Leaving Islam




Long Live Arabistan

by Gerald A. Honigman 

     Iran ’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to President George W. Bush this past May 8th in which, among other things, he proclaimed Israel ’s alleged original sin and the need to create another state for Arabs in the region. 

     Well, since he insists, there’s a way to meet at least some of his demands…sort of. 

     As the lion’s share of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine was handed over to Arab nationalism in 1922 with the creation of what would later be renamed Jordan , a more than just partition of the land favoring the Arabs had already been completed between the two nationalisms competing for it. Indeed, Arabs wound up with some 80% of the total area. 

     So, the real place where justice for Arabs has not yet been addressed and still remains to be achieved is in…hold onto your seats Iran itself. 

     During the 7th century C.E., Arab Caliphal imperialist armies burst out of the Arabian Peninsula and colonized, settled, forcibly Arabized, and spread Islam by a conquering sword in all directions. 

     Judaea, renamed Palestine (for the Jews’ historic enemies, the Philistines) by conquering Romans after the second revolt of the Jews for their freedom, became occupied by Arabs at this time. And so did Iran 

     Using southern Iraq as a springboard, southwestern Iran --Khuzestan province in particular--traded back and forth between invading Arab and Iranian rulers.  

     While it became subsequently linked to Iran despite repeated Arab invasions over the centuries, Khuzestan became so extensively Arabized that, in Safavid times (16th-18th centuries C.E.), the province was commonly known as Arabistan. In modern times, not until Iran ’s Reza Shah defeated him in 1924, the Arab Sheikh of Muhammarah ruled much of the area. 

     Arabs have remembered all of this very well.  

     Indeed, once again Iraqi-based Arabs--this time under Saddam's banner--launched the long and bloody Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s that was largely fought over this oil-rich and strategically important area…Khuzestan for Persians, Arabistan for Arabs. 

     To deal with this problem, Iran has ruthlessly suppressed any manifestations of Arab nationalism by any and all means necessary. By the early 20th century, a proposal had been put forward to even outlaw the Arabic language. 

     More recently, here’s some excerpts as to how the British Ahwazi Friendship Society reported the situation on July 29, 2005: 

     The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) released a statement condemning the recent violent repression of ethnic minorities in Iran following the election of right-wing hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad …Pointing to clashes between security forces and Ahwazi Arabs and Kurds, Nicola Dell'Arciprete, UNPO Assistant General Secretary, said: "The UNPO condemns the Government's repressive policies against all the Iranian citizens. Iran is a multi-ethnic country in which half of the population belongs to ethnic minorities such as Azeri, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Kurds, Arabs, Lurs, Balochis, Turkmen… 


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