The Real Iran
In a globalized world where debate and diplomacy predominate, there is one sure way to discern the sincerity of any particular government: see how it behaves at home, where it is in power; see especially how it treats its minorities.
Consider the government of Iran. Gearing up for the Durban III Conference, supposedly against racism, scheduled to take place in New York City this week, Tehran and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad no doubt plan on complaining to the international community about Israel as in former conferences—portraying the Jewish state as "the most cruel and repressive racist regime," a "barbaric" government that engages in "inhuman policies" against the Palestinians.
Yet what sort of government runs Iran—that is, how do Ahmadinejad and the mullahs behave on their own turf, where they are in control? One need only look to Iran's daily domestic affairs to get a clear idea of what Iran looks like:
In the last few days alone, officials launched a Bible burning campaign, confiscating and destroying some 7,000 Bibles, many publicly burned, even as the mainstream media, which provided round-the-clock coverage on Terry Jones—one nonofficial American who destroyed one Koran—ignores the government of Iran's mass Bible bonfires.
Likening its tiny Christian minority to the "Taliban and parasites," the regime is also in the process of "cracking down" on Christians, who make up less than 1% of the entire population.
The West's endless supply of apologists for anything that doesn't directly affect them will likely argue that the Bible is just a book. As for "cracking down" on Christians, "Who knows," these dedicated relativists will probably argue, "maybe Iran's beleaguered Christian minority is just as bad as the Taliban?"
Here, then, is an example of what Iran has been up to. According to Compass Direct News:
A pastor in Iran found guilty of leaving Islam awaits the outcome of a judicial investigation into his spiritual background to see if he will be executed or, if possible, forced to become a Muslim... The court-ordered investigation will take place sometime this fall to determine whether Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, 34, was a Muslim as a teenager before he became a Christian at 19.
Last year the pastor was sentenced by a regional court to death by hanging for "convert[ing] to Christianity" and "encourag[ing] other Muslims to convert to Christianity." After his lawyer argued that he "had never actually been a Muslim and therefore could not be found guilty of abandoning the religion," the court, while continuing to uphold the death penalty, has ordered an "investigation." Yet the burden of proof is on the victim: he must "prove that from puberty (15 years) to 19 he was not Muslim"—by getting acquaintances, relatives, local elders, and Muslims to vouch for him.
However, "if it can be proved that he was a practicing Muslim as an adult and [he] has not repented [i.e. returned to Islam], the execution will be carried out." Moreover, "even if the investigation releases him from the charge of apostasy, it is likely the charge of evangelizing Muslims will still carry a lengthy prison sentence, sources said."
Both slandering Israel and murdering Christians are perfectly consistent: in each case, Iran seeks the destruction of the "other"—whether Christian or Jew. At home in Iran, where it is in power, it destroys its Christian minority with impunity, in front of the whole world; on the international stage, where it is currently weak, it seeks to destroy Israel by exploiting the West's lofty language and acting "outraged."
Worst of all, this affair does not merely expose Iran's hypocrisy; it exposes the United Nation's utopist foolishness. By allowing heads of the most notorious human rights abusing states, such as Iran and genocidal Sudan, to attend conferences that supposedly deal with "racism" and "human rights," the UN actually exposes itself as a facilitator of human rights abuses.
Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published Islam-specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Comment on this item
by Burak Bekdil
Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists -- mild or otherwise -- rule a county, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed.
"A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey." — Hasam Kilic, President, Turkey's Constitutional Court.
The prosecutor demanded a heavier penalty for the victim than for her torturers.
The European Commission identified government interference in the judiciary and bans imposed on social media as the major sources of concern regarding Turkey's candidacy for full membership.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
Would General Allen -- or any other general today -- recommend contracting out his country's defenses if it were his country at stake? Of course not.
The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."