Big Rock Candy Mountain

The official voice of the Deseret Liberation Organization

Akbar Ganji

I love Akbar Ganji. Like Tom Paine of old he is a journalist who is not afraid to criticize anyone, regardless of their political stripes. But unlike Paine, he also realizes the important place tradition has in civic life. His bravery is exemplary, and should be had by all journalists.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Radio Farda he gave shortly after being released from prison.

Well, we say that we reject violence, terror, and revolution. However, this should not be translated into passivity. [Mohatma] Gandhi, who is the father of the nonviolent struggle, has extracted the thesis of civil disobedience out of his doctrine. Our reformist friends think that peaceful struggle necessarily means lawful activities. [But] they have tied our hands with unjust and inhumane laws, and we cannot do anything about it. Thus there is no choice other than breaking the unjust law. This is civil disobedience, and you will only have to pay the price for breaking the law.

Another thing I love about him: his independence. Other dissidents have been bankrolled by the U.S. and/or Saddam. Other dissidents have reacted violently. But Ganji criticizes U.S. and Israeli policy just as much as he criticizes that of Iran. His credentials as a revolutionary and former IRGC member distance him from traditional MKO, Tudeh, or National Front affiliated nonsense.

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