Monday, June 22, 2009

Remembering Iran's Neda Agha-Soltan

Neda has a full name, and identity, now.

BBC and other reports are using "allegedly" and "alleged" to describe what happened to her: and it is possible that Neda doesn't really exist, or that she had some medical condition which convincingly mimicked being shot.

For the moment, until there's clear evidence that the enforcers of Iran's leadership didn't kill her, I'm assuming that she's
  • Real
  • Dead
  • Killed by supporters of the ayatollahs
The BBC devoted the bulk of an article to a statement by Neda Agha-Soltan's fiance, Caspian Makan.

An excerpt:
"Amateur video apparently showing a young Iranian woman dying in Tehran after she was allegedly shot by pro-government militia on Saturday has caused outrage in Iran and abroad.

"The woman, Neda Agha-Soltan, was buried on Sunday.

"Her fiance, Caspian Makan, told BBC Persian TV about the circumstances of Neda's death.

" 'She was near the area, a few streets away, from where the main protests were taking place, near the Amir-Abad area. She was with her music teacher, sitting in a car and stuck in traffic.

" 'She was feeling very tired and very hot. She got out of the car for just for a few minutes...'."

"...The authorities are aware that everybody in Iran and throughout the whole world knows about her story. So that's why they didn't want a memorial service. They were afraid that lots people could turn up at the event.

"So as things stand now, we are not allowed to hold any gatherings to remember Neda." (BBC)
I think this sort of news coverage may be what Iran's ayatollahs regard as meddling in their election. I get the impression that Iran's rulers are not accustomed to a press which doesn't politely look the other way when a young woman is gunned down.

Here in the west, things are different.

That prolific correspondent, Anonymous, responded to an earlier post about Neda's death:
"Anonymous said...

"I feel so bad with this murder. But where was the media when a born American Rachel Crow was smashed under an Israeli bulldozer while she was showing her support for the poor Paelistine [sic] people. Do we American know this fact that Isarel dared to kill our daughter -not an Iranian?
"June 21, 2009 10:21 PM" (from coments on "'RIP NEDA, The World cries seeing your last breath ... We remember you.' " (June 21, 2009)
My guess is that not every American would recognize the name Rachel Crow, in the context of "the poor Palestinians." There are around 307,000,000 of us at this point, and some of us don't keep up with the news.

Anybody who was paying attention in March of 2003 could hardly have missed the case of Rachel Crow. CNN's "Israeli bulldozer kills American protester," CNN (March 25, 2003) gives a pretty good account of what happened.

I'm quite sure that the views of Anonymous will not change. For many people, gunning down a young woman is okay because an American student rather imprudently got in front of a moving bulldozer about six years ago.

Remembering Neda Agha-Soltan

Nothing can change the grief of Neda Agha-Soltan's family and friends. And, nothing can replace the memorial service they had planned to hold at a mosque.

But perhaps they can get some comfort by knowing that Neda Agha-Soltan is not forgotten.

More-or-less related posts: In the news:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.