According to news Iran's government has suspended a state-controlled newspaper after it published a cartoon that provoked riots among the country's minority Azeri community. The cartoon shows that a cockroach says in Azeri :” Namana” which means “What?” It is very interesting to see that even Turkish speaking ( Azeri) bloggers do not share same idea about this cartoon.
Anger & Protest
Shalakhte reports that many Azeri students have demonstrated at different universities ( Persian) including Tehran , Tabriz & Amir Kabir. According to the blogger in a few cities such as Khoy, there has been confrontation between demonstrators and security forces. The blogger says:
“Iran (name of newspaper) in its kid's section has published an article with the following title: What we do that cockroaches do not make us a cockroach? Then there is a cartoon in the article where a cockroach says a word in Turkish (Namana means what). The blogger adds that while some Persian speaking people who are used to humiliating Turkish speaking ethnic groups consider this word funny or a joke but for free thinking countrymen this cannot be accepted… The movement that wants to impose pan-Persianism on us does not have a sound understanding of ethnic minorities. These ethnic minorities do not have elementary rights such as the right to read and write in their mother tongue. Because of this continuous humiliation of ethnic groups the country is sitting on an explosive.”
“I do not approve of violent acts. These are some opportunists who want to take advantage of the situation.” Finally, he adds that the Minister of Culture is going to investigate this case. Thanks to the pressure of Turkish speaking people including students, government and Parliament has made them break silence and talk about this issue, but for it is just for a cooling down period.”
Blogger adds we should continue our struggle to get our own rights (Persian).
A Big Deal or Not?
Alpar says he got upset when he learned that the cartoonist has lost his job (Persian). The blogger says
“It is was not only the naive attitude of Turkish speaking students that got the cartoonist fired for a minor mistake, but they also gave a helpful hand to fundamentalists that will use this event for their own purposes. He adds how many times have these Turkish speaking people tried to write an article and analyse anti Arab and anti Azeri concepts and words in the Persian language? Have they tried to bridge this gap which separates Persian speaking and Turkish speaking people? Instead from time to time they find a case to protest and then they forget about it until the next case.”
Azadibayan, a journalist & blogger based in Urmia, has published the cartoon on his blog. Blogger says the cartoon made him upset but even giants such as BBC or CNN make mistakes too. Blogger adds Iran newspaper apologised Azeri people and we got what we wanted. He warns that they are separatists groups and people who can use this event for their own purposes (Persian).
Yadshtayi Baraye Mokhatebe Ehtemali says cockroach said one word in Azeri/Turkish language and in the rest of pages it talks in Persian. Can we consider it as an insult to Persian speaking people in Iran? Blogger says as his Turkish speaking friend say there are several Turkish words which are used by Persian speaking people. Blogger adds there are separatist groups’ tries to seize opportunity in this story for their own goal (Persian).
Another hot topic is the story of gunmen who have shot dead 12 people on a road in a remote part of south-eastern Iran. The government blamed Jundallah, a Sunnite group, for this act and it seems this group has claimed responsibility for this killing. Bloggers discuss the reasons for insecurity, Sunnite minority and military action.
Sunnite Minority or Sunnite Majority
Janeazad explains several reasons for this conflict situation (Persian) in region:
1. There were always problems between Sunnites and Shi'ites in Sistan and Balouchestan province. Previous governments chose a Shiite governor from other provinces but with approval of Abodlhamid Molavi, Sunnite leader in region. Ahmadinejad's government appointed a hardliner Shiite from Sistan Balouchestan.
2. Anti Sunnite books were presented in a book fair in this province where 60% are Sunnites. The book fair ended after confrontation.
3. The Sunnite leader (Mufti) has always been invited when officials came from Tehran . No more under the new government. The blogger concludes that all these events created a situation where Jundullah emerged. He asks why the present government does not follow previous government's footsteps to calm ethnic conflicts.
Military Action:Productive or Counter Productive
Fahm says this group is criminal and government should act with support of local population (Persian). Blogger writes Jundallah pretends to defend Balouch population & fights for its rights. Now imagine army forces attack villages & suspected people without having reliable information about them. This act not only does not destroy this group but fortify their presence and support among local population. Government has acted in a wrong way in border line provinces and their problems have not been taken in consideration.
Alattash a progovernment blogger reports according to news anti terrorist attacks started (Persian) and several terrorists got killed but none got arrested so far. Progress because of difficult geographical situation is slow.
Security & Fear
Kavirnameh says in his opinion this act is not related to drug deals that are very active in this region (Persian). According to blogger, in the last two decades they never acted like this. The blogger says :
“Here we have a new phenomenon and like each social and political phenomenon you can not solve all problems by military action. The blogger writes that with slogans we can not create security. This is a new phenomenon and all experts should be asked to help to analyse it. Government's argument that we have long desert borders and it is difficult to control them is baseless. These borders have not been created yesterday!”
Gheseye Ma says he is not going to take a trip to Kirman or Sistan Balochistan provinces (regions where killing happened) and he does not let others go there to become “martyr” (Persian). He quotes Elham, government speaker: “This criminal act has not any operational or technical importance. Don't imagine something big happened. Our security forces are strongly present and have always fired back strongly.” blogger ironically says then it is our (people's) weakness?
Our final topic is about media and their influence. A National Post article said a law envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public. Shortly after this article, in another article of the same newspaper we could read ” Experts say report of badges for Jews in Iran is untrue“. Bloggers discuss these articles.
Kroushe Alyani says it is very difficult to believe that this news was a mistake (Persian). The blogger says he does not know the writer but there are people who have no shame and lie. They do their best to say to the world that Irani and Iranian is evil and can not understand any other language than war. If we don't wake up and do not act quickly these people will do their best to create war.
Midnights Notes does not understand why people got surprised by this news. According to this blogger this State has imposed islamic veil for 27 years to women, then same can be happended to religious minorities (Persian).
International Media & Blogs
Zharf says A few hours that first article was published, almost each minute one English blog wrote about this issue without checking to know if the news is reliable or not (Persian).
Amnesiac says one of Italian channels quoted Canadian newspaper and journalist considered news horrible (Persian).