June 28, 2008
Culturecide of the Islamic Republic of IranBy Amil Imani
The intolerant monolithic Islamists are on the march, lashing out with fury at non-Islamic people and cultures. This cult of violence and death spares neither the living nor the non-living heritage of humanity: wherever and whenever it can it commits culturecide-wiping out other people's precious cultural treasures. Not long ago, the Islamists' destruction of the Buddha statues in Afghanistan shocked the world and exposed the savage nature of this cult of violence depravity. Yet, much more destruction on a broad range is taking place in Iran under the direction of the Islamist theocrats.
The Islamist zealots ruling Iran for the past 30 years have undertaken a systematic campaign of endangering and destroying the cultural sites of pre-Islamic Iran, ignoring the numerous petitions and pleas of the Iranian people.
For one, blatantly rejecting the repeated appeals of individuals and organizations such as the International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad, the Islamic Republic proceeded with the construction of the Sivand Dam which went into operation on April 2007 by the order of the ruling Islamists' point man, President Ahmadinejad.
What many experts have warned and feared has already come to pass. The inevitable elevation of humidity from the Sivand Dam has given rise to massive invasion of Cyrus the Great Mausoleum by lichen and fungi. Cracks have started to appear on the stonework of tomb of King Cyrus, humanity's first author of the charter of human rights.
The building of the Sivand Dam by the Islamist government was launched under the pretext that it would be a boon for the farmers. Impartial experts, including expert geologists from the University of Shiraz, have countered with evidence to the exact opposite outcome. Farmers in the area had worked diligently for centuries and habilitated the originally salty soil. Water from the new dam is bound to make it the farmers' bane by returning the soil to salinity once again, experts warned.
In order to discredit those who protested against constructing the ruinous dam, the Islamic Republic's Vice President Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, who ironically heads the state culture and heritage organization, has claimed that groups "opposing the Islamic Republic" are behind the protests.
Mr. Rahim-Mashai who was appointed as the director of ICHTHO after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was "elected" as the regime's new president said in a press conference in March 2006 that he had never heard of the Sivand Dam or the Bolaghi Valley. The Pasargad Heritage Foundation has filed a complaint against Mr. Mashai for a hearing on his intentional systematic endeavor to destroy ancient cultural treasures of the Iranian people.
The destructive effects of the Dam is also impacted the air quality of the area. According to Amir-Teimur Khosravi, the Mayor of Pasargadae,
Referring to the gorge, "it is far from here," said one of the government's functionaries at the dam site, which is slowly filling up. "There will be no damage." People in the provincial capital Shiraz -- renowned as being the capital of poets and beautiful roses, as well as for its imperial Persian ruins -- have a different opinion. They say the project may increase humidity in the arid area near the city of Shiraz, which they believe could damage the limestone mausoleum of Cyrus the Great.
From its inception, the Islamic Republic has waged a systematic campaign of wiping out any and all cultural heritage and even joyous pre-Islamic festivals of the Iranian people: replacing Iranian's traditional happy celebratory events such as Nowruz , Yalda, and many more with endless death-centered Islamic mourning. The Islamists aim to obliterate the Persian antiquities as well as any vestiges of the pre-Islamic Iran. They have put in charge inept puppets as archeology experts so that it would justify their terrorist action against Persian antiquities.
The illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a quisling foreign entity that has betrayed Iranian people, its tradition, its glorious pre-Islamic achievements, and is incessantly working against Iran's national interest. Iran, under the stranglehold and machinations of these parasites, has been transformed in less than three decades to the lead perpetrator of all that is abhorrent to humanity.
Although the Islamic Republic's record speaks dismally for itself, there are numerous reasons for its relentless campaign of cultural genocide. The Islamic regime's decision to slowly destroy Cyrus the Great's tomb is in part motivated by the realization that the people revere King Cyrus for the just laws he instituted as well as his emancipation of the Jews some 2500 years ago. Hence, this benevolent king is despised by the Islamists for symbolizing what are traits truly Iranian and anathema to Islamic credo, as well as keeping the love of non-Islamic nationalism alive in the heart of the populace.
Under the guise of development, the Islamic Republic has launched a comprehensive program of obliterating any physical traces of Iran's rich archeological sites. A partial list of these acts is listed below.
* Sahand Dam in East Azerbaijan which will submerge the 6000-year-old Kul Tepe site. Archaeologists agree that over ten ancient sites in the region, some from the fifth millennium B.C. will be buried under the water, according to an official of the East Azerbaijan Province Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department.
*Alborz Dam in Mazandaran province, which caused irreversible damage to the cultural heritage of the eastern part of Mazandaran province.
*Karun Dam in Khuzestan province is submerging the ancient sites of the Izeh region.
* Mullah Sadra Dam to Drown 7000 Years of History. "Mehr Ali Farsi is one of the most important archeological sites of Fars province. Archeological excavations in this historical site could reveal many unknown facts about the pre-historic period of Fars province. "Despite the fact that this historical site had been identified before the inundation of Mulla Sadra Dam, the authorities of the dam have neglected the necessity for carrying out excavations in this area and started the flooding of the dam in a very short time," according to Azizollah Rezayi, head of archeology team in Mehr Ali Farsi historical site.
*Salman-e Farsi Dam was inundated in 2007, without the CHTHO's permission. It flooded a 350-hectare Sassanid city, which had been inhabited since the pre-Achaemenid era.
*Destruction of one of the biggest historical sites in the Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari province by the Islamic Republic Ministry of Road and Transportation. A local archaeologist who wished to remain anonymous for his safety said: "Israel should not be worried about the [Islamic] regime's threat of wiping it off from the map; it is we [Iranians] who should be worried, as the regime is determined to wipe us off of the map."
He added "everyday this anti-Iranian regime is coming up with a new plot to destroy our heritage. One day our heritage is being threatened by dam projects, the next it's road constructions. They claim these are development projects, but if this is the case why is our heritage being destroyed in the darkness of night and in secret -- and why don't they sit down with the cultural authorities to find a solution to carry out their so-called development projects, and at the same time safeguard our national heritage?"
*45,000 years old Paleolithic site of Kaftarkhun, located in Iran's Isfahan province, have been completely annihilated to build a horse racing course while the eastern parts of this ancient site have seen irreversible damage due to quarry blasting.
*1000-hectare area of a historical site belonging to Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE-224CE) in Khuzestan province has also fallen victim to developmental constructions of the Islamic regime's Hamidieh Azad University in Hamidieh city.
* Tomb of Firuzan (Abu-Lu'lu'ah) in Kashan destroyed, in part to placate the Sunni Arabs. This Persian hero killed the Islam's third Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattāb, avenging the death on thousands of Iranian by Omar's Islamic aggressors.
The inanimate historical sites of the world are indeed living schools where invaluable lessons are held in their repositories. Preserving, exploring and studying these sites tell a great deal about humanity's past, its triumphs and defeat. Destroying these sites, no matter where they are in the world is tantamount to the burning of libraries. Only truly barbarians such as the bigoted Islamists fail to appreciate these treasures that belong to the entire human family. It is the Islamists' belief that any and all information, ideals and practices that fall outside of Islam are void and must be eliminated.
It is the imperative duty of all enlightened people to steadfastly counter the relentless monolithic Islamic culturcide taking place in Iran or wherever in the world the scourge of Islamism invades.
Amil Imani is an Iranian-born American citizen and pro-democracy activist residing in the United States of America. He maintains the website amilimani.com.