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Iran 30 years after the revolution

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by zakiyeh, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    I have come through many occasions being shocked by what people in Europe and America thought or knew about my country. I don't get shocked now since it had been so frequent. Unlike my mates here that have quite a good knowledge of the world around them, I see that many of my age and even older don't have as much information just as to know in which continent Iran is in! (I'm sure that's not the case in here though!)
    About ten years ago when I was in England (I have lived there for five years) many of my english friends were surprised to know that there is universities and hospitals in Iran! Thanks to their media always showing ruins and villages when talking about iran!


    Now I think more important than the facts about Iran's developments is the culture and beliefs of the Iranian people which needs to be made clear. I know there should be many questions since Iran has become more popular today.
    As an example I see that many people think that Iranians are forced by strong restrictions to obey rules such as Hijab for women or anti-homosexuality and if the government changed it would be all different.
    I'm eager to know what people think about the state of cultural-religious values between Iranian individuals and families now that 30 years has passed over the revolution in 1979. I am also ready to talk about the Revolution itself.
    I know there are many political perspectives on all this but I chose this forum "Culture & Religion" because I think that like all other aspects of it, Iran's politics too has a strong root in it's religion, that is Shi'ite Islam. So we can also have political questions about Iran's government and even Ahmadinejad's views ;), and if it went far we may as well start a new thread!

    Well, here I am here to read your views and answer as much as I can! I hope I will have enough time & access to internet to continue.
     
  2. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    The people I have met from Iran say its dangerous and sometimes deadly to go against the leaders. Also to convert to another faith besides Islam is considered dangerous, do you think they are pulling my leg?

    also, your president said here in the states in an interview that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Do you agree with him? Why are there none? I am told by my friends who came from Iran its because if you are thought to be homosexual you dont live.

    Can you explain to me what your leader meant by there are no homosexuals in Iran?
     
  3. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you about the "popular" view of Iran by westerners but would mention that its something that your country needs to look at! Unfortunately these perception do not come from pure fantasy on our part!

    Do you think that Ayatollah Khamemei has been a good Supreme leader of Iran or do you think that Rafsanjani would been a better leader? Would you like to see a more "moderate" approach in future such as Rafsanjani or indeed someone like Ayatollah Sharroudi?
     
  4. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    Are religions (Christianity, Judaism) other than Islam allowed to be practced? I've heard that in some Islamic countries other religions are allowed as long as they pay some sort of tax surcharge.

    It's not clear from your post what your current county of residense is. Are you still residing in England or are you now in America?

    Never having lived in another country, I would be interested in your views concerning cultural comparisons. Please don't soft-pedal your views trying to spare our feelings. Things can be pretty harsh in here sometimes even among ourselves.
     
  5. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    Converting from Islam to another religion is abandoned by the teachings of Islam itself. (it's mentioned in Quran). The Government of Iran having the word "Islamic" in it's name after the revolution (The Islamic Republic of Iran) which 98 % voted to be as this is expected to activate the Islamic instructions. So if any one claims openly his denial and transfer should be killed according to islamic instructions. knowing the reason for this needs to go deeper in the teachings of the religion of islam. Islam introduces itself as the complete religion and says that prophet Muhammad was the last prophet who brought the completest program for human living on earth. Quran calls for muslims to go and study about their religion as soon as they become mature. But not every body does it so! It is believed that if one does that would agree with Islam being the right path. So transferring after that would be like standing in front of God and lying to yourself.
    Still I don't remember hearing a news about anyone killed for such a reason till now. I know It gets most serious when this open claim is accompanied by with some kind of insult or telling untruths about Islam. As Imam khomeini acknowledged that was the case for Salman Rushdie.

    It is quite the same with the case about homosexuality. We do have christians and jews in Iran but I don't think we have anyone without a religion. Islam forbids strongly the homosexuality. It's got clear and straight rules about family the sexual relationships. I don't think it is ok in christianity or judaism either!
    About 99% of Iran's population are muslim. One can not say no one in Iran has ever committed a homosexual act (that would be a sin), but being a homosexual means not being a muslim. Some of islams restrictions are being disobeyd more easily. The rules about the sexual relationships are the ones with very strong cultural importance. For example I might have a muslim friend that would take her scarf off if she goes out of Iran, But I should never ever come across a homosexual muslim friend.

    Now I would like to know about the restrictions in other religions.Is there anybody that has information about that? I don't think many christians presume themselves obliged to many instructions. They believe they are saved by the instance they believe in Jesus, fer he is sacrificed to clear their sins! But I still think there shouldn't be a homosexual christian.
    hmm?
     
  6. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    Well I think he has been a perfect leader! Unfortunately you have come through a member of a generation that have gone further "revolutionary" than their fathers who had seen Imam and the days of the revolution!
    This meaning of the word "revolutionary" here can only be understood by the values of Iran's islamic revolution.
    I would never think of Rafsanjani as my leader. I think he has deviated from these values. His programs for development which is believed to have sacrificed justice and widened the gap of poor and rich is questionned here. I neither agree with him trying to scare us down that there would be an attack if Iran continued it's nuclear program or whatsoever. That is not in line with Imam Khomeini's views.

    As for Ayatollah Shahroudi,(is that what you meant?) did you mean that he is very exterme? I don't know about that but I can say I don't think he has the same richness in knowledge of history, literature, art and culture as Imam Khamenei has.
    I belive Imam Khamenei is following the footsteps of the Beloved khomeini, and thats what important for us!
    As a matter of fact I have never thought of any other leader. We hope that Imam mahdi woud come before there is need for a new one. (Though I know that was our wish when Imam khomeini was alive!)
     
  7. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    I can only speak for the states, I dont know what they do in other countries,

    We have many different religions and many people whos religion is not to accept any religion. But no religon rules or runs any place. Utah would probably be the most religous place but even there they have lots of non religous people.

    The laws that run the USA are laws written by congress not by religous leaders. Homosexuals have bars and clubs, women sell their bodies and dance naked for strangers for money in every state. There are the lowest form of humanity to the best I have seen all in the same towns... I would rather have more morality but I want it willingly because its what people want not because our government or religous leaders demand it, So I probably will never see it in my life time.
     
  8. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    Yes of course there are. They form 1% of Iran's population, and there are representatives of them (the religious minority) in the parliament. I don't think they are paying extrataxes though. I should check that out.


    I live at home now!... that is Iran. I've come back from England about ten years ago.

    Ok. I try to tell the truth. It will be my opinion and according to what I've seen.

    Yet having the experience of living about 5 years in the capital city, Tehran (which there were my dormitory experiences), and more of that in the extreme religious city of Qom, (adding two years of tabriz!) I think I have quite a good experience to tell you how many think like me.
    There are people like No obamanation's friends that view things differently. I don' deny that. But well at least I can say I'm in the majority. I can tell you later on which parts there are more common views and on which not .

    And of course there are some evident facts!
     
  9. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    The problem with Iran for me, is that I am positive Islam is a load of old rubbish, as is Christianity, Mormonism and Scientology. So I do not want to live somewhere where I am bound so strongly by the traditions of a religion.

    However, if the population of Iran wish to be governed in such a way because they do believe in Islam, so be it. As long as people who are not Islamic, and no longer wish to be Islamic, are not killed for holding this view. By all means exile them if it is the popular vote but don't condemn others to death for not holding the same view of you.
     
  10. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    There isn't any kind of thought or belief police searching for people converting from islam and it is not allowed by the law to do that. As I said it might get serious when there is open announcement (by that I mean the news reaching the media) and there is insult.

    Most of Islams restrictions are obeyed under the cultural and individual importance. We do have thieves and murderers and such, that might be afraid of the law, but other than these common crimes which are crimes in all countries there is really no general fear of the government between people.

    And you see the rules being the orders of Islam, being a true muslim one would not complain from the law for the punishing, but rather themselves for committing a sin. God hasn't left all the punishing for after death. Through Islam he has some punishment and awards so there would be order in the society. I think it would be so idealistic to expect everybody be moral without some rules, Though that is the perfection point according to islam itself: to be good for the sake of good. That is what we should all be trying for.
     
  11. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    Well you've got to have your reasons for that view. Islam is not all old teachings though (neither it is rubbish!) and it is not all traditions. It has eternal rules that depend on the unchanging nature of mankind and on the undeniable basis of good and evil. As for matching them to today's world, In the shi'ite Islam we have the islamic science called 'figh' which is bound to extract rules for new problems and new conditions according to the requirements of time and place. So we have changeable rules that let Islam walk along the changing world. The exrtactions depend on the teachings of Quran and the words of "ahl-ul beit" ,that is prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his family (by his family is meant his daughter and the twelve imams of shi'a which all, along with the prophet Muhammad himself are believed to be 'ma'sum' which means who never commits a sin or makes mistakes).
    But morality is believed to be un-relational to time and place. So for example you will never be allowed to behave unrespectfully to your parents, no matter what happens, or tell a lie, or insult another muslim, or murder, ... etc
     
  12. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    what happens if you do it anyways?


    Lets say your brother said I dont want this life anymore, I dont believe in Islam, I want to be hindu and I realize I am homosexual and I think my parents are to bossy and I am not going to do what they say I will do what I want.

    what becomes of this person?
     
  13. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    Thank you Zakeyeh for your prompt and courteous replies.

    Knowing now that you live in Iran, it does bring up some other questions.

    In your original post, you mentioned that you may not have access to the internet for long.

    What is the nature of you current internet access? Is it through an internet cafe, a friend, a personnal computer? How is it that you may lose access to the internet? Would it be for financial reasons?/political reasons? You are unusually courteous for a poster on a political forum. Would an act of discourtesy cause you to lose access to the internet?

    I'm currently sitting at home on my personnal computer. The only things that would cause me to lose internet access (to my knowledge) would be failure to pay the bill or technical difficulties.
     
  14. Hobo1

    Hobo1 Active Member

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    Zakeyeh, do you ever have debate or serious discussion with friends about the Islamic religion? Do you ever wonder if maybe some other religion has better answers about God? Do you ever think maybe the universe has no God? Maybe God is only a human idea.
     
  15. zakiyeh

    zakiyeh Member

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    Well it depends on the family first. How strict they are.
    If he says it as you wrote it I think a very strict family would propably throw him out and deny him as a member of the family (after some shoutings and throwing out things at him!) I think this case would be more likely to happen in such strict families where the parents are unaware of the outside world, the cultural differences of the new generation, what goes on in the internet and so are unable to guess and answer the questions it all makes in their childs minds before it gets to that point.
    But if he starts to question islam politely he wouldn't be treated bad. So my 17 yr old brother is encouraged in the family to talk about his doubts on islam. But if he resists all the conversation and bringing his reasons (because my mum has studied theology he would have to try very hard to convince my mother he is reasonablly right) he would probably be asked to live his own life too.
    As for the "homosexual" (hs) part I don't think a normal family would bear it either, (including mine!). The family woud try very hard to stop him because it will bring so much shame and disgrace for them. If it were of no use it would be left to the law. So if he gets caught during an illegall sexual relationship he will be punished.
    The punishment is about a hundred whips for women and also for men that are only caught naked together. For the men if the act is proved, that is one man confirms it 4 times or 4 men confirm it, then the punishment is death, but if he asked for mercy from God (we call it 'toubah' aword in arabic meaning 'return')before the confirmation, he will be forgiven.

    In the Quran, there is the story of the people at the time of prophet Lot who were homosexuals and God killed them all by raining stones at them

    putting the (hs) part and such cases aside, there are families that would gradually cut or lessen their relationships with him, and some that would try to pretend nothing has happenned and carry on! That's when they too are'nt so fond of islam themselves. They probably dont always read their prayers or aren't always fasting in ramadan.
    We consider the daily muslim prayers as a sign of being a true muslim. I know people who dont read their prayers and still live a happy life. So I think most would prefer to keep the name of a muslim and pick the parts they like from the rules!
     
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