Mina Khanlarzadeh - anti-imperialism as an intellectual trap
The petition pretends to know what Iranian people want: “The majority of the Iranian people do not seek regime change because they have already lived through two monumental events that destabilized their lives […] Iranians seek economic and political stability, […]. We stand by them and their calls for domestic reform [….]” The petition claims Iranians want stability, but who are these Iranians who want stability? It’s certainly not the protesters who shouted for the fall of the dictator (Ayatollah Khamenei) in the streets and actually destabilized the country by forcing the government to use maximum force to silence them and to the surprise of the petitioners, kill more than 200 of them. The violent politics of stability has, in fact, been employed by the government to silence any cry for transformation towards improvement.
The petitioners must explain how they arrived at the demand for stability from the images and videos coming out of Iran, and on what basis can they represent the needs and demands of the protesters if it is not based on the stories told by protesters themselves in their actions and words. Can Iranians want anything other than stability? The petition does not even attempt to understand what has happened in Iran. Instead, it puts words into the mouth of Iranians, and dictates them their desires; it is infantilizing and even civilizing. But how do the petitioners know better than those putting their lives on the line, daring to think, speak and act in ways that challenges the status quo?