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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Iranian Clerics & Blogging: Ayatollah Goes Virtual

Global Voices:More Iranian clerics are blogging and share their ideas, beliefs and daily life on internet. It is amazing that clerics who control literally everything in country need blogs to express their ideas.
In Islamic Iran there are several religious (clerics) bloggers who criticize Iranian state with soft words and try to discuss people’s concerns beyond official propaganda.

One of these bloggers is PejvakeKhamoush (silent echo)(link in Farsi) an Iranian cleric from Khuzestan who is living in Qom. In his blog we see Ganji’s (jailed journalist) photo and he asks for his freedom…He talks about his daily experience in front of an Iranian store. He explains how it has become difficult for many to buy their daily meat and other basic food. He says

“When there is no bread no meat what to do with nuclear technology”

He bravely publishes news and articles from other Iranian sites including opposition ones in exile.

Another one is Hajji(link in Farsi). He says that superstition and religious get really mixed up in Iran. According to this cleric many people come to high ranked Ayatollahs’ offices to be anointed or get a miracle. Usually they give an object (cloth for example) to Ayatollah’s servants and Ayatollah touched them and returned them back to people.

Another blogger is Hojreh(link in Farsi): He says Iranian Mullahs sometimes takeoff their traditional cloth because they know people dislike them. They prefer to be not known as clerics!

There are traditional clerics too. One of them is ye donya pedar gom kardam(link in Farsi). His blog is full of stories about miracles, saints, prayers…

Webnevesht is country’s former Vice President’s blog. This reformist blogger,Mr.Abtahi, publishes photos that he takes, his political ideas and his daily life. Recently he talked about private TV stations:

For sure if the writers of the Constitution were in the current situation of the world, they wouldn’t consent to the exclusivity of radio and TV!

But there still exists the possibility of starting private channels but to understand that the cold war is over and the communication revolution has removed the borders is difficult for many!

It is interesting that Iranian people from different walks of life are involved with blogging. If clerics, who rule over Iran, need blogs to express themselves then we can understand importance of blogs for the rest of population!

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