Where Is My Vote?

The Editor: In these parlous times it becomes imperative to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate solidarity. The following is based on principle and respect for the Iranian people, and its demand for transparency and accountability is one we share even if our own reading of the elections is different.(Also see Khatami and Moussavi‘s statements on the elections which have been translated by our good friend Naj).

The aim of the following appeal is to declare our support for the Iranian movement in its call for a new election and our opposition to any violent intervention on the protesters. We do so as independent academics and not as representatives of our many respective governments. We do so in the hope that the historical appreciation and respect of higher learning in most of traditional Iran will make our voice of solidarity heard within Iran.

Iranians participate in the democratic process
Iranians participate in the democratic process

June 21, 2009 — A week ago, Friday June 12, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the Iranian presidential election. Immediately after, all other candidates, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and even the conservative Mohsen Rezaei, disputed the official results. So did some people who started several demonstrations to express their anger. More news fueled the suspicion of fraud at an unprecedented scale. On Monday June 15, and to the amazement of the world, millions of people – of all ages, classes, and backgrounds – were in the streets of Tehran demanding another election in what was the biggest demonstration since the revolution in 1979. A week later, despite the threats and beatings issued and ordered by the government, millions of people are still demonstrating, and the movement is growing and spreading to other cities.

Observers might find the situation confusing, since Iran has long been an isolated country and the everyday Iranian is unknown to the outside world. One cannot even prove that there was a fraud. There remains the fact that millions of people are protesting in the streets of Iran. These are traditional, religious, modern, young, old, rich and poor, academics – some of them our colleagues – going out in the streets and risking their lives with a form of innocence in their aims and tactics. Some of them may stand on their roofs at night shouting “God is great” to keep the movement alive. They are braving the power because they insist that the Islamic republic is a republic.

The government is imposing a ban on the foreign press, shutting down all means of communication within their reach, arresting hundreds of prominent activists, politicians and religious figures opposing the results, and terrorising demonstrators. Every day fewer videos and reports escape from Iran. The state media is depicting the protests as incited by the West, accusing the movement of being a party of hooligans and traitors. After a week of uncertainty, the head of the state, Khamenei, just issued yesterday strong and explicit threats against participants in the protests and rallies.

This text is an urgent request to academics to fight the misrepresentation of this movement. This is not only about showing support to the courage and determination of people on the streets of Iran. It also means reaching for the many people in Iran who would like to participate but are frightened or know of the movement only through the state media. It means informing these people of the scale and nature of the movement, and thus widen its support within Iran. To all academics, please sign this appeal to support this movement in its call for a new election and oppose any violent intervention on protesters.

To join this academic appeal send your name and affiliation at vincent.danos@gmail.com

Dr. S. Aaronson (MIT) – Prof. S. Abramsky (University of Oxford) – Prof. L. Aceto (Reykjavik University) – Dr. R. Alléaume (Télécom Paris Tech) – Prof. W. Arendt (University of Ulm) – Dr. K. Banaszek (Nicolaus Copernicus University) – Dr. E. Barker (University of Oxford) – Prof. S. M. Barnett (University of Strathclyde) – Dr. A. Baltag (University of Oxford) – Dr. G. Batt (INRIA) – Prof. P. Bellot (Télécom Paris Tech) – Dr. S. Bouzarovski (University of Birmingham) – Dr. D. Browne (University College London) – Prof. A. Bundy (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. P. Buneman (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. A. Cabello (Universidad de Sevilla) – Prof. T. Calarco (University of Ulm) – Prof. A. Carbone (Université Pierre et Marie Curie) – Prof. B. Chandrasekaran (Ohio State University) – Dr. K. Chatzikokolakis (Technical University of Eindhoven) – Dr. S. R. Clark (National University of Singapore) – Dr. B. Coecke (University of Oxford) – Prof. S. B. Cooper (University of Leeds) – Prof. D. W. Corne (Heriot-Watt University) – Dr. M. Cramer (Imperial College London) – Dr. P. Crépieux (CNRS) – Prof. W. van Dam (University of California) – Prof. V. Danos (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. G. M. D’Ariano (University of Pavia) – Dr. N. Datta (University of Cambridge) – Dr. J. Degorre (CNRS) – Dr. J. Desharnais (Université Laval) – Prof. M. Dezani-Ciancaglini (Università di Torino) – Prof. E. E. Doberkat (Technische Universität Dortmund) – Dr. T. Douglas (University of Oxford) – Prof. D. Dubhashi (Chalmers University) – Dr. P. Dumais (Université de Montréal) – Prof. J. Eisert (University of Potsdam) – Prof. H. Emamirad (Poitiers University) – Dr. M. Ericsson (Uppsala University) – Dr. K. Etessami (University of Edinburgh) – Dr. B. Farzad (Brock University) – Dr. A. Farjudian (Aston University) – Dr. J. Feret (INRIA) – Dr. A. Feito (Imperial College London) – Prof. F. Ferreira (University of Edinburgh) – Dr. J. Fitzsimons (University of Oxford) – Prof. W. Fontana (Harvard University) – Prof. B. Foroughi (St. Francis Xavier University) – Dr. I. Fuentes-Schuller (University of Hertfordshire) – Dr. E. F. Galvão (University of Federal Fluminense) – Dr. D. Green (The City University of New York) – Dr. R. Harmer (CNRS) – Prof. M. Hartmann (Technische Universität München) – Prof. J. M. Henderson (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. L. Hendren (McGill University) – Prof. J. Hillston (University of Edinburgh) – Dr. M. Huth (Imperial College London) – Prof. M. Ivanov (Imperial College London) – Dr. K. Jacobs, (University of Massachusetts) – Prof. H. J. Jensen (Imperial College London) – Prof. J.-P. Jouannaud (INRIA) – Prof. R. Jozsa (University of Bristol) – Dr. E. Kashefi (University of Edinburgh) – Dr. A. Kent (Cambridge University) – Prof. F. Képes (CNRS) – Dr. H. Koeppl (EPFL) – Dr. P. Kok (University of Sheffield) – Dr. J. Krivine (IHES) – Prof. R. Laflamme (University of Waterloo) – Dr. M. Laforest (Delft University of Technology) – Dr. F. Laviolette (Université Laval) – Prof. B. Leimkuhler (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. G. Leuchs (Universität Erlangen-Nuernberg) – Prof. L. Libkin (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. N. Lütkenhaus (University of Waterloo) – Dr. D. Markham (CNRS) – Prof. H. Mairson (Brandeis University) – Dr. D. Mazza (CNRS) – Prof. M. Mislove (Tulane University) – Prof. E. Mjolsness (University of California) – Prof. C. Moore (University of New Mexico) – Prof. M. Mosca (University of Waterloo) – Dr. A. Murawski (University of Oxford) – Dr. P. Ohberg (Heriot-Watt University) – Dr. M. Owari (Imperial College London) – Prof. C. Palamidessi (INRIA) – Prof. P. Panangaden (McGill University) – Dr. D. Pavlovic (University of Oxford) – Dr. M. Planat (Université de Franche-Comté) – Prof. M. B. Plenio (Imperial College London) – Prof. G. Plotkin (University of Edinburgh) – Dr. O. Radulescu (University of Rennes 1) – Prof. P. Y. A. Ryan (University of Luxembourg) – Dr. M. Sadrzadeh (University of Oxford) – Prof. B. Sanders (University of Calgary) – Dr. M. Santos (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) – Prof. W. Schleich (University of Ulm) – Prof. P. Selinger (Dalhousie University) – Dr. A. Serafini (University College London) – Dr. P. Series (University of Edinburgh) – Dr. S. Severini (University of Waterloo) – Dr. M. P. da Silva (Université de Sherbrooke) – Prof. L. Smolin (Perimeter Institute) – Dr. P. Sobocinski (University of Southampton) – Dr. R. Spekkens (Perimeter Institute) – Prof. A. Steinberg (University of Toronto) – Dr. K. Szacilowski (Jagiellonian University) – Prof. F. Taddei (Université Paris Descartes) – Prof. A. Tapp (Université de Montréal) – Dr. L. Tortora de Falco (Università Roma Tre) – Dr. D. Varacca (Université Paris Diderot) – Dr. S. Virmani (University of Strathclyde) – Prof. N. Vitanov (Sofia University) – Prof. P. Wadler (University of Edinburgh) – Prof. R. F. Werner (Technical University of Braunschweig)

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

2 thoughts on “Where Is My Vote?”

  1. “beatings issued and ordered by the government, millions of people are still demonstrating, and the movement is growing and spreading to other cities.”

    Hmmm… A little loose with the “facts” eh? If one has a legitimate cause one doesn’t need to embellish the basis. This type of foment is disrespectful not only to Iranians but to all of us whom it targets.

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