Why make it worse?
just bothers me that they don't try to make a better image
for their own sake, for their country, and Islam
September 17, 2003
Last year, while living
with a family in Salamanca, I heard Khatami was
President Aznar had visited Iran in October of 2000 and the first
visit to Spain for the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran
brought high hopes of
accelerated ties between the two countries.
Greated by King Juan
Carlos and Queen Sofia at the royal palace, Khatami had requested
that there be no wine at the state dinner, and said that he would
not shake hands with the women officials. My hosts made the comment...
wow, we feel bad for the women in your country, they must have
bad. And I thought to myself... how can I respond to a comment
like that? How can I make them feel any different when the government
of Iran treats them this way?
The thing is... If people from the Spanish government were going
to Iran, then I would understand the stance of not having dinner
with wine and not shaking hands with women. However, they had come
HERE, not the other way around and the way I see it, if they want
people to respect their culture and beliefs, then they should do
the same in other countries.
I mean, it's not like Khatami HAS to drink
wine. Who gives a crap if someone else is drinking it? It is
a personal choice right? He doesn't expect people who are used
to drinking wine with meals since the age of 8 to turn Muslim
just because he is having dinner with him, does he?
It's like, they portray
themselves like this to the world and then they expect people to
not think that the Muslim religion is intolerant
to other religions and that all people in Muslim countries have
it horribly (not that I'm saying that women in Iran have
it the best but people here think that the women are treated completely
inferior and are very weak..which is definetly not true).
bothers me that they don't at least try to make a better
image for their own sake, for their country, and Islam. I mean,
let's face it, the world doesn't have a very positive idea
about Muslims right now, why do you have to go and make it worse?
Khatami's visit to the average people of Spain had just confirmed
all the stereotypes they had of Muslims and Islam. I found, at
least in the family I lived with, they were very prejudiced against
Islamic culture. In fact when a guy is acting jealous
of a girlfriend or being macho, they have a saying... "No seas
Maraque" -- Don't
be a Moroccan. So that is their idea of the Muslim world.
Although, one positive thing I have to say (yes there is one)
is that in the news and all the pictures I saw of Khatami, he had
a really big smile on his face and looked very friendly... I
think that was good; it made me feel better. I know Khatami
probubly not the mastermind behind all these demands, and I know
he was just trying to appease the conservatives. However, the world
doesn't know that. All they know is a president
from Iran came over and had unreasonable expectations.
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