Last night I was surprised to find more than a 100 people from very different groups—hardcore fans of heavy metal music and L.A. area Iranian Americans coming together to rock hard and very vocally protest the arrival of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the U.N. this week. More importantly both groups voiced opposition to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the regime’s horrid human rights abuses against women, religious minorities, homosexuals, journalists and yes even heavy metal music fans in Iran! The event was organized by “Marse Por Gohar” an L.A. based Iranian pro-democracy political opposition party to the current regime in Iran and hosted by widely popular and sultry Heavy Metal personality/producer “Metal Sanaz”— who is coincidentally an Iranian American as well.
Was the music deafeningly loud? Yes. Were the fans pumped up and engaged in both the music and its political message against Iran’s government? Yes. Were expletives used by Metal Sanaz and the musical groups about the Iranian regime’s officials? Hell yes! The mistreatment of Heavy metal music fans in Iran by the Iranian government and other human rights abuses by the Iranian regime were a common theme for the musical event. I had a chance to chat with Metal Sanaz before the event and she shed light on why “metal music” is such a threat to the Iranian regime. “Metal music is a very powerful form of music that is very empowering to those who listen to it,” she said. “The Iranian government hates it because it’s the loudest and scariest music for them and it is empowering young people in Iran to stand up against them”. The following is a brief video interview I had with Metal Sanaz about the plight of metal music fans in Iran and the political statement against Iran’s government the concert was making about the regime…
Interestingly the government run media outlets in Iran have in the past reported on Metal Sanaz in the past and labelled her a devil worshipper! When asked about the names she’s been given by the Iranian regime, she angrily retorts; “If I’m a devil worshipper, at least my record and I haven’t murdered innocent people like you in the Iranian government have!” Photographs of the Iranian government leaders were ripped up in protest during last night’s concert and banners calling for freedom in Iran were held up high by those in attendance. Here are some videos I captured of Metal Sanaz talking on stage about her feelings towards Iran’s government….
Marse Por Gohar’s founder and head, Roozbeh Farahanipour expressed his group’s objectives in organizing this musical political protest against Iran’s government in this video interview with me….
If heavy metal music scares officials of the Iranian regime, then this type of music should be blasted through out the country via satellite and the internet to send a clear message across to the ayatollahs that their abuse of human beings and quest for nuclear weapons are unacceptable to the rest of the free world. Perhaps just as “rock n’ roll” was influenctial to shake communism to its core during the Cold War and gave hope to those behind the “iron curtain”…then maybe metal music have the same effect in Iran for the millions of young Iranians seeking freedom. Metal Sanaz said she wants to bring 50 of the best known Heavy Metal bands to play a concert in Iran once the current regime collapses… we’ll have to see if that dream will be a reality one of these days.
To all the hardcore metal fans and all those who continue to protest Iran’s nuclear weapons program and human rights abuses of the current Iranian regime, I say onto you all, only two words…”ROCK ON!” Here are just a few snapshots I captured from last night’s concert…
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