I happen to be on the emailing list of Iranian Students Association of University of Ottawa. Today I received an email through them written by one of the students who was extremely concerned about what is happening to students in Iran and wanted to do something about it. He was asking whether something should be done by students abroad to support the students who are fighting for freedom and democracy inside.
Ofcourse I thought this was a wonderful email and replied to him and gave him my thoughts. But this email created a much wider question for me. I went to University of Ottawa for three years and during that time I was always on the mailing list. On numerous occasions I tried to send out emails about students or activists who were arrested or tried to get some sort of campaign going and on ALL occasions the emails were censured by the president of ISAUO and they never let any of my emails go through. They claimed that this was a non-political organization and therefore could not allow such political emails. Ofcourse by censoring me they were promoting their own political agenday. The leadership of ISAUO has changed and at the very least it seems like they are starting allow freedom of speech which is a good start. Whether anyone will reply to the email I recieved today and whether anyone will try to do anything is a whole other question though.
I find it very disturbing that there are so many so called Iranian Student Associations who do not lift a finger to help their country or their people. They claim to be promoting Iranian Culture yet they do not want to or are too afraid to use the real Iranian flag which is the lion and sun. Some of them go so far as to use the Islamic Regime's flag such as the Iranian Student Association in Carleton University in Ottawa.
Ok I can go on forever about these so called independent non political groups, but the main question I have today is why are they so silent?
I have come up with three different possibilities
1. They simply do not care about Iran and what is going on in Iran
2. They are too afraid to do anything because of the threat posed by IRI agents who are VERY MUCH present in Canada especially in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
3. They are the creation of IRI. I am betting my money on this one. These groups are extremely large and well funded and once they are in place it is extremely difficult to start up any other Iranain student groups in the University. The existence of these groups keeps other real and independent student groups from forming and from really promoting Iranian culture and people and showing distaste for the IRI.
Now that I started writing it seems like I have a lot more to say so I will write the rest in a separate entry. Cheers for now and I will keep you updated on whether the ISAUO will take any action to support the Iranain students in Iran.