Flower delivery in Iran


Afghanistan * FAQ * Write for The Iranian
* Editorial policy

Dealing with the West to deal with the Taliban

By Akbar Houshmand, City University of New York
September 18, 2001
The Iranian

After looking at Iranian right-wing newspapers, I feel that I have to clear up a few points about recent events and U.S. movements:

1- It is absolutely necessary for reformists to understand the true meaning of the reaction of so-called conservatives to this event. The West knows everything about the true nature of the right-wing in Iran. For the West dealing with strict dictatorships is much easier than sophisticated and unpredictable democracies. Thus they naturally prefer the right-wing, who oppose democracy.

The West knows that conservatives, despite their rhetoric, are ready to give ANY concession to U.S. and Israel if they have full control of the country. Therefore the right-wing in Iran does not need to show sympathy and approval of U.S. movements to get U.S. support. As soon as they seize power, they would know how to get along with the West.

On the other hand, the reformists DO need to show that they can manage a reasonable level of cooperation with the West. At this time the right-wing wants to tie the hands of the reformists through their anti-American rhetoric. The reformists should not fall into this trap, as they had done in the past, by hosting conferences for militant Palestinian or Lebanese groups.

2- The right-wing newspapers are warning the Khatami government of loss support from the "Islamic World". Unfortunately, such a united Islamic world does not exist. Almost all of the Islamic countries are in conflict with each other. Even different Arab nations clearly and loudly hate each other, not to mention inner-conflicts within these countries.

There is hardly ever a consensus amongst Muslim groups as to whether they should support or reject U.S. policies. Quite often it is the case that two Muslim countries take polar stances regarding U.S. foreign policy decisions. This shows the degree of disunity that is prevalent throughout Muslim nations.

Moreover, those Iranians who have interacted with other Muslims have realized that the majority of Sunni Muslims do not have the slightest respect for Iran. In fact, millions of Sunni extremists in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf and African countries, such as Algeria and Egypt, passionately hate Shia Muslims and Iran. The friendliest Sunni brothers are the ones who live in Iran and are basically Iranian!

The only time Iran is referred to as the "leader" of the Islamic world is when heads of various militant groups meet with Iranian officials to get money and support! In short, preserving the unity of a non-existent Islamic World does not deserve heavy investments. Moreover, if we care about the Islamic world, we must take action against fanatic groups such as the Taliban who brutally abuse Muslims and damage the image of Islam.

3- Finally, let's look at the problem from a religious point of view. The Taliban has declared a war against Christians and Jews. Does our religion support that?! If we do not care for the innocent people who lost their lives in the New York City attacks, we should care about the thousands of Shia people in Afghanistan who were butchered, thousands of women who were raped, and thousands of families who were taken apart by Taliban.

It is amazing that the Iranian right-wing, while propagating the most shallow and LOMPAN version of Shi'ism, absolutely did not care about the lives of Shias in neighboring Afghanistan. Now they recommend support for the enemies of Shia Muslims. The Wahabis, who are the most reactionary of Sunni Muslims, do not deserve Iran's support. They would kill all of us if they had the power to do so!

For anybody who has wondered about the Islamic aspect of the story, it is helpful to remember the story of the KHAVAREJ and Imam Ali's descriptions of them. The KHAVAREJ would not yeild to logic, were very stuborn in their opinions and brutal in their actions. It is not difficult to recognize these modern-day KHAVAREJ in Iran and Afghanistan.

In short, it is necessary for reformists in Iran to use the situation to improve the relations with the West. They should also try, to the best of their ability, to enhance the image of Islam by active cooperation in the campaign against the Taliban.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Akbar Houshmand


Articles following the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks

Limbs of no body
World's indifference to the Afghan tragedy
By Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Photo essay of Afghan refugees


Features archive

* Recent

* Cover stories

* Feature writers

* All sections

Flower delivery in Iran
Copyright © Iranian.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact: times@iranian.com
Web design by BTC Consultants
Internet server Global Publishing Group