How to interview Ahmadinejad
The other night, Larry King interviewed a perpetually smiling, slimy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As usual, Larry, when interviewing great antisemites, is in much awe of them and this was no exception.
Additionally, of course, Larry King is not terribly knowledgeable about Mahmoud (whatever he knows he seems to get from Christian Amanpour whom I used to admire until I saw her simpering self-ingratiating performance in Iran, when she was interviewing Mullahs for her program "God's Muslim warriors" or something). Anyway, the interview, far from being illuminating, as Larry proudly proclaimed at the end of the hour, left much to be desired. Mahmoud could not be prevailed upon to answer even one question directly and honestly nor was he challenged even once by the cowed Larry. He is who he is, a slippery eel with a flat type on intelligence. But I expect more from interviewers, to at least attempt to show up the discrepancy between honesty and truth, and what passes for honesty and truth with such a man.
Here are a few of the questions that Larry should have asked the grinning clown, courtesy of
1) You have exhibited great solicitude for those local Arabs -- a subset of the Arab people -- whom you call the "Palestinians." Could you tell us if you have equal solicitude for those local Arabs -- a subset of the Arab people -- who live in the southwestern part of Iran, in Khuzistan, one of the main oil-producing regions, and who have repeatedly been suppressed, in ways far more violent than the Israelis have ever used, by Iranian forces? Would you be willing to give Khuzistan -- to give the "Khuzistanian people of Khuzistan" -- their independence? Why not?
2) The Ayatollah Khomeini was a learned Shi'a theologian. That, after all, is why he managed to obtain the rank of "Ayatollah." When he came to power, virtually his first official act was to change the marriageable age of girls in Iran to nine. He did that, of course, because Aisha, little Aisha, was nine years old when Muhammad, or as you insist upon calling him, the Prophet Muhammad, not only married her but had sexual intercourse with her. And Muhammad (or as you call him, the Prophet Muhammad) is for Muslims uswa hasana, the Model of Conduct, al-insan al-kamil, the Perfect Man. Whatever he did or said, as recorded in the Hadith, is there for Muslims to study, and to model themselves upon. His life, the Sirat al-Rasul, is full of events that show Muhammad as that Perfect Man, to be emulated in all things, and in all places, and at all times.
So tell us: do you think the marriageable age of girls should indeed be lowered to nine years because that was little Aisha's age when she was married? And do you think that not only in Iran but all over the Muslim lands, or among Muslims wherever they are to be found, even if they live in what is still the Bilad al-Kufr, the Lands of the Infidels, that is the right age?
3) Iran -- Persia -- is a country that, when the Arabs came bearing Islam as their "gift," had existed for thousands of years. Persian culture was at a much higher level than that of the desert Arabs. Yet the Arabs attempted to islamize Iran, and the Persians. Had they had their way, Iranians might now be speaking Arabic, as so many of the peoples -- in the Middle East and North Africa --now speak Arabic, and think of themselves, as a deliberate and cultivated result, as "Arabs." But Iran was different. In Iran, so Iranians tell me, it was Firdowsi's Shahnameh, the history of the kings of Persia, written in Farsi, that helped to resist the Arab linguistic and cultural imperialism that, for example, the Berbers had such trouble resisting in North Africa, or the Aramaic-speaking peoples of Shams, Syria. And the higher literary culture of Persia, reflected as well in Hafiz, Sa'adi, and the one best known in the West, Omar Khayyam, was mirrored by a higher scientific culture so that most of the advances made within Islamic high civilization, and claimed by the Arabs, were in fact often the work of Persians.
Would you care to comment on how Persia, that is Iran, and on the means by which it successfully resisted arabization, and what you would advise other non-Arab Muslim peoples, such as the Berbers or those in Indonesia, to do in order to prevent such arabization?
4) There was a historic link between Persians and Jews established long before the arrival of Islam, when the Jews lived in their own country, known to them as Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel, and the Persian Empire seemed to be the mightiest in the world. Then came Islam, and according to Islam, we understand, no Infidel nation-state should exist anywhere. And that, we take it, is the basis for your opposition to Israel: it is an non-Muslim or Infidel nation-state, smack in the middle of Dar al-Islam. And that of course, to many Muslims, is intolerable.
Would you agree that that is the reason for the opposition, expressed by you and many other members of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to Israel? And would you agree further that those Iranians who are less fervent or fanatical in their faith, are pari passu less hostile to Israel, and that was obvious during the time of the Shah, and is obvious today, if one looks a little deeper?
And since the entire world belongs to Allah, and to those who follow him and his message, as relayed by the person you call the Prophet Muhammad, isn’t Israel merely a specific case, or one might say victim, of a general Muslim attitude? In the end, can Muslims allow any lands to remain without Islam, and without Islam in the end coming rightfully to dominate?
In your replies, refrain from having recourse to Taqiyya and Tu Quoque.
Here is something to cheer you up.
Here is another.
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
How to interview Ahmadinejad