصيل ‏محرومند اما بايد خدمت سربازي را انجام دهند.) "‏
‏ ‏
هرچند طبق اصل سي ام قانون اساسي دولت حکومت اسلامي موظف است وسايل آموزش و پرورش رايگان را براي همه ‏ملت تا پايان دوره متوسطه فراهم سازد و وسايل تحصيلات عاليه را تا سر حد خودكفايي كشور به طور رايگان گسترش ‏دهد، اما پس از انقلاب اسلامي به تکرار شاهد آن بوديم که تقريبا همه دانشجويان بهايي از دانشگاه هاي ايران به خاطر ‏اعتقادشان اخراج شدند واجازه ورود به دانشگاه به آنان داده نشد. اما از چهار سال پيش هم كه ظاهرا اجازه ورود به دانشگاه ‏به بهاييان داده شده است، هر سال بسياري از دانشجويان با عناوين مختلف مانند نقص پرونده از ورود به دانشگاه محروم و ‏گروهي هم كه وارد دانشگاه مي شوند تعدادي از آنها پس از مدتي به دليل بهايي بودن اخراج مي شوند.‏
تابستان امسال جدا از برخورد هاي اين چنيني با جوانان ايراني بهايي در مجموع جامعه بهايت ايران در بسياري از شهر ها ‏با فشار هاي گوناگوني مواجه بوده اند. اين در حالي است که مهوش ثابت، فريبا کمال آباد، عفيف نعيمي، سعيد رضائي، ‏وحيد تيزفهم، جمال الدين خانجاني و بهروز توکلي، هفت رهبربهائيان ايران تا به اين لحظه در زندان اوين به سر ميبرند. ‏اين افراد در سلول هاي زندان 209 وزارت اطلاعات زنداني هستند.آنها در تاريخ 31/3/87 براي اولين بار اجازه يافتند تا ‏تماسهاي کوتاهي با خانواده هاي خود برقرار نمايند، در طي روزهاي اخير نيز اين افراد اجازه يافتند تا براي بار دوم با ‏خانواده هاي خود تماس کوتاهي داشته باشند اما آقاي بهروز توکلي تنها فردي است که تاکنون تماسي با منزل برقرار ‏ننموده است.‏
بنا بر گزارشات دريافتي، قراربازداشت اين افراد تمديد گرديده است و آنان کماکان در سلول هاي انفرادي بسر ميبرند. اين ‏در حالي است که جمال الدين خانجاني و بهروز توکلي از ناراحتي جسمي همچون ناراحتي گوارشي و پوستي در رنج ‏هستند.

در اين ميان نکته قابل توجه موضع گيري آيت الله منتظري در خصوص حقوق شهروندي ايرانيان بهايي بود. ايشان به ‏عنوان يکي از روحانيون بلندپايه خارج حکومت، صراحتا اعلام نمودند که ( با اينكه بهاييان جزء اديان رسمي محسوب نمي ‏شوند، ولي حق آب وگل دارند ولذا بايد حقوق شهروندي در مورد آنان رعايت گردد و از رافت اسلامي برخوردار باشند. ) ‏اين حقوق شهروندي قاعدتاَ تمام موارد مندرج در قانون اساسي حکومت اسلامي را شامل ميشود. مواردي نظير اصل بيستم ‏که در خصوص حقوق شهروندي اعلام ميکند: ‏
همه افراد ملت اعم از زن ومرد، يكسان در حمايت قانون قرار دارند و از همه حقوق انساني و سياسي واقتصادي واجتماعي ‏وفرهنگي با رعايت موازين اسلام برخوردارند.

اصل بيست ودوم: حيثيت و جان و حقوق و مسكن وشغل اشخاص از تعرض مصون است مگر در مواردي كه قانون تجويز ‏مي كند. ‏
اصل بيست و سوم: تفتيش عقايد ممنوع است وهيچ كس را نمي توان به صرف داشتن عقيده اي مورد تعرض و مواخذه ‏قرارداد. ‏
اصل بيست وهشتم اين قانون مي گويد: هر كس حق دارد شغلي را كه بدان مايل است و مخالف اسلام ومصالح عمومي ‏وحقوق ديگران نيست برگزيند ودولت موظف است با رعايت نياز جامعه به مشاغل گوناگون براي همه افراد امكان اشتغال ‏به كار و شرايط مساوي را براي احراز مشاغل ايجاد نمايد.‏
اصل سي ام: دولت موظف است وسايل آموزش و پرورش رايگان را براي همه ملت تا پايان دوره متوسطه فراهم سازد و ‏وسايل تحصيلات عاليه را تا سر حد خودكفايي كشور به طور رايگان گسترش دهد ‏
بلاترديد مشکل حکومت اسلامي با آيين بهايت منشاء ايدئولوژيک دارد. اما سوال اينجاست که چرا تفکر شيعه حاکم بر مردم ‏ايران باوجود اعتقاد و احترام آيين بهايي به مباني فکري و اعتقادي ديگر اديان خصوصا مسلمانان، صرفا با اين آيين مشکل ‏جدي داشته و اديان ديگر مانند مسيحيت، يهود، زرتشت و... را تا اين اندازه تحت فشار قرار نميدهند؟ از ديد نگارنده اين ‏حساسيت دو منشاء دارد:‏
منشاء اول ظهور اين آيين پس از دين اسلام به عنوان آخرين دين آسماني است که به اعتقاد آنان خداوند براي رستگاري بشر ‏به جهانيان امر کرده. منشاء دوم نزديک شدن برخي مباحث اعتقادي آيين بهاييت به مباني اعتقادي کليدي حکومت نظير ‏پديده ( امام زمان ) ومکتب مهدويت و نظريه انتظاراست که به باور حکومت جزء مباني اوليه مشروعيت آسماني ‏حکومت اسلامي محسوب گشته و در عين حال بزرگترين محل اختلاف و تفاوت اين فرقه از اسلام ( شيعه ) با ديگر شاخه ‏هاي آن به شمار مي آيد.

بهائيان بر اين باورند که قائم آل محمد در سال 1260 هجري قمري ظاهر شده و آثار کتبي بسياري از خود به جاي گذاشته ‏است. قائم آل محمد، ظهور شخصي بلافاصله بعد از خود را بشارت داده است. او بهاءالله شارع ديانت بهائي است. و ‏همچنين بهايان معتقدند که تعاليم و آموزه هاي ديانت بهائي متناسب با اين مرحله از رشد و ترقي عالم انساني است و جامعه ‏بشري را در طي چندين قرن، به مرحله بعدي از تمدن بشري به پيش خواهد برد. ‏
اين اعتقاد بهائيان از نظر فقه شيعه باطل است. و همين اعتقاد بزرگ ترين دليل فشار بر پيروان آيين بهايت محسوب و ‏باعث شده که تا به امروز بسياري از هموطنان بهايي مان با وجود ايراني بودن از حقوق اوليه انساني و شهروندي شان ‏محروم شوند. ‏
بر طبق يک طبقه بندي مرسوم و معمولِ فقهي، در جامعه اي که اکثريت آن مسلمانند (دارالاسلام )، اهل کتاب، حقِ تبليغ ‏‏ ندارند. بنا بر اين بر حسب همين رويکرد، طبيعتا در چنين جامعه اي تبليغ باور هاي بهائيان نيز ممنوع است. اما توجه به ‏اين نکته ضروري است که پديدهء فهم و درک، شخصي و وابسته به فرد است. کسي نميتواند به جاي ديگري فکر کند. ‏همچنين هر گونه اعتقادي نيز شخصي محسوب مي شود؛ اعتقاد ديني نيز فردي است نه جمعي. بنا بر اين حصول ايمان هم ‏امري است شخصي و نمي توان جامعه اي را به شيوه اي دستوري واقعا مومن و يا بر عکس واقعا بي ايمان نمود. نمي توان ‏تجديد و يا تغيير ايمان امت را با بخشنامه يا اعلاميه، به آنها دستور داد. و اين بديهي است که در رابطه با موضوع ايمان و ‏اعتقاد ديني، اراده يک فرد و يا مکتب و يا حکومت نمي تواند مبناي اراده عموم مردم باشد. ‏
ايمان و اعتقاد به هر آيين امري است معرفتي و ارادي. بنابراين اين توقع غير منطفي است که پذيرفتن آن به ديگري وا ‏گذاشته شود. بي معني است بپذيريم شخص ديگري نايب فرآيند ايماني همه گان باشد، او از جانب ديگران مطالعه کند، تفکر ‏کند، شک کند، پرسش کند، راز و نياز کند، توکل کند، تاييد بطلبد، و ايمان آورد. نمي توان براي حصول ايمان، وکيل و يا ‏وصي انتخاب کرد. شناخت و ايمان ديني، از عميق ترين لايه هاي وجودي آدمي مايه مي گيرد و ابعاد متعدد ذهني و رواني ‏او را به نحو منحصر به فردي درگير مساله مي کند. چگونه اين امر مي تواند تفويض شود؟

از سويي اين پرسش نيز مطرح ميگردد که آيا تک تک مسلمانان از جستجو، مطالعه، تعمق و تشخيصِ صحت و سقم ‏ادعاي قائميت معافند و کلام خداوند، احاديث، اصول و فقه اسلامي اين وظيفه را بر عهده مراجع تقليد و فقهاي زمان گذاشته ‏است؟ آيا هر مسلماني ( طبق آموزه هاي فقه شيعه ) نبايد اول به چشم و عقل و فهم خويش در آثار مدعي، به دنبال نشانه ها ‏و قرائن بگردد و آنگاه در صورت نياز با علماي افقه به مشورت بنشيند و کسب نظر نمايد؟ آيا تک تک مسلمانان نبايد در ‏آثاري که محل بحث ماست به دقت بنگرند، مطالعه کنند و به عقل خويش بخوانند و چنانچه محتاج بودند با ديگران و چه بسا ‏با فقهاي
اعلم صحبت کنند؟

بر مبناي کدام اصل و حُکمي، امت مسلمان بايد ايمان و يا عدم ايمان خود را منوط و وابسته به ايمان علماء و مراجع دين ‏کند؟ فرد مسلمان بر طبق مسئوليت اعتقادي – روحاني - ايماني خود بايد تفحص کند و صدق و يا کذب ادعاي قائميت را ‏شخصا بيابد. فهمِ درستي و يا نادرستي ادعاي قائميت و يا مدعيان آن امري است عمومي. سنت الهي اين بوده است که ‏فرستادگانِ حق، عموم مردم را فرد به فرد مخاطب خود سازند نه صرفا علماي زمان را ( منظور ادعاي حکومت اسلامي ‏بر انحصار ارتباط با امان زمان ). از همين رو، رد يا قبولِ ادعاي قائميت امري است عمومي و فردي نه فقط خاصِ علماء. ‏پيام الهي پيامي است همگاني نه خصوصي. ‏
رد يا قبول آئين بهائي و آموزه ها و تعاليمش همانند تمام مسايل معرفتي ديگر مستلزم مطالعه، بررسي و شناخت است. ‏حکومت اسلامي با وجود در دست داشتن تمام توان مالي و تبليغاتي کشور، و همچنين باور و پافشاري به آسماني و به حق ‏بودن بي چون و چراي اعتقادات و ايدئولوژي خود( اسلام مبتني بر نظريه ولايت فقيه ) و تزريق آن به مجاري تنفسي ‏اجتماع، از چه رو تا اين اندازه از هر گونه ارتباط نه صرفا آيين بهاييت بلکه ديگر اعتقادات با افراد جامعه هراس دارد؟ ‏مگر نه اين است که حکومت بر اين باور است که اسلام ( نسخه ولايت فقيه ) کاملترين، دست نخورده ترين، ناب ترين، ‏تفکر ديني محسوب شده و هيچ آيين ديگري توان برابري با درستي و حقانيت آن را ندارد، پس هراس از پيروان اديان ‏ديگر خصوصا بهاييت از چيست؟ مگر نه اين است که فرد مسلمان بايد بتواند پرسش هاي خود را در کمال آزادي از ‏ديگران بپرسد و و ديگران نيز بايد مجاز باشند که نگرش ها و اعتقادات ديني شان را به راحتي و بدون هر گونه قيد و بندي ‏توضيح و تشريح کنند. چنين شرطي، همان مساله آزادي بيان براي بهائيان در جوامع اسلامي است. ‏
‏ ‏

‏ ‏


Ahay. eeronman.

by kouroshs (not verified) on

On your first point, I agree with you. But On the dating part, i really think you should quit giving advice.
I really hope that what you recommend here, when it comes to dating, is what you have applied to your own personal life at some point. Not that i am trying to defend all those who go on to a dating site to find somebody ( and BTW i totally disagree that is posting for a lay), But the idea of going out these days and getting dressed by a girl! is kinda cliche'. I mean come on ,How many parties would you want to attend, or how many times you want to to a shopping mall, in hopes of meeting someone? Seems like all you have in mind is one specific thing when it comes to dating!


I'm sorry to say that you do

by Dabir (not verified) on

I'm sorry to say that you do sound like a 15 year old idealist.
I was the editor who selected the picture of Ahmad Batebi which ran on the cover of The Economist. I did feel a bit guilty while he was in jail but one day I saw him at the opening of a Tehran coffee shop. The photographer who took the picture and I approached him and apologized for the distress caused by the image on the cover of The Econoimist saying that we felt partly responsible for his arrest. His response amazed me. He said his political activities had started long before and his arrest was a done deal with or without the picture, but the picture probably saved his life because it made him known worldwide.
You really should research your info before writing it because it is you who is opening yourself up for a lawsuit with your opinions.


If it bleeds, it leads

by eroonman on

His escape was a non-story. If he had been killed in prison, the E would have published it themselves for sure. The rule of publishing tripe, is "if it bleeds, it leads" , or that the psychology of stimulating a reader to pick up a pub like this, is to have a shocking hopelessness inducing story that implies you are not safe or that there is no happy ending. And it could happen to you. The fact that he got out is happy and there's no pull to create insecurity. Nothing to induce the goal of shit journalism.

OK, I'm getting pissed off now, but you should know better than to try and expect full truth. Even in England. Especially in England. That simply does not sell well.

As far as online dating goes, nothing screams desperation more than posting for a lay. Just look at the horrid specimens of genetic waste on Iranian Singles. I don't know which are worse, the names, or the pics. Dude, you need to get a good haircut, have a friend who is a girl dress you (optionally a lesbian or gay dude), make eye contact second (not first) and then simply get out more often, no really, go outside sometime, the graphics are awesome! That and you need to learn how to close the deal by not acting like you want to close the deal.

It's kind of like poker. Or in your case, Poke Her.

Cheers mate. Oh wait, you can't.

You Can't Always Get what You want


I am surprised there are still some people who look to...

by Shadooneh (not verified) on

The Economist for journalism that is NOT sloppy, yellow and reflection of the deceitful British outlook towards the people whom they used to screw!!! These people must be lifelong members of the Earth-is-Flat club.


Welcome to the real world

by Zion on

It`s sad, but that is how the media works. A lot of hypocrisy and little conscience.


What a coincidence...

by loobiya polo (not verified) on

A few days ago there was an article on this site with the title "Things not talked about." It was about torture and related matters. Some things just don't get covered in the media, or get selectively covered. And to the extent that they are covered they are covered by selected people. Add all these layers of selection together and you get something similar to democracy in Iran!

We're home dear fellow Iranians, where ever we are.

AmirAshkan Pishroo

Batebi has gone fishing: neuroscientist versus plumber

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

Fish are primitive and ... don't feel pain the same way humans or other animals do (yes I am a neuroscientist), wrote Nima.

If one gives up the idea that some of us--being scientific workers, like yourself a neuroscientist and myself, maybe, a fish biologist-- are in closer contact with the world, or represent the world better, or have at our disposal the so called objective knowledge, than historians, literary critics, poets, and plumbers, then one will view every profession and its discourse, being physics' discourse or plumbers' talk, as on a par, as far as its relation to reality goes.

At the end of the day, no matter what we say about the world or the fish, they are only stories (descriptions and redescriptions). The fish (the world) is out there, but descriptions of the fish are not. To say that descriptions are not out there is simply to say that descriptions are human creations, and that there is no way to verify which description is true. Unless we find ourselves in the impossible position of having to take a "meta-verificationalist" step outside language: Welcome to the desert of the metaphysic.

On this level, the attack on theory means simply that it is useless to provide arguments for one's positions. For interesting debate is rarely an examination of the pros and cons of a thesis. The only thing one can do is to offer new stories (descriptions) about that little fish and hope others will find them appealing and more useful for liberal society, which is free from sexism, racism, and speciesism.

Forget science as the paradigm of "finding," because truth is an illusion, but very easy to tell the reverse sort of story in which animals are treated as part of natural law, not because they lack, as you claim, "the capacity for complex cognitive functions," but because they are sentient. Some physically challenge people have lost their cognitive abilities, but we don’t go and declare that they are up for grab like fish.

Equality between human beings is not based on anything factual, but simply is a moral idea, a moral story we tell our children, our parents, and our friends, not an assertion of fact.

Nowadays, fortunately it is our children, it is Samsam’s 10-year-old wonderful daughter who urges us not to tell a story that is self defeating.

As far as our fact-claims go, I draw your attention to UK scientists who have concluded that "fish do feel pain," BBC NEWS.

As an admirer of Batebi, I highly recommend him hiking, camping, and boating, refraining from any kind of sport that involve animal suffering.


The Economist

by Shamse Vazir (not verified) on

The Economist reflects the old British Imperial attitude. I read the most recent copy of it back to back and was amazed at their shoddy and incomplete reporting as well as their simplistic analysis. Having that in mind it does not at all surprise me to see if they totally ignore Mr. Batebi's story. I also don't think they feel any responsibility about their involvement because they have a very British centric attitude. Since he is not one of them, they don't really care. One thing we need to learn is: just because it is a well known British journal it does not mean that it is any good.


My 10 yr old has the same logic on animals & humans

by samsam1111 on


and she makes great sense. more than some adults. She says that

"This planet is for all of us We must share it with other creatures. It,s not the human rights but The living rights for all "



by Nima (not verified) on

Fish are primitive and don't have the capacity for complex cognitive functions, they don't feel pain the same way humans or other animals do (yes I am a neuroscientist); furthermore, animals eating other animals is part of life, we and other animals have evolved to do that. I have never been successfull at catching fish myself, but I am rooting for Batebi! you catch them fish, you deserve it.

AmirAshkan Pishroo

Human rights activist or not, we are all fascists toward animals

by AmirAshkan Pishroo on

“I want to fish!” Mr. Batebi said, his face relaxing into a smile. “I’m going to go fishing!” -The New York Times

As one of my heroes, as a human rights activist, Batebi should be informed that there are the RIGHTS of a BEAST, as well as the RIGHTS of a MAN.

Why should you give yourself the rights to inflict pain and suffering on other non-human animals, torment and destroy them, without the least remorse, or rather with a pleasing sensibility.

Fish feel about the same degree of pain as humans. They too are sentient organisms.

The cruelty, and injustice, with which this class of beings has been treated at the hands of their earthling human beings is too notorious to sum up in a few words.

According to Mark Twain, "Of all the creatures ever made [man] is the most detestable... He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain."

Thanks Peyvand Khorsandi for the great article.

Go vegan!



by Nima (not verified) on

Great piece, although the part about the girl could have been left out, its just not interesting and does not fit with the rest of the content.

I also agree that Batebi should sue the Economist for mis-representing him in that picture. Some of you Iranian lawyers should help him...


Peyvand you are very ethical and handsome! Natasha's loss!

by gol-dust on

You know Economist is in the hand of CIA, and it is being used to enhance their national interests! No newspaper in the US is no longer a free and unbias entity. They are the tools of government and the corporations! I hope you are not that naive beliving that they are real journailists like you!

peyvand jon, any girl who is lucky enough to go out with you is indeed very lucky! having your inteligence, charm, looks, and sense of humor! What else can they wish for? Me? Great writing!


Now Batebi,s torturous time in Evin,s is

by samsam1111 on

Economist fault!!!..The real cultprits are having their Iftar & chai sheerin in Evin,s Gaurd house saying "Yah way to go..those bastard journalist..Go get em boy..hahaha" ...Only a leftist mind will cook up such tall tale ship ..! Now tell us!!  which bothered You the most ..Batebi,s arrest or IRI being exposed by Economist..I haven,t seen Batebi in any interview blaming Economist so why are You speaking on his behalf?..Why are You "kaseh daghtar az ash"...


Nicely done

by IRANdokht on

At first I was wondering why you brought up the site and Natasha, thanks for clarifying that at the end. 

I also think your action contacting the economist and the persistance that you showed was a sign of how responsible of a journalist you are. It's true that featuring that picture cost Batebi years of his life and much physical and psychological pain. He nearly lost his life...

It's good to know that there are people out there who take ethics and justice so seriously and act on moral values that are unfortunately disappearing. I wish they had given you the opportunity to write about it, you're obviously a very good writer and well informed about the subject, but now that they didn't, the 100 pounds nooshe joonet!



I beg to disagree..

by choghok on

First of all not many foreign media knew of his release. I found it on an Iranian site and even until not today have I seen anything on BBC or CNN on the matter of Ahmad Batebis escape.

Secondly, Irans Second Revolution on the cover sells newspaper, Ahmad Batebi escaped from Iran does not sell newspaper. I really wish Economist would have run the escape news on its coveras well.

Thirdly Suing is pretty much an American invention not applied as often in Europe. And there is no way in hell a newspaper could be sued for what it has on its cover in a democracy, that is freedom of speech and is protected by all true democracies.

Now all my regards to Ahmad Batebi and my best wishes for him and all beleivers in democracy in and outside of Iran.

/Bidar bash ke ma bekhabim