A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hardliners Step Up Protests Against Frye Burial in Iran

Even former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had welcomed Richard N. Frye's request to be buried in his beloved Isfahan, and had given Frye a home there. But the hardliners in Iran, whose opposition I noted a few days ago, have stepped up their attacks on the idea of burying Frye on Iranian soil. (Also see here.)

Probably no Westerner (and certainly no American) has done more to promote knowledge and understanding of Iranian culture and society in the West, yet now the mortal remains of the great Harvard expert who died recently at the age of 94,  have become a political football in Iran, a surrogate I suspect for the nuclear talks with the US and those who seek to scuttle them. (To their credit, serious scholars in Iran are supporting the burial).

I wish I knew more Persian. Surely Hafiz or Rumi must have a few appropriate lines for this travesty.

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