Love me or hate me

Should I be proud of having inspired a hate-club?


Love me or hate me
by Ben Madadi

I have developed such a HATE-CLUB (as opposed to fan-club) for myself I don't know I should be proud of it or not. It is indeed an achievement though, you must acknowledge, to make so many virtual haters who would even be ready to fill up a petition, complete it with virtual signatures with different IP's to throw me out of I still don't know whether to be proud of this achievement or not. Believe me that I did not have the least idea that my writings would lead to this. I was surprised. Then I could choose among stopping the writing, changing my attitude, or continue on. I have chosen to continue on.

There is another guy on who may be able to match my hate-club nevertheless for completely different reasons, and he is a Canadian-Iranian cartoonist, Hajiagha. His cartoons are nice but the reason for the hate is that he does not like western way of life, especially in regards to homosexuals and women. He thinks (as I deduced) that the West is morally corrupted. I don't agree with him. I think the West has gone a long way to have achieved such an open-mindedness.

Open-mindedness, and the lack of popular prejudice, has allowed various self-conscious groups to flourish. This has been achieved because of a long track in which western societies have been through dramatic and costly changes, little by little, step by step. Prejudices have been fought, and little by little, women have started to be seen as equals to men (in their rights, not in their nature, which has never been equal), and minorities such as homosexuals have started to be seen as equals (not yet completely) to heterosexuals as well (also in their rights, and not in their nature).

The process is not complete and it will never be. Human kind moves on and prejudices give way to kindness as people start to discover that the best way to having good lives is to cooperate and accept rather than suppress or fight. So, I do disagree with Hajiagha indeed. I actually believe that it is worth censoring material that are insulting to individuals or groups. But then again it is very difficult to maintain the right balance. Even my writings can probably be seen as insulting toward some. We can always ignore things we dislike anyway.

There are also so many people who disagree with me. Are they the majority of the readers? Either they are the majority (I think so) or they are the most vocal, or a combination. I cannot speak on behalf of Jahanshah but I believe the reason for him allowing material like mine to be published on this webstie is that there is indeed a significant number of the readers who want such material. They may be the minority, but they exist. Just like there are significant minorities, of one type or another, who do exist in Iran though the majority almost always finds ways of ignoring or suppressing them.

I have received disapproving, and insulting, emails (and more recently comments) for my articles just from the start. It is nothing new. I did not evolve into a hateable creature over time. I have been so long ago among the Iranian diaspora. This only goes for my pen-name, but in real life I am not aware of such a large number of people hating me, but this is not the place to talk about my real life because I wouldn't be the last one on earth to have a completely different view of my life than other people, i.e. I would be subjective. I am not so sure whether the same would be true if I wrote in Persian and the audience were Iranians of Iran ( is blocked inside Iran). It would probably be different, though I am not sure how different.

Let's go further and waste less precious time of the reader! I am not saying I am right in what I am writing. I think I am right (sometimes) but I am also wrong quite often. But why such a large number of haters? And why such an aggressive hatred? I also used to be a proud Iranian when I was little because I was fed with the same education and propaganda like any other Iranian in school, on TV, and almost anywhere else. I used to think that being an Iranian was equal to being superior. This is a simple definition of what being an Iranian means, and it can be seen in the average Iranian attitude.

I am openly saying that I am not that proud of being an Iranian anymore. This is not a good option in case one wants to be popular among Iranians. Not all people who seek popularity are also right in their pursuit. Why should I be proud of being an Iranian as it is now? Do you hate me for not being proud? You, and I, have the possibility of living in the world we have not built, a free world, so we can express ourselves freely. So you can hate me freely. You cannot do that in Iran. And it is not only the Islamic regime to blame for that. Imagine YOU (the nationalist Iranian of the diaspora) had the power in Iran! What would you do to a person like me? Shoot me? Hang me? Or hang me, then shoot me while hanged? Or hang me, shoot me, then chop me into pieces?

For example I have never mentioned anything even remotely similar to declaring myself a pan-Turkist, but I have been accused of being one. Many Iranian Turks have been executed because of exactly the same allegation. Similar things happened to other Iranians of various backgrounds. You see, the Internet allows anonymity in a community where anonymity has almost never been possible for a journalist or a writer, or a speaker of conscience. Britain or America are used to anonymous writings for more than a hundred years. Iranian writers have never been able to be truly anonymous because in case the writing would provoke hatred or aggression the writer would quite certainly risk serious retribution.

In today's world on the Internet this is possible. I am benefiting from this possibility so I can write things that cannot normally be possible in a dogmatic and dangerous society, or community. There is no reason to pursue anything but what conscience dictates. You may sometimes get things wrong. One may even be paid by enemies or plotters to do harm to the community. So, what shall we do in order to avoid such possibilities of occurring? We have long censored and persecuted, and the outcome has not been great. Maybe the reader is smart enough to understand what is going on. And in case he is not smart enough, then other writers, or commentators, can clear things up.

I am not an Iran-hater, nor an Iran-lover. I am simply a freedom-lover. But for being an Iranian I am also a part of that community, a part which does not pursue popularity, though I am not a big fan of hate-mails either. Somebody needs to do this too. It won't hurt Iran and Iranians. Write your own stuff proving me wrong! At the end something good can only come out of this pot and I will never be loved, so you may be!

There have been cases when individuals have been treated with serious danger for simply expressing themselves. They were wrong, I know. Why they were wrong? Because they did not know they were going to end up dead, or even worse. In case they knew it and they spoke their minds, then they were only, probably, wrong for their assertions, whatever they may have been. We are all partially wrong in what we say. What comes out of this big mess, or expressions and opinions, is probably the only right, when everybody expresses themselves and therefore the society becomes a better place.

The society, the Iranian society, by having killed, or silenced, people who spoke their minds, ha been most wrong. And it is still most wrong. That society has continuously killed conscience for one reason or another, and it has succeeded. Iranians have continuously been victims of prejudice, instead of taking them one after another and dealing with them. And you, the nationalist Iranian of the diaspora, who everyday benefit from all the possibilities the West has provided you with, think Iran is worth being proud of because Iran has a 5, 7, 10, or whatever thousands of years it may be, of history? What we certainly know about this Iran is that it was an empire, the Persian Empire, as it was known in the West. And it is nothing but a mess now.

An empire, by definition, is not a place of freedom. It is a place where an emperor is worshipped. It is a place where people are subjects of the emperor. This pertains no freedom, but a glory to the emperor alone. Yes, the world has moved on, so should we. Am I proud of the Iranian culture, the Persian literature? That is something worth considering (I haven't done much for it, neither have most other Iranians who arrogantly treat, or mistreat, others), though I would have preferred a free society rather than a proud silent one. I would have preferred a society in which my relatives would have had more, and better, jobs, and enjoy better and more promising lives. The problems of the Iranians are not the Mullahs ruling Iran, but the demons ruling within the Iranians. We must get rid of these demons first, prejudices that make us, Iranians in general, believe that we are better than we really are.

There are some subjects that the majority of Iranians dislike. I can recount some, from my own experience. If you say that minority groups are discriminated in Iran the majority of Iranians will hate you for that and call you a foreign plotter or other names, just like the Iranian regime does (the Iranian regime also goes further and silences you). If you say anything unpleasant about the Iranian culture or beliefs in general, a similar feedback will follow. If you say anything perceived bad about Iran's historical, especially pre-Islamic, dynasties you are going to be hated and targeted! Someone needs to say these things, right? Someone who does not desire popularity. Someone who can actually, thanks to modern technology, be anonymous, something that existed in Western journalism for a very long time. Not all these things will be right, but opening up the issues can open the possibility for re-valuing things that we for so long considered either taboo or sacred. Free and modern societies can only be built with the cost of breaking such barriers.

Next time when you see something I have written and you do not like, why not instead of insults, and instead of hating me, try to prove yourself better by writing a counter-article, or by proving me wrong by reasoning your point? There are many people like me out there, some may be crazy, while others may have many other problems, psychological etc, and some may even be the hands of foreigners trying to do you harm. You cannot blame them for being what they are. You can only be better, or worse. We are living in a free world and hopefully we can work together to work toward a free Iran as well. But first, instead of blaming one or the other for the lack of that freedom, we need to work on freeing ourselves.


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You are always right

by Alborz Kooh (not verified) on

Hey Benjamin: you are always right, specially in your last article that you expressed that iranians are inferior and need westerners to teach them how to manage their country. This is almost the same thing that is written in the '53 event report. The best example and solid proof of this inherent genetic inferiority is you (if you consider yourself to be an iranian of course). I suggest that you test your proposed method of education with you yourself. Let's hire a westerner to run the affairs of your house, and if we see any improvement (that I doubt though), then we can try it on other inferior iranians back home. God bless and hali-lo-ya.


Another Hate Club

by Boy (not verified) on

Azam Nemati has a pretty big hate club too, intornis?


"I am not an Iran-hater, nor

by Calling it the way it is (not verified) on

"I am not an Iran-hater, nor an Iran-lover. I am simply a freedom-lover". "But first, instead of blaming one or the other for the lack of that freedom, we need to work on freeing ourselves". (Ben)
---- And when are you going to extend your "freedom" activities to the people of that newly manufactured country of Azerbaijan with their president for life ex-KGB official, correction, now his son has become president for life after his father died. It's all about "freedom", right? Or is it OK because they are "Azeris"???? You are a hypocrite, and while you're at it, go "free" your own ass from extremism and ignorance. Of course all people are equal and deserve the same rights, not to be misunderstood, but that's not what you are talking about while trying to create discord and ethnic divisions and hatred among Iranians with your twisting of the truth and blatant exagerations. khodeti.


Counter Article...

by zensufi on

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