What really bothers me about the Hiatt/Sully Nobel for Neda campaign, beyond the fact that Nobel prizes cannot be awarded posthumously, is that it seems disrespectful of Neda’s humanity. This courageous young Iranian woman was a human being, who can no longer speak for herself. Sully and Hiatt don’t know anything about Neda, and they certainly don’t know exactly what she would say, what she would she advocate for, if she were still alive. To use her dead body as a symbol for their own political beliefs is deeply wrong.
I’ve always had the same problem with Christianity. You would like to think that if you spent your life preaching a message of peace and tolerance and were eventually executed for doing so, that people wouldn’t spend the next 2000 years waging wars and torturing people in your name.
I understand the impulse to use the dead bodies of people who died for their beliefs as tools to advance your own agenda. But it’s a temptation that should be resisted, out of respect. It’s one thing to be inspired, it’s quite another to put words in the mouths of the dead.