Saluting Cyrus the Great on His Day

October 29th has been designated the International Day of Cyrus the Great, a matchless King of Persia and pioneer in the proclamation of human rights. Commemorating Cyrus the Great is synonymous with honoring the glorious ancient Iranians and Iranians' way of life. Palpable reminders to Iranians and all liberty-loving people of the world of this just king's reign stand in the field of Pasargad.

The International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad has the undying gratitude of the diverse people of the Greater Iran for its work in safeguarding these magnificent symbols of Iran's luminous past, which serve as beacons for all people in their quest for freedom and dignity.

The arduous task undertaken by the Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad is all the more difficult in the face of the present Islamic regime's relentless attempts to wipe out any and all vestiges of Iran's proud and praiseworthy pre-Islamic cultural heritage. To these barbaric Islamists, any ideals or symbols representing humanity's non-Islamic enlightenment is good only for the fire of their bigotry.

A seminal achievement of Cyrus the Great is his pioneer work in the promotion of human rights. Using the power of his office to good effect, he decreed a universal charter for human rights for all people. The king's edict for equality of rights served in advancing the social and cultural precepts of the diverse people throughout the vast expanse of his empire. Although ethnically Persian, the benevolent king considered himself a trustee of the diverse nationalities of his kingdom. Parochialism and ethnocentrism were alien to this visionary monarch. 

An illustration of the benevolent beliefs and practices launched by this great historical visionary is his landmark action in 539 B.C. Having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land to build their temple.

For his acts of kindness, Cyrus the Great is immortalized in the Bible in several passages and is called "the anointed of the Lord." Throughout recorded history, the Jews looked to Cyrus's people, the Iranians, as their friends and protectors against oppressors such as the Seleucids and the Romans.

Cyrus the Great is deeply revered for his great tolerance and just treatment of the conquered nations in his vast empire. He is celebrated to this day by the generality of mankind for enshrining fundamental human rights in his Cylinder as the standard for his time and for all times.

In the same way that Cyrus the Great considered all people members of the same human family, the human family of today esteems the great trailblazer of human rights as one of its own. The vast plateau that is presently Iran's heartland has been inhabited by the most diverse people of any region of the planet. Yet, in adherence to the Cyrus's lofty principles, these people found unity in diversity. They have remained loyal to their own unique heritage and successfully linked it to a larger loyalty. The present Iran is a living testimony to this remarkable togetherness where ethnic Persians, Turkic, Kurds, Lurs, Turkmen, Baluchis, Arabs, and others live as one people: a great template for the entire world to emulate.

For some 1,400 years, the viral disease of Islamism has devoured the very fabric of our nation and identity. Millions and generations of our people have paid dearly, often with their lives, for this affliction visited upon us. Yet millions and generations have bravely managed to retain the identity and values that make us proud to be Cyrus's descendants.

As Iranians, it is propitious at this time to take stock of our condition and renew our resolve to do everything in our power to rescue Iran from the suffocating quagmire of Islamism. We must return our nation to its rightful historic place as the vanguard of a civilized world where justice and liberty rule supreme for all humanity.
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