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Iran’S Dead Poets Society: The Execution Of Hashem Shabaani Shows The Pen Can Be Mightier Than The Sword

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http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/irans-dead-poets-society-the-execution-of-hashem-shabaani-shows-the-pen-can-be-mightier-than-the-sword-9124516.html

In Iran, there should be a Dead Poets Society. Or perhaps a Martyred Poets Society, with its newest member a certain Arab-Iranian from Ahwaz, in the far south-west of the country, on the Iraqi border.

He has been hanged for “spreading corruption on earth”, one of hundreds put to death by the Islamic revolution since 1979. Everything about Hashem Shabaani cries out in shame against his executioners: his pacifist poetry, his academic learning, his care for his sick father – a disabled soldier seriously wounded in the 1980-88 war against the Iraqi invaders of his country – and his love for his wife and only child. Already, of course, he has become a political corpse. His killers, the Iranian interior ministry and a revolutionary tribunal judge called Mohamed-Bagher Moussavi, must be the first culprits.

Then come the Iraqi opposition groups which have spent almost as much time smearing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for Shabaani’s death as they have mourning his loss. And then, of course, history comes clanking into third place as the executioner.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and interior ministry mandarins have been cut down by bombs in the Arab-majority province of Ahwaz for more than two years. Their revenge is absolute. Shabaani, needless to say, was accused of helping the “resistance”, presumably writing poetry in Arabic – and even translating Farsi poetry into the Arabic language – qualifies a writer as a subversive in Iran these days. In a letter from prison, Shabaani said that he could not remain silent against the “hideous crimes against Ahwazis perpetrated by the Iranian authorities, especially arbitrary and unjust executions… I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have – which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.”

Killed for pacifist poetry.

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this is the islamic version of the protestant reformation.

a few men with pens and a printing press(or internet, whatever the modern day equivalent may be), challenge the established clerics.(actually very true, as when the inquisition was running the show, joe public couldn't be in posession of a bible on pain of death, the priests considered it their property)....lo and behold, the first book to come off the printing press was a bible.

(not to say they haven't given up entirely...they just choose to distort rather than destroy now..it's a bit more subtle)

clerics and entourage direct the fearful priest-believing public to "burn the heretics"

..well, I suppose my advice to the likes of this poet(and those who dare stand up to the priesthood) is....keep it up, freedom don't come cheap, but it's worth it in the end.

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Seven Reasons Why I Should Die

By Hashem Shaabani

For seven days they shouted at me:

You are waging war on Allah!

Saturday, because you are an Arab!

Sunday, well, you are from Ahvaz

Monday, remember you are Iranian

Tuesday: You mock the sacred Revolution

Wednesday, didn’t you raise your voice for others?

Thursday, you are a poet and a bard

Friday: You’re a man, isn’t that enough to die?

http://www.aawsat.net/2014/02/article55328417

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A twelve year-old could have written that!

When will these dictatorships realise that executing unknown authors of criingeworthy doggerel serves only to heighten their critical reputation? Back in the '90s there was someone in Africa - called Ken somebody, IIRC - who the local despot strung up, thereby ensuring his elevation to sainthood by the Guardianistas. Excerpts from his work published at the time put William McGonagall in a positive light, and he would have disappeared without trace reputationally if the idiots who executed him weren't so determined that he should do so literally.

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A twelve year-old could have written that!

When will these dictatorships realise that executing unknown authors of criingeworthy doggerel serves only to heighten their critical reputation? Back in the '90s there was someone in Africa - called Ken somebody, IIRC - who the local despot strung up, thereby ensuring his elevation to sainthood by the Guardianistas. Excerpts from his work published at the time put William McGonagall in a positive light, and he would have disappeared without trace reputationally if the idiots who executed him weren't so determined that he should do so literally.

Perhaps it reads better in the original Arabic?

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