Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas in Tehran

By Libby

William Wedin started a new website to push back against the neo-con propaganda program to build public support for bombing Iran. Geared towards building a new meme in the public eye, Photo Activists for Peace are colloborating to assemble a visual record of the real Iran to counter the false 'axis of evil' picture being painted by the White House. He describes his vision at Lew Rockwell.

And what my eyes tell me is that it looks like there are lots of Christians now living in Iran (as they have for many centuries). And these Christians feel free to shop for Christmas trees on the street and for Christmas cards in the stores; and take photos of their kids with Santa; and attend Christmas services in posh new churches. And what my eyes tell me too is that all of these Christians are unafraid. And I am sure that your eyes tell you the exact same thing. [...]

From the way these people sit and stand and hold their heads and use their hands, our eyes and optic nerves and related brain areas all reach the same conclusion in a nanosecond. And that is that these Iranian Christians are able to pray and shop and get goodies from Santa and walk home through the streets of Tehran with gifts for their grandkids without any fear. Be it from saber-toothed tigers or "Muslim maniacs." And our visual processing programs are also able to determine that these Christians are not being brave in the face of danger. Their bodies are really relaxed and unguarded – just like those of Christians in Boulder.

We can also deduce from such things as Christmas trees being sold on Tehran sidewalks and big Merry Christmas signs hanging in Tehran stores that while American aggression in Iraq may have had the tragic "blowback" effect of driving out 90% of all Christians who once lived there, Muslim tolerance towards Christians is still alive and well in Iran. And this tolerance on the part of Iran’s supposedly "mad mullahs" starts at the top with Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, and permeates all the way down – even when it comes to such things as the depiction of angels in paintings and sculptures: which is forbidden in Muslim mosques, yet allowed in Christian churches. Take a closer look at the church shown above and you’ll see.

In fact take a closer look at the entire Christmas gallery and while you're at it, check out the women of Iran. Neither Christians nor women look frightened or oppressed to me. A bitter contrast to the plight of both groups in the country Bush 'liberated' from tyranny, namely Iraq, where women and Christians fear to walk openly on the street.

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