What Do Google and Saddam Have in Common?

Google has turned itself into an enabler of those who would use name disputes to fuel conflict


What Do Google and Saddam Have in Common?
by Trita Parsi

Google has a funny way of doing business -- one that involves muddying politics in the Middle East.

In recent months, the organization has taken the unprecedented step to rename internationally recognized bodies of water. Google Earth has begun using the controversial term "Arabian Gulf" to the body of water traditionally and internationally identified as the "Persian Gulf."

Now many may think: What's in a name? Why would this even be an issue?

In the Middle East, nothing is just a name. And with more than 180,000 US troops in this unstable region, being oblivious to the politics of geographical renaming is dangerous.

Historically, the accuracy of the term Persian Gulf is undisputed. Several legal documents from the United Nations as well as the United States Board of Geographic Names confirm the legitimacy of the term, as do millennia of classical history. For example, the ancient Greeks called the Persian Gulf, "Sinus Persicus," the Romans called it "Mare Persicum," and the Arabs called it, "Bahr al-Farsia."

The political campaign to change the name Persian Gulf to the "Arabian Gulf" began approximately 50 years ago, as part of a pan-Arab strategy aimed at diminishing the status of non-Arab influences in the Middle East, including that of Iran and Israel.

It is a term whose very purpose has been to create divisions in an already divided region. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser used it to rally the Arab masses against Israel and Iran. A decade later, Saddam Hussein used it to mobilize the Arabs in the war against Iran. Today, the term is frequently used by radicals and militants in the Middle East -- again, with the aim to create divisions and fuel conflict.

Google now has the dubious distinction of joining Nasser and Saddam Hussein in this political campaign.

In February 2008, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) sent a letter to Google's CEO, Dr. Eric E. Schmidt, to explain the political background of the term and request that Google refrain from entering into the politics of geographical renaming and let the Persian Gulf remain the Persian Gulf.

More than three months later, Google has yet to formally respond to NIAC's letter. In fact, the closest response NIAC has received is an ambiguous April 8 blog post on Google's Public Policy Blog: "As the publishers of a geographic reference tool, we believe that Google should not choose sides in international geopolitical disputes. For this reason, we've chosen to implement a uniform policy of "Primary Local Usage."

But what exactly is "Primary Local Usage"? And what is Google' threshold of measurement?

Google defines its current policy of primary local usage as a combination of three separate markers (primacy, commonality, and locality) that they believe help Google avoid choosing "sides in international geopolitical disputes."

According to a post on their public policy blog, the primacy marker means that out of each possible name only the most common name(s) for each body of water will be used. As for the commonality or the frequency of its use, a name must be widespread and not subject to arbitrary government renaming. Their final qualifier is the input of the neighboring nations that have a "stake" in the body of water; meaning that the deciding factor will be that neighboring nations all have input in potential names.

Although Google claims that this method allows for an "optimal combination of neutrality, objectivity, and legitimacy," this unusual and uncharacteristically amorphous standard counteracts any "sensitivity" Google had hoped to convey.

In fact, it makes Google the very political tool it claims it seeks to avoid becoming.

In defense of its methods, Google has said that its safeguards will prevent a ruler from naming "the Pacific Ocean after her mother," by requiring any potential name be commonly accepted by the general populace. Contrary to Google's purported intentions, however, this policy actually opens the door for politically motivated geographical renaming.

By bypassing traditional academic sources, Google has turned itself into an enabler of those who would use name disputes to fuel conflict.

Had Google Earth existed in 1980 when Saddam Hussein first attempted to use the label "Arabian Gulf" as a way to rally support for invading Iran, it would have embraced the Iraqi dictator's policy. By Google's standards, Hussein's arbitrary renaming would be (and is) a justifiable manipulation of geographical naming for political and divisive goals.

In fall 2004, the National Geographic Society (NGS) made a similar misstep by using the term Arabian Gulf for the Persian Gulf; but after a campaign led by the National Iranian American Council, the NGS recognized the folly of getting involved in the politics of geographical renaming and corrected their mistake in their 8th Edition maps.

Google could learn a thing or two from the NGS's sensibility.�


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Mammad, I am not confusing

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Mammad, I am not confusing the two. I do understand that Marxism is a more extreme form of leftism. Like I said, many beliefs are common between left wing and right win ideologies, specially in Western democracies. Most (not all) conservatives in the U.S believe in freedom of speech and free elections, just like most (not all) liberals do. Furthermore, Khomeini said he was a freedom fighter so did Hitler, so it doesn’t matter what Ganji said. Also, how do you define an “Iranian 1979 revolutionary”? everyone knows the revolution prevailed because of the alliance of Islamic and leftist forces. Obviously monarchist forces didn’t participate, and liberals (like me) wanted a revolution, but not like that one! So where does Ganji stand? Have you thought about that?
Shariati is confused and misguided, at best! And you’re right, Marxists do not believe in religion, but Islamic Marxists do. I already gave the definition of Islamic Marxism in my original posting, so please scroll down and refer to that as I’m not gonna repeat it.
Well we all share those beliefs you mentioned. Those are not just leftist beliefs, althogu you’re free to think they are, they are liberal beliefs. I gotta say though, phrases such as imperialism were invented by extreme leftist forces. That word had been abused and misused a lot in third world countries, and even among some intellectuals in the west. Also, no one denies colonialism, but colonialism is over! One day we have to realize that. Fifty years after India was a “colony” of the UK, it has become a bigger economy than the UK! If that is not a sign that colonialism is over, I don’t know what is. Also Australia, and U.S itself, and China, and others,,,they were all “colonies” not too long ago. Look at where they at now! And we Iranians are still stuck in the 50 years ago coup de ta of Shah against Mosaddegh! See the difference ? Let me tell you what I’m for, less government, freedom of speech, democratic political system, world peace, strong U.N, justice in International relations, NO control of government over wealth, affordable health care and education, gay rights, pro choice, pro gun, separation of religion and state, and being extremely tough on global threats such as communism in the past and Islamic fundamentalism in the present…so you can go ahead and call me whatever you feel like!
You are absolutely wrong my friend! Even leftist thinkers admit that Iranian left has never been isolated and marginalized and weakened like now. The reasons are very obvious: horrible experience with the left in Iran before and during the revolution, fall of perceived global model of leftism, the USSR, and the triumph of capitalist global model represented in the U.S, and the fact that Iranians are smart and understand that the world (look at China for god sake!) is moving away from leftist models of society during the process of globalization, and Iranians desperately wanna be part of this trend. Offcourse you have your lunatics like Chavez and Morales, but look at China, East Europe, Vietnam,,,,all of them are adopting capitalist principals, at least economically. So Iranians know better than anyone else whats in their best interest.


Another Bribe

by Dariush (not verified) on

This new name change is a bribe by west to Arabs to neutralize Ahmadinejad's efforts in unifying the region since Bush failed in his attempt to create closer ties with Arabs recently. West knows most people have a price whether it is money, Nobel prize, position, power or a name change. To concur the region, they must first divide.
The sad part is they use our own to do the job for them. There are traitors among us who will allow this to happen as they did in the past.
What should we do about these traitors?
Is the education the key?
Should we wait till their generation die and go to hell?
Should we educate the Arabs not to be fooled by the bribe, that there is no well wishes from west toward any of our countries? As threatening the Arabs will only serve the west.
Can Iran create substantially negative competitions for Google to a point that Google can no longer afford to stay in business? Or
Should Iran just cut the oil and get this over with?


Farhad Kashani

by Mammad (not verified) on

I do not intend to drag this on, but I respond to your last comment.

You are confusing a leftist with a Marxist, or you believe that any leftist is necessarily a Marxist. The two are not identical. I have been a leftist all my life (it runs in my family), but never ever a Marxist.

Gangi never said that he was an Islamic Marxist. If you think he did, give me the reference. He said that he was a revolutionary. So, you are also confusing a revolutionary with a Marxist, or believe that all revolutionaries are Marxist. The two are not the same.

How can the great Dr. Ali Shariati emulate Imam Ali but also be a Marxist? A Marxist does not believe in God. He/She believes in materialism as the basis of everything.

In my book, being a leftist means being AGAINST exploitation, colonialism, and imperialism, and being FOR social justice, control of large wealths, universal health care, free - or at least afordable - education for all who want it, equality of genders, democratic political system, etc. Shariati was such a person. Was he a leftist? Absolutely. Was he a Marxist? It is ridiculous to call him a Marxist.

Not only such leftist tendencies are not weakening in Iran, but they are, in fact, on the rise. But, no intelligent person calls this Islamic Marxism. We have Islamic leftists - I am one and proudly so - and also Marxists, but not both at the same time.

You think I am wrong? Give me a few credible references, instead of talking in generic terms, and making claims like "many many people call this Islamic Marxism." People who have had a big dinner, and discuss after their dinner such things and talk about Islamic Marxists as a result of their "bokhaar-e me'deh" do not count. Thinkers, analysts, intellectuals, researchers, etc., who have written and published on this do.


بهمرام - continued...

ناسیونالیست (not verified)

(11) Iraq wants to void 1975 Algiers accord, take full ownership of all Arvand-rood, and to call it shatt-al-arab hereafter. They also have lingering claims to western iran from the heavenly days of saddam.

(12) Esfanies want... well we should preempt them with something don't you tkink?



ناسیونالیست (not verified)

Good solutions, but incomplete! What should we do about:

(1) Khuzestan's arab population want to separate.

(2) Baluchestan wants separation.

(3) Kurdestan wants separation/federalism.

(4) Countries to the north want to void iran-soviet agreement (50/50) and get a much larger chunk of iranian caspian oil (80/20).

(5) Kuwait has claim to iranian wanters' oil resources.

(6) West wants to stop iranians from learning the technology know-how.

(7) Hillary wants to obliterate iran.

(8) Mullas want an exclusive islamic culture with arabic language.

(9) Ben Madadi wants to get rid of the shameful pre-turkish-invasion history of iran and replace the persian language and persian identity with their turkic counterparts.

(10) Rashties want... well they don't want anything... but we should give then something under the circumstances.

Please expand on your solutions to address the above issues as well. Thanks a bunch in advance!


خلیج را واقعا عربی کنیم

بهمرام (not verified)

اینکه اسم خلیج چه باشد اصلا مهم نیست. اگر اسمش شد خلیچ عربی این به معنی کاستن از تمامیت ارضی ایران نیست چون یک نام به خودی خودی خدشه ای بر مالکیت وارد نمیکند.

بنابرای بجای توجه به مساله بی اهمیت اسم میخوام راجع به مالکیت اراضی جنوب ایران بنویسم. آیا واقعا حفظ تمامیت ارضی ایران واجب و لازم است؟

به نظر من اگر این اراضی (من جمله بندر عباس) و جزایر به امارات متحده عربی تقدیم شود بهتر است. علتش این است که امارات ثروتمند تر از ایران است وضع مالی مردم جنوب ایران بهتر میشود. منتها به این شرط که امارات قول بدهد که مردم بتواند زبانها و آیین ها و فرهنگ ایرانی خود را حفظ کنند و علیه آنها تبعیضی نباشد و از تمام حقوق شهروندی برخوردار باشند. و اگر روزی مردم منطقه جنوب ایران فعلی دلشان خواست بتونند با رفراندم دوباره به ایران ملحق شوند.

و اما مهمتر از آن به نظر من باید آذربایجانمان را به ترکیه تقدیم کنیم به شرط آنکه آنها هم قول بدهند که تبعیضی علیه مردم روا نشود و مردم بتوانند با رفراندم سرنوشت خودشون را تعیین کنند. این باعث میشود که زندگی مردم منطقه بهتر شود. چرا؟ چون ترکیه هم از نظر سیاسی کشور دمکراتی هست و هم از نظر اقتصادی از ایران جلو هست و این باعث میشه که زندگی مردم منطقه بهتر بشه.

و اما قسمت غربی افغانستان من جمله هرات بهتر است به ایران ضمیمه شود. چرا؟ به همان دلایل فوق یعنی چون زندگی مردمشان بهتر میشود. منتها عامل دیگری هم هست و آن این است که آنها با ما فرهنگ و تاریخ و زبان مشترکی دارند در حال اینکه زبان آذربایجان بیشتر به ترکیه میخورد و زبان و فرهنگ مردم عرب ما در جنوب بیشتر به اهالی خلیج عربی / فارس میخورد.

خوب من چون ناسیونالیست نیستم میتونم اینطور منطقی فکر کنم. آنهایی که دچار تعصب های بیمار گونه ناسیونالیستی هستند حرف من رو بیش از یک شوخی نمیتونن بحساب بیارن.

خلاصه حرفم اینه که خلیج رو واقعا عربی کنیم نه فقط به اسم


Mammad, I don’t find

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Mammad, I don’t find anyone who disagrees with me as a lefitsit. I disagree with lot of conservative folks, whether they are moderate or extreme conservatives. I myself am a proud liberal with many moderate leftist beliefs. I just find and call Islamic Marxists as Islamic Marxists.


Jaleho, ignorance is when

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Jaleho, ignorance is when you call someone who disagrees with you an “ignorant”, like you called me. I have read Shariati and others many times. So don’t start accusing people without knowing where they come from. As far labels, when on earth did I call Parsi an “IRI agent”? This whole “XX agent” calling is a social illness that some Iranians suffer from. Didn’t you read my posting about “you don’t have to be an IRI agent to do damages to Iran”? Furthermore, I don’t care whether Shah or Savak used that term. If you don’t believe Islamic Marxism at some point was strong among some Iranians (And to some, like some people posting on this website) still is, then that’s your belief. Also, only Marxists themselves or ultra leftists believe Marxism or ultra leftism is “progressive”. We saw how progressive it acted in USSR, Cuba, North Korea, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. When those countries collapsed, those people felt like they’re coming out of the medieval ages. Also, Tudeh Party was not an Islamic Marxist group, it was a communist group. Finally, I agree with you that Russia and USSR have done irreparable damages to our country.


Wake up and jamshid, great

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Wake up and jamshid, great arguments.


Mammad, many and many people

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Mammad, many and many people in Iran call guys like Shariati and others, Islamic Marxists. That ideology has rooted in many intellectual figures of the Iranian society. Offcourse it is weakening by the day, no doubt about that, even Ganji himself admitted many times that he was wrong with his past Islamic Marxist revolutionary beliefs. And that ideology is not gone, but yeah you’re right, today, it has been weakened, because more and more Iranians find that argument a bunch of crock. I understand why you don’t find his beliefs as Islamic Marxism, that’s your opinion, some people do, but to most Iranians its very obvious. Shariati’s idol was Imam Ali, he wanted Iranians to follow his footsteps, and he, like you said yourself, he promoted Islamic teachings. So that’s his Islamic aspect. Also, his ideas about welfare state, workers triumph, extreme anti capitalism beliefs, and others..show his Marxist side. Trust me, I have read his books too .That is what I mean. Furthermore, I agree with you that MK are Islamic Marxists. But again, just like any ideology, there are different degrees of extremism, whether its right wing, left wing, liberal, conservative,,,and so forth. MK are extreme Islamic Marxists. Shariati and others might not agree with the methods used by the MK, but they definitely fall within the same political ideology category. Lastly, I never use personal attacks, I do attack other opinions, but never the person. It is healthy to attack opinions, its pathetic to attack other people's characters.



by Mammad (not verified) on

I totally agree with you that one must stick to the points of an article and discuss them, and only them, in his/her comments. Regarding myself:

I have no agenda, other than learning from reading the articles and the comments on them, which I often do learn, and commenting on the articles. Sometimes I see comments that have no basis, like calling Dr. Trita Parisi and his NIAC leftist or Islamic Marxists, which was made by Farhad Kashani who seemingly sees a leftist in anybody with whom he disagrees with. So, I tried to point out his error to him, which got us off track.

Other than that, no agenda on my part, sir. I am not confused!


Arabian Gulf!

by ali J (not verified) on

Dear Dr.!

You have a funny way of taking on this issue! I believe we have a bigger problem than the Arabian Gulf name on the Google map! You need to look at the big picture and think smarter before making any comments and wasting anybody’s precious time. You need to look and see who really is the cause of this?! For almost 30 years our great country ( Iran ) has been occupied by a bunch of non-Iranian and I don’t know the origin of these occupiers but the facts tell me they are strongly tied to the Arabs and sadly Arabs from the dark ages! As you can see these occupiers are trying to change our language, traditions and geogrophy of our people and country to the likes of Arabs. I am sure you see and feel that influence in the daily life of our citizens in Iran. Other atrocities of these occupiers, to give you an example, these occupiers are selling your sisters to the Arabs like the price of (pork) if you know what I mean, and shame on you that your biggest concern is the “Arabian Gulf” on Google’s map! I hear that you pretend to talk about democracy a lot, so my suggestion to you is, if you really care so much about a name on a map that has gotten your attention so much, lets find a way to free Iran from the hands of these occupiers first then I will guarantee you Google will correct the name too! I dare you to challenge me on this!


Iran Freedom Lover


Anonymous^2 / the ARAB thingie

by Jaleho on

You are sarcastic about Iranians caring about the name "Persian Gulf" vs. " Arabian Gulf", whereas many of them choose Arabic names for their sons and daughters. You also INVENT some statistics to support your "hurt" of Iranian love for anything Arabic!

This kind of argument is also often given by those (in particular anti-Arab Jews) who say "why should Iranians even care about Palestinian AYRABS??!"

Please read my first comment on this article about "Name Change - Land Theft". This name change is not as superficial as you make it sound.

Also, note that Iranians have not all of a sudden forgotten the historical Persian-Arab animosity, an animosity that the West has amplified and encouraged for decades to use as a means of STEALING the natural resources of the countries in the Middle East. It has been great for the West and Israel to NURTURE any split among different groups in the Middle East, to instigate civil and cross border strife in order to kill two birds with one stone:

Use their installed puppets, such as Shah of Iran and The kings of Saudi, to buy their OIL DIRT CHEAP, and sell them military planes and equipment in return for their oil money. The west has built its empire on using the cheap energy of these countries while its military industrial complex has reaped huge profit by selling them their junk.

The present insistence on the name "Gulf" or "Arabian Gulf" by western media, the revival of Tunbs and Abu Musa dispute by UAE and sanctioned by US and its other Arab puppets are parts of their effort to deepen the Arab-Persian wedge. The demonization of Hezbollah as a "Shiite-Persian" entity against the "Arab-Sunni" divide is another hope of the west to set its Arab lackeys against IRI.

Iran can not support its natural rise as a regional power by being isolated by the west, and fighting with Arabs who could be its possible natural allies instead.

The US prefers to KEEP Israel as the hegemonic power in the region and there lies the main obstacle to Iran which is fast becoming the main regional power. The west would do EVERYTHING to prevent that transition from happening, and those who think a single person like Omid Kordestani can do something about it , frankly are a bit delusional. But, for sure HUGE number of Iranians and Iranian-Americans as Parsi suggests, can play an important role.


F. Kashani, you hide behind LABELS, no?

by Jaleho on

The easy way out of reading, analyzing and understanding something, and frankly HIDING one's ignorance on a subject, is just to throw a labels and hide behind them.

In my comment I suggested that instead of giving meaningless "IRI agent" label to Parsi, let's look at his one book to understand how asinine attaching that label to Parsi really is. I gave a detailed opinion based on my understanding of his book and his work in NIAC.

In light of that, which shows the "IRI-agent" accusation is really a reflection of ignorance of his works, you come back with another label: They don't need to be "IRI-Agents", they are all "Islamic Marxists". Later you did elaborate further by throwing more "names" such as "Shariati" rather than defining what these labels that you use mean.

This time your label show your ignorance about Shariati which stems from your NEVER having read anything by him, or the other "names" you throw at will!

The label"Islamic marxist" as Mammad explained was used by Savak and Shah's regime to combine the TWO distinct groups whom the regime was trying to eradicate, the Marxists, and the radical Islamists. Any other person who uses this oxy-moron shows their ignorance of the two mutually exclusive ideologies.

Just because certain ideologies CLAIM to have "justice for all" in common, it doesn't mean that they are the same.

In Iran many progressive groups opposed Shah's dictatorial regime, they included adherents of Marxist ideology, and those who believed the only unifying ideology which is potent enough to uproot monarchy is political Islam. In hind sight, those people TURNED OUT TO BE CORRECT. The Islamists were correct, partly because Iran has already tried the "Marxist" strategy of Tudeh Party earlier which FAILED to fight the western designs on Iran and its resources. And, that failure in turn was a reflection of the fact that Iran has been the playground of not just the western powers, but historically Russia was the other side of the "Great Game" played in countries like Iran and Afghanistan.

It is good for you to remember that the CENTRAL slogan of the Islamic Revolution was :

"Na Sharghi, Na Gharbi, Jomhouriye Islami"


Confused People

by curus- (not verified) on

The article above by Trita Parsi was about geographi and nothing else.
But some people seem to have missed the point completely.
These people are : Wake Up , Mammad , jamshiid.
These 3 have made this page a battle ground for their own agenda which has nothing to do with the name persian gulf which Trita was writing about.
And I am amazed by ignorance of the staff at iranian.com who allow these 3 and others to mess up the page and totally distract the readers from the effect that Trita was trying to bring about.
All I can say is : Shame on you so called staff ar iranian.com for allowing this to happen. SHAME.


Re: Mammad

by jamshid on

From the Shah's military courts to the IRI's revolutionary courts. Now that's a "fantastic" improvement, wouldn't you say?

By the way, I thank you for supporting my right to freedom of speech in another thread. I disagree with almost everything you write, but I totally support your right to freedom of speech as well.


Wake up

by Mammad (not verified) on

You either want to discuss this in the normal and standard political context that infortmed political people usually use to define who an Islamic Marxist is, or you do not.

If you do, then what I said is the correct way of distinguishing what your take is from what I said. Do not believe me? Consult someone whom you trust. It is not hair-splitting. Just because you do not like what you read does not mean that I am playing with words.

If you do not, then, think of Golsorkhi and Daneshian anyway you want. That would be perfectly fine with me. God bless their souls.

What you said about them was certainly the allegation. It was never proven. The military court was simply a show. Honourable civilian judges were not willing to preside over their trials and those of other political prisoners, which is why the Shah used his military trial shows.

I was not questioning why they had been put on trial, rather the "trial" itself and the Shah's "justice" system. Nobody is recognized as a criminal in any regime (or at least should not be), unless the guilt was proven. People are innocent, until proven otherwise.



by Wake Up! (not verified) on

You are certainly good at playing with words to distinguish indistinguishable. Is that what is called "maghlateh"?

He is saying that he is "Marxist-Leninist" while praising islam and reading koranic versus, that makes him Islamic Marxist, unless you do the hair-splitting to interpret him to fit the need.

Disclaimer: I don't know much about him and his friend, but in another video they are accused of planning armed kidnapping of shahbanu and valiahd (an innocent child at the time), the same way that khomeini showed no respect for law and no mercy for human beings from day one that he came to power; that makes them criminals in "any" regime, including in western democracies.


Wake Up

by Mammad (not verified) on

Thanks. I do not know how old you are, but if you saw Golsorkhi's defense in Shah's military court on youtube for the 1st time, I watched the trial live on Iran's national TV when I was a freshman at Tehran University.

The Shah broadcast it live with the hope of generating backlash against Golsorkhi and his friend, Karamatollah Daneshian, but it backfired. Golsorkhi and Daneshian refused to "repent" (they were asked to "repent" to avoid execution) and became eternally respected, at least in view of people like me. If nothing else, they proved to be courageous and a true believer in what they preached to others.

In the clip Golsorkhi said explicitly that he is a Marxist-Leninist, not an Islamist, or an Islamic Marxist. The latter is someone who reinterprets Islamic teachings using a Marxist method. Golsorkhi did not do that. In fact, he did not do any interpretation or reinterpretation. He simply said that he respects the Islam of Ali and Hossein, because they also stood against injustice.

I hope that this wakes you up.


Farhad Kashani

by Mammad (not verified) on

What did I say that was "personal" attack? Did I call you names? Did I question your integrity, or honesty? Just what did I do? So, if I do not agree with you, and comment on and criticize what you write, that is personal attack? If so, then, what is a debate?

Nobody in Iran has ever called Shariati, Gangi, Jalaipour, et al. Islamic Marxists. Jalaeipour is an Islamic reformist, as is Gangi. Even the mullahs never accused them of being as such. Only you call them as such. In fact, Gangi and Jalaeipour became well-known when Marxism as a potent ideology was gone, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The idea that Dr. Ali Shariati was an Islamic Marxist is, to put it extremely politely, absurd. I "grew up" with Shariati, so to speak. I have read everything he published, not once, but several times, and I even attended several of his speeches in Hoseynieh Ershad when I was in high school, with my late father.

The whole goal of Shariati's writings - and he wrote over 30,000 pages in his 44 years of fruiteful life - was to COUNTER Marxism by reinterpreting Islamic teachings, not in a Marxist way, but in a Islamic REVOLUTIONARY way.

So, you want to equate the two, be my guest. Just because Shariati and Aal-e Ahmad were anti West does not mean that were Islamic Marxists. It seems to me that you equate criticism of the West's excesses with Marxism or Islamic Marxism. The two are not equal and the same.

The Shah and Savak referred to the Mojahedin Khalgh before the Revolution as Islamic Marxists. I was attending Tehran University at that time, and did not believe this. When I moved to the US 30 years ago, I started rereading the MK literature (I had read the literature when I was at Tehran University, but that was in the repressive political atmosphere of the Shah's regime, not in relaxing and reflecting mood) and thinking about them. I then realized that the MK did use Marxism dogma to reinterpret Islamic teachings. But, that was it. No one that I know has ever used Islamic Marxists again after the Revolution, and certainly the people that you mention were not.

So, what is personal about questioning you about this? If you are referring to my wisecrack at the end of my comment, that was supposed to be joking, because I recalled what you had told me in your last comment.


Re: Confused?

by Wake Up! (not verified) on

Islamic Marxists? The only people who used such contradictory combination were the Shah and his SAVAK.

Wow! Maybe you can broaden your knowledge here after time 1:30.



I googled

by the kid (not verified) on

I googled gulf with arabeean(!) before it(I just don't like to add to the google search that's why I'm writing it this way)and this is what I came up with:
It seems like something has been done about it, or rather other Iranians have helped do it, and there has been a petition circiling against the name too with 722884 signatures so far!
Is there something I'm missing?



by MH (not verified) on

Could you tell us where you got your stats from?
All these percentages... are you really sure they are correct?


Farhad Kashani, If you would

by observer (not verified) on

Farhad Kashani,

If you would kindly break up your post into paragraphs it would be much easier for the readers to go thru your writng.

Since your style of writing (typing) is difficult to read, some, like myself will not go thru your whole piece.

I'm sure you and "OTHERS"(who should also bear this in mind) would like people to read to the end of their post.



OK. Let's evaluate this issue...

by Anonymous^2 (not verified) on

Fact 1) 99% of the citizens of Iran have an "Arabic" religion called Islam,

Fact 2) 99% of the citizens of Iran carry "Arabic" family names,

Fact 3) 85% of the citizens of Iran carry "Arabic" first names,

Fact 4) 85% of the vocabularies used on a daily oral and written conversations in Iran are "Arabic",

Fact 5) The flag of Iran is tainted with the worst "Arabic" word of all times, Allah, right smack in the middle of it,

Fact 6) The Iranian calender is infested with Holiday events named after peculiar "Arabic" characters,

Fact 7) Several million citizens of Iran every year travel to the heart of the "Arabic" culture, called Mecca,

Fact 8) Thousands of buildings in Iran are named after "Arabic" characters,

Fact 9) 100% of female citizens in Iran dress like "Arabs" in black veil and headscarf's,

Fact 10) In 1979, 99.9% of the citizens of Iran voted into office the "Arabic" Islamic Republic Regime that advocates "Arabic" ideologies, "Arabic" values, "Arabic" culture 100% of the times,

and now you guys are wondering why Google has changed the name Persian Gulf to Arabian Gulf!?!?! And furthermore, you object to that!? What the hell is wrong with you people!?!

The mullahs would love for the Persian Gulf to be changed to Arabian Gulf. That way, it will make it much easier for them to turn Iran into a 100% "Arabestan".


Mammad, your method of

by Farhad Kashani (not verified) on

Mammad, your method of personal attacks is very typically of intolerant Iranians like yourself. Now I’m not sure if you are an Islamic Marxists yourself or not, you certainly argue like one, but the reality is that during the 20th century, an ideological movement started in Iran that was initiated mostly by traditional elements of the society such as people close to the clergy and people from lower social and economical status. These groups were tired of British, French and Russian Czar interference in Iran’s affairs including direct occupation of Iranian territory. Since communism portraid itself as anti West and anti capitalism and supposedly stood for “non western values”, which the above mentioned three represented at that time, those traditional elements of society were strongly attracted to it. Since Iran was a religious society at that time, those groups could not and did not want to distance themselves from religion. So the ideology they formed was a mixture of religion (Islam) and Communism (Mostly Marxism). That’s why they were and are called Islamic Marxists. Just to give you some names so you can understand where I’m coming from : Shariati, Al Ahmad, Soroush, Ganji, Jalai Poor, …and others. So please do some research, open your mind, and think outside the box and don’t buy into the good ol, useless, arguments some Iranian make. Furthermore, please refer to a single sentence that I wrote in support of Shah or monarchy. I have said it before and will say it again, Monarchy and the Shah himself, is a prime reason for Iran’s mishaps. Monarchy represents the tyrannical political structure that severly bruised the mind, spirit and self confidence of Iranians throughout the history. Why do think we resorted to Akhoonds against Monarchy? Lastly, the Persian gulf argument is nonsense. This gulf has always been a Persian gulf. The notion of Arabian gulf was invented by some leftist loonies (Like the ones we have in Iran) such as Abdul Nasser and Ghadhafi. What we need to is to through civilized manner and presentation of facts, and hopefully when we have a government that is not hated by the world and can truly speak on our behalf, do some grassroots work to show the world the true nature of our argument


One more thing!?

by 1/2 cent (not verified) on

If Google started calling Gulf by its proper name Persian Gulf, would those of you Iranians guys and gals whose names are Arabic change them to Persian names (e.g., change Muhammad to korosh, Hassan to Sassan, Hoessein to Farhad, etc.)!? Just wondering!?


Start calling "Google" "Yahoo" from now on!

by 1/2 cent (not verified) on

In fact call Google's main # and say you want to talk to the Yahoo's sales Rep.... or say that your company wants to advertise on Yahoo's website. Good luck!


The Good News

by asghar62 on

The good news is, that if you go to the same google.com site and search for "Arabian Gulf" the very first result is the following link: 


 Which says:

The Gulf You Are Looking For Does Not Exist. Try Persian Gulf.

It is like a slap  in the face of Google ;-)

Try it yurself, it is fun.


Let's Boycott Google

by AnonymousMM (not verified) on

We should work together to boycott Google.

1- Moving all of our blogspot blogs to other hosts.
2- Using other search engines.
3- Not Posting or clicking on Google ads.
4- Not Using Google products such as Google Earth.
5- Use other video hosting services besides YouTube.

This will hurt them more than enough.