Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Not a good idea to mess with the RAF …

June 5, 2012
Tornado

Tornado

Conversation overheard on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5 MHz while flying from Europe to Dubai ..

Iranian Air Defence Site: ‘Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.’

Aircraft: ‘This is a British aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.’

Air Defence Site: ‘You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!’

Aircraft: ‘This is a Royal Air Force GR4 Tornado fighter. Send ‘em up, I’ll wait!’

Air Defence Site: ( …. total silence)

What Must Be Said

April 11, 2012

What Must Be Said

Why have I kept silent, silent for too long
over what is openly played out
in war games at the end of which we
the survivors are at best footnotes.

It’s that claim of a right to first strike
against those who under a loudmouth’s thumb
are pushed into organized cheering—
a strike to snuff out the Iranian people
on suspicion that under his influence
an atom bomb’s being built.

But why do I forbid myself
to name that other land in which
for years—although kept secret—
a usable nuclear capability has grown
beyond all control, because
no scrutiny is allowed.

The universal silence around this fact,
under which my own silence lay,
I feel now as a heavy lie,
a strong constraint, which to dismiss
courts forceful punishment:
the verdict of “Antisemitism” is well known.

But now, when my own country,
guilty of primal and unequalled crimes
for which time and again it must be tasked—
once again, in pure commerce,
though with quick lips we declare it
reparations, wants to send
Israel yet another submarine—
one whose speciality is to deliver
warheads capable of ending all life
where the existence of even one
nuclear weapon remains unproven,
but where suspicion serves for proof—
now I say what must be said.

But why was I silent for so long?
Because I thought my origin,
marked with an ineradicable stain,
forbade mention of this fact
as definite truth about Israel, a country
to which I am and will remain attached.

Why is it only now I say,
in old age, with my last drop of ink,
that Israel’s nuclear power endangers
an already fragile world peace?
Because what by tomorrow might be
too late, must be spoken now,
and because we—as Germans, already
burdened enough—could become
enablers of a crime, foreseeable and therefore
not to be eradicated
with any of the usual excuses.

And admittedly: I’m silent no more
because I’ve had it with the West’s hypocrisy
—and one can hope that many others too
may free themselves from silence,
challenge the instigator of known danger
to abstain from violence,
and at the same time demand
a permanent and unrestrained control
of Israel’s atomic power
and Iranian nuclear plants
by an international authority
accepted by both governments.

Only thus can one give help
to Israelis and Palestinians—still more,
all the peoples, neighbour-enemies
living in this region occupied by madness
—and finally, to ourselves as well.

– Günter Grass

Originally published as Was gesagt werden muss in Süddeutschen Zeitung (4 April 2012). This translation by Michael Keefer and Nica Mintz, published by Pulse.

The truth will always out, but oh my, what a fuss when it does.

According to Israeli interior minister Eli Yishai, Günter Grass is now a persona non grata in Israel.

Günter Wilhelm Grass (1927- ) is a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature, best known for his novel The Tin Drum (1959).

Top Story in Words World Champion (Wednesday 11 April 2012).

- Why has Günter Grass’s poem about Israel and Iran provoked such hysteria?
- The Disgusting Attacks on Gunter Grass
- Hit Günter Grass with poetry, not a travel ban

Publication in Iran of I Hate Paulo Coelho

January 15, 2012
Aleph in Farsi

Aleph in Farsi

Haters are confused admirers waiting for an excuse to say “I love you”. — Paulo Coelho

We hate that which we often fear. — William Shakespeare

It is becoming ludicrous the attacks on Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho by the evil Ayatollahs and Mullahs in Iran.

First they banned his books, then an attack by the Iran Book News Agency, now the promotion of a book, if not actually commissioned, I Hate Paulo Coelho.

A novel in Persian (Farsi): I Hate Paulo Coelho by Hamdreza Omidi Sarvi published by Amout Publications.

IBNA: “I Hate Paulo Coelho” relates a love story in social context. The main character of the novel named Reza is a pessimist writer with a number of failures. Reza-in-love encounters new people and situations that moves the story to new spaces.

The novel is written in a simple and colloquial language mostly related in internal monologues. The writer in this book tries to probe into the minds and lives of different social classes through a romance – social classes that each demand different things and have different dreams.

The story goes as “Qazal had read the ‘Alchemist’ and was influenced by it so much that she believed the book had saved her life in a period of mental crisis. At that moment it had not crossed my mind that ‘You Fool! When someone asks your opinion on something in the very first date, it means that she really cares for that and your opinion does matter….”

“I Hate Paulo Coelho” is published in 400 pages and 1650 copies by Amout Publications.

Hamidreza Omidi Sarvar is a mechanical engineering graduate with publications on film criticism.

It is easy to see why Paulo Coelho is hated by the regime, his books banned. He writes on mysticism, he encourages people to think, he stands up for the rights of women, all of which must be an anathema to the evil regime in Iran. He is also a very strong critic of religious fundamentalism.

The attacks on Paulo Coelho should also been seen within the context of the whipping up of anti-Western hate and hysteria in Iran and the development of nuclear weapons with which to attack the West and Israel and threats to close international shipping lanes through which a large amount of the world’s oil passes.

Paulo Coelho is very popular in Iran, which must upset the corrupt Ayatollahs and Mullahs, religious extremists who bastardise the people of Iran, especially the women. A pity the revolution of a few years ago failed to overthrow them.

The Zahir was first published in Iran. Copies to then be promptly seized by the Thought Police.

It was Paulo Coelho who brought to world attention the brutal killing of Neda, the face of the revolution, during the failed revolution.

Paulo Coelho has made his books available for free download in Farsi. Spread the word to all your Iranian friends.

Less we forget, the Mullahs and Ayatollahs not only shed blood in Iran, they are one of the principle agents of the sectarian violence and shedding of blood in Iraq.

- Coelho’s thought rhyming with false mysticism
- Aleph in Farsi
- Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books
- The persecution of Hoder
- Change in Iran
- Arash Hejazi Interview for BBC
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell

Coelho’s thought rhyming with false mysticism

January 7, 2012
Neda - Latuff

Neda - Latuff

Praying doesn’t make you a saint any more than standing in an airport makes you an airplane. — Paulo Coelho

Here they come again. — Paulo Coelho

The following garbage has been posted by Iran Book News Agency:

Hojatoleslam Mazaheri Seif, writer of “The Spiritual World of Paulo Coelho” believes that Coelho follows the trend of false mysticism.

IBNA: According to Hamidreza Mazaheri Seif, a thematic study of Paulo Coelho’s works shows that his writings have the main features of false mysticism and heretic religions.

He continued: “Moreover, last year a book was published containing the names of 100 spiritual leaders of the world. The ideologies of these figures names are in line with that of the publisher and Coelho’s name is mentioned among the first top 20 leaders of the world showing that he has been globally acknowledged as a spiritual master. Many individuals insist that Coelho is their master in spiritual journeys and he was even welcomed by many Iranians during his travel to Iran. Given this situation we conclude that Coelho has consciously stepped into the realm of spirituality. However, whether he is qualified to be called a master should be assessed.”

“If you make a survey of all contemporary quasi-spiritual movements, you will realize that all leaders of them are instructing similar values to the human society. The backbone of Coelho’s thought is in line with all other false theosophical religions such as ‘Fallun Dafa’, ‘Halgheh’ InterUniversal Mysticism (in Iran), or Dialogue with God (in the US). The question that now rises here is that how all these leaders that have emerged in different locations say one word? If we trace them we come up with a single point, and that is Modern Kabbalah (a Jewish mysticism),” he added.

“Isn’t it true that Coelho’s writings are just symbolic manifestation of a universal trend of 290 years old that attempts to come up with a global religion caused by capitalism – that is, a religion concordant with liberal capitalism? The so-called religion is cultivated by spiritual leaders of the world including Paulo Coelho as the most outstanding one since he is more direct in addressing these values so much so that even Shimon Peres appreciated him.”

Mazaheri Seif then stated that in The Alchemist, Coelho has rewritten a tale from Rumi’s Masnavi’s sixth volume. Coelho is basically a master of plagiarism and this has been led to a number of oppositions. His story for Fathers, Sons and Grandsons is a rehabilitation of Golistan and Boustan, but the main problem of these adaptations is altering the plots in order to come up with his intended endings – that is the promotion of Modern Kaballah.

Mazaheri Seif added that banning one or two books would not help spreading these mysticisms as we actually face an ideology that reproduces itself in thousands of publications in millions of copies and this should not be neglected.

According to him, the best way to oppose the movement is to promote right spiritual instruction by the same means of books, fiction, novel and media in simple language.

The mysticism and spiritual insights of Paulo Coelho is a little too much for the evil Ayatollahs and Mullahs of Iran to stomach.

Compared with the vicious personal attacks in the West masquerading as book reviews this garbage published by the Iran Book News Agency is actually quite mild.

Paulo Coelho is very popular in Iran, which must upset the corrupt Ayatollahs and Mullahs, religious extremists who bastardise the people of Iran, especially the women. A pity the revolution of a few years ago failed to overthrow them.

The Zahir was first published in Iran. Copies to then be promptly seized by the Thought Police.

It was Paulo Coelho who brought to world attention the brutal killing of Neda, the face of the revolution, during the failed revolution.

Paulo Coelho is banned in Iran, it would not do for Iranians to be encouraged to think.

Paulo Coelho has made his books available for free download in Farsi. Spread the word to all your Iranian friends.

Less we forget, the Mullahs and Ayatollahs not only shed blood in Iran, they are one of the principle agents of the sectarian violence and shedding of blood in Iraq.

- Aleph in Farsi
- Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books
- The persecution of Hoder
- Change in Iran
- Arash Hejazi Interview for BBC
- The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell

The Truth as Iraq descends into Hell

December 21, 2011
difference between Baghdad and the world

difference between Baghdad and the world

Last week we were told by Barack Obama, Mission Accomplished, Iraq has been left as a stable country.

- US leaves behind a stable Iraq

No Mr President, simply not true!

A few days later Canon Andrew White issued the following plea:

US may be leaving us but our war is not over it is getting worse every day but we are now forgotten! We have just spent 2 hours trying to get into the Green Zone. Our badges may be the highest level but they are not working as of today, because they are American. This evening I was to take the British Embassy Carol Service. I arrive an hour and a half late we still did a shortened version. How we do our work now I just do not know, I cannot get to the US Embassy to even do our Chapel Services. We are now in a big crisis please pray for us.

Early this week, Iraq Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, accused of links to terrorism, fled to the relative safety of Kurdistan. Accused by the Shia Prime Minister Nouri Malik, a man the Sunnis accuse of being a worse dictator than Saddam Hussein.

- Iraq Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi denies charge
- Iraqi VP: Baghdad trial ‘not realistic’

One would be hard pushed to find anyone in Iraq without links to terrorists.

The Saudis (Sunni) and Iranians (Shia) are stoking the fires of sectarian hate.

We have to turn once again to Canon Andrew White for the Truth:

By the time you receive this I will be back home in the UK as I write I am on the airplane now. How I would love to say that I was leaving Iraq in a good state but I cannot. Iraq is descending into one of it most major crisis in recent years. The government is on the point of collapse. The prime minister has issued an arrest warrant for the Vice President Tariq Al Hashami. He is from the largest Iraqi party. Several of his guards have been arrested and charged with terrorist activity and they have said they were just doing what the VP told them to do. What is more the VP is a friend of mine. I do not do a survey on my friends first. We are told to love all people, good and bad. So when I get back to my UK desk tonight and see on my book case a picture of the VP Tariq Al Hashami I am not going to remove it but pray that G-d’s love and His angels will surround him and may we all see soon the truth.

So as I leave things are very bad. I phoned Lina early this morning to see what the news was from Iraq. She laughed and said, “I am not like you, and we don’t have electricity how can I know the news”. All she could tell me was that she had heard lots of big bombs this morning. I there phoned friends who are senior Iraqi politicians. The news they said was so terrible. One of these friends was the person who gets the visas for the people who come in with me. He assured me that it would be impossible to bring anybody in the near future. To start with it is difficult now visas have been stopped to Westerners who are not based here and now it is just two dangerous. It is less than a week since the US Military withdrew and look what state we are in. The leader of the Mahdi Army Muqtader Al Sader said “we had to show that we Iraqis could run the country after occupation and we have already failed”.

The Sad thing is that this news is not even being told by the mass media. They were in country to cover the US Military withdrawal now they have left. Some are even on this plane with me now. So the story has also left. The only good news is that many Iraqis like Lina do not even know what is happening because their access to news is so limited as they have such little power to see or hear news. My prayer for my beloved people as I now leave them Is that they will also see the miraculous power of G-d as we did last weekend. May they also see that with G-d all things are possible.

Tomorrow I am in Leatherhead doing two Christmas Carol events with Gerald Coates, my old friend who has been one of the big church leaders in the new church movement. Then I am free until the midnight service in Bramshot that I will speak at.

Well love and blessings to you all. May you have a truly wonderful and blessed Christmas. Don’t forget the Christmas message from the Angel Gabriel “that with G-d everything is possible”.

We never were told the Truth by the Western Media, not that they necessarily deliberately lied, though often they did, but because they were holed up in the Green Zone and rarely if ever ventured out.

Now even the media is pulling out, story over, job finished.

Meanwhile less than two weeks after Mission Accomplished, Iraq descends into Hell.

All we have left is the skills of negotiators like Canon Andrew White and prayer.

As I write I have at the side of me a plaque from Iraq, given to me by Canon Andrew White.

Top story in The Books4Spain Daily (Thursday 22 December 2011).

Aleph in Farsi

August 5, 2011
Aleph in Farsi

Aleph in Farsi

Paulo Coelho has made his latest book Aleph available for free download in Farsi.

- ALEPH in Farsi (free download)

Please pass the word to all your Iranian friends and the people in Iran.

Books by Paulo Coelho are banned in Iran.

- Iran bans Paulo Coelho
- Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books

Aleph is the story of a spritual journey. To date it has shot to Number One in all the countries in which it has been released.

- Obrigado, thank you, gracias, merci

Aleph is due for release in English in September 2011.

Hosni Mubarak has gone!

February 11, 2011

Dear President Mubarak your dignity is no longer important, the blood of Egyptians is. Please leave the country NOW. — Wael Ghonim

Dear Western Governments, You’ve been silent for 30 years supporting the regime that was oppressing us. Please don’t get involved now. — Wael Ghonim

!! He’s gone! Scenes of jubilations in Tahrir. I will never forget this moment. — Sharif Kouddous

“Lift your head up, you’re Egyptian!” – the chant of victory in Tahrir. — Sharif Kouddous

Every street is filled with people cheering, celebrating, honking, dancing. Indescribable. — Sharif Kouddous

Thanks to everyone for the congrats. A big battle has been won but the war is far from over. We celebrate tonight, tomorrow we struggle on. — Sharif Kouddous

The world only gets better because people risk something to make it better. Congrats Egypt! — Paulo Coelho

Yesterday, we were all Tunisians. Today we are all Egyptians. Tomorrow we will all b: Syrians? Yemenis? Jordanians? Algerians? Palestinians? — Rawya Rageh

It was 1600 GMT and on Egyptian TV was Omar Suleiman looking like death warmed up. He made a very brief statement, less than a minute announcing that Hosni Mubarak had resigned and control had been passed to the army.

The crowds on the streets went wild. It was what they had been waiting for.

What a contrast to the previous evening when Hosni Mubarak had appeared on TV to announce he was staying, to be followed by Omar Suleiman telling people to get off the streets, to go back to work, to stop listening to foreign satellite channels.

All very confusing. Thursday everyone was expecting Hosni Mubarak to go, but he dug in his heels and said he was staying. Following midday Friday prayers, people took to the streets. Tahrir Square was filled to overflowing, people overspilled and started to surround the Presidential Palace and State TV building. In other parts of the country there were reports of peope seizing government buildings.

We were told Egypt was or would descend into chaos, that the Islamists wwre poised to take over, that Egypt would be another Iran.

The reality was peacefull unarmed people took on a repressive regime backed by US-UK and won.

The reality was the people were more than capable of running their own affairs. Look at the number of people in Tahrir Square, there was no police and yet apart from when they were attacked by state security and Mubarak Rent-a-Thugs, there was no violence. People worked together, they looked after each other and out for each other, no one was telling then what to do or organising them.

What we have seen was participatory democracy in action. This is the Big Society, not what David Cameron and Nick Clegg are trying to implement as an excuse to cut public services.

Egypt has ushered in a New World Order. The dominoes will fall one by one. We were told Egypt would not fall. It took three weeks but it fell. Scum bags and others who are brutalising their own people have a very simple choice, go now or be kicked out.

How long will it be before the rotten house of cards that is the corrupt House of Saud falls? Before the evil ayatollahs and mullahs go from Iran? Before the corrupt Palestinian Authority is overthrown?

Palestinian Authority next?

St Valentine’s Day will see the start of revolution in Iran. A Day of Rage has been called.

- Iran’s ‘Day of Rage’
Day of Rage facebook group

The evil ayatollahs and mullahs are jittery. Iran is jamming the BBC Persian service. Books by Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho have been banned, though these are now available for free download in Persian.

- Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books
- Iran bans Paulo Coelho

In Jordan the King is moving in the right direction, but far too slowly. Stop attacking journalists.

Israel will be forced to enter into dialogue with its neighbours.

In Egypt the Constitution has to be rewritten. The Presidential term restricted to two four-year terms. The security apparatus dismantled. The ruling NDP dismantled. Senior officials including Hosni Mubarak and Omar Suleiman put on trial. Parliament has to be dissolved. Free and fair elections held with outside observers.

An interim government has to be appointed drawn from all sectors of society who took to the streets. To retain the cabinet appointed by Mubarak would be to insult the Egyptian people. No way can Omar Suleiman play a part.

How Egypt moves forward is for the people on the street to decide.

Democracy comes from the bottom, it is not imposed from above.

There is a lot more to be done but tonight we celebrate! Tonight we are all Egyptians!

- Egypt in revolt
- Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout A Revolution
- The Egyptian Revolution: A Democracy Now! Special on Mubarak’s Resignation
- Look at the streets of Egypt; this is what hope looks like
Triumph as Mubarak quits
- People & Power – Egypt: Seeds of change
- Egypt: Protests spread as Mubarak holds on
- Mubarak teases Egypt as his regime fragments
- Palestinians can only watch as Egyptians are living their dream
- Egyptians have chosen, time for the state to accept their choice
What bliss to be alive, to be an Egyptian and an Arab
- Palestinian Authority next?

Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia

January 16, 2011
After 23 years of iron-fisted rule, Tunisia's president was driven from power by 29 days of violent protests

After 23 years of iron-fisted rule, Tunisia's president was driven from power by 29 days of violent protests

Fight for your dreams, and your dreams will fight for you. — Paulo Coelho

The world only gets better because people risk something to make it better. — Paulo Coelho

If the people one day decide to live, fate must answer and the chains must break.– Abolkacim Ashabi

Violence in Tunisia now is a product of decades of repression. Regime in Egypt must understand that peaceful change is only way out. — Mohamed ElBaradei

When people take to the streets and totalitarian regimes fall, it happens very quickly. When it happens it takes everyone by surprise, even the participants.

Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall? One totalitarian regime after another fell. That was Eastern Europe and the former communist Bloc.

I remember Romania, when Nicolae Ceausescu addressed a square full of people. They booed, they slow hand-clapped, they heckled, the collapse was then extremely rapid.

Now it is the turn of the Arab world. One dictator ousted, forced to flee the country. Tunisia has fallen. Now having seen it can be done, people across the Arab World, across the Middle East, including Iran, must take to the streets and liberate their countries.

Arab leaders watch Tunisia with fear. The people of the Middle East watch with delight. [see Mid-East bloggers hail change in Tunisia]

The BBC tried to interview people on the street in Egypt to ask them their opinion of events in Tunisia. Within minutes the police moved in.

Tunisia has sparked the flame which will sweep clean the Arab world and Iran of corrupt despots. Social media is fanning the flames.

The Mullahs and Ayatollas in Iran are jittery. The Green Revolution summer 2009 almost succeeded, had more people taken to the streets it would have done. Earlier this week, books by Paulo CoelhoPaulo Coelho were banned. These are now flooding Iran free to download from the net in farsi. Those who dare to openly criticise the regime are imprisoned and tortured. [see Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books]

Where the Green Revolution in Iran failed, the Jasmin Revolution in Tunisia has succeeeded. The despot has gone, forced to flee the country, the regime though is still in place but for how long?

As we saw with the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, once started, it is unstopable. [see The Shape of the Table]

Summer 2009 the Green Revolution in Iran made extensive use of social media and in particular twitter. The death of Neda was posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog (the doctor who went to her aid was a close personal friend), it was re-posted and reported by his followers and then went viral. UK Uncut has made use of twitter to report and coordinate actions as has the student protests against the hike in student fees. The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia has made extensive use of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Social networking has come of age.

Shame on Barack Obama. Not a beep from the Coward in the White House when protesters were being killed on the streets of Tunisia. Not a beep from the Coward in the White House until Ben Ali fled the country like a rat up a drain pipe. It is not that he does not know as the wikileaks diplomatic cables shows that he knows. Hilary Clinton knows as that is why she is on what she calls her Apology Tour of the Arab World.

The prisons in Egypt are full to bursting with political prisoners. The biggest recipient of US largesse after the Zionist Sate of Israel is Egypt.

Who will be next, the evil Mullahs and Ayatollas in Iran, the corrupt House of Saud? The flame of freedom has been lit, it will continue to burn until all despots in the Middle East are removed.

As Benazir Bhutto wrote in Reconciliation, democracy and Islam are not contrary or in oposition to each other. The Koran calls for tolerance, pluralism, listening to and heeding all opinion.

According to reports on twitter, YouTube has been blocked in Libya, top level meetings are taking place, an internal state of emergency declared.

The repressive regime in Iran, hated by the people, must be very very worried.

We are all Tunisians now!

Also see

Tunisia: The fall of President Ben Ali

Dedicated To The Liberators Across Our Globe

Tunisian Revolution can inspire the world

Mid-East bloggers hail change in Tunisia

Amidst Violence, Thousands in Tunisia Protest for Democratic Reforms, Demand Ben Ali’s Resignation

Tunisia Leader Flees and Prime Minister Claims Power

Tunisian swears in interim president amid chaos

Tunisia seeks to form unity cabinet after Ben Ali fall

Three questions for Marwan Bishara

Tunisia: A Moment Of Destiny For The Tunisian People And Beyond?

Could other Arab countries follow Tunisia’s example?

The ‘bin Laden’ of marginalisation

Tonight We Are All Tunisians

Why Tunisia’s Revolution Is Islamist-Free

Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books

The Shape of the Table

Cables From American Diplomats Portray U.S. Ambivalence on Tunisia

Social Media Made Tunisian Uprising Possible

Tunisia unrest a wake-up call for the region

Could other Arab countries follow Tunisia’s example?

In Peril: The Arab Status Quo

To the tyrants of the Arab world …

Tunisia Special: What Happens When an Uprising is Ignored? (Shahryar)

Arab Activism: Brought to you by a White Man

Should twitter receive the Nobel Peace Prize?

The First Twitter Revolution?

Tunisia: A media led revolution?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

My Life as a Traitor

Reconciliation

Iran denies banning Paulo Coelho’s books

January 14, 2011

I read the statement of the Embassy of Iran in Brasilia with astonishment. I felt pity for a government whose only resort against the public opinion towards its atrocities against its own people is lying and distorting the truth. When accused of banning Paulo Coelho’s books in Iran, they not only deny the facts, but also they lie to accuse a witness to an unspeakable crime. Anyone who shows the slightest amount of criticism towards the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad, is accused of working for the US and Israel, even the founders of the Islamic Republic have received such accusations.

I have already explained the circumstances of Neda’s death, several times. In response to these accusations with regards to Neda, I refer you to my statement a few days after the murder.

The people and the public opinion already knows who committed this crime.

With regards to censorship, I would like to ask the government of Iran the following questions:

- Is prepublication censorship (or scrutiny, as you call it) being widely practiced by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, against Iran’s international obligations to enforce freedom of expression?

- Have the books The Zahir, By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept, The Witch of Portobello, Brida, 11 minutes and thousands of other books by international and Iranian authors, including several Nobel Laureates been banned by the Ministry between 2005 and 2010?

- Have hundreds of magazines and newspapers been shut down without any explanation between 2005 and 2010, especially in the past two years?

- Did several people die under torture in the Kahrizak detention centre in the summer 2009?

- Are there several authors, economists, lawyers, journalists, university professors being detained in the Iranian prisons just because of what they said? Doesn’t this amount to censorship?

- Have you banned and cancelled the permission to publish any of Paulo Coelho’s books?

I was informed by someone ‘within’ the Ministry of Culture about the ban on Paulo’s books, and I conveyed the information to Paulo. If the books are not banned, great! If the pressures have made the Ministry to step back and authorize the books, great! If they are lying, shame on them.

Statement made by Arash Hejazi on his blog in response to a statement issued by Iran through their Embassy in Brazil claiming books by Paulo Coelho have not been banned.

Now who do we believe, Arash Hejazi, publisher and translator of Paulo Coelho books in Iran who earlier in the week informed Paulo Coelho that his books were banned in Iran or the evil Mullahs and Ayatollahs who run Iran?

I know who I believe, and it is not the religious extremists who bastardise the people of Iran, especially the women.

Arash Hejazi is the doctor who went to the aid of Neda as she lay dying during the street protests in Iran summer 2009, when the people took to the streets to demand the overthrow of the evil religious extremists who control Iran.

The surprise is not that books by Paulo Coelho have been banned, the surprise is that they were not banned sooner or that publictation was permitted at all.

Iran is now being flooded with Paulo Coelho books in Farsi. Paulo Coelho has placed all his books in Farsi on-line for free download.

Alchemist
Be Like the Flowing River
Brida
By the River Piedra I sat down and Wept
Pilgrimage
Maktub
Stories for fathers sons and grandsons
The Devil & Miss Prym
The Fifth Mountain
The Gift
The Love Letters of a Prophet
The Manual of the Warrior of the Light
The Valkyries
The Winner Stands Alone
The Witch of Portobello
Veronika Decides to Die
- The Zahir

It is unIslamic, contrary to the Koran, which encourages knowledge, the first word of the Koran is a command to read, not that such a minor matter of freedom is likely to worry the evil Mullahs and Ayatollahs who abuse the Koran for their own ends and give Islam a bad name. [see Reconciliation]

Remember the fall of the Berlin Wall? One totalitarian regime after another fell. That was Eastern Europe and the former communist Bloc. Now it is the turn of the Arab world. One dictator ousted, forced to flee the country. Tunisia has fallen. Now having seen it can be done, people across the Arab World, across the Middle East, including Iran, must take to the streets and liberate their countries.

Arab leaders watch Tunisia with fear. The people of the Middle East watch with delight.

Tunisia has sparked the flame which will sweep clean the Arab world and Iran of corrupt despots. Social media is fanning the flames.

I will save the last words for Paulo Coelho: Fight for your dreams, and your dreams will fight for you.

Top story in The Censorship Daily (Friday 14 January 2011).

Also see

Note from the Embassy of The Islamic Republic of Iran in Brazil

Iran bans Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho’s books are banned from Iran

Paulo Coelho says Iran bans his books

The Shape of the Table

The Role of Science and Faith in the Development of Civilisations

Social Media Made Tunisian Uprising Possible

Tunisia unrest a wake-up call for the region

Could other Arab countries follow Tunisia’s example?

Should twitter receive the Nobel Peace Prize?

My Life as a Traitor

Reconciliation

Iran bans Paulo Coelho

January 10, 2011

Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 12:31:56 -0800 (PST)
From: Arash Hejazi

Dear Paulo,

First of all, happy new year and sorry for my belated greetings. As I know you receive tons of emails during the new year, I thought you won’t be eager to receive just another one :) This doesn’t mean that we didn’t think of you at the New Years eve. Since we spent our new year eve at Lourdes in 2001, every year we think of you at about the same time.

Secondly, unfortunately I was informed today that the Ministry of Culture and ‘Islamic Guidance’ in Iran has banned all of your books, even the unauthorized versions published by other publishers. My friends have been told that no book that has Paulo Coelho’s name on it will be authorized to be published in Iran any more.

This is bad news, but I also thought may be it’s time to make your books freely available on Internet in Persian. I haven’t found any way to commercialize this, as there is no way for e-commerce in Iran (people cannot buy anything from outside Iran). But I thought if we can find a proper charity cause, we can ask anyone who downloads one of your books in Farsi to donate some money to that charity. If you agree to this, we will have to discuss the nature of the Charity. If so, I am ready to translate Aleph and make it available this way. As these are your books, I leave the decision about their destiny in your hands.

I also think it might be the time for you to comment on this, at least in your blog, if you want to. Your books have been banned with no explanation, and your Iranian readers are anxious to hear about it from you. We can further discuss it if you wish.

Much love,

Arash

10 Janeiro 2011

1] My books have been published in Iran since 1998, in different publishing houses (Caravan Books, directed by Arash Hejazi, is the only official publisher). So far, we estimated that there are over 6 million copies sold in the country.
2] My books have been published under different governments in Iran. An arbitrary decision, after 12 years of publication in the country, can only be a misunderstanding.
3] In 2009, I used the social communities to support Arash’s ordeal after the elections. You can read the post The Doctor.
4] I hope this misunderstanding will be solved during this week. And I strongly count on the Brazilian Government to support me, my books, for the sake of all the values we cherish.

10 Janeiro 2011 16:15 hr

The Brazilian Minister of Culture and the president of Funarte manifested their concern about the ban of my books in Iran. [see Minister deplores Iran's censorship of books by Paulo Coelho (Google Translator)]

11 Janeiro 2011

1] The Brazilian Minister of Culture, Ana de Hollanda, is in contact with the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Patriota. They are currently studying the next steps to be taken. I thank the Brazilian Govt. for the strong support in this issue.
2] I am not naive. Therefore, I still believe that this arbitrary decision was taken from a low-ranking official in Iran. I repeat: it makes no sense to forbid books that were being published for this past 12 years. The contents of the books did not change – they are still the same.
3] Today the Iran Book News Agency published “Paulo Coelho Opinions Reviewed”. It is my understanding that this is not the official position of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
4] I am honestly hoping that sooner or later the Islamic Republic of Iran will reconsider (or eventually deny) the ban.
5] As soon as I have the files in Farsi, all my books will be posted for free in this blog.

12 Janeiro 2011

1] I had a long conversation with one of the top persons in the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are still waiting for a confirmation from the Iranian authorities on the veto (or on the absence of it). Both the Brazilian Embassy in Tehran and from The Iranian Embassy in Brasil. However, the top official told me, the Brazilian Govt. will not accept the absence of an answer as an answer.

E-mail and response and update posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

The surprise is not that books by Paulo Coelho have been banned, the surprise is that they have not been sooner or that publication was permitted by the thought police.

Somewhat unusual, The Zahir was published in Persian in Iran, rather than in the author’s native language in Brazil. Iran does not recognise international copyright and it was thought that publication in Iran first would afford some protection under national Iranian copyright law.

The Zahir was not available for long. Iranian intelligence agents went to the Tehran Book Fair and seized all 1,000 copies. Like a scene out of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four or Stalinist Russia, the publisher was told the book was banned in Iran and he must report to the authorities. The ruling Islamists fear that by reading a book of deep spiritual significance, the faithful would be drawn away from the true path of Islam. [see Iran 'bans author Coelho's novel']

Iran should be flooded with copies in Farsi. Audio books should be recorded in Farsi, and these too flood the country.

Alchemist
Be Like the Flowing River
Brida
By the River Piedra I sat down and Wept
Pilgrimage
Maktub
Stories for fathers sons and grandsons
The Devil & Miss Prym
The Fifth Mountain
The Gift
The Love Letters of a Prophet
The Manual of the Warrior of the Light
The Valkyries
The Winner Stands Alone
The Witch of Portobello
Veronika Decides to Die
- The Zahir

To ban the books is unIslamic, but is that going to bother the evil people who run Iran? [see Reconciliation]

Top Story in The Censorship Daily (Wednesday 12 January 2011)

Also see

The Role of Science and Faith in the Development of Civilisations

Brazilian author Coelho says Iran bans his books

Paulo Coelho’s books are banned in Iran

The Mullahs Versus the Magus

Paulo Coelho Opinions Reviewed

Paulo Coelho – A man of character and dignity

Iran denies banning of Paulo Coelho’s books

The persecution of Hoder

My Life as a Traitor

Reconciliation


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