First letter

»To my dear friends,
the strict religious boneheads without a mind of their own, who were a part of our movement1, only made pompous statements because they wanted to convince the Iranians of their own interests and to use them for their personal goals. In this way, these boneheads incited, provoked and manipulated the Iranians to support their own movement. And why?
The people followed the mullahs because they hoped to achieve freedom, which is a pillar of democracy. And hence the mullahs succeeded in imposing their historically stone-age positions.
Did we have any intellectuals - then and now?
And what is the meaning of an intellectual?
Didn't writers such as Dschalal Al-e Ahmad, Behazin, Ehsan Tabari, Djavad Seyed Djavadi... and philosophers such as Dariush Shayegan know that democracy does not hide under the garb of the mullahs and therefore could not appear after the revolution?
In my whole life I have only learned from the writings of two people to find my way and to understand our society in all its depth and contradictions. These two intellectuals have succeeded, following their analysis of our society, to forsee its future. It was the enlightened Ahmad Kasravi2 and Khalil Maleki3 who had a clear-sighted view of the future of our society - something that the other ›self-proclaimed intellectuals‹ had not.
The ›self-proclaimed intellectuals‹ behaved like an arm on a scale, wavering between right and left, and they never achieved such a deep insight. These ›intellectuals‹ talked about democracy and lack of freedom without having the slightest idea of what democracy really means in the European sense and without understanding the history and the developments of democracy in Europe. And they knew nothing about the psychological state and thoughts of people from different, social classes in our society.
Unfortunately, Iranians did not understand the writings of Kasravi and Maleki, so they could easily be led onto the wrong path. Iranians were eager followers of a plan that was developed by the great powers (USA, England). The Western powers frightened the Shah because they saw the greatest danger in the communists and the leftists, while at the same time numerous Koranic schools were established since the Chomeini uprising in 1963. Because of Western advice the Shah distanced himself from the clergy, so that they could further spread their own ideas.
I remember that Mullah Sangeladji - our theologian at the University of Tehran - built a mosque on a meadow in front of the university in cooperation with the university. The muezzin's call resounded three times a day from the minarets of this mosque. And the students - especially those who came from smaller towns - went to the mosque and prayed there.
The leftist intellectuals followed the familiar faces of the narrow-minded religious ones from the Koran school, and they even followed the thoughts of Seyed Jamal Asadabadi without reflection.
Why didn't sociologists and anthropologists recognize the naked truth, which was very well received by the people, allowing them to consider religious ideas as a normal part of society?
Oh Ali - you - who are the greatest of God's love,
what a sign from God you are,
that for each and every one of us,
you spread your love like Homa's4 shadow.
I cannot recognize you as either God or man.
I wonder what I should call you.
You are the king of the land of love.
This poem shows how Iranians idolize someone who has tortured and killed Iranians in the past. And it shows how this belief has taken root in the hearts of Iranians who have not thought about it.
Schahriar - with his closeness to Hafez - never really understood Hafez, otherwise Schahriar would not have written this.
Hafez, this unprejudiced man, lived 500 years ago and even then he openly and directly criticized the clergy and Schahriar, writing in the twentieth century, falls so far behind!
I need so many words to express the pain of my broken heart. The old suffering, this wound is still bleeding. I'm astonished that we don't even succeed in alleviating the pain of this wound and that we are unable to rebuild the present and future.
What injustice, that we have become prisoners to this vicious circle.«

—18.05.2020 Giti Pourfazel

1 Movement refers in this context to the entire opposition and protest movement against the Shah Mohammed Pahlavi.
2 Ahmad Kasravi (1890-1946) was an Iranian linguist, historian, lawyer, trained as a mullah, but he was a secular critic of religion from an early age. Kasravi was murdered by Islamists after high-ranking clerics issued a fatwa against him.
3 Khalil Maleki (1901-1969) was an Iranian socialist political figure and intellectual affiliated with the National Front.
4 Homa, is a mythical bird of Iranian legends and fables.
5 Schahriar (1906-1988) or Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Behjat-Tabrizi was an Azerbaijani-Iranian poet.

Second letter

»I have never regretted not taking part in the fake referendum for the Islamic Republic of Iran (1979).
I have never regretted not having blindly believed in religion.
And from the very beginning, when some people said that there is only one party called Hezbollah1, I closed my ears and at the same time I stood against any religious injustice.
I have never regretted not having participated in any election after 1979 and not having given my vote to any president. I have never regretted that I did not fall for the deception of those who wore robes and turban, nor for the suits that were supported by the former; even in the election of Mohammad Khatami, which connected many people together with the hope of change.
I have never regretted losing my 14-year work license because of my harsh language and writings and my uncompromising attitude to work colleagues who were influenced by religious leaders. Many work licenses were later reissued after being revoked for no reason.
I have never regretted having experienced all the material and financial difficulties in my life that the godless and greedy have caused me. These godless people only use religion as a tool to lead the Iranians, for whom honesty is paramount, to steal, to lie and to enmity.
I have never regretted following the path of Hafez and it is interesting how I received this enlightenment from Hafez.
I have never regretted that I understood, like Rumi, that God does not need any mediators for his truth, who destroy the people because they take away their own thinking. I have rejected this divine grace, because this mediation means the destruction of the people.
Against this background, I have never regretted the fact that I alone as a woman have stood up for equality, freedom and human rights of man and woman from the beginning, while at the same time the people here have been manipulated and the great powers have cooperated only following their own interests.
I have stood up. I raised my voice. I have called for caution and vigilance. The foreign powers tried to impose their own interests indirectly through our faith and religion and they drove us into a slaughterhouse. My severely blinded colleagues told me then that I did not know and did not understand it, that freedom was on its way and that my country would free itself from oppression through the great powers.
Without reflection there is no freedom and equality within any religion, because the religious laws are based only on God and there is no place for wisdom and free thought. However, my colleagues opposed me because they had not read the writings of important religious masters. Or in the words of Rumi: Stupid people bow down before a mosque and force other people to do this stupidity as well.
The bar association and its leadership have never succeeded in silencing me, and to this day I wage a relentless war with this chamber. That is the reason why I was never accepted on the board of this chamber.
I have never regretted that as an Iranian woman who loves her homeland, I did not leave my country with the opportunities I had, and I appreciate my mother tongue and cultivate it until today.
Iranian women follow their role models, the courageous Gord Afarid, the wise Sindokht and Katayoun and the loving and faithful Thamineh and Roodabeh.2
Iranian women are not submissive and do not blindly follow every foreign idea presented to them.
Rather, Iranian women turn to the God of knowledge and wisdom because there is nothing above the thought of God.«

—23.05.2020 Giti Pourfazel

1 Hezbollah is literally translated the party of the god Allah
2 These women are important figures in Iranian mythology.

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