Closing the week 25 – Featuring Iran
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mousavi iran yare dabestani man va ey Iran
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Noting my skepticism about the announced outcome of Friday’s presidential elections in Iran, readers have been asking me what I think about this WaPo op-ed by Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty pointing out that a scientifically weighted Project for a Terror Free Tomorrow poll in mid-May found Ahmadinejad beating Mir-Hosain Mousavi by a 2 to 1 margin.
I have enormous respect for Ballen, PFTFT and Doherty & the New America Foundation.
But as a mere social historian I would say that the poll actually tends to confirm some of my doubts about the announced electoral tallies.
Without any evidence, many U.S. politicians and “Iran experts” have dismissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection Friday, with 62.6 percent of the vote, as fraud.
They ignore the fact that Ahmadinejad’s 62.6 percent of the vote in this year’s election is essentially the same as the 61.69 percent he received in the final count of the 2005 presidential election, when he trounced former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The shock of the “Iran experts” over Friday’s results is entirely self-generated, based on their preferred assumptions and wishful thinking.
Stealing the Iranian Election
Top Pieces of Evidence that the Iranian Presidential Election Was Stolen
Prof. Walter Mebane at the University of Michigan is knowledgeable about such analysis and is applying the methods to the data from the recent Iranian election. In addition to intrinsic peculiarities such as Benford’s law, he is also using 2005 election data as a baseline to help discover unexpected anomalies.
He currently says “”I think the results give moderately strong support for a diagnosis that the 2009 election was affected by significant fraud.” I haven’t had time to go over his analysis, but here it is for interested readers, along with a ZIP file of source code and data. Note that he is still updating his analysis, so regard this as an interim report.
Next time they try to fool the people they better not be fools themselves. How can someone’s votes dip while counting. And how can all the candidates lose in their home states. For those of you that don’t understand these numbers: then you can read the times on the upper screen and lower. The third candidates votes decreased while counting. Spread it around!
“Two screenshots Iranian state-run television illustrating the apparent decrease in votes for candidate Mohsen Rezaee over a four hour period. The upper picture shows Rezaee with 633,048 votes at 09:47; the lower shows the same candidate with 587,913 votes at 13:53 later that day, a decrease of 45,135.” -Wikipedia
Following the events
gary’s choices – Mousavi’s new revolutionary manifesto
Today, Mir Hossein Mousavi, the presidential candidate who has come to represent the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people, issued a formal statement. The text is available at the title link.
Although he denounces the “lies and fraud” of the leadership, particularly in the recent election, he views the fraudulent election as only as the symptom of something far more serious. He describes a revolution gone wrong, a revolution that was originally based on attention to the voice of the people but has resulted in “forcing an unwanted government on the nation.”
To supplement reporting by New York Times journalists inside Iran on Saturday, The Lede will continue to track the aftermath of Iran’s disputed presidential election online, as we have for the last several days.
AP reports that Iranian riot police have deployed tear gas and water cannons against protesters who were gathering for another big demonstration in Tehran.
Aljazeera is reporting that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the shrine of Imam Khomeini. Hard to interpret, since I don’t take the reformist camp for seedy terrorist types. My guess, if its true, is Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK or something very like it (which, if true, would be bad publicity for the reformers, since MEK is universally hated in Iran.)
Iran heading to conflict, instability.
Iran’s June 12 presidential elections have precipitated Iran’s greatest domestic political crisis since the 1979 revolution. The following MESH members responded to an invitation to comment on ramifications of the turmoil, with special reference to U.S. policy options: Daniel Byman, J. Scott Carpenter, Hillel Fradkin, Josef Joffe, Mark N. Katz, Martin Kramer, Walter Laqueur, Michael Mandelbaum, Philip Carl Salzman, and Raymond Tanter.
I suspect the critical op-eds by Paul Wolfowitz and Charles Krauthammer in today’s Washington Post will merely serve to convince the president that he is doing the right thing after all. The op-ed by David Ignatius, meanwhile, will be read more carefully. Krauthammer just opened his cakehole and started giving his opinions. Ignatius first consulted with people who — unlike Wolfowitz or Krauthammer — might actually know something of Iran
Pent-up forces dating back to the 1979 revolution may have been unleashed [GALLO/GETTY]
In 15 years of writing about the Middle East, I have never encountered a situation that changed so fast that one could write an article that becomes outdated in the time it takes to write it.
It seems that the Iranian elite has been caught similarly off-guard, and is still trying to read its own society to understand how broad is the societal discontent reflected in the mass protests.
This calculus is crucial – in some ways more so than whether the results are legitimate or, as some claim, electoral fraud.
It will determine whether the Iranian power elite – that is, the political-religious-military-security leadership who control the levers of state violence – moves towards negotiation and reconciliation between the increasingly distant sides, or moves to crush the mounting opposition with large-scale violence.
A lot depends on what the elite thinks is actually happening on the ground, and why the alleged fraud unfolded as it did.
David Ignatius makes the totally unfounded claim that events in Iran should be seen in the context of a region-wide backlash against Islamists.
The majority of those commentating on or covering Iranian elections are not actually capable of providing deep analysis of whatever is happening. How could they be? Does anyone really think that someone who doesn’t speak Farsi and has never been to Iran can just show up the day before the elections and do anything more than describe that protests are taking place in the street? While Stewart mocks CNN for not even bothering to send anyone, I say let’s give the station some credit for being modest. At least they were realistic about their reporting capabilities.
The images have splashed across the screen with the intensity of a horror film. Most of these feeds are sent without confirmation of where the events took place, who is responsible for recording them or even when they occurred. Nonetheless, their gratuitous display by some of the largest and most respected news broadcasters has left the impression that Iran is either under nationwide martial law or experiencing a bloodbath under complete darkness.
Iran & virtual sphere
Global Voices Online » Iran: Protests and Repression
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians in Tehran and several other cities have rallied to support presidential candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi, defying a government ban on demonstrations. Protesters are calling for the annulment of the presidential election results, saying President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 12th of June election is a fraud. Security forces have struck down hard on demonstrators, and at least one person was killed in Tehran today.
Iranian protestors to 2009 Presidental election results, had a “silent demonstration” at the 5th day of protests.
They moved from 7tir square to Enqelab square. The protestors want to revoke this elections.
Agha Hadi’s photostream
‘m liveblogging the latest Iran election fallout. Email me with any news or thoughts. Send me instant messages at email@example.com or njpitney on AIM. You can support us on Digg here.
11:49 PM ET — Parliament Speaker: Majority of Iranians think election was fraudulent. And printed in state-run media no less!
One day after Islamic Republic Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denounced protests and warned reformist leaders against taking to the streets, thousands of people demonstrated in Tehran. They were joined by others in several cities across Iran in ignoring Khamenei’s order and voicing their anger against the June 12 presidential election results. They clashed with Iranian police who used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.
At least 19 people were killed in Tehran.
As protesters continue their demonstrations all over Iran against 12th June presidential election results, Iranian authorities have arrested hundreds of activists, including bloggers.
The Internet and mobile phones have taken on a major role in Iranian politics over the last several months. As protests over the contested election results continue in Iran, the government has dramatically increased its control over digital technologies. Many important Web sites have been blocked over the past couple of days, including the Web sites of the opposition parties in Iran, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. While political organizers have learned to leverage the organizing power of Web 2.0 tools, government censors in Iran are quick to shut them down when they are most effective. None of this is surprising; it reflects similar events seen in many places around the world.
Keeping an Eye on Iran’s Post-Election Protests
June 16, 2009
The Berkman Center community has been paying close attention to the role of the Internet and cell phones in the post-election demonstrations in Iran.
Ethan Zuckerman over at the Berkman Center talks about the over emphasis of the impact of social media on the protests in Iran. Much of the recent hype has suggested social tools like Twitter and Facebook have more or less caused the protests rather than merely serving to intensify them (or, as Zuckerman points out below, just being used as tools for sharing the events). When I hear the hype I can’t help but think of Edward Said’s ideas on Orientalism and the understanding of “The East” by those in “The West”…that those in “The East” are frozen in time and technologically backward so, you know, “The West” must impart their advanced technologically upon them in order for them to fight for democracy.
In the public protests following the elections we see another major innovation: the unprecedented use of new digital media. The newest digital tools for social networking, especially Twitter and Facebook, turn out to be remarkably important means to mobilize people and report events to the outside world, as Newsy.com points out in this video:
There is virtually no accountability or transparency evident in this now almost mythical “Iranian Twitter Revolution,” as we do not know who is where and why they are saying what they do. It is not as easy to get away with truth-creation in the mainstream media, especially when reporting from conflict zones: as has happened many times in the past, untruthful reporters claiming to be filing stories from the war zone have been unmasked by others as being nowhere in sight, or, if there, as never leaving their hotels. We cannot do that with Twitter. One Twitter user pleaded, “don’t retweet anything until it’s confirmed, spreading rumors will do more harm than good #iranelection” — but then, how is it confirmed? Propaganda journalism often gets unmasked; in Twitter, propaganda gets retweeted and thus remasked.
threadbared: You Say You Want A Revolution (In a Loose Headscarf)
A glance at the Western media coverage from before and after the election reveals an overwhelming visual trope — the color photograph of a young and often beautiful Iranian woman wearing a colorful headscarf, usually pinned far back from her forehead to frame a sweep of dark (or highlighted) hair. Such an arresting image condenses a wealth of historical references, political struggles, and aesthetic judgments, because the hijab does. As Minoo Moallem argues in her book Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Politics of Patriarchy in Iran, both pre- and postrevolutionary discourses commemorate specific bodies –whose clothing practices play a large part— to create forms and norms of gendered citizenship, both national and transnational. What Moallem calls the civic body becomes the site of political performances in the particular contexts of modern nationalist and fundamentalist movements.
Color has never before played such an important part in an election campaign in Iran. As the country’s election developments are watched closely by the likes of Netanyahu, the Whitehouse, and other international powers with diplomatic stakes in the outcome, Iran’s bulging youth population have their own concerns in mind as they hit the streets in green. This is especially significant in a country where brightly colored clothing, especially when worn by women, is considered a breach of the Islamic dress code and frowned upon by the ruling mullahs.
Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, front-runner from the reformist camp, started the color trend that has taken Iran’s urban spaces by storm.
So, suffice it to say that many of the protesters are young. Women — especially young women — are participating in large numbers because the Ahmadenijad regime has been particularly hard on them. Since he took office, the Iranian government has been cracking down on women’s rights and — in particular — women’s dress. According to Der Spiegel:
When Ahmadinejad was elected president four years ago, the controls by the moral police got noticeably tighter. Vibrantly colored fingernails, French manicures, false acrylic nails — there was a catalogue of fines for the various looks. ”
So, when you see this woman with red fingernails, she’s not just risking arrest for holding that sign, she’s risking it for the shade of her nail polish.
Source verification of digital information has risen to prominence with the Iranian election protests that have been ongoing since Saturday, 13 June, 2009. This does not just apply to alleged information distributed through social media, of course, as it also applies to mainstream media who, like the BBC, have been found to use doctored photos of protests showing a massive rally for Mir Hosein Mousavi that was actually a rally in support of the winning candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In an attempt to convince rapid readers who do not make time to fact check, or cannot check facts, it has become a habit for some who use Twitter to precede their tweet with the word, “CONFIRMED,” without any indication of how the information was confirmed, when, and by whom. “Citizen journalism” and civil society politics are both going to get damaged unless we take away some lessons from this conflict.
One of the recurring problems, having now spent some more time viewing YouTube and flickr streams for the Iranian protests, is that of verifying visual documentation. One can lie with images just as easily as one can lie with words and statistics,
Obama in the Middle East
The Immanent Frame » Obama on Palestine: What new beginning?
And there is very little in Obama’s words or actions to suggest that, beneath this rhetorical stance, some other view of the world is at play, that behind his public embrace of what in broad outlines is indistinguishable from the Bush administration’s position, lies a plan to promote real justice in Palestine.
The Doha Debate on Muslim women’s marriage rights succeeded in illustrating that marriage and female rights are complex issues that involve many aspects of culture, religion, social status, and society.
I would say she has the choice to marry anyone she chooses. I don’t see arranged marriage and choice as being incompatible.
I think choice is the requisite component that makes an arranged marriage “arranged” not “forced.”
But when the Doha Debates motion is “Muslim women should be free to marry anyone they choose,” and the title incisively concludes “arranged marriages should end for Muslim women” – I can only translate it as another gently chiding exhortation to stop being so backward.
‘We might need to see you without your bra, he told me. I was 14. I didn’t even have breasts yet’
As a top teen model, Sara Ziff was earning the kind of money her school friends could only dream of. But there was a price to pay. She tells Louise France why she has made a documentary about what really happens behind the cameras
Arab women in immigrant communities cannot win the fight for better media recognition while they continue to be viewed inside the parameters of traditional Arab-Islamic stereotypes. So for this issue to receive the widest attention, it has to be positioned within the broad discussion of Arab-Muslim media misrepresentations in the West. More systematic and comprehensive cultural dialogues between the West and the region are needed to reinforce common ground and avert potential misunderstandings. I see Sheikha Fatima’s NAWD initiative as a promising milestone on this path.
This is an interesting turn in the way that Muslim women are portrayed in the media. Muslim women are being brought into a global culture where women are supposed to be concerned with beauty, fashion, and the opposite sex. We’re supposed to be concerned with the mundane in much the same way as other women around the globe. It is a relief (we’re just like everyone else) and also troubling (as ladies, all we care about is clothing and boys!).
By DIAA HADID – Jun 6, 2009
At 29, Tahani is considered a spinster by the standards of deeply conservative Gaza. So in her search for a husband, she turned for help to the best in the marriage business: the Islamic militant group Hamas.
Christian schools can refuse gay teachers
Tuesday 09 June 2009
Christian schools are within their rights to refuse to employ gay teachers if homosexuality breaks school principles, the Nederlands Dagblad reports on Tuesday, quoting the government’s Council of State advisory body.
The paper says that confidential recommendations from council state that while anti-discrimination measures remain paramount, religious and other belief-based institutions ‘can impose specific demands under strict conditions’.
These conditions have to be ‘desirable, legitimate and just’ and show ‘good faith and loyalty’ to the religious principles, the council says.
Oog in oog met een moslimjongere en dan kijken wie er als eerste in de lach schiet. Met deze variant op een oud spelletje hoopt Kijkstrijd de lach terug te brengen in buurten die bekend staan om hun grimmigheid.
Verdachten terreur zelden veroordeeld
Gepubliceerd: 6 juni 2009 09:04 | Gewijzigd: 6 juni 2009 13:23
Door onze redacteuren Steven Derix en Merel Thie
Rotterdam, 6 juni. Nog geen kwart van het aantal verdachten dat sinds 11 september 2001 in Nederland is aangehouden op verdenking van terrorisme, is daarvoor uiteindelijk ook veroordeeld.
Dat blijkt uit cijfers van het Openbaar Ministerie en een inventarisatie van NRC Handelsblad.
Terreurzaken wijken hiermee af van het algemene beeld. Van de circa 260.000 strafzaken die het OM jaarlijks begint, komt ruim de helft voor de rechter. Die spreekt in meer dan negentig procent van alle zaken een veroordeling uit.
Sinds 2004 zijn terroristische misdrijven apart strafbaar gesteld in de wet. Eind 2008 had het OM 113 terrorismezaken in behandeling genomen. Maar slechts in 27 gevallen leidde dit tot het opleggen van een straf wegens een terroristisch misdrijf.
Both are Muslims. Both are chaplains. Both are in the military. But one is French and one is American. That alone ensured there would be enough to talk about when Mohamed-Ali Bouharb and Abu- hena Saifulislam met in Paris to discuss their work with chaplains and academics from the United States.
The Spanish government will ban all religious symbols from public spaces such as schools, hospitals, barracks, and jails and also in all official ceremonies as the swearing-in ceremony of Ministers, which was, until now, a Bible oath in front of a crucifix. This will take effect following the approval of a new law on Freedom of Religion and Beliefs which is under study by the Spanish government, as announced today by the Justice Minister Francisco Caamano, quoted by Spanish newspaper Publico.
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