Our Discussions

Iranian Teenager and Nazism
1 (a madar)

Some of our friends were over at our house for dinner last night with their children. Today, I checked the email and found the following email by the son of a friend sent to this right wing, pro Hitler group.

I am concerned about this email, but don't know what to do about it and need your advice. I know I should tell the mother, and I will. The mother and I are best friends and I know her well enough to know that she has no clue what to do with this probelm besides overreacting at the moment.

As her best friend I feel that I should be able to help her and I do count on Madar-Pedar members' help. I am surprised and shocked myself by this calm and gentle and handsome teenager.

Please help us out and give some hints of how to approach this young man and what strategies his mother could use.

Thank you.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Subject: I'm interested about your link.

hey guys,

I'm a 16 years old guy in america and I would really preaciate you if you send me some information about what you do and where the center of your group is activate now.

And I'm really feel like 50 fucken year that we have to be silence! Just so you know I'm actually from Iran and I'm already a nazy, and I just want to be an active nazy.

so I'm waiting for your mail.

Please send your emails to: ...


2 (a madar)

Regarding the Iranian teenager who sent an email to a pro-Hitler group requesting information and calling himself a "nazy": perhaps this child needs to be educated rather than punished. If I were his parent, I would gather as much information (including video news reports and magazine articles and books) regarding the neo-Nazi movements for him to watch and read. A teenager is too old to be told what to think and do by his parents; he will merely rebel. But if we can help a teenager change his mind about something (and lead him to believe that he is making the decision to do so), then we have a chance of helping him turn away from extreme positions and dangerous associations. For some reason, he feels drawn to this group, but my guess is that he merely wants to belong to something. That he has gravitated to a group that bases it's ideas on hate may be some indication that the boy is holding in a great deal of anger himself. In my opinion, the exhibition of anger (especially in boys) is merely a symptom of some deep sadness, and if the parents can get their son to understand and express this sadness, they've won the battle. That's not to say it's easy or quick; boys need a lot of prodding and it could take weeks or months of constant attentiveness to get to the core of the problem. Most important, concerning the Nazi issue, this child needs to know the facts. First off, let him know that American militia groups - neo-Nazi groups - are, in their pure form, white supremacists; an Iranian boy would be their target, certainly not their cohort. The racism is directed at him, really.

Best of luck,

3 (a pedar)

Dear Madars and Pedars:

What I'm about to say may be a very touchy subject and perhaps in complete contrast of the beliefs of many. So before I begin let me make it very clear that I do not tolerate racism and one of the main reasons I made US my home, is the fact that diversity is embraced in many areas of this country.

Regarding the teenager and Nazism.

I don't think that we should tell our youth that they are targets of "neo-nazi groups". Nor should we tell them that they are part of a "minority" group. We should tell them the truth and facts. Because if we don't, others will.

The fact is: The pure and truly white supermacist groups in this country know that they can recruit Iranian youth because they tell them the truth about their heritage.

And the truth is: Iranians are Aryans. Yes, I agree that the word Aryan is associated with Nazism and Hitler and ........ but facts are facts. Although Iran is home to many races and ethnic groups, the predominant race of the country has been and is Aryan. It is with that premise that, at the turn of the 20th century, the old country, Persia, was renamed, to IRAN. The word IRAN means: Land of Aryans.

If one looks up the word "Aryans" in any encyclopedia, (tonight I'm looking in World Book 1988) the description is: a group of people who settled in Iran and northern India about 1500 B.C.

If one looks up the meaning of the word"Aryan" in any dictionary, (tonight I'm looking in American Heritage 1976) the meanings listed are: any person that speaks Indo-European.......or Iranian language.

I know a lot of people say: "Aryans have to have blond hair and blue eyes." But that's not necessarily true. Those features are the Nordic Aryan features which Hitler picked as the features of the supreme race. (By the way, the word aryan means noble.) Aryan features vary from fair skin and blond hair to brown skin and dark hair. (again according to the books).

Anyway, believe me when I say that the "truly white supermacists" know these facts. Many years ago, in the days of the hostage crisis and all that, when Iranians were hated by almost everyone here, I was approached in a shooting gallery by a man admiring my markmanship. He asked where I had learned to shoot so well. I told him that I had learned it in Iran and ............He immediately went on to tell me all about the Aryans and the fact that Iranians are Aryans and on and on.........and of coarse invited me to join a "special group of people" that operated out of remote camps in Virginia and that their mission was to teach all Aryans how to use firearms "just in case". I laughed at him and told him to go to hell. But the fact that he knew so much about a narrow aspect of Iranian culture and background has remained with me. I always have had to educate the Americans about the fact that Iranians are not Arabs. I've had to expalin that fact to mostly educated people. And yet, there it was, a man of below average education, a misguided soul, knowing more about the Iranian race than..............some Iranians.

So there it is, first hand. I haven't shared that story with many people. But as my children were growing up and had questions about their race, I believed in being honest and truthful with them. We looked up different things in encyclopedias and I showed them how to research their heritage on their own. I explained to them that Aryan is NOT the same as Nazi. That may be the only explanation and clarification needed for our "teenager" so he does not think that "he's already a Nazi".

Sorry for the lengthy commentary, It just breaks my heart when I see some of our teenagers confused about where their background and what their "race" is.

4 (madar # 2)

Dear Pedar # 3,

It seems that I'm the naive one here. I had no idea that the white supremacist groups were so knowledgeable about Iranians as Aryans. Although my experience with these groups is mostly by chance or from reading a great deal about them, I was always under the assumption that their definition of Aryan was completely misinterpreted. That some of the members of these groups would purposefully try to recruit Iranians is appalling to me, and frightening. However, I find it hard to imagine that your basic skinhead dares to believe that we swarthy Iranians are anything but the enemy. I thank you for your explanation of the two branches of Aryans -- lighter and darker -- which makes it easier to explain Hitler's misnomer. For sure, I agree with you that our children should not feel compelled to deny their Aryan-ness for it is truth. All in all, however, the word has been defiled by Nazi's and neo-Nazi's alike; our children should be proud of their heritage, but also wary of the misinterpreted labels that can get them in trouble.


5 (a madar)

I am so touched by Pedar #3's comments regarding the nazi question. Mainly because I have teenagers and have been faced with these issues myself. I believe that he is right. We need to educate our kids and give them a strong sense of acceptance and pride in what they are in order to off set all the negativity directed at our group in this country.

We should also empower our children by teaching them their rights as Americans and to encourage them to get involved in government if they like to see changes. We have the opportunity here. Let's teach them that they are entitled to use it! Instead of an illegitimate group such as Nazi. They can work towards becoming part of the government or media etc...in order to make a difference. They can do this by developing long term goals of putting themselves in places of power as far as policy making, public education etc.... in order to insure their future and security in this country.

May be we can watch and use Jewish people as an example! In how they have infiltrated all aspect of this country and ultimately they monitor and many cases control the media which controls public opinion. They've situated themselves in key political and governmental positions. And at the same time from the "most powerful" country run and support the well being of Israel!

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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