Sarcasm, Iranian art, and the ..........

Sarcasm, Iranian art, and the ..........
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 Sarcasm, Iranian art, and the pervasively pernicious tyranny of Islam

Iranian society has historically been an uncouth and repressive society wherein no artist has been free of being compelled to exercise sarcastic opinion for the sake of both artistic expression and self-preservation. Iran has produced a number of prominent poets of world stature from the 11th century to the 14th century A.D. (such as Rudaki in the 10th century, Khayyam and Ferdowsi in the 11th, Rumi and Attar in the 13th,  Hafez and Sa’adi in the 14th), and many scholars and men of science of great renown, from whom we might mention Al-Farabi (c.870-950 AD), Ibn Sina or Avicenna (c.980-1037 AD), and Al-Razi (865-925 AD). None of these great thinkers and poets has been totally devoid of that sarcasm.

Sarcastic opinion is a very common behaviour or mentality among the Iranian people, and this largely comes from Persian poetry which, as a result of the atmosphere of repression and dictatorship that was brought about by the unwanted and enforced Islamic invasion of the 7th century AD, found ways of circumventing censorship by having recourse to sarcasm and oblique satire. Consequently, the Persians mostly talked in a sarcastic language, and still do to this day.

This state of affairs penetrated Iranian art as a whole, and caused artistic expression to be pathetic, dark and melancholic. Even today, the proof of this is the lamentation and anguish that is present in the monotonic music of Iran. This is a music which springs from eternal sorrow and self-lacerating solitude.

What with the Arab invasion of the 7th century AD, the Mongol invasions of the 13th and 14th centuries AD that followed, and finally the Turkish presence, many Iranian artists fled their homeland for safer havens in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. As a result, their wisdom was displaced, and in many cases died off with them. Thanks to Islam, the people of Iran were forced into submission, ignorance and backwardness.

With respect to Iranian art, one cannot be sure what aspect of this art is truly Iranian, and what is actually foreign. A great deal of the information we have about this is not from Iranian scholars, in any case. For example, most names and governments in Iran over the last 14 hundred years, since the advent of Islam, cannot be said to be purely Persian or Iranian, for we are here confronted with Arab, Mongol and Turkish influences that have become deeply entrenched in the Iranian psyche.

The majority of the Iranian people, especially the most religiously-inclined, have never found time to cherish and comprehend art. This would be true of Iranians both abroad and at home. They have simply lost all mirth and intellect with regard to this area of human endeavour, unlike the Arabs, Turks and Azerbaijanis, who have managed to appreciate art to some extent at least. And yet, art is by far one of the most essential aspects of Man’s existence in any culture.

So why is this, then? Is it because these Iranian people are prone to ignorance, having developed hate towards art because of the stifling limitations imposed by their religious belief, namely Shiite Islam? Or is it because they were not really properly educated and informed on the subject of art? Or could it be a combination of these two factors? We need to open our eyes to this, in order to fully grasp why this lack of understanding towards “art” has become so firmly entrenched.

After the fall of the Persian Empire in the 7th century AD, we witnessed the ascent of the thugs and ravishers of Arab descent who brought their fascistic and destructive Islamic faith with them. War forced many to flee, and those who were left had to submit to Islamic (read: Arab) laws in order to be able to live and survive. In the face of all these Islamic atrocities and bestialities, “art” came to a radical stop. Let us also not forget that, before the arrival of these Arab usurpers, art had constituted a luxurious form of life for the Persian/Iranian people, but a choice had to be made between survival and art. No need to say which became the most practical option.

Hence poetry, and more especially the very esoteric lyrical poetry of the great Persian poets, became the potent medium whereby the wounds of this raped and ravished society were to be salved. And the “sarcasm” we have spoken of became a powerful weapon against the Arab invaders.

Today, Iranian DNA is utterly infected by betrayal, and their artistic life is heavily clouded. Although the presence of European culture during and after the Qajar period in Iran (namely from the late 19th century onwards) has had a positive impact on Iran in many ways, it appears that Iranians generally are not very keen on changing their mind on art and its function in society.

We should of course bear in mind that European/Western culture has had a substantial and vital influence on the countries of the East in the last 500 years. The many great scientific, technological and political achievements of the West have been indubitably beneficial to the ancient cultures and societies of the East in countless ways, by bringing them education, technology and political and social awareness. Thus it is that these allegedly “ancient” nations have had the opportunity to bring themselves out of their idleness and stupor.

Simply by studying ancient civilizations, and by engaging in scientific inventions and research, these Western scholars and scientists have been able to shed light on the most essential matters of life and existence, and have provided hope for the betterment of humankind.

In like manner, over the last 70 years or so there have been Iranian artists who have used Western culture in order to achieve a reputable name for themselves, but who are meanwhile still struggling to find their own true and authentic identity. From 1888 onwards, in the area of Iranian/Persian classical music, an elite of grandmasters such as Vaziri, Khaleghi, and Saba  have composed and performed with great creativity.

This artistic rebirth continued right up to 1975, and was extinguished with the advent of the infamous Islamic Revolution of 1979. From then on (and also during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88), all artistic creativity was stifled under the yoke of religious edict and Islamic fundamentalism. Despite this, a few artists did manage to keep themselves at a distance, thus focusing on producing more art, but the rest indulged themselves in a form of “artistic politics” where their art was fashioned in accordance with the pleasure and wishes of the Islamo-Fascist rulers.

Hence the “golden age” of Iranian art in recent times can be said to belong to the period 1888 to 1975. In the words of one commentator, this was “87 years of a slow flourishing and creativity from Vaziri to Faramarz Payevar”.

To shed light on Iranian art is a heart-breaking subject, especially today, as we witness the ruthlessness, cruelty and viciousness of the present Fascistic- Islamic-Shiite regime. For what do we have now? An “anti-art regime” that, for the last 30 years, has had its mind set upon destroying anything that comes close to Persian culture. In 30 years, these Islamic bullies have managed to de-Iranize 6000 years of Iranian history and culture. A disgustingly repellent Islamo-Fascist regime nurtured by a pack of mullacratic and Arabized thugs and terrorists, a pervasively pernicious tyranny that must be extracted once and for all, like a rotting and painful tooth. Until this is done, there can be no freedom, and no art.