Kourosh Ziabari - Dr. Fredrick Toben is a unique man. You can find a certain tranquility and serenity in his words and actions which make him an unparalleled academician, author and political analyst. While talking to him, you can make sure that you enjoy a fruitful, comprehensive and informative conversation. He always speaks as if he is in a university classroom and wants to teach something to his students. This is the prominent aspect of his personality. He wants to teach and to learn, as well. He loves sharing new experiences with you, and this is another feature of his personality. He has scientifically denied Holocaust and paid the cost: five times in prison in five countries.
He was born on 2 June 1944, Jaderberg, north Germany, into a farming family, which immigrated to Australia in 1954. His father and mother farmed in Australia. His father died in 2003 and his mother passed away in 2008 while he was serving a three-month prison term for 'contempt of court'. His parents were married for 63 years.
Toben received his tertiary education in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Rhodesia-Zimbabwe and he taught secondary and tertiary level German, English, sociology and philosophy in all these countries and Nigeria, as well.
He had a major policy difference with the Victorian Education Department in Melbourne, Australia, which dismissed him from his teaching post on grounds if incompetence and disobedience, and for almost ten years he fought the case and had his dismissal declared invalid.
In 1994, Fredrick Toben founded the Adelaide Institute and became its director. The aim was to research matters relating to 'Holocaust-Shoah' and other related 'taboo topics' that mainstream research institutes did not dare investigate for fear of financial and social sanction. In 1998 Adelaide Institute held the first-ever Revisionist Symposium in Australia. In 1997 and 1999 he went on a world revisionist fact-finding tour that took him to Eastern Europe in particular to Auschwitz where allegedly millions of Jews were gassed. He found that the technicality of the gassing assertion could not be sustained.
Since 1999, Toben made visits to Iran on a regular basis to attend scientific congresses and news conferences on various social and political issues.
Fredrick Toben joined me in an exclusive interview and talked to me about his viewpoints regarding Iran, the Persian culture, the Islamic solidarity, the impacts of Iran's Islamic Revolution on the global order and the current position of Iran in the international community.
Here is the complete text of interview with the Australian-German philosopher, Fredrick Toben.
Kourosh Ziabari - A poll recently conducted by the BBC World Service in 27 countries shows that Iran is considered to be the least popular country of the world, followed by North Korea, Pakistan and Israel.
Iran which was dubbed a part of the Axis of Evil by the former U.S. President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, is now under the merciless spates of psychological attack by the world’s mainstream media over its controversial nuclear program.
To the Western mainstream media, Iran can only be defined in the framework of its contentious nuclear program and a number of stereotypes which seem to be inseparable from the West’s depiction and portrayal of Iran.
What we usually encounter while pursuing Iran’s coverage in the Western media is the claim that the Iranian people are religiously extremist, fundamentalist, terrorist, anti-American and intolerant. I’ve personally encountered several cases in which the American people have conflated Iran with Iraq and called Iran an Arab country. Many others have told me that they’re simply unable to locate Iran’s position on the world map and the only thing which they know about this country is that it wants to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe Israel off the world map.
Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: We usually hear the boastful assertions of the leaders of the Western mainstream media that their media outlets are ideologically, financially and politically independent of their respective governments and what they put forward as packages of information to be consumed by the readers or viewers are unbiased, realistic, unprejudiced and objective.
The Western mainstream media conventionally boast of being professional and attached to the morals of journalism; however, the only thing which is missing in the coverage of these media of the international developments is ethical values, honesty and straightforwardness.
One of the most striking examples of the Western media's indifference towards the aptitude of their audiences was their coverage of the 2008-2009 Gaza Massacre. From BBC to Reuters, from CNN to Sky News and from Washington Post to New York Times, all of them tried to put a lid on the felonies of Israeli regime and by astutely playing with the words, downgraded the scale of atrocity and violence exercised by the Israel Defense Forces. They refused to admit that what Israel was committing was an all-out massacre, so they simply eliminated the term "massacre" from their reports and in one of the most controversial cases, the state-run BBC, which we are used to hearing of its deceitful tricks, refused to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee's humanitarian appeal for Gaza under the growing pressure of the Israeli lobby.
This refusal to air an appeal for the humanitarian aids for the crisis-hit Gaza was something which even the British public complained about. On January 23, 2009, Douglas Alexander, the international development secretary, writes a letter to the BBC, Sky and ITV, expressing his "disappointment" that the appeal would not be broadcast. On Sunday, January 25, The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams calls on the BBC to air the appeal, along with Scottish first minister Alex Salmond and justice minister Shahid Malik.
Kourosh Ziabari - Press TV: It's categorically demonstrable by facts and figures that Bahrain has one of the blackest human rights records among the Arab countries surrounding the Persian Gulf.
Bahrain has a population of less than 800,000, 70 percent of them practicing Shias; however, this tiny Arab country is renowned for its longstanding tradition of suppressing the Shia majority, exercising inhumane methods of torturing, imprisoning the political activists, putting restrictions on the mass media and exploiting foreign workers for various purposes.
When Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa assumed the throne as the king of Bahrain in 2001, the situation of human rights in this country was quite deplorable and alarming. According to a report by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, several people were incarcerated during anti-government demonstrations or public gatherings and sent to prisons for lengthy periods of time, tortured by loathsome methods such as sleep deprivation or sexual assault. “On 17 December, 2007 on Martyrs' Day aimed at paying tribute to past victims of torture, members of the Special Security Forces began a wave of arrests targeting more than 60 individuals, among them over 10 activists. Within the month of February 2009, several key human rights defenders in Bahrain were arbitrarily arrested and detained including Abbas Abdul Aziz Al-Umran, Sayed Sharaf Ahmed, Ali Hassan Salman, and Jaafar Kadhim Ebrahim," the report says.
Kourosh Ziabari: George Katsiaficas is a renowned university professor, sociologist, author and activist. He is a visiting American Professor of Humanities and Sociology at Chonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea where he teaches and does research on the 1980s and 1990s East Asian uprisings.
Katsiaficas has a Ph.D. of sociology from the University of California, San Diego. Since 1990, he has taught sociology at the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. During the period between 2006 and 2008, he was an Associate in Research at the Harvard University and Korea Institute.
He specializes in social movements, Asian politics, the U.S. foreign policy, comparative and historical studies and has written numerous books in these fields.
In 2003, he won the American Political Science Association’s Special Award for Outstanding Service and in 2008, received the Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Fellowship.
Among his major books are “The Battle of Seattle” by the New York’s Soft Skull Press, “Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party” by New York’s Routledge Press and “South Korean Democracy: Legacy of the Gwangju Uprising” by London’s Routledge Press.
What follows is the complete text of interview with Dr. George Katsiaficas on the recent uprising in the Arab world, its impacts on the international developments and its implications for the United States and its European allies.