A Persian Letter
O people of Persia, this is a letter
From a member of a nation as ancient as yours;
Written in the hopes of a small improvement
Before the guns of war drown all out with their roars.
In the days of king Koresh
You were most blessed.
In an age of ruthless empires,
You are still numbered among the best.
We, the nation of Israel, still remember your king,
As does all the world, for he is in the Bible recorded;
For his tolerant rule, granting us return to our land,
God him the status of anointed accorded.
We remember you for good, except for one period
When you let a non-Persian go against your needs.
God be thanked, Haman ended up hanged, and his family,
But everyone is condemned to repeat history unless he its lessons heeds.
People think of Persia, and they imagine:
The carpets, the cats, the courtly festivals of wine;
The rich ornamentation of Khosro’s palace,
With its golden halls and dresses of silks fine.
Iran is known for its gardens, so much so
That we have from Persian the word, “Paradise”;
Gardens of beauty, the envy of the world,
Looked upon by desert nomads as the afterlife prize.
And even after those nomads took what was not theirs,
Persia still maintained its creative pulse, its original rhythm,
Providing the world with poets and scientists,
Innovators like Al-Khwarizmi, for whom is named the algorithm.
But ever since the people of the desert robbed yours
And placed you within their caliphate’s pale,
O people of Persia, can you not see?
The best you can hope for under them is to be the lion’s tail.
It is better, of course, to be the fox’s head, as you were,
Than the lion’s tail, or even a human riding a camel;
Far worse, then, O people of Persia, is what Islam has for you:
Not to ride, but to be ridden by the camel!
Is it becoming for Koresh’s nation to prostrate
In the direction of a small, black cube in the desert?
Is it the fitting destiny of Ardashir’s descendants
To carry out tasks to the Arabs’ whim and comfort?
HaShem is our guardian, He does not sleep,
He executes judgment on those who assault his city, Zion.
He told Abraham, after Ishmael tried to murder our father Isaac:
“Drive him out as your wife says—I will make another nation his scion.”
And now the Muslims repeat their forefather’s transgression:
Attempting to murder those who came out of his half-brother;
Why should you, O people of Persia, be entangled
With the ongoing feud of a family other?
Come, O people of Persia, return to your former glory,
Leave subservience to interests not yours, to purposes foreign.
Abandon enmity toward those who need not be your enemies,
Stay away from a conflict whose end could only be barren.
Iran was once master of a vast area of land,
Its culture radiant, its achievements legion,
But now, for over centuries thirteen, it is in slavery,
To the black stone in the desert, to Ishmael’s religion!
Such would be one of history’s greatest tragedies,
If Persia is used by Islam to its demise.
It need not be so: if only you throw away those alien chains,
Iran will live in peace, in prosperity—a paradise.
[UPDATE, October 31, 2007]: Happy Cyrus Day to you too, Mr. Imani! May Iran soon be ruled by true Iranian, non-Islamic leaders of her choosing, instead of people who serve Ishmaelite-Islamic interests.