Honoring Cyrus the Great & His Charter
October 29, 2008
October 29th is rolling around. And once again, free
people all over the world celebrate the memory of Cyrus the Great, the
author of mankind’s arguably greatest document, the first Charter of
Human Rights. This benevolent king, ruling over a vast empire of diverse
people, enshrined in the
Cyrus Cylinder, nearly three millennia ago, the
principles that define and protect human dignity.
It has been well over four years since the
International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad
initiated a massive celebration for the International Day of Cyrus the
Great all over the world. For the past four years, especially, the
courageous Iranian people have gathered by the tomb of Cyrus the Great,
this momentous international event, despite numerous intimidations and
harassments by the agents of the Islamic Republic.
Cyrus the Great’s
recognition of human rights, irrespective of any and all considerations,
was instrumental in advancing the social and cultural precepts of the
diverse people throughout the vast expanse of his empire. Although
ethnically Persian, the benevolent king considered himself a trustee of
the diverse nationalities of his kingdom. Parochialism and ethnocentrism
were alien to this visionary monarch.
In the same way that
Cyrus the Great considered all people members of the same human family,
the human family of today holds the great trailblazer of human rights as
one of its own. The vast plateau that is the presently encompasses Iran
has been inhabited by the most diverse people of any region of the
planet. Yet, in adherence to the lofty principles of Cyrus, these people
found unity in diversity. They remained loyal to their own unique
heritage and successfully linked it to a larger loyalty. The present
Iran is a living testimony to this remarkable togetherness where ethnic
Persians, Turkic, Kurds, Lurs, Turkmen, Baluchis, Arabs, and others live
as one people.
Cyrus’ Charter of Human
Rights is the first
document which stipulates that all humans have universal inalienable
rights, without regard to any and all demographic considerations such as
ethnicity, nationality and religion.
king practiced what he believed.
He, for example, helped rebuild the temple of Solomon which had been
destroyed by the Babylonian kings and freed some
40,000 or more Jews who had been imprisoned and kept as
slaves by the Babylonians,
empowering the Jewish people to return to their homeland.
By his act of
freeing an entire people from captivity and restoring their rightful
dignity, Cyrus the Great forged a bond of friendship between the Jews
and the Persians. In recognition of this just king’s action, he is
immortalized in the
Bible as "the anointed of the
While free people of
the world recognize and honor this outstanding historical figure, the
Islamist usurpers presently ruling Cyrus’s homeland have been busily
doing their best to erase any and all traces of his luminous heritage.
For one, under the guise of rural development, the Islamic Republic of
Iran is flooding the plain that houses Cyrus’s stone tomb. The IRI is
contemptuous of anything it deems non-Islamic and has embarked on
destroying the archeological sites of
Pasargad and Persepolis and the
Tomb of Cyrus the Great. -- examples of humanity's most
prized cultural heritage.
The Mullahs’ actions
are part of a systematic campaign of destroying the universal inclusive
Persian vision and promoting the barbaric exclusionary Islamist myopia.
To these turbaned criminals and their functionaries, any non-Islamic,
including people such as Jews, Baha’is, or unbelievers of any kind have
no right to exist at all. It is in this vicious intolerant spirit that
the IRI’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has placed the destruction of
Israel at the top of his agenda. And it is with the aim of imposing a
most virulent brand of Islam that Ahmadinejad, the point-man of a most
radical gang of Shi’a clerics, is doing all he can to acquire nuclear
It is tragic indeed
that after 2500 years since the declaration of the
first Charter of Human Rights,
at the dawn of the new millennium, Iranians are struggling for basic
human rights under the oppressive yoke of the Islamists.
Further indignity is
inflicted on the people of Iran by the news that
the Cyrus Cylinder in the British Museum is to be lent to the Islamic
Republic. This priceless document belongs to Iran.
Entrusting it to the hands of the sworn enemies of Iranian heritage
entails an unacceptably high risk. It is imperative that the British
authorities rescind the decision and take every measure to insure that
the Cyrus Cylinder is preserved safely and returned to Iran only after
the demise of the Islamic Republic.
It is not a case of
unwarranted alarmism when a vast number of Iranians are deeply concerned
about the fate of the Cyrus Cylinder, should it entrusted to the
untrustworthy hands of the Islamists.
The Islamic Republic
of Iran is staffed by diehard elements who love nothing more than
out-doing the heinous act of Afghanistan’s Taliban who destroyed the
irreplaceable two Buddha statues. What is enshrined in the Cyrus
Cylinder is unconditional respect for the complete rights of all the
people of the world, an anathema to the Islamists’ credo.
It is with great
apprehension that the Iranian people warn Mr. Andrew Murray Burnham,
the British Secretary of State for culture, as well as
the British government regarding the plan to lend this precious treasure
of humanity to a contemptuous cult of medieval mullahs.
Furthermore, it is urgent that UNESCO
immediately registers Cyrus the Great’s Charter of Human Rights Cylinder
World Heritage Memory,
in order to safeguard the diverse cultural heritage of the peoples of