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Cultural discrimination?

(34 Posts)
trisher Tue 07-Jan-20 16:03:07

As Trump threatens to destroy sites of historic interest in Iran I wondered about our approach to this. One of the sights is Persepolis
Now had he threatened to destroy the Acropolis the whole world would be up in arms. Could it be that we still have some sort of cultural discrimination going on, where sights relevant to Western history are seen as more important and valuable than Eastern ones? And should we perhaps include some Persian or Moorish history in our education system?

jura2 Tue 07-Jan-20 16:40:40

Indeed- I agree. Persia was once the most advanced culture of all. And strangely enough, the amazing sight of Andalucia we love are considered Spanish and not of course, from that much more advanced Islamic world..

GrannyGravy13 Tue 07-Jan-20 17:03:00

Alhambra always takes my breath away, there is so much more to Andalucia than Torremolinos, Irish Bars and All Day Breakfasts!!

jura2 Tue 07-Jan-20 17:05:03

Oh yes, but there is nothing 'Spanish' about it

NotSpaghetti Tue 07-Jan-20 17:14:36

Trump’s threat has been roundly condemned from around the world including the UK and USA.

The destruction of our world heritage sites is a crime in and of itself.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 07-Jan-20 17:15:29

I know that jura2 it was built from roman ruins and became the home of the Sultan of Granada (approx early 1300)

trisher Tue 07-Jan-20 17:19:56

NotSpaghetti I know that but I wonder when Trump threatened this did you really know what sites were involved? Everyone would recognise Greece, Athens and the Acropolis but Persepolis?

TerriBull Tue 07-Jan-20 17:21:48

I think the world looked on in horror when ISIS set about destroying Palmyra, which I think is in Syria? Also remember reading about the Taliban blowing up a very ancient Buddhist structure in Afghanistan.

I certainly hope that Trump doesn't destroy any of the amazing historical sites in Iran, a country full of antiquities and a very rich culture. My neighbour, who returned to Iran a couple years ago, although her daughter born and bred in England still lives next door, however not being imbued in the culture as her mother and father were, both Zoroastrian an incredibly ancient monotheistic religion that pre dates Christianity, isn't that interested in the country of her heritage. When her mother was next door we did talk about Iran quite a lot, she cooked a Persian meal for us which was pretty amazing. It's a country that has so much potential if the world were a different place. Before the Ayatollahs took over it offered a diverse range of activities from skiing to sea side holidays on the Caspain along with all those wonderful historical sites.

I don't agreee that only Western sites matter, Persia in ancient times were often at war with Greece and like Turkey they were a link between Western Europe and Asia. I think it's a tragedy for mankind to lose any ancient site or monument.

As for the Moorish sites in southern Spain we went to Seville and Cordoba last year, amazing! having already seen the Alhambra a few years ago, those for me are what makes Spain special, certainly not the Costas, parts of which can be pretty dire.

MerylStreep Tue 07-Jan-20 17:27:17

Once again lots of talk about Trump threatening to destroy historical sites but nothing about Irans veiled threat in relation to Lockabie where 270 people were murdered.

trisher Tue 07-Jan-20 17:29:43

MerylStreep would you like to comment on the OP?

NotSpaghetti Tue 07-Jan-20 17:49:18

I don’t know how many people knew anything about ancient sites such as Persepolis trisher - but then, how many know of Paestum or Gigantia (which is older than the pyramids)?

I certainly was told as a young person that “the East” was the “cradle of civilisation”. I knew about Persepolis, but, am ashamed to say, didn’t know anything about Palmyra (except that it was ancient) until the news of the elderly scholar who decided to remain behind to try to protect it. Only then did I bother to find out anything about it.

It is, however outrageous to deliberately damage these places, whoever does it. So, so, sad.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 07-Jan-20 17:59:39

If DTs threat stops this political situation escalating and stops needless loss of lives I haven’t got a problem.

If however he was to carry out this threat it would be a dreadful cultural/historical loss to mankind.

NotSpaghetti Tue 07-Jan-20 18:49:51

Personally I think Trump has zero chance of stopping needless loss of lives now...

M0nica Tue 07-Jan-20 19:30:16

You can tell a man by the company he keeps. This is the company Trump has chosen if he goes ahead with his threats.

It started with the Nazi Baedeker raids during WW2 (Baedekers were The Lonely Planet books of their age) and the Germans used them to choose their targets for bombing important historic towns and national cultural icons in London.

Then their was Taliban who destroyed the rock-carved Buddhas at Bamyan because they wished to eliminate all of the non-Islamic statues and sanctuaries in Afghanistan.

In their foosteps came ISIS, who eliminated most of the ruined city of Pamyra and many other mosques, museums and other culturally important buildings.

And now Donald Trump comes and ????

growstuff Tue 07-Jan-20 20:17:26

I don't know for sure that this is true, but I was told that the reason Trump threatened 52 sites is because 52 American hostages were seized from the embassy in Tehran in the 1979. If it is true, it's unbelievably childish.

trisher Tue 07-Jan-20 20:37:03

I heard that as well growstuff.

Elegran Tue 07-Jan-20 21:45:09

GG13 You say that If DTs threat stops this political situation escalating and stops needless loss of lives I haven’t got a problem. - but by threatening to destroy these historic sites, HE is escalating the problem. This threat will stand and be remembered, even if it has the short-term effect of pausing aggression by Iran. Coming after the killing by the US of a top general, it adds a layer of cultural

No good can come of this, in any way at all. The man has no common sense. He thinks acting the bully secures peace through fear. It doesn't, it just turns up the heat under the pressure cooker.

Elegran Tue 07-Jan-20 21:47:21

. . . it adds a layer of cultural anihilation to the already poisonous mix.

lemongrove Tue 07-Jan-20 21:56:37

I really don’t think the US would carry out destruction of cultural and historical sites, whatever DT may have tweeted.
No trisher I don’t agree that there is a sort of cultural discrimination from anyone in the West about this.
There are lots of places that would be fascinating to see, but the lands themselves too dangerous for tourists sadly.
I saw quite a few of them in the early 1970’s ( not that it was all that safe, even then!)
Somebody should take DT’s mobile away so that he can’t tweet in the wee small hours!

Barmeyoldbat Tue 07-Jan-20 22:10:53

Trump is a mindless idiot, he acts without thinking and to my mind is a danger to the world. He wouldn't know cultural sites if they hit in the face, probably doesn't even know the name of any.

Callistemon Tue 07-Jan-20 22:10:56

We used to learn about ancient cultures years ago but I don't know what is on the curriculum now.

We studied 'From Ur to Rome' in the first year of high school and that Iraq and Iran is where we were taught civilisation as we know it began.

People won't know so much about these historical sites because they do not have the opportunity to visit them as they do visit such sites in, for example, Italy and Greece.

So much of the world's culture has been lost over the years due to wanton destruction, surely he would be restrained from destroying such history?

growstuff Wed 08-Jan-20 00:02:32

I wasn't ever taught about Persia or most of the Middle East and North Africa, apart from Egypt, at school. China might as well have not existed in ancient times.

growstuff Wed 08-Jan-20 00:04:17

Who knows Callistemnon? Some Americans think our village churches are "ancient".

trisher Wed 08-Jan-20 10:35:19

I knew bits sbout Moorish and Persian history but must admit that it is stuff I have found out for myself.
lemon I certainly think it is becoming more dangerous to visit sites. I tried to get to Carthage a few years ago and just before I went there was an attack, so it was closed. Tunisia was interesting and the mosque and remains of Islamic civilisation I saw were amazing. But shortly after I was there there was the beach attack. Iran was opening up but will now close down again. It is regrettable. But I think the cultural discrmination is still applicable. The Greeks defeating the Persians at Thermopylae still casts its shadow over our thinking. The Persians were less civilised or so we believed. Much the same happened with Spain and Islamic culture when the Christian religion over threw it. I think it is time we re-evaluated and started teaching more about other civilisations.

M0nica Wed 08-Jan-20 13:54:16

No school can possibly manage the teach its pupils the whole of the world's history, at least properly, there would not be the time. As a result, most schools throughout the world teach their countries history and some world history where it is relevant.

But schools cannot possibly teach everyone everything in every subject. What school is meant to do is get you started and then leave you interested and knowledgeable enough to go out and find out about the rest for yourself, either while still in school or after you have left.

Mind you, when my mother was teaching she suggested to an enthusiastic pupil that he go to his local library and see what he could find out about something, only to have an irrate parent come to school to demand what right she had to suggest her son found out about something on his own. It was the school's job to teach him everything he needed to know.