Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Music to his ears...

Iran's public is now facing a new kind of suppression, as if they aren't feeling it enough. (Stifling political speech was in this past summer.) No longer will Iranians be able to listen to Western music:

Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has banned all Western music from Iran's state radio and TV stations an eerie reminder of the 1979 Islamic revolution when popular music was outlawed as "un-Islamic" under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Today, though, the sounds of hip-hop can be heard blaring from car radios in Tehran's streets, and Eric Clapton's "Rush" and the Eagles'"Hotel California" regularly accompany Iranian broadcasts.

No more the official IRAN Persian daily reported Monday that Ahmadinejad, as head of the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council, ordered the enactment of an October ruling by the council to ban all Western music, including classical music, on state broadcast outlets.

"Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required," according to a statement on the council's official Web site.


The ban applies to state-run radio and TV. But Iranians with satellite dishes can get broadcasts originating outside the country.

Ahmadinejad won office in August on a platform of reverting to ultraconservative principles, following the eight years of reformist-led rule under Khatami.

During his presidential campaign, Ahmadinejad also promised to confront what he called the Western cultural invasion of Iran and promote Islamic values.

Since then, Ahmadinejad has jettisoned Iran's moderation in foreign policy and pursued a purge in the government, replacing pragmatic veterans with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners.

While I think this is ludicrous, context is required. Right now, the globe has never been this connected. We can talk to anyone instantly, without delay. News and ideas are disseminated almost too quickly, riots can be coordinated as if planned at a HQ (as was the case in France and Australia). The world traditions are reacting against this global world. New ways and ideas are becoming mainstream, taking the place of the "old ways."

This is not similar to the natural changes humanity always goes through when it comes into contact with other cultures. We are at a major crossroads in global society. But as the human experience has proven, freedom will always win. Fascism, in the forms of Nazism, or in today's climate, radical Islam, cannot defeat the human spirit, which both ideologies attempt to do. Communism failed to change human nature, which in the word's of Calvin Coolidge, "is about the most constant thing in the universe..."

Alas, this is another mistake Ahmadinejad is making. It is a list of mistakes that keeps on growing. He, like all fascists, will soon perish and his exiting will give Iranians a chance at freedom. I know freedom is rather cliche in today's world. It does little to comfort the unease in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. It is something former American slaves did not enjoy until 1964, since the breaking of shackles merely led to economic and political slavery. But the ability to be free is an enduring human trait. Yes, most humans follow popular trends and want acceptance from a wider body. The unique are the brave... those who relish in the ability to swim against the current, only to get discouraged when they become the tide. As we enter this brave new world, in which only freedom, in all of its forms, will win, we must attempt to create a society (a global one at that) that accepts human nature and looks for the universal moral code that can control man's darkest side.

UPDATE: A friend of mine brought to my attention his disagreement with my statement that, "... freedom, in all of its forms, will win..." He contests that it does not always win. Historically, "conservative" movements have beaten back "progress." I disagree in a larger context, since the concepts of the Declaration of Independence have been trickling throughout the world. I would consider this document the authoritative statement on human freedom. But the word "freedom" is another point of contention. He states, and I must admit I agree, most men and women do not want "freedom." They want liberty. Most want the tool of making free decisions; free from being forced into decisions and opinions. Most (or, perhaps, many?) want to have their opinion agreed upon by others. Everyone looks for guidance. Sailing with the wind is must easier than tacking. Confrontation is not man's strongest suite, as we all know through playground experiences, since bully's almost always get their way. So, yes, human "liberty" will undoubtedly triumph in the Middle East and throughout the world. I just hope that we start focusing on all of the world. I hear there are problems in Sudan... something about genocide.


Blogger Mike said...

You know freedom is coming to an end when a suicide car bomber can't even listen to the Eagles on his way to paradise.

5:01 AM  
Blogger blogawakening said...

I think if you look at it from a religious standpoint, freedom does win in the end.

If everybody wants the freedoms of liberty, than why does half the country favor the ides of increasing the role of government and limiting the amount of free decisions we are able to make?

11:10 AM  

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