The Supreme Leader has cited many failings with Western lifestyles, many of which bare striking resemblance to happenings in Iran, writes satirical blogger Sharagim Zand.
Greetings! My name is Michael and I’m writing this letter to you from England. This afternoon, the mailman brought me your letter. At first, I was surprised to see that the Supreme Leader of Iran had written me a letter. Then I found out that our mailman Peter was toying with me. He had printed out a copy of your letter to young Europeans and given it to me. Perhaps if Peter hadn’t done this, I would have never gotten a chance to read your letter because letters like this aren’t usually reported by the media.
In any case, I read your letter and now I’d like to write you a reply. I hope that you too have a mailman called Peter in Iran who will bring you this letter as a joke. I’ve heard your name a lot on the news and I enjoyed reading your letter a lot, but it also raised a few questions for me.
In your letter, you mention your disgust at terrorism and give some examples. You mention Israel in the letter and ask “If shooting a woman in the middle of the street because she’s protesting against a soldier who’s armed to the teeth isn’t terrorism, then what is?”
After I read this part of your letter, I became curious so I searched YouTube for the phrase “woman shot whilst protesting.” Let me tell you, what I found both shocked and confused me. Do you know a young woman by the name of Neda? The description for a video on YouTube matches precisely what you mention in your letter but it says that it happened not in Israel, but in Tehran. Please explain this to me in your next letter because I’m really curious to know why a young woman was shot dead just because she was protesting. I totally agree with you that this is a case of terrorism and I can only hope that the perpetrators received the punishment that they deserve.
You also mention the Palestinians whose homes and properties were torn down in front of the tearful eyes of mothers and children. Then you say, “In today’s world, do you know of any other atrocity with such dimensions and duration?” I really don’t know whether this is question or statement but if you want an answer I‘ve heard things about how religious minorities are treated in Iran. For instance, if what they say about the treatment of Baha’is in Iran is true then the answer to your question is positive. Of course, you’re the Supreme Leader of Iran and know about these things much better than I do. I’ll be grateful if in your next letter you can tell me about the situation of Baha’is and send me any reliable information you might have.
In your letter, you criticize the aggressiveness and promiscuity of Western culture. To be honest, the people that I know here are all peaceful, kind human beings and remain calm and polite even if there’s a traffic accident. I suspect that you’ve had a bad experience traveling in Western countries and for this I’m truly sorry. Please write to me about the last time that you visited the West and what happened.
I didn’t quite understand what you meant by “promiscuity.” In our country, free relations are accepted as long as it’s based on mutual respect and desire and nobody’s questioned or judged for the relationship. Here we don’t have draconian rules about the private lives of individuals. Here, a Muslim is as free as someone who doesn’t believe in god and in my country both are free to live as they wish. I’d like to know about the situation in your country. Be sure to write to me about this.
In your letter, you also ask why a young person who was born and grew up in Europe, should join groups like ISIS and commit horrible and cruel acts. You conclude that this is the result of living in an unhealthy and violent Western culture. Well, as far as I know a very small percentage of those who’ve gone to Syria to join ISIS and groups like it come from Western countries and those who have have been under the influence of fundamentalist Islamic teachings. The rest, who every day commit atrocities in Iraq and Syria, come from Islamic countries and have lived under Islam all of their lives. Then, by your logic, we must come to the conclusion that Islamic culture is an unhealthy and violent culture. I don’t know if I’m making a mistake. If I am, please set me straight.
I talk a lot. I hope that I haven’t given you a headache but the experience of exchanging letters with the Supreme Leader of Iran wasn’t something that I wanted to miss. I’m impatiently waiting for your reply and your next letter.
By the way, I’m going to give this letter to Peter. How he’ll deliver it to you, I haven’t a clue but I’m sure that he’ll find a way. Take care of yourself and try to rest and enjoy life more.
Hope to see you soon!
Sheffield, November 30, 2015