Freedom versus Suffocation

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By: Hassan Fartousi

Words such as freedom and suffocation are mutually exclusive. That is they never form a fine collocation. Where the earlier exists the latter disappears and vice versa. Ordinary people favor freedom while authoritarian politicians sermonize on freedom from one hand and sign crackdowns on the other hand.

Nowadays many political figures speak highly of liberty, human rights, equity, right of minority, and religion conversion. Among these figures, those who come from developed nations would really mean it. And those from undeveloped, underdeveloped nations speak rather than act. So it depends where you live.

You and your line of thought need to be aligned with the predetermined ideology of that of your government -the Islamic Republic of Iran for instance. In case you are not in line, you are to choose two options: to harbor in or voice out. Both options are laborious tasks. Going for the first option keeps you out of prosecution, guilt, condemnation, and jail yet full of unsaid yells and have to put up with it. One day the grumble inside you would in no time burst out open and cause you headache.

Some courageous persistent dissidents might reach for the second alternative. They may think openly and would like to talk of human rights, liberty to choose the favorite president, religion (Christianity, Islam, Bahaei, etc.), and practice the new religion individually or in group. You may speak against the permanent power of the Supreme leader or you may offer the suggestion of leader election by the public.

Now the main question is that as a peaceful civil and political critic how, when, and where would you speak out? Do you dare to pen down or open your mouth? If yes, in what atmosphere? Free or suffocated one?

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The author is Ph.D. Candidate at the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya (Malaysia)

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