Monday, October 15, 2007


Akbar Ganji, a leading Iranian dissident, weighs in on the effect of US saber-rattling on Iranian foreign and domestic policy. Hers' an excerpt:

A military attack on Iran would also yield terrible political consequences. It would foster the growth of fundamentalism in the region, which would be bad for the United States and other Western countries and even worse for the Islamic world. Fundamentalism—with its inhuman view of women, hatred of freedom and democracy, and denigration of human rights—is a significant factor in the underdevelopment of Islamic communities. Fundamentalists largely reject Western art, morality, philosophy, culture, and science, though they make an exception for technologies of violence. This narrow-minded view of some of humanity’s great achievements is particularly harmful to Muslims. But a military attack on Iran would reignite the conviction that the Judeo-Christian West, led by the United States, is assaulting the world of Islam, from Afghanistan and Palestine to Iraq and Iran; and it would encourage the view that fundamentalist methods are the best way to fight the non-Muslim invaders. Western governments must not equate the battle against fundamentalism with a battle against Islam—as President Bush does when he describes the “war on terror” as a “crusade,” or when he speaks of “Islamic fascism.” It not only isolates moderate and democratic Muslims; it also provides fertile ground for fundamentalists among them.

We can already see this dynamic at work. After the 1997 election of Mohammad Khatami as president of Iran, civil society, human rights, and political freedoms became the dominant concerns in Iranian political life. The current U.S. military threat has given the Iranian government a freer hand in repressing Iran’s budding civil society in the name of national security, provided a pretext to entrust key political posts to military and security officers, and so eclipsed democratic discourse that some Iranian reformists see themselves caught between domestic despotism and foreign invasion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's time for Muslims to stop blaming everyone else and look at their own culture and religion as the problem, not the victim. No matter what course of action the U.S. appears to be ready to take, brainless religious sheep will still be easily rallied against that hypothetical action.

The problem isn't the U.S. position, it's that religious people in general and Muslims specifically are the most brain dead easily lead people on the planet.

You can't reason with faith, it's the opposite of reason.

10:24 AM  

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