March 14, 2006


Iran_freedom_concert کنسرت آزادی ایران
A national non-partisan coalition of students has scheduled a series of Iran Freedom Concerts for this coming Saturday, March 18. Initiated by a non-partisan ad hoc committee of students at Harvard University, where the lead concert and meeting will be held under the sponsorship of the Harvard Middle East Review, the organizers proclaim that, "The concert raises awareness of the Iranian government's human rights abuses and expresses solidarity Irangay_teens_16 with Iranian students seeking to end these violations." The concert organizers' website  features an entire page describing and denouncing Iranian persecution of gays, and gay repression figures in the organizers' mission statement. Other student Iran Freedom Concerts will be held this Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin, Georgetown, Duke, University of Wisconsin, and Oxford University in England. For more information on this coming Saturday's student Iran Freedom Concerts, click here. (Photo above right, the hanging of two gay Iranian teens for homosexuality in July of last year -- this photo is featured on the website of the student Iran Freedom Concerts.)
READING ROOM: In Sunday's issue of The Observer in London, there's a first-rate article, "Homophobia Seeps Across the New E.U.," by Daniel McLaughlin, that focuses on Poland and the "dark side" of the new, anti-gay Polish government, detailing the homophobia of its leaders.

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what about the gays in Saudi Arabia? Are they running free? Wouldn't we have more impact, if we rallied our allies on gay human rights?

Posted by: todd | Mar 16, 2006 5:02:51 PM

Reply to "pb" --
Your reasoning escapes me. If nobody who gives alleigiance to the Democratic or Republican parties is permitted to be concerned about human rights in Iran, the community of those protesting Iran's repressions will be a tiny one indeed. The organizers of the Iran Freedom Concerts state very clearly that they take no position on "foreign intervention" (check out their website). I've often expressed my opposition to military action against Iran -- either by the US or by its proxy, Israel -- but I have no problem at all with those who wish to put to one side their differences on that question to jointly give full-throated opposition to the lethal repressive policies of the Ahmadinejad regime. Instead of denigrating the admirable efforts of these Harvard students, "pb," -- which are in sharp contrast to the me-first apolitical careerism and privatism and isolationist attitudes of a majority of their navel-gazing peers across the country -- you should applaud them for doing so.

Posted by: Doug Ireland | Mar 15, 2006 8:35:57 AM

Be careful with that Iranian students thing. My parents were both born there, and I know alot of Iranian-Americans. Those of us on the left support the overthrow of the present government by all means, but we don't give any support to American attempts to effect regime change, and neither should you. These are not the Iranian students from thirty years ago. Look at the endorsers--Harvard Democrats and Harvard Republicans, among others. The fundamental interests at stake should be obvious. There's so much more to this situation than gay rights--that's one prop (along with bloggers, feminism, etc) that the children of exiles from the Shah's regime are trying to use to cloak their own predatory aims.

Posted by: pb | Mar 14, 2006 7:07:45 PM

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