Sunday, December 9, 2007

Makvan Mouloodzadeh: Remember His Name

Earlier this week it was announced that under the cover of darkness in the middle of the night Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed. It was carried out despite a ruling by an Iranian judge staying the execution was a violation of Islamic faith, the religious views of high Shiite clerics and "the law of the land."

It's all-too-easy to become numbed each day by what we learn of man's inhumanity to man. Yet there was something about this particular cruelty that struck me to the core and made me say involuntarily say "Oh, no!" aloud when I read it in the paper the next morning. I couldn't help imagining what profound loneliness and the terror must have been like for this Makvan as he faced his end, his hopes for mercy dashed and without even the comfort of being allowed to speak with any friendly soul or his family before being executed.

We cannot bring him back. But I believe his murder in the night should not be allowed to pass quietly. We must raise our voices in protest. I suggest it should begin with our being at the Iranian consulate to proclaim our rage at this barbaric cruelty and injustice.

In my adult life I don't think I've ever been more repelled and disgusted by the excesses of consumerism and militant partying during this holiday season. The seemingly endless quagmire of the war in Iraq, the hollow posturing and cynical, greedy political maneuvering of the presidential candidates, the corruption in the highest offices in the land even as our economy is reeling and is propped up by the make believe wealth and chicanery of Wall Street, the contrast of multi-million dollar apartments with a crisis in affordable housing and the rising number of homeless here in New York City, our "friends" in Congress who slickly sell out the transgendered for expediency -- the list goes on and on.

Surely you have noticed.

Don't give up! Don't accept this as just another act over which to just shrug and continue on busiess as usual in your life. How about "celebrating the holidays" differently this year? How about we do it in a manner which at least for an hour or so reflects some valueing our fellow beings and demonstrates our willingness to give some real force to what we say we believe in.

I'm talking about our taking action and gathering at the Iranian consulate here in New York to loudly denounce this barbaric execution. And how about doing it on Christmas Eve? I'm thinking say at 3pm when most people will already be off of work and able to participate. Let's put some credible love back into the holiday by expressing our anger.

If we permit this murderous cruelty to just fade away then our passivity condemns as accomplices to the evil we say we abhor.

In sorrow and anger I invite you to remember Makvan!


Andrew Velez

1 comment:

ChangeBuilders said...

Here is an email I received back from IGLHRC regarding possible actions in response to the execution in Iran of Makvan Mouloodzadeh...- Joey Nelson Coordinator - Queer Justice League


Thank you so much for your response. We are shocked and quite distressed that local authorities in Iran would so completely defy the ruling of the Iranian Chief Justice and the principles of human rights that Iran has agreed to.

At the moment, we are assessing our strategy. Needless to say, we must continue to work very closely and respectfully with Makvan's lawyer. Whether that work will entail a public activist component, or something more diplomatic to achieve some sort of progress in Iran, I don't know at the moment. We are meeting with a number of people both here and in Iran to help guide us as outsiders seeking to assist with human rights advocacy within Iran. It's a fairly delicate situation. However, for the moment, you should be sure that you are on our action alert list, and that you respond to actions that can be taken publicly. That would be of great value.

The good news is that a number of world leaders have condemned the execution....that's more than we've gotten from the global community in a very long time...

We'll keep you posted through the action alert...perhaps some local discussions with Iranian activists/human rights defenders here in NY would be another start for your group as well.....

Take care, Paula
Paula L. Ettelbrick
Executive Director
International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission