RNA – We have read and heard a lot of information about the need for a stance against the arrogant powers, resistance to the tyranny of the hegemonic powers, and the nature of propositions such as “Death to America” from a religious and national perspective. But really, how should these goals be achieved? Is the mere repetition of “Death to America” in small and large gatherings, which are occasionally held on various occasions in the country, sufficient to fulfill the religious duties of a Muslim against the arrogant powers?
Does simply saying, “Resistance is a good thing and the arrogant powers are a bad thing!” (What some speakers of official forums have been saying for years!) Does the national interest of our country provide for the comprehensive attacks of the enemies and make society resilient?
With this introduction, an interview was presented with Dr. Hamidreza Gholamzadeh, who holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and a lecturer at the University of Applied Science and Technology in Tehran. In this discussion, this social and political researcher points out how to have a principled confrontation with the arrogant powers regarding lifestyle.
The opposite of arrogant powers is freedom. In everyday life, we have multiple stereotypes that have been formed or shaped, depriving us of our freedom and achieving the objectives of the arrogant powers. The lack of this freedom has been done through tools like the media. The media constantly shows us images of the United States, while those images are not real, but because our knowledge is largely based on our perspective, we simply believe them. Knowing these images and the distortion of reality is the first step in opposing the arrogant powers.
A history of false Western illustrations
There is also a historical debate about the Western image that we must pay attention to. For many years, orientalists took images from the East to the West and brought images from the West to the East. These images were generally clichéd and false and were purposefully designed. A well-known example is Marco Polo, an Italian orientalist and explorer, while it is widely argued that he did not even leave his hometown, let alone explore. As a result, all that is attributed to him in the name of exploring is a fantasy.
Books on the East were also written in the fourth century CE, which were republished in the West 400 years later and were described as the current state of Eastern societies. Naturally, the audience thought to themselves that the East was very backward. That is to say, it is as if the Eastern society narrated in this book has changed!
Westerners do not even want the nations of the East to get a true picture of their past. During the colonial period, England and France came to the East and took our antiquities, they placed conditions on access to our own works, especially written works, one being the passage of a certain among of time! That is, for example, one-hundred years must pass before we are allowed to access works related to our past, which means that the East is cut off from its historical past.
Westerners used our science and knowledge and then showed themselves to us as role models. Many things that they claim they have discovered have been inspired by us and presented to us differently, for example, the university first appeared in the Islamic world, and the bachelor’s degree that Westerners awarded to university graduates was the same as that given to students in Islamic universities.
Westerners sometimes ignore Muslim scholars as well. Ibn Khaldun [b. 1332], for example, wrote a book about demography many centuries ago and discussed sociology, but Europeans ignore it and begin the history of sociology with nineteenth-century thinkers. It is as if ibn Khaldun did not exist several centuries prior and did not take any action. The result is a false image of the West to the East, which is backward and traditional, while the West is a leader in science and knowledge. This image is an introduction to the arrogant powers.
The footprints of the arrogant powers in the Islamic lifestyle
Another point is that the basis of Western intellectual civilization, that is, what leads to arrogance, is the originality of profit and pleasure. For them, it is a good thing to have material or pleasure benefits, they are based upon it and set an example for the people of the world on this basis.
The Western “lifestyle” is that it gives you a model and tools and it tells you how you should be! It offers its criteria in an attractive menu, for example with the internet and social media. What I am saying does not mean that you must not use mobile phones and the internet but I do mean that we must know what the West is using the internet for and what its goals are.
The current Western world, from its own perspective, prioritizes individuality, and you see that a tool like mobile provides you with the opportunity to be more individualistic. In the discussion of the internet, too, everything is based on one’s opinion. Anyone can follow anyone they want, unfollow or even report, without having to answer to anyone. Extensive studies have shown that these tools have led to the expansion of individual life and separation from society. Therefore, the second step is to be careful about your lifestyle.
With critical thinking and inquiry, we can take the first and second steps, and this revision must take place in the academic field and among the intellectuals. Recently, I saw statistics that during the Christmas season, 80% of the Christmas trees purchased in Tehran were made by non-Christians. In general, how many Christians do we have in Iran and Tehran? Many more Christmas trees were sold during the Christmas season than the number of Christians in the whole country. Putting aside the environmental consequences, the cultural consequences, are very significant. This means that people with an intellectual gesture are looking for a Western lifestyle.
This is the mental colonization of the people by the arrogant powers. The West, by interfering in people’s lifestyles, provides the grounds for their domination. That is, their political arrogance is carried out alongside mental colonialism.
The need for a comprehensive review of what we do every day
We need a general review of our culture and tradition to see how much of it comes from the West and to what extent it belongs to us. Those who copy from the West are so demanding that they see others as inferior to them and look at them with contempt, that is, the Westoxified spectrum in society is small in number, but in terms of appearance, because they insist on proving themselves, they introduce itself as larger than they are in reality.
For example, they insist on taking their dogs to the streets. Poor dogs are not pets! Recently, I saw a large dog of one of the German breeds inside a very small MVM car and the poor dog could not move. To flaunt their Westerness, people have taken dogs as their toys. We need to think critically about what we see during the day.
Also, we must challenge our religious behaviour, we must not think that if we are religious, we no longer need to think critically about ourselves because even our religious behaviour may sometimes be clichéd and need to be corrected. It often happens that we see and hear something, but without awareness, we follow it.
Rasa News Agency