Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Worrying Trends

Make what you will of this. Tajikistan's only synagogue is being bulldozed as we speak. President Emomali Rakhmonov is also talking about Aryan pride. The most disturbing paragraph from this RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty article is this one:

The Tajik historian and ethnographer Usto Jahonov supports both the state’s desire to raise awareness of Tajikistan’s Aryan heritage and the use of the swastika. Using an argument employed by Tajik officials in numerous speeches, Jahonov contends that it is an inherent part of Aryan culture and a key to building national identity. A stronger national identity is itself “needed now because we live among [non-Aryan,] Turkic nations” that are, he says, rewriting “their history by claiming that they emerged in this area [Central Asia]. We should therefore go back to Aryan history, demonstrate and prove to others where our place is. Each nation should know its place.”

Once more - make of it what you will. Im up for a debate with anyone on the issue.


  • At 3:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No offence, but it is clear from the way you have organized and posted this comment that you are trying to link Tajiks to Nazis. About the century-old synagogue: there is no information whether this synagogue was used at all or whether the Jewish people in Tajikistan needed it. Most Jews I know of don't have strong ties with their religion. They have long been a part of a Tajik society. Jews are very well-accepted in Tajikistan and there is no point in trying to depict Tajiks as anti-semist.

    As for the swastika: it is every nations right to seek its heritage and roots and the sign does provide just that. There is nothing wrong with being Aryan in a non-Nazi way. Arguing otherwise would simply mean that you acknowledge Nazi definition of the term Aryan and Swastika, which is far fetched by all standards.

  • At 5:06 pm, Blogger MattyJ said…

    I am not trying to link Nazi's and the Tajik people. I am by no means implying Tajik's are anti-semitist, that is a known fact. The German people in 1930's Germany, on the whole were not anti-semites either.

    But, I ask you this question? Other than during the era of Hitler, exactly what was the link between an Aryan and the Swatstika?

  • At 5:08 pm, Blogger MattyJ said…

    Can I just clarify the second sentence should read "I am by no means implying Tajik's are anti-semitist, it is a known fact that they are not."

  • At 5:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I suggest reading this page in wikipedia about the origins of Aryans and Swastika.

  • At 5:50 pm, Blogger MattyJ said…

    Well I am unable to find any historical link between the Swastika and the Aryan race, other than the aforementioned Nazi regime.

    Therefore do you not agree it is offensive to Jewish people/Tajik's and other Soviet people, who were involved in the Second World War, to associate a perfectly legitimate desire for strengthening of cultutal history with this tainted symbol?

    It is in poor taste in my opinion for the Tajik government to use the Swastika (something which correctly belongs to Eastern religion) in its aims - this was one of the points I was originally making

  • At 7:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    here is an exert from the article

    The discovery of the Indo-European language group in the 1790s led to a great effort by archaeologists to link the pre-history of European peoples to the ancient Aryans (Indo-Iranians). Following his discovery of objects bearing the swastika in the ruins of Troy, Heinrich Schliemann consulted two leading Sanskrit scholars of the day, Emile Burnouf and Max Müller. Schliemann concluded that the Swastika was a specifically Indo-European symbol. Later discoveries of the motif among the remains of the Hittites and of ancient Iran seemed to confirm this theory. This idea was taken up by many other writers, and the swastika quickly became popular in the West, appearing in many designs from the 1880s to the 1920s.

    The above mentioned discoveries took place BEFORE the adoption of these by the Nazi regime.

    Swastika has been present in Indo-Iranian (and Tajiks are in fact Iranians) life long before being distorted by Nazi Germany.

    In a sense that the sign is used to depict Nazis, it is quite offensive for Tajik elders, who fought the WWII along their Russian brothers.

    This case has no connection to Nazi connotation of the sign and the term. Tajiks are merely trying to find their identity and discover their history.

    As far as I know the sign and the word are widely used in India and among liguists to define the indo-iranian people.

  • At 4:20 pm, Blogger MattyJ said…

    I have now read the said article, which was in fact under 'Swastika' and not under 'Aryan'as formerly claimed.

    Whilst I appreciate your educating of myself, with regard to the issue, I stand by my earlier point. There is potential for offense to be caused in using this symbol and claims of an Aryan tradition.

    In addition to this, my article noted that it was for the reader to decide for themselves what this new form of 'national identity' was about. I in no manner indicated or mislead readers to think that the Tajik people are anti-semites. I merely pointed out to my readership this new governmental directive.

  • At 3:05 am, Anonymous Billy Rojas said…

    This development in Tajikistan is welcone news. I am the founder of
    the Swastika Club of America, a group that also seeks to make the
    publc aware of the entirely good
    and benevolent meanings associated
    with the swastika historically.

    As for supposed Aryan traditions
    and the swastika, such an inter-
    pretation is misleading since
    the symbol is well established in
    very non-Aryan China, Indonesia,
    Nepal, Mongolia, Japan, Korea,
    and Ethiopia, to name a few countries where this is true.
    It was also important in popular
    culture in the USA until WWII
    and was even used for military
    insignia (such as the 45th
    Infantry Division).

    I happen to live in Oregon, and
    about 50 miles from my home is
    one of two peaks in the world named
    "Swastika Mountain." The other is
    located in the Himalayas and is
    sacred to the followers of at
    least four religions, to Hindus,
    Buddhists, Jains, and members of
    Bon-Po, which is indigenous to Tibet and nearby areas.

    Several towns in the United States
    are or were named Swastika, the
    most fampous being the one in NE
    New Mexico (now a ghost town), one
    in Nevada, one in southern Oregon,
    and a still existing village in
    uopstate New York. As well, there
    is s small city of this name in
    Canada, north of Lake Superior.

    None of this, and there is VASTLY
    more to discuss, has the least to
    do with the damned Nazis.

    It is false to literally thousands of years of history
    to contuine to associate the
    swastika with Hitler and his
    goons. Indeed, the club will NOT
    knowingly admit to membership anyone who has Fascist views.

    It is time to rehabuilitate
    the swastika in the West and to
    repect its usage among at least
    2 billion people in Asia. Among
    other things, to demean the
    swastika is also to insult
    perhaps a few million Asians who
    have this name, both men and women,
    boys as well as girls, in lands
    where the word and the symbol
    are associated with good fortune,
    spirituality, and luck.With any
    searching at all you can easily find any number of people named
    Swastika who have Web pages.

    The symbol, known under a variety of terms, is also a traditional American indian symbol.

    Those who attack the swadstika,
    in other words, attack the sacred
    traditions of the Sioux, the
    Navajo, the Pima, the Cherokee,
    and about 150 other tribes.

    By the way, you don't need to be
    American to join the Swastika Club of America, just some interest in
    its history in America. And the
    club spends about as much time
    dealing with the arts and cultures
    of other nations as it does with
    the USA. By all means, if you
    would like more information
    please feel free to contract me

    For now membership is free.
    No Web site yet, my skills with
    a computer aren't at that level
    so far, but a site is being plannned and hopefully will go on line in a few weeks.

    At this time about half of our
    still small membership lives in
    the United States and half in
    Europe. It would be great if
    some people from Asia and other
    places wanted to join. My name
    comes from that of my step father,
    who as a school teacher in the
    Philippines. So, Asians would be
    most welcome, esopecially Tajiks,
    given the recent news.

  • At 11:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a Jew from Tajkistan. I am very angry at what the government did. Jews did worship at the synagogue. My parents and grandparents tell me stories about how it was important to them. This shows how anti-Semitic the Tajiks are. Why couldn't they do this with a mosque. One thing is for sure. I left Tajikistan at age one for New York and I am never going back to that awful, pathetic, poor country ever again.


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