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 Soeren Kern
Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.
by Debalina Ghoshal
According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.
by Guy Millière
Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.
European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.
The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.
"Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it." — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.
by Raymond Ibrahim
"I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah... There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell." — Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram.
Hillary Clinton repeatedly refused to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
In Malaysia -- regularly portrayed in the West as a moderate Muslim nation -- any attempt to promote religions other than Islam is illegal.
"The reason they want to kill me is very clear -- it is because of being a convert to Christianity." — Hassan Muwanguzi, Uganda.
by Dexter Van Zile
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.