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Iran: Not to be confused with Islam or the regime trying to hijack its cultural legacy

By Sheda Vasseghi

In a 2008 article, historian Penelope Corfield claims “[t]he study of the past is essential for ‘rooting’ people in time. And why should that matter? The answer is that people who feel themselves to be rootless live rootless lives, often causing a lot of damage to themselves and others in the process” (emphasis in original).

Bearing this in mind, the occupying Islamic regime in Tehran does not represent the Iranian people, culture, heritage, legacies, and spirit.

KFarrokhDr. Kaveh Farrokh receives the Golden Persian Lioness Award for his book 'Shadows in the Desert' from Michael Gayle of the U.S. Embassy in London on Oct. 31, 2008 in London."

The root of Islamism, a political-religious system, is not Iran. As mainstream educational system continues to systematically erase knowledge of shared ancestral roots across cultures while replacing them with unfounded, politically-motivated “cultural bridges,” a theme of finding “roots” among the nations is addressed here.

Iranians are misrepresented and omitted by mainstream institutions and so-called experts across genres and ages. Their contributions to a developing West, in particular, are edited out of publications, or assigned to non-Iranians and lumped in a generic grouping such as “Muslim” or “Islamic.”

For those, who may ask why is Iran and its decolonization relevant to the West, some background on its real roots is offered below.

  • German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) notes in The Philosophy of History: “The Persians are the first Historical People; Persia was the first Empire that passed away…this land has been subject to those developments and revolutions, which alone manifest a historical condition…in Persia first arises that light which shines itself, and illuminates what is around; for Zoroaster’s ‘Light’ belongs to the World of Consciousness….”
  • Samuel Johnson, notable English scholar of world religions writes in Oriental Religions and Relation to Universal Religion: Persia (1884): “In the Persian genius for sway begins that worship of personality which has been the shaping force for good and ill of European civilization….”
  • Author and translator of Ukrainian literature in Canada, Florence Livesay, claims in a 1918 Scientific American publication: “Ariastan [Iranian word meaning “Land of Aryans”] not only begot Ukrainians and all European nations, but it was the cradle of Persians and Hindus as well.”
  • Father of Morphophonology, Russian linguist and scholar, Prince Nikolai Sergeyevich Trubetzkoy is quoted in N.S. Trubetzkoy: Studies in General Linguistics and Language Structure: “The northwestern, or ‘Scythian,’ Iranian dialects have been studied very little.… Data on the other Iranian dialects of the Scythian group, therefore, would be of prime importance for the comparative grammar of Indo-European.” Scythians, an Iranian people, are among the ancestors of many nations including Ireland, Scotland, Ukraine, etc.
  • Iran means “Land of the Aryans” (a branch of larger Indo-European family) and is often interchangeable with the name Persia. Iranians always called their nation Iran while Persia is what ancient Greeks called Iran, because of their coming into contact with the first world empire created by an Iranian people, the Persians (Achaemenid Persian Empire 550-330 BCE). All Persians are Iranians, but all Iranians are not Persians.
  • The famous historical body of water known as the Persian Gulf separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula in western Asia. Despite mainstream’s political maneuvering and appeasement, the Persian Gulf may not be referred to as the “Arabian Gulf,” because there is no historical body of water by that name, and it may not be called “the Gulf” given it is not the only gulf in the world. The Arabian Sea, as a separate entity, however, refers to northern part of Indian Ocean between Pakistan and Iran. In 2006, the United Nations confirmed the historical name of the Persian Gulf further noting that “any change, destruction, or alteration of the names registered in historical deeds and maps is like the destruction of ancient works and is considered as an improper action.”
  • Since antiquity Iranian Peoples were spread across Asia and Europe just as the Greeks and later the Romans, so Iranians may not be regarded solely as “Easterners” or “Middle Easterners” especially since one may ask “East” to what? Both the East and the Middle East are improper terms in that they do not represent geographic locations. The constant use of invented terms by the mainstream in support of a political agenda does not validate such terminology.
  • Peoples of Iranian stock as inhabitants of Europe and Asia since antiquity, in whole or in part, include, but are not limited to: Mede, Persian, Parthian, Saka, Scythian, Sogdian, Sarmatian, Alan, Bactrian, Kurd, Azari, Lur, Bakhtiari, Cimmerian, Hephthalite, Massagetae, Kambojas, Khorvat, Serboi, Jassic, Ossetian, Shirazi, Tajik, Phrygian [depicted in Iranic attire along with other Iranians wearing tunic, pants, and red felt hat known as the “Freedom cap”], Mitanni [proto-Iranic or Indo-Aryan], Saggarthian, Corduchi, Caspian, Arachosian, Khwarezmian, Dahae, Zarangian, Arimaspi, Pallava, Arian, Leucosyri, Rhoxolani, Iazyges, Siraces, Parni, and Ashvakas.
  • One of the most notable influences on western psyche as seen through religion, philosophy, arts, and the like, is ancient Iranian reformist Zoroaster (Zarathushtra), who is considered a pioneer in philosophy as the “father of cosmic dualism” (battle of good/evil) including Gnostic philosophy. According to many experts, Zoroaster’s inquiries and teachings known as The Gathas may be dated to 1400-1200 BCE.
  • The late British scholar of Iranian languages Mary Boyce writes, “Zoroastrianism is the oldest of the revealed credal religions, and it has probably had more influence on mankind, directly and indirectly, than any other single faith…some of its leading doctrines were adopted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as by a host of Gnostic faiths, while in the East it had some influence on the development of northern Buddhism…. Zoroastrianism was already old when it first enters recorded history.” Interestingly, Iranian influences on the West are rising again since in recent scientific publications, physicists such as Amherst College professor Arthur Zajonc, discuss quantum theory and teachings of Zoroaster.

In the conclusion of what is only an introduction, we would submit that this thesis deserves more discussion and debate. And if it is true, as critics suggest, that mainstream media and institutions are too often beholden to political interest groups and funded ideologies in controlling the power of verbal and published words, it is time for the masses to declare their “roots” are not for sale!

Sheda Vasseghi is on the Board of Azadegan Foundation and is a regular contributor to World Tribune on Iran’s Affairs. Kaveh Farrokh, a historian with a shared Nobel Peace Prize nomination and winner of the Best History Book Award (2008) by The World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media, reviewed and offered input for the above essay..

Original article found here Original Article

 



 

 

 

 


 

 






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