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By Sayah Hassan, September 17, 2010

The cultural attaché of the Islamic Regime in Iran, through charity foundations, Iranian-Islamic media friendly, and under pretext of “Iranian cinema”, has been lobbying for and promoting the Islamic regime agenda abroad, particularly in Canada.

For years the Islamic Regime’s agents in Canada have tried to mask the brutality and inhumanity of the Islamic Regime by organizing “cultural” events such as film festivals, poetry nights, and other cultural festivals such as the “Iranian Fire Festival” and “Nowrouz” (Persian New Year) - all in an attempt to hide the real nature of the Islamic Regime.

“Canada’s 2nd Iranian Film Festival” (September 20-25, 2010) is such an event, which is being organized by Persia Film, and supported by “National Youth Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran” headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the “Holocaust denier” and president of Islamic Regime and “The Office of “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei”.

The fact that the organizers of this festival are closely related to the “National Youth Organization of the Islamic Republic” and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and “The Office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei” are funding such an event is nothing short of hypocrisy. While restricting and censoring artists inside the country, the Islamic Regime is using these types of cultural events as propaganda and trying to convince the International Community that it respects freedom of expression and the rights of Iranian Artists.

This is also an attempt by the Islamic Regime and its Agents to take the attention away from 31 years of arbitrary imprisonment, torture, rape and execution of thousands of political prisoners. As Canadians who are concerned with freedom of speech and expression and the right to life and liberty we must stand up against events funded by dictatorship governments such as the Islamic Regime which are busy oppression, torturing, raping and executing innocent people at home, while trying to pose as a democratic state abroad.

We ask all concerned citizens to contact Mr. Michael Grit the theatre manager for Richmond Hill Centre for performing arts and voice your concerns.

Artists in Exile – Canadian Chapter

Contact information for:

Mr. Michael Grit
Theatre Manager, [email protected], Tel: 905-787-8471, Ext: 222
10268 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3B7
Administration Phone: (905) 787-8471 Administration Fax: (905) 787-9757

By Sayeh Hassan
Recently Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre announced that his church would be celebrating “Burn the Koran Day” on September 11th 2010 in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

This issue has given rise to a lot of controversy and has been covered by almost all major news agencies. I think this issue is important enough for me to write a few paragraphs on it.

Burning the Koran is not only counterproductive but also dangerous. It is dangerous not only because it will most likely lead to a lash-back from fundamentalist Muslims, but because it will help in the creation of many more fundamentalist Jihadists which is the last thing our world needs.

In my opinion Islam is an oppressive, violent and sexist religion, however the way to combat it is not by burning the Koran which millions of Muslims worship and follow blindly without ever having read it.

In order to combat the dangers posed by Islam let’s encourage Muslims to actually read the Koran in their own language and to understand it. How many women who actually read the Koran and understand it will keep on worshipping it and making excuses for the sexism and violence that exists in this book?

I am a strong believer in “if you want to fight against something, first learn everything you can about it.” That’s the only way to fight against evil.

If before the Revolution in Iran in 1979 the Shah had allowed people to read the “Resaleh of Khomeini” instead of outlawing this book, I think today Iran would be in a much different state. After the Revolution once people started reading Khomeini’s Resaleh and realized the type of garbage that was written in it, they started to realize what a huge mistake they had made by supporting him.

If there are campaigns to burn the Koran it will increase the sympathy towards it and it will give a greater excuse to Islamic Government such as the Islamic Regime and Islamic entities such as Al-Qaeda to recruit even more Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists. All they have to say is “look the west is burning the Koran, Islam is in danger” and ignorant people who have never read the Koran will line up to defend Islam and kill innocent people while doing it.

Instead let’s encourage Muslims to read the Koran and challenge them to defend the violence, oppression and sexism which is strongly promoted in this book.

Down with the Islamic Regime
Long Live Freedom in Iran

Sayeh Hassan is a Toronto based Criminal Defense Lawyer with Walter Fox and Associates. Ms. Hassan is an Iranian pro-democracy activist who has been involved with this movement for the past eight years. She is also the author of the shiro-khorshid-forever blog which focuses on human rights and the pro-democracy movement in Iran. Through her human rights work she stays in close contact with dissidents inside Iran as well retains contact with numerous Iran based human rights organizations. Her writings often focus on the plight of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, with a particular interest in the persecution of the Kurdish and Baha'i communities. Ms. Hassan writes regularly for online publications such as Canada Free Press, Persian Journal and the Kurdish Herald. She can be contacted at [email protected]


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