Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Iranian Intellectuals and Writers Speak Up for Truth

More than 100 Iranian activists, intellectuals, writers, and artists have signed a public letter condemning the controversial Iranian-sponsored Holocaust denial conference held in December in Tehran.

The Iranian dissidents accused the conference of attempting to "falsify history" by resorting to "denial and distortion of historical facts."

The letter, published in the Feb. 15, 2007, edition of The New York Review of Books, also points out that "the new brand of anti-Semitism prevalent in the Middle East today is rooted in European ideological doctrines of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and has no precedent in Iran's history."

Western governments and many public officials severely criticized the Iranian government last month for hosting the event.

One of the Iranian signers, writer Azar Nafisi, has an Oklahoma connection. She lived and studied in Norman in the 1970s, a period she discusses in her popular book Reading Lolita in Tehran.

now teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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