Sunday, June 28, 2009

Protesting Election Fraud is "Waging War Against God" - Ayatollah Khatami

We got a good look at one flavor of Islam this week, when Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said that, since the Supreme Leader likes the way the election came out, disagreeing with him is waging war on God. Not in so many words, but that's the gist of it.

Considering how the ayatollah says that western media 'lies' about what's going on in Iran, it's odd that his remarkable message is getting comparatively little press attention. I suppose that Michael Jackson's death, and yet another American governor in trouble (extramarital hanky-panky this time), together with a possible history-making revolution in progress, didn't leave much room.

The story is getting out, though:
"Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, a hardline member of Iran's Council of Experts, who led Friday prayers in Tehran today, said in his second sermon that based on the Islamic punishment for moharebeh [waging war against God], the imam and leader of an Islamic society can fight 'rioters' [election protesters] until their destruction, because Islam has suggested the severest punishment for those who engage in moharebeh.

"According to the Labour news agency, ILNA, Khatami said that the 'leaders of rioters' in [recent] protests 'feed at the trough of America and Israel,' and called on Iran's Judiciary to deal with them 'decisively and mercilessly,' so that others learn a lesson from their fate.

"Under Iran's Islamic law, punishment for people convicted as mohareb is execution...." (WashingtonTV)
Ayatollah Khatami doesn't approve of:
  • European, American and English media
    • Neda Aqa Soltan died "at the hands of rioters and instigators", even though "Mr. [Barack] Obama sheds crocodile tears" for her and the West "caused an uproar" about her
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon

Ayatollah Khatami's Message to the World: Look at Those Jews Over There, and Great Satan America's Gitmo

It's getting to be something of a routine in Iran. When things aren't going well, direct attention to those hated Jews, and the great Satan America. I'll give Ayatollah Khatami credit, first for directing verbal fire at several targets:
"...Blasting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon’s recent expression of concern and his call for Iran's government to respect the internationally recognized rights of protesters, Khatami alluded to the extended conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last year and criticized American conduct in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Addressing Ban, he said: 'Wretched man! 400 children died in Gaza, you felt no worries; 100 helpless women died in Gaza, you felt no worries; Americans kill people in Afghanistan and Iraq, you feel no worries; you are worried now?' he said.

"He called the UN 'arrogant power' and asked other nations to seek a 'real United Nations.'

"Khatami then reminded American officials of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and said: 'You dare talk of human rights with all your human rights violations?'..." (WashingtonTV)
I'll also give Khatami credit for apparently keeping up with what the more 'sophisticated' Americans feel about the great Satan America, and all those 'terribly mistreated' prisoners at Gitmo. I don't see how catering to the prisoners' idea of proper Islamic food and providing them with Qurans constitutes mistreatment, but then I'm not 'sophisticated' by some standards.

As for the oppression of Gaza by the Jews: people who believe that, believe it.1

Neda: The Ayatollahs Seem to have Picked a Story, and They're sticking with it

The ayatollah also told Iran's Muslims that Neda was killed by 'protesters:' and offered proof. "That Aqa-Soltan's last moments were recorded on video in an 'alleyway' shows her murder was 'pre-planned' by protesters he said...." You can't argue with logic like that.

I've seen the video of her death. Tehran must have really big alleyways, or the ayatollah is counting on his followers to be people who:
  • Never saw the video
  • Are adept at doublethink
  • Don't want to be the next person shot by
    • 'rioters'
    • 'protesters'
    • 'instigators'
  • Some combination of the above

Iran's Supreme Leader, God, and an Opportunity for Reflection

As for Ayatollah's claim that protesting a decision by the Supreme Leader is waging war against God: some Muslims may believe it. I think - and hope - that many may take this as an opportunity to think very hard about just what is Islam, and what is a patchwork of cultural values and personal preferences.

Related posts: News and views:
1I don't doubt that people in Palestinian territory aren't enjoying a high standard of living. If I lived in a county run by an American equivalent of Hamas (think the KKK of the sixties), where significant numbers of my neighbors were in the habit of firing missiles at people in the next town and dressing their kids in suicide vests to go blow up at a 7-Eleven, I might have troubles, too.

After a while, those hypothetical people in the next town might decide to do something about the attacks. After which, of course, my town's leaders would cry out about the inhumanity of those people over there.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.