Ron Rosenbaum

Obama: Give Back Your Nobel Until the Iranians Give Back Shirin Ebadi's

Maybe I’m taking this too personally, but that’s what blogs are for, right?  But the revolting action by the fascist Iranian thugocracy in breaking into Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi’s safe deposit box in Tehran and stealing her Nobel prize symbolizes all that is petty, ugly, sinister and repulsive about the Iranian dictatorship. It’s not just a violation of her person; it’s a violation of all who believe in human rights.

Shirin Ebadi, one of the bravest women in the world, won the Nobel in 2003 for her work as a human rights lawyer defending victims of Iranian regime. When I say I take this theft personally, it’s because two years later I was honored to be in a room with Shirin Ebadi — and it just happened to be the same night and in the same room in which I met the love of my life. It was at a gathering my book editor gave to celebrate the American publication of Shirin Ebadi’s memoir.

I think it was the only time I’d been in the same room as a Nobel Prize winner, and I was awed by proximity to someone of such courage, by the quiet dignity and strength of her words.

And now the cowardly woman-hating, freedom-crushing creeps and bullies who pass for a regime in Iran (may the nuclear laboratories they lie about blow up in their faces) have stolen the symbol of something they could never hope to aspire to — indeed, even understand — in their evil ignorant fanaticism. They’re nothing more than scummy crooks degrading religious piety everywhere with their travesty of it.

No it wasn’t as bad as the murder, rape and torture of dissidents they perpetrated during the “Green Revolution” against the stolen election; it was a symbolic crime. Steal an election, steal a Nobel Prize, steal the life and soul of their people. But symbolic crimes are another symptom of the fascist theocratic mind of these shameful, subhuman butchers.

I don’t think this symbolic crime should be allowed to pass unnoticed. I think it deserves at the very least a high profile shaming, a symbolic response. I think Obama should offer Shirin Ebadi refuge and protection in America from a regime that will not stop at symbolic crimes against her.

And he should return his Nobel to the Norwegians and declare that he will not take possession until of it again until the Iranians give Shirin Ebadi’s back. Not that they would be likely to do it, not that they show any evidence of the ability to feel shame. But they should be isolated like the moral lepers they are.