Tell us What You're for
This piece was published in New York Times/International Herald Tribune on April 5, 2010. click here for the link.
In March, President Obama sat in front of the camera and sent a message to the people of Iran — all those who celebrate Nowruz, the start of the Iranian New Year — and to the Islamic Republic. In his message, Mr. Obama praised the courage and persistence of those who bravely stood for their rights in the aftermath of presidential elections last June. He acknowledged Neda Agha-Soltan, whose death was captured on video and traumatized the world. He emphasized the importance of justice and of a better future for Iranians.
President Obama asked the Islamic Republic a question that we, the generation of the Islamic Revolution, have been asking for years: “We know what you’re against; now tell us what you’re for.”
The Islamic republic is against love and perceives love, as it stands today, as a symbol of Westernization. The Islamic Republic is against beauty and has imposed a particular form of Islamic veil on us, the women of Iran, in order to protect the chastity of the nation against the West. The Islamic Republic is against peaceful demonstrations and is determined to repress the smallest signs of resistance.
Many of us — the young people of Iran — have undergone countless days and nights of fear. We know well that the Islamic Republic is against our desire to freely express ourselves.
We, too, are eager to know what the Islamic Republic is for.