death to death calls

death to death calls
by Niloufar Parsi

I am just going to say this because i just HAVE to. it worries me no end to see how these past few weeks have played out among our community here. it sends shivers up my spine to note how violent we can be. how can we still be shouting 'death to this or that' after 30 years of being embarrassed by a regime that chants 'death to...' on and on without hesitation about the meaning and the consequences?

i know this is not coherent. i am tired after hours at a local rally against the regime. but it was disappointing. the crowd was a mix of all kinds, and had no real organisation. different groupings chanted different things, but they got loudest and most united when they shouted 'death to dictator'. i could not join in. i cannot believe that we cannot find a more humane and purposeful slogan.

please, stop the name calling. everyone here has the right to their opinion. everyone deserves respect.

what we have in iran is the tyranny of the majority against a sizable minority that is sick and tired of political islam, confrontation and abrasiveness.

but herein lies our very dilemma and our utter hypocrisy: what are we doing shouting 'death to dictator'? can't we see the inherent contradiction in this? what on earth are we doing screaming abuse at the likes of jaleh on the site? what kind of reformists are we?

if the revolution succeeds, are we going to get a secular khalkhali putting thousands to the sword? what have we actually learned then?

please forgive my rant. but i see a propensity to violence and vengeance. a friend at the rally caused it. when i asked her why she was chanting about death, she said: 'i want revenge. i want all these bastards dead'.

we might be in for quite another nightmare if the likes of her succeed.



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by Niloufar Parsi on

perhaps i should only talk about us outside the country. what use is there for someone like me to say what the demonstrators in iran should be chanting?

preferred chants would be:

- zendeh baad azadi

- na sharqi, na qarbi, joomhooriyeh azadi

- basiji bas kon, sharmo haya kon

- eshqe ma irane, az hame rangeh

i'm not any good at this! any ideas?

Niloufar Parsi

Jaleh jan

by Niloufar Parsi on

call it a student uprising if you like. the last revolution started the same way.

the French revolution took three years to reach its climax. the iranian one took close to 2 years last time around.

actually, a revolution can only be recognised after the event. you can't be sure you have had a revolution until it succeeds, but to deny the possibility at the moment is wishful thinking. I bet you the monarchists denied there was a revolution right till the end too.

as for the strike, you are being a little unfair in judging already. nationwide strikes take a long time to organise. btw, moussavi has not called for one yet, but montazeri has in the guise of 3 days of mourning for the martyrs, and it is supposed to start tomorrow. so we will see how it goes. 

even if it doesn't for now, you should allow for the possibility of it happening later for the same reasons as the history of the last revolution demonstrates. but for now i would agree that it is better classified as an uprising as the government has not been toppled. yet.

at another level, however, there has been a revolution already: at the level of ideas. the open challenge to the regime is quite revolutionary. it has changed mindsets, emboldened the forces for democracy. it has shaken the regime, it has shocked the system and opened up major cleavages, and it has opened a whole new set of possibilities. most of them you would be/are happy about: democratisation at a far reaching level, women's emancipation and greater freedom of expression in defiance of a rather brutal and oppressive regime that was hardly ever challenged with such gusto before. that is revolutionary.



Dear Niloufar, you said:

by Jaleho on

"i believe this to be extremely important as the outcome of the revolution may depend on it."

With all due respect this is not a "revolution!!" It is a reflection of youngsters who are frustrated for their limited freedom and in particualr women who are tired of those limitation, even about their  artificially imposed dress code for 30 years.

You shouldn't confuse a predominantly anti-colonial Islamic revolution in which every strata of the society took part, with the outpour of youth demanding more freedom!

Just because the western media is playing this out of its real proportion, and some rioters are creating scenes which is not even as broad and with deep consequences of the Rodney King riots of 1992 in LA, you shouldn't confuse yourself over it!!

The only group in Iran you see in TV are university students and intelligentsia, not the workers, bazaris, mearchant class....

Why do you think despite Mousavi's desire for strike  no REAL strike will happen?!! Only students will quit their "job" to demonstrate!! Not anyone who seriously is running the economy of the country in any way! That's why the students and some rioters among them will just fizzle out; simple as that.

 Look at the oil price to get  a real idea, does anyone expect the oil workers for example heed to Mousavi's asinine self-important calls??! 



A111 jan

by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on

Ghandism is far more powerful at winning over the enemy than any conflict in my humble opinion.

AF: thanks for the lovely comment :)


Assal jan

by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on

you have put it so well. there are a number of subtle signs that are quite worrying.

on the other hand, crowds behave in surprising ways that would be unthinkable to the individuals involved. i have no real understanding of how such hysteria develops, but we should be vigilant and encourage all to talk about it among ourselves.

i believe this to be extremely important as the outcome of the revolution may depend on it.


Dear Hamsade and David

by minadadvar on

Thanks for your responses. They were informative, especially David's answere makes a lot of sense to me.  


David ET

Dear Mina

by David ET on

I only have some presumptions about possible reasons why  Mousavi is not yet asking for National Strike yet:

1- Waiting for Guardian Council answer

2- Waiting for Rasanjani's efforts to unseat Khamenei

3- Not wanting to use all his cards at once and waiting for above two results

4- Trying behind the scene to obtain commitment and organization of National Strike by major potential participants such as Oil Industry etc.

6- Not wanting to make the Islamic Republci collapse fully because he believes in it and wants to keep it with some reforms

As for me I think National Strike should happen now and People's power should be trusted instead of efforts of Rafsanjani etc...

There is a lack of real leadership and people are the ones who really lead .....and they lack full leadership and that is why we see some opportunists such as Reza Pahlavi, Maryam rajavi etc trying to jump in and fill the gap but Iranians are smarter than that and won't fall for them.

my 2 cents...




by Anonymously on

marg bar marg goftan!

i'd rather use something that doesn't make me like the very enemy i'm fighting (ignorance, hatred, vengence, etc.) and compromise my humanity.

"khak-to sare dictator" anyone?


Niloufar Jan:

by Assal_B on

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts considering "marg bar fill-in-the-blank". I, too, had some observations regarding the protest I recently attended in San Francisco and while I've posted them before, I thought I'd copy/paste here to participate in this discussion:

As I attended the demonstration at United Nations Plaza in San Francisco earlier this evening, accompanied by two dear friends; I couldn’t help but feel a little awkward. I am pained by the images and stories coming out of Iran, the videos of young men and women bleeding out in the streets, the Iranian forces mercilessly beating women and children. But, I couldn’t help but stand in that crowd and feel like I didn’t belong. I wanted to bounce two thoughts off of you all to see what you think.

1.   Sure, it felt good to yell “marg bar basiji” once or twice, but then, the American in me kept wondering why we were standing in United Nations Plaza, wanting to urge the world to take a stand in favor of human rights in Iran, but the chanting was 95% in Farsi. Were we just  there for ourselves?  To me, it would have been much more effective to chant slogans in English, asking the world to petition the United Nations to take a stand in the name of the Iranian people. Yelling words out like “democracy” “freedom” and “peace” would have gathered a larger crowd and peaked more interest in our cause. And, if the chants absolutely needed to be made in Farsi, why use the word “marg” so much?  Especially when American ears have been hearing “marg bar America”  for so long. The word marg bothers me. Is that really what we’re preaching from our comfortable lives half the world away?

2.    There came a point in the gathering that someone speaking Farsi into the loudspeaker in Farsi, began to ask the crowd to prepare for a moment of silence to honor those who had fallen in the course of the past week at the hands of the regime. At this time, a black woman in her fifties, standing beside the loudspeaker, began asking in English if she, too, could say something. In my experience going to school in San Francisco, I was well at ease with dealing with the city’s eccentric inhabitants. I smiled and thought someone would explain to her what was going on and lead her out of the way. Instead, I watched with my mouth hanging open as a man my age, with his curly hair tied back, began getting in this woman’s face, his finger on his lips as he harshly kept hissing her over and over. In that moment, my heart began to beat fast in outrage as I stepped one step forward, but the woman was already being pushed away. Thankfully, a young girl my age explained to her what was going on and apologized to her for the way she had been treated. In that moment, in that man’s face and in his actions, I saw the very same sense of righteousness that those basijis have when they are standing before women and children. It honestly made me sick. In that moment, as I realized the crowd around him was indifferent to his actions, I felt I did not belong there anymore.



by Respect (not verified) on


all fateh can do is insult your "cognitive deficiency". How pathetic!!!

"To correct the abrasive arrogant tone of this comment I should add that although I am among a small minority in this site."

Remember there are many like me who support you


I am curious

by MRX1 on

as to what is humane and purposeful slogan? what should they say?There is a large level of anger felt  by Iranians inside and out side of Iran.  kids born and brought up in Iran have been fed a daily diet of:

Marg bar america, marg bar isreal, marg bar zed enghelab, marg bar monafeghin, marg bar taghoti, marg bar zed enghelab for some thirty years. now the table is turning and you want them to use other slogans?  

hamsade ghadimi

minadadvar, niloufar

by hamsade ghadimi on


i'm sure it was a rhetorical question when you asked why mousavi doesn't call for a strike now? he also had said that he's ready to be martyred. in my opinion, he has made threats to make matters more difficult for the system or to save his  own skin. for the sake of the dead, those who have carried his picture, and those who are languising in the prison, i hope that is the former and not the latter.


when you say:

"please forgive my rant. but i see a propensity to violence and vengeance. a friend at the rally caused it. when i asked her why she was chanting about death, she said: 'i want revenge. i want all these bastards dead'."

your statement is about social justice. the idea of expressing anger and revenge for an unjust deed (vengeance) is rooted in the psyche of individuals as explained from different perspectives by the likes of thomas fuller, aquinas, malcom x, gandhi, ....

and as captain ayhab explains the "compassion" that the demonstrators have shown in protecting the same people who are killing, brutalizing and sending them to detention for torture and false confessions. these demonstrators are the same that are chanting "death to the dictator" and "i will kill he who kills my brother." does their chant prevent them from being compassionate? the words that so disturbs you has everything to do with anger and people's desire to express them. but it does not necessarily result in the violent consequences that you claim. 


Faramarz jan

by minadadvar on

Do not let her provoke you. Your engagement only satisfies her need for attention, leading to to more provocative statements by her.


JalehO go back to Iran

by Faramarz_Fateh on

You got it ALL WRONG.  Unfortunately your cognitive deficiency prevents you from realizing it.  Acceptance is another story.

But, even if ALL of us are wrong, what are you doing outside Iran?

Go back there. Help the newly elected president achieve his goals for the second term.

He can use people like you. That i, people who would sell their soul for money.


A question for politically savy people

by minadadvar on

Do you know why Mr Mousavi is not asking people to go on strike? I have heard that, he would do it if they arrest him.  Why does not he do it now?

anonymous fish

thank you

by anonymous fish on

Niloufar for such a heartfelt expression.  I'm in no position to discuss the intimate struggle you and the incredible Iranian people are going through right now but I couldn't pass without commenting on your words.  It was close to a discussion we had last night about fighting violence with violence, etc.  I truly could feel your pain.  I do join the millions of people everywhere hoping it's not in vain.  Good luck and God Bless you all.


Niloufar Jaan

by Anonymous111 on

Gandhism does not work with this regime.  They will see it as a sign of weakness and will only use it to their advantage.  There are two ways ONLY to get rid of these thugs: 1) by a military coup from among themselves, and 2) a popular, all-encompassing and -unfortunately bloody-uprising.

Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

it wasn't meant to be about social justice or psychology. and i was not condemning the demonstrators. and i wasn't denying anyone justice. 

it's about the history of revolts and how tyrannical they can become without anyone meaning it.

i remember the last revolution, the bright start and the optimism that turned into a nightmare.

underneath the surface there are dangerous forces waiting to erupt - pent up rage after decades of abuse.

i guess i am promoting restraint and tolerance. i think i am promoting Gandhism.


Google releases imagery update for tehran

by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on


Ms. Parsi

by capt_ayhab on

First allow me to thank you for your candor and honesty in writing such a heart felt piece.

IF there is going to be a just outcome of this move by Iranian heroes and heroines, the responsible people for all this blood shed MUST BE BROUGHT JUSTICE. This is my position.

With what we have witnessed from the clips however, that people have lot more compassion than we credit them for. Just look the the citizens who protect the fallen Basiji and police, just notice how not even one of the basiji criminals been killed, and you can see the dept of humanity in middle of all this blood shed. 

Just by looking at these clips, and how those police and Basiji murderers are protected by the same people who were beaten by them and you shall see the magnitude of love and clemency these oppressed women and men are bestowing to these murderers.

Seeing these scenes makes one humble indeed.

Thanks again for your thread as usual.



Niloufar Jan

by minadadvar on

All great suggestions.  However, this brutal regime does not even allow people to mourn the murder of our young daughter of Iran, Neda.  According to CNN people are being attacked by bisharaf bassijis, because they are trying to hold a memorial service for Neda.  Shame on them. 




by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on

I agree. my point was that people such as Mossadegh and Bakhtiar did not have the power to remove the Shah in the end, but the mullahs did. i meant they were 'never far from the centre of power' in that sense. they have had a hold on people for the longest time, and this in the end translated into taking over state power itself in the period 1979-81.


Dear Niloufar, thanks a lot!

by Jaleho on

In the absense of independent thinking, mob mentality rules and kills the opportunity of a civil debate. Thankfully, there are some independent  thinkers in this site whom I can have a good debate with, despite completely opposing views.

Souri has written a comment in my blog "Iranians WON BIG!!" to the same effect, so I can just copy my answer to her:

"Like I told Mehrnaz, I don't even want a single one of these comments removed or flagged. The reason is that when emotions are cooled people can look at their true selves and see what mob mentality can do to them. That's what happens when independent thinking is absent. Those with independent thinking and opposing views can argue politely.

I would also arrogantly add that all these hatred is coming from the mob because I have been CORRECT in my analysis and they were wrong! Their belief that Ahmadinajed has no popular support was so deep rooted that their "ghyias be nafs" and frankly buying the western propaganda of the past 4 years have made them convinced of a massive defeat of Ahmadinejad way before even the debates started! The fact that incumbent president everywhere has a tremendous advantage, and in Iran has been a 100% phenomenon,  never was even raised in their mind!

Many of these people actually started to know the Ahmadinejad they hated all this time, only a bit just through the debates!! 

So naturally, they can not accept that there are millions in Iran country sides that they have never seen or known, who are passionate supporters of him. The Iranians who have access to cell phone or internet are 1/3 of the population. The people here don't see the quiet majority, they see their relatives inTehran or Paris. But, America has to deal with that majority or else it would be another neo-colonial policy whose time expired in the middle east with Iranian revolution. Of course that's what the AIPAC and neocons want to bring back precisely.

The mob here which is so wrong gets mad when they see someone whom they though is quite off, actually had the correct analysis on not only the election, but despite all the experts on the TV thinking that the leader is going to sacrifice Ahmadinejad for saving Hashemi or regime or making THEM happy.... I knew Khamenei will not cancel something which is not his to cancel: majority's vote! So the mob gets mad at me for predicting that obvious outcome after the riots correctly again!

Also, many in this site don't know what they really want when they ask US for "support," in the streets of America. But when I call "Obama's correct policy, SO FAR" (not sure if the AIPAC and neocons won't affect it later), the mob goes and yells in that blog too, because it was again correct, and that frustrates them! I don't think many among those who yelled in that blog really disagreed with what I wrote there, but the mob yelled because Jaleho wrote there, they found it right, and got frustrated again for being WRONG ;-)

To correct the abrasive arrogant tone of this comment I should add that although I am among a small minority in this site; a symbol whom everyone who was WRONG can take an aim at, among Iranians inside Iran I am just a humble element of a huge majority who got it CORRECTLY. "



And this from Montazeri via Escobar

by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on

Montazeri to the rescue:

The key move for the next few days revolves around Grand Ayatollah Husayn Montazeri's call for three days of mourning for the dead, from Wednesday to Friday. The progressive view in Tehran - and among the exiled Iranian intelligentsia - is that this is a very sophisticated, back to 1979, civil disobedience code, suggesting citizens should go indefinitely on strike.

To strike is safer, and much more subversive, than hitting the streets and being bloodied by the paramilitary Basiji. Strikes were a fundamental element for the success of the revolution 30 years ago. Montazeri is also subtly signaling the strategy to seduce Iran's silent majority - which may hover around 30% to 40% of the total population. This strategy, judiciously applied over the next few days and weeks, may expand the people power river into a formidable ocean.

It's as if an irresistible force might be whispering in his ear - "Mr Montazeri, tear down this [Islamic] wall."

Source: //


A friend forwarded the following

by NiloufarParsi (not verified) on

خونسرد باشیم:راه های بعدی این هاست
برچسب : انتخابات دهم, کودتا
بعد از سخنان رهبر در نماز جمعه که با تهییج طرفدارانش به امنیتی تر کردن فضا و ایجاد جو احساسی مبارزه با دشمن و شهادت طلبی تمام شد علاوه بر ادامه دادن به تظاهرات آرام خیابانی می باید نافرمانی های مدنی و فعالیت دیگری را را آغاز کرد.

1. اعتصابات گسترده خصوصا در صنعت نفت و بازار

2. بیرون کشیدن پول از بانک های دولتی و فروختن سهام های دولتی بورس

3. نپرداختن فیش های آب و برق و گاز و خلافی رانندگی و پلیس راه و همچنین نپرداختن مالیات ماشین و کسب و کار و ...

4. حرکات هماهنگ اجتماعی از قبیل بوق زدن، دیوار نویسی، پخش اعلامیه و شب نامه، بی حرکت ایستادن در یک ساعت خاص به مدت مثلا دو دقیقه ( چه پیاده چه با ماشین) و راه های دیگری که همه باید هم فکری کنند و پیش نهاد کنند.

5. تشکیل هسته ها و شبکه های ارتباطی موثر (زنجیره ی ایمیل، تلفن، بلوتوث، ...) و سازمان یافته طوری که وظایف هر کدام مشخص باشد

6. وضع تحریم های سازمان داده شده علیه حامیان کودتا (صدا و سیما و ...)

7. تلاش برای دوستی با نیروهای نظامی و انتظامی و بیسجیان برای کشاندن آن ها به آغوش مردم.

8. گرفتن مراسم سوم و هفتم و چهلم شهدای آزادی و بزرگداشت خاطره ی آن ها در مناسبت های مختلف

9. . در خواست از مراجع تقلید مستقل و شجاع در همراهی با مردم و طلب یاری از آن ها. نقش مراجع و روحانیون در شهرستان ها خیلی مهم است.

10. پرهیز جدی از آزرده کردن اعتقادات مذهبی و باورهای دینی معتقدان.

11. تقاضا از رهبران اعتراض (موسوی و کروبی و خاتمی و هاشمی و ..) به ایستادگی در برابر کودتا چیان.

12. جبران خسارت و دلجویی کردن از کسانی که در این وقایع آسیب های جدی دیده ا ند و یا می بینند.

13. پیگیری وضعیت دستگیر شدگان از طریق منابع داخلی و بین المللی

14. جلوگیری از پخش اخبار غیر موثق و شایعاتی که باعث رعب و وحشت می شود

15. مبارزه با جنگ روانی و ارعاب کودتاگران و شجاعت دادن به کسانی که هنوز در تردید به سر می برند.

There is more than just one way.


In this past week I realized

by Sarzamineh Man (not verified) on

In this past week I realized that Iranian inside Iran are one step ahead of us(Iranian outside), Iranian inside Iran realized that their vote is stolen and this story is just the past now, for past three days they took the street and said we do not want their running our country, get out, meanwhile Iranian outside still stuck in last week, they still bring WHERE IS MY VOTE sign to demonstrations lol,one of the guy that I know had the same sign yesterday even though he did not vote, see. I think we should stop giving our brave youth prescription as what to do and what to say, believe me they know more than you think, so lets just support them.

One of the women demonstrator in Iran said : " we are sacrificing our life for freedom, but they are killing us to keep Khamenie, this is the difference between us and them ", now did you get your answer ?? in bacheha jenseshon ghatel nist, hanoz ino motavajeh nashoody ?? hanoz motavajeh nashody akhond jensesh ghatele, kheslatesh ine ?? mesle in mimone ke be pehen, atre khoshbo bezanin, baba pehen jens va kheslatesh ine, agar nabod ke pehen nemishod.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Nilofar Jan, please allow me to say this... thanks

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

What you're advocating won't be solved by a blog. No offense, but Iranians have a lot of anger. All Iranians. Even the ones who had power are angry. WTF?

Death to Death is not a self-cancelling call either. There has to be justice. Even Saddam was hanged. What do you think if Saddam were alive, Iraq would be better off? NO! 


When has Iran except for the

by piyaz (not verified) on

When has Iran except for the past 30 years has had the clergies run the government? Didn't Iran have monarchial system for 2500 years until the fall of the last Shah?

hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

the subject (social justice) of your blog is no trivial matter. i believe that you do feel anger but where you differ from other demonstrators is on the appropriate punishment for someone who is believed to be unjust, in this case the dictator (khamenei). khamenei, in his cold and dismissive tone of an abusive father, basically condemned those who wanted to peacefully demonstrate to death by using the words “harsh consequences.” and as we have seen, the security forces have heeded to his command and have killed many demonstrators and have detained scores more. without question, these detainees are being tortured as we speak. as ms. dadvar (who seems to be an expert in the matters of psychology) said people need "to express their emotions" and each person has his/her own way.

the people who use the word ‘death’ in their slogan want to defy this abusive father with the same force that he condemned the innocent demonstrators. khamenei might not hear our voices, see our tears and sense our anger as he’s insulated in his compound by a bunch of yes-men, but that doesn’t preclude us for expressing these feelings. in no way, do i want you to feel the same anger and need to exact equal revenge for what this mass murderer has bestowed on the iranian people. and i don’t think the outcome of a second revolution necessarily will be the same because the same slogan is used. many of these people might indeed want to imprison khamenei for life if they had the chance. but ultimately, i hope that you understand others’ need for expression, and perspective on ‘just punishment’.


Dream of Sugar Plums and Butterflies

by Anonymous111 on

This regime was born of blood, has stayed in power with blood and it will die in blood.  It has shown time and time again (like now) that it will crush any opposition with brut force.  There is no talking, reasoning or voting this system out of existence.  There is also no way to even change this sytem by debating, talking, reasoning or voting.  The events of the last week have proven that and have conclusively demonstrated that all this pseudo intellectual nonsense about playing Mr. Nice guy with this band of thungs is a fairy tale.  This is a military dictatorship and its main goal is to remian in power at any cost.  The only way to remove, or even change, it is by battling it street by street, as the brave men and women in Iran are doing now.  I'll soon (very soon actually) will be traveling there, and I hope that I can have the honor to join them.

This is an all out war on Iranian people, and you know what they say: you don't take a knife to a gun fight.  I hope that God gives us the strenght to fight on.