The Gulf

Posted: February 17th, 2005 | Author: | No Comments »

“Perhaps according to what the backward intelligentsia and scholars say, “Farsi is is like sugar”, and if the name of this gulf is in Farsi, its waters will be sweetened and if it is Arabic the waters will be soured! The use of nationalism in society is exactly akin to that of religion. The aim of governments in encouraging nationalism and clanism is distracting the minds of the poeple from their real problems. All this commotion is over the use of the name Gulf Of Arabia in parantheses! In the north of Arabia there’s hardly any Farsi spoken, yet there is a large number of Iranian in the south of the country who speak Arabic. In summary, in the ports of islands of this gulf there’s more Arabic spoken. One side of the gulf opens to international waters, two of the other three sides meaning the western and southern sides of it are territories of Arabic countries. For Iranian Intelligetsia, stoning deaths [as a form of punishment], mandatory head covers for women, the problems faced by the youth, etc. are not real issues, but the name of the “Persian Gulf” has brought all of them to a reaction and rallied them all.

In the past week I recieved 5 emails to sign a petition against the recent actions by the National Geographic Foundation, this is while I have never recieved a letter of petition against the Shariah courts in Canada. The Iranian National Front (Jebheh Melli Iran) whose slogan is social justice, have issued a strongly worded statement against the gulf issue. Probably for them, social justice means eradicating all Arab-speakers!

It is interesting to note that the aforementioned Foundation itself agrees that the original name is “Persian Gulf” and the problem of the traditional Intelligentsia of Iran is only over the contents within the parentheses. “Karl” the head of the Foundation has said, “placing the name Arabic Gulf in the new issue of the National Geographic Atlas is due to the fact that many countries have put that name formally on the gulf and are using it as such, and National Geographic realizes the use of this name in those countries.” He then clearifies, “the name Perisan Gulf will continue to be used as the main name in the National Geographic Atlas, and the only reason that the name Gulf of Arabia has been added is so that those who use it as a keyword in their searches can find their answers.” (BBC).

The effort to showcase the customs and traditions of people in this publication is one of the issues that aids in the theory of cultural relativism in North America. (The beautification of a traditional and backward society). This same Intelligentsia has no objection to the way the photos are depicted but they consider a name in brackets a great insult.

Some say that this is an insult to history. In asnwering them, I must say in history names change anyway. The name of Hamedan was initially Hegmataneh, then Ekbatan, and later was changed Hamedan. In English, Perisa was changed to Iran and thousands more example like this. Now, I wonder why Perisan Gulf is exempt from this and its name shouldn’t be changed. If you believe in democracy, instead of refering to history, you must go to te people living around the gulf and ask them. In any event, even if a majority of countries know this gulf as Persian Gulf, about 20 countries know it under another name and this has caused National Geographic to mentioned the second name of this gulf in brackets.

It is not only Islam that has held us back. If you are fighting for freedom you have to necessarily fight against nationalism. Dealing with this clanism and anti-foreigner behaviour is extremely important.”

— Written by M. Ahriman