depressing iranians

It appears that David Sonboly, the German boy of Iranian heritage who killed 10 people in Munich yesterday, was influenced by the writings of right-wing, Islamophobic European extremists and was distinctly full of hate toward immigrants in general and Turks in particular.

Of the nine people he killed, three were Turks, three were Kosovans, and one was Greek. It appears he was specifically targeting Muslims and immigrants.

Many are now asking how a child of Iranian immigrants could have become infatuated with people like Anders Breivik, a right-wing Christian extremist who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011 in a terror attack targeting “multiculturalism.”

Some Iranians - particularly in the Diaspora - subscribe to the “Aryan” racial theory promoted by European thinkers in the earlier 20th century. This combines with their dislike for their own government - which too often translates into rabid Islamophobia, as they are unable to distinguish between the actions of the Iranian government and Islam as a whole - to emerge into a disgusting mix of pseudo-scientific racial ideology that sees “Iranians” as “Aryan brothers.”

Adopting this weird ideology is fundamentally an attempt by Iranians in the Diaspora assimilate, to distinguish themselves from other immigrants by claiming to be as close to Europe and Whiteness as possible. It is pathetic, stupid, and all-too-common in late-night chatboards frequented by depressed 18-year-old Iranians in Diaspora, i.e. people like David Sonboly.

Although it was largely abandoned in Europe after being put to use by Hitler in the Holocaust, in Iran (and India) the idea that Indians, Iranians, and Europeans shared a genetic Aryan lineage and that this lineage distinguished them from “mongrel” Turks, Arabs, and “Muslims” as a category more broadly still holds certain sway.

Right-wing European extremism intersects perfectly with this Aryanist theory - popular among young, diasporic Iranian men who spend too much time trolling people on the internet - in its flagrant and violent Islamophobia, where hatred for Islam, for Arabs, for Turks, and for all others who don’t fit into the “Aryan theory” all come together in a disgustingly racist maelstrom.

This is a wake up call for the Iranian diaspora: ENOUGH with these bullshit pseudo-scientific racialist theories, ENOUGH with this Islamophobia disguised as critique of the Iranian government, ENOUGH with these attempts to assimilate by aiming to prove our whiteness by all means possible.


—  Alex Shams