It is always wise to support Zoroastrian communities and individuals directly. even in countries like Greece, Sweden and the United States, and avoid involvement with governments. And I would certainly agree that Tajikistan is not the most democratic country in the world, but considering the poverty of Tajikistan, the fact that the country came out of a devastating civil war in the 1990s (fighting extremist Islamists) where all parties agreed to live in peace under a secular and democratic contitution, and considering the fact that only anti-secular Islamism is forbidden (the pro-secular islamist party that constitutes the the main opposition is not only a prominent member of the country's parliament, it has also been a ruling coalition member), it should also be pointed out that Tajikistan is the by far most democratic country in the whole Central Asian region.
Dear Alexander & Ardeshir,
The news are indeed very exciting, but we should not neglect the fact that Tajikistan is not unfortunately the most democratic country in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Tajikistan).
I guess support must be given first to people that either are already or wish to become behdins, and later on to the country. If we start sending money to the country it wouldn't help. Instead we'd have to support the individuals or communities and their infrastructure.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, ardeshir farhmand
> Hi Everyone,
> i agree u with 100% on this. we MUST support the tajiks for they are the
> most zoroastrian nation AND z friendly gov in the world. it is not just a
> common sense thing to do but a RELIGIOUS DUTY as behdins.we should make
> their cause a celeb cause. similar to that of the TIBETAN freedom movement.
> FINANCIAL support is essential and of utmost important. but without bringing
> awareness to their cause in the west and western MEDIA, we will have but a
> little following. also we must LOBBY our congresssional reps. some great
> assistance have been taken by the zoorastrian center in paris/france. yet
> tajiks and their cause need to become a household name in the west. being
> pro-tajik should be as fashionable as being pro dalai lama and tibet.
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM, Alexander Bard
> > Dear Friends
> > The Tajiki Zoroastrians have received great support from Zoroastrians from
> > Iran, Europe and from Parsees who are not isolationists. May they continue
> > to do so. Tajikistan is an important part of our overall strategy, not only
> > because Tajikistan is a country with strong Zoroastrian roots and many
> > navjotes being conducted at the moment, but also because the country has the
> > most Zoroastrian-friendly government in the world.
> > If isolationists in India refuse to deal with the Tajiki Zoroastrians, it
> > is their loss. Through isolationism, Parsees have now become a small
> > minority among Zoroastrians globally and power within the community is
> > increasingly moving to Tehran, to Europe and America, and to new Zoroastrian
> > strongholds such as Dushanbe and Moscow!
> > ARZ is doing a wonderful job at waking up the Parsi community to this new
> > reality!!!
> > Ushta
> > Alexander