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Jahanbegloo, a Scholar in Jail & Islamic Dress

Several bloggers talked about why and how Dr.Ramin Jahanbegloo, a Canadian- Iranian scholar & journalist, was arrested. Some bloggers have started different activities to help him out or at least, let people know what is going on in Tehran. Jahanbegloo has been charged having “relations with foreigners” by government.

Toronto group for Iranian Studies has launched a blog to cover Jahanbegloo’s news. In this blog we read:

Ramin Jahanbegloo, head of the Tehran-based private non-governmental organization Cultural Research Bureau and an internationally prominent human rights advocate, was arrested in late April when he transited Tehran Airport returning from India for a conference in Brussels. When Jahanbegloo failed to arrive at the Brussels conference on Saturday, his colleagues contacted Canadian officials, who in turn contacted authorities in Teheran. Iranian officials told their Canadian counterparts that Jahanbegloo is receiving ‘medical care’ but refused Canadian officials an opportunity to visit him.”


Shahram Kholdi, UK based blogger and a friend of Jahanbegloo, writes why jailed scholar case is important for Iranian civil society. Blogger says:

Dr. Jahanbegloo's arrest is a cause of concern and his release should become the goal of all who are concerned with the promotion of civil society, open public space for free political debate, and last but not least a space safe enough to conduct such debates in a non-violent manner. As Ramin himself used to say “you realize that you are learning something when you are caught off-guard by the most unexpected in your area of study.” I wish his arrest would never cause me to open a new chapter in my study of post-revolutionary Iran, but indeed it has now become something more than that: a cause.”

Saraye biseda is another blogger who tries to understand why Jahanbegloo became a target. For blogger, jailed scholar, does not belong to sensitive categories which are watched carefully by government. Blogger says, in Iran, two major categories are under control. First category consists of people who talk about politics and against Iranian State. Second categroy includes popular sport or movie stars. This latter group is followed by a lot of people and government is careful that they do not say something politically incorrect. Blogger adds Jahanbegloo belongs to none of them and he always respected red lines and never be involved with politics (Persian).

Pasadar, a pro government blogger , does not share same idea. For him Jahanbegloo was involved with anti governmental forces in Diaspora. He mentions that he has signed several anti governmental declarations which had been written by royalists in Diaspora (Persian).

Nooraninejad says he can not understand when it is said that Jahanbegloo was a spy. To be a spy, you need get information from somewhere and deliver that to somebody and somewhere else. Then first condition for spying is to have access to information. Blogger asks, to which information Jahanbegloo had access. He adds:

May be the significance of spying and espionage have been changed recently May be people who teach in universities do research and writing books can be considered spies in our days“!

Another issue in Iranian blogs is Hijab's ( Islamic dress) realted questions. In news we read that authorities in Iran are to crack down on women failing to follow the regime's definition of good Islamic dress. Bloggers have discussed this issue with divergent ideas.

A collective blog, Free hijab, was launched to protest against obligatory hijab. More than thirty bloggers have already joined this blog and say choosing what to wear depends on individuals and not government (Persian).

Hojreh, a cleric & blogger, says he is not against crackdown on people who do not respect good Islamic dress. But he adds when there are not transparent and clear laws concerning what is a good hijab or islamic dress, all interventions are useless and fruitless (Persian).

Reporter is my Occupation compared Iranian actions regarding Islamic dress to Communism (Persian):

“I don’t think somebody misses that period when women should tremble for their body…women must more & more cover in the heat of summer …but men can have any desired appearance (at least in comparison with women) and be present in society .There is nobody to say choosing cloth or way of wearing is one of the most basic rights of each human being….Choices are different as same as people are different in this diversified world. Then it is not possible to make a formula for all people and impose it by force to them or ask them to accept it by force!…Communism failed to create a uniform people and formula can not make a colon age of human being.”

1 comment

  • Winston

    I think the status of intellectuals will get worse in Iran

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