So why would a guitar player write an article about Iranian politics?
When I first saw the stories about Iran filtering out and into the news, it didn’t really catch my eye. Although I have compassion as much as any other person who has contemplated his or her navel, burnt a truckload of incense and bowed to false and real Gods, I generally don’t involve myself in political issues because I don’t trust the media at all and also I have a total distaste for private political agendas of any sort. So, what got me on this one?
Firstly, I’m not prepared to get caught in the trap of throwing insults at any foreign government or political party and start screaming ‘human rights!’, if I was to do that I feel I would be disrespectful to the people of Iran, and by saying this I am not in support of the government there or the opposing powers; I think it is essential to clarify this. I am in support of the Iranian people and the underlying principles which unite humanity. It is important to be unbiased and look at other things here; there are tyrants in every country, both in power and struggling for power and many faces that we don’t see who hide behind various political parties and call the shots. Find me a country that does not have such people. Many supposedly friendly people in politics have been involved in committing the most heinous crimes and gotten off unscathed, even totally unnoticed. It’s very easy to be judgemental when we see news articles about issues in other countries and jump in with an opinion. Yes issues are real, yes we need change and yes we need to help in some way, sometimes the methods of help have more to do with the way WE live than pointing the finger elsewhere.
What has struck me with this issue in Iran is the use of Social Media and what I would call ‘the power of grass roots digital media’. It is important that we in the West and others outside Iran speak, in fact scream loud and clear that we support the Iranian people, not the political opinions but the rights as human beings to be treated with respect, to be heard and that we actually do care for people of other countries in some way.
The most important barriers to break down in the world are the cultural and religious barriers that separate us. Not at the expense of sovereignty but there is a need to remove the walls that divide us; to embrace the unity in diversity and to be tolerant of differences that in the end are not so important at all. So for me, what I need to say to the people of Iran and also all the rest of the world is we need to change our thinking and remove our limited thoughts. Thoughts that arise and make us feel better in some way than someone else from another culture, religious or social standing. Until we can do this we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over, (think Groundhog Day), and the governments and political parties will only reflect what is at our core; this is what I call ’the separation in diversity’. These times that we live in, houses are divided, families are shattered, neighbours hate each other, brothers and sisters can despise each other. We really have a lot of work to do, and while we look at Iran and ask for basic human rights to be respected, we need to look at ourselves as well.
And pray for peace in Iran, other countries and our own hearts.