reza shahs

A Different Perspective

Anti-Communists: “Communist governments are oppressive!”

Augusto Pinochet: “Tell me about it! That’s why I jailed and killed thousands of Chileans so Chile will be free from Communism!”

Anti-Communists: “Communism is the antithesis of freedom and liberty!”

CIA: “That’s why we supported dozens of coups against democratically elected socialist governments and replaced them with dictators. Like in Iran, Chile, list goes on!”

Anti-Communists: “Communism goes against God Himself!”

Pope John Paul II: “That’s why I strongly crusaded against Communism while whole heartedly ignoring growing accusations of child abuse within my own Church.”

Pope John Paul II: “AND why I told the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo to just forgive the Junta that killed their families instead of seeking justice.”

The Vatican: “And why we stayed silent while said Junta was doing all the killings, even if the victims included some of our priests.”

Anti-Communists: “There has NEVER been a legitimate Communist government! They all arose from military coups!”

Anastasio Somoza Garcia: “Not like me, I was legitimately elected!”

Mohammad Reza Shah: “I inherited the throne fair and square!”

Anti-Communists: “Communism leads to poverty!”

Billions of poor people: “You don’t say?”

Anti-Communists: “Communist governments are more interested in keeping power than helping their people!”

Ronald Reagan: “That’s why I increased the military budget to unseen levels while ignoring the AIDS epidemic.”

Anti-Communists: “Communists always try to meddle in other country’s affairs!”

CIA: ‘bursts out laughing’

Margaret Thatcher: ‘laughs louder’

Anti-Communists: “I am PROUD to oppose communism!”

Capitalist: “Good for you! Now give me your maximum labor for minimal compensation, or STARVE TO DEATH!”

Marx: “Wow…I don’t think they’ve read my books…”


The Coronation of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Empress Farah Pahlavi on October 26, 1967

Although he has been the Shah of Iran for more than twenty years, the Shah finally agreed to a coronation date. The coronation took place in Golestan Palace in a very lavish ceremony. The Shah’s oldest son, Reza Pahlavi was also part of the ceremony. Twelve years later, the Shah and his family were out of power during the Islamic revolution.


The last Qajar crown prince of Iran, Prince Mohammad Hassan Mirza Qajar 

The Qajar dynasty which had ruled Iran since 1789 was overthrown in 1925 and was dissolved by the Iranian Parliament. 

Reza Shah Pahlavi was crowned as the new Shah (King) and he founded the Pahlavi Dynasty. 

Painting of the Tekyeh Dowlat (State Theater) - Kamal-ol-molk, 1892.

The Tekyeh Dowlat was a royal theater or opera house in Tehran, Iran, which became the most famous space in Iran for the performance of ta’zieh (a kind of passion play about the martyrdoms of Hassan and Hussein) during the Mourning of Muharram. It seated 4,000 people and rivalled the greatest opera houses of western Europe according to European visitors.

The Tekyeh Dowlat was built by Naser al-Din Shah Qajar in 1868 atop the site of the Síyáh-Chál (Black Pit), an infamous prison that housed enemies of the state such as Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí (Bahá'u'lláh). It was at the Tekyeh Dowlat that Reza Shah Pahlavi proclaimed the downfall of the Qajar dynasty in 1925. The theater was demolished in 1947 and a bank was built on the site.


Western Muslim women who defend the hijab never seem to mention that there are countries where women are forced by law to wear them. I don’t think it’s reasonable to leverage your position of privilege (in a secular country) to deflect criticism of the oppression of women in Muslim countries. 

Whenever I make these posts, I always get a bunch of Western Muslim women telling me: 

  • a) I don’t get to have an opinion because I’m not a Muslim.
  • b) I don’t understand why Muslim women choose to wear a hijab.
  • c) I don’t get to tell anyone what to wear.
  • d) Muslim women are already on this and they don’t need any help.

Before you start auto-bashing your keyboard, here are some pre-emptive responses:

  • a) that’s not how opinions work.
  • b) I don’t need to be a woman or a Muslim to notice that women are punished in some Muslim countries for not wearing the hijab. 
  • c) I’m not telling Muslims what to wear. If you all decided to wear hijabs, I would defend that choice. (For instance, I would also be very opposed to the forced removal of hijabs, such as was practiced by Reza Shah in the 1930s Iran.) How about helping promote this same choice for women who live in Muslim countries?
  • d) Whatever secret plan you’re promulgating, it’s not working.

Additionally, there’s not much point in pretending that you’re at the forefront of feminism in the Muslim world, when the only time I hear any of you talking about the hijab is to complain about white people who’ve noticed it’s illegal to not wear one in some Muslim countries.

As ever, if this post does not apply to you, then it doesn’t apply to you. 

Signed Photograph of Adolf Hitler for Reza Shah Pahlavi in Original Frame with the Swastika and Adolf Hitler’s (AH) Sign - Sahebgharanie Palace - Niavaran Palace Complex. The text below the photograph:

His Imperial Majesty - Reza Shah Pahlavi - Shahanshah of Iran - With the Best Wishes - Berlin 12 March 1936 - The signature of Adolf Hitler

تصویر آدولف هیتلر در قاب عکس اصلی مخصوص پیشوا با آرم صلیب شکسته و علامت مخصوص آدولف هیتلر که به رضا شاه تقدیم شده است. این عکس در کاخ صاحبقرانیه در مجموعه کاخ موزه نیاوران نگهداری میشود. در قسمت پایین عکس به زبان آلمانی نوشته است: اعلیحضرت همایونی -رضا شاه پهلوی - شاهنشاه ایران - با بهترین آرزوها - برلین 12 مارس 1936 - امضای آدولف هیتلر