The presence of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at reminded me of the act of another extremist figure, the well-known Imam Suhayb Salam in the Netherlands.
On 31th of July I was invited to a Dutch TV-program called Bimbos & Burqas, this title refers to the post-modern hedonistic Paris-Hilton-culture (Bimbo) on one hand and the orthodox-religious be-afraid-for-the-hell culture (Burqa) on the other hand.
One of the Burqa members was the Orthodox Imam Suhayb Salam, who had brought along his wife who was wearing a Burqa, looking like a human-penguin in studio 52 of Hilversum television station.
I asked him a very simple question: Is being homosexual a disease in your eyes? As most Imams do, he used a classical rhetoric (read: sophistry) by not answering the question but giving a fallacious reason to mislead the attention of the audience.
Obviously the secular public was so educated and well informed to know the real opinion of the Islam about this issue: lavat being an homosexual act is considered a disease and for those who have committed same-sex intercourse, Islam has a death penalty waiting for them.
Back to Ahmadinejad and his speech at Columbia University. When asked about the harsh treatment of women, homosexuals and academics who challenge Iran’s government, Ahmadinejad painted a rosy picture, saying, “Women in Iran enjoy the highest level of freedom”.
He elicited laughter and boos from the audience when he said, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals, like in your country.” He brutally denied that homosexuality is a non-existing phenomenon in Iran, and his stupid proposition became world news.
When you watch Ahmadinejad’s vicious smile during this denial, you can feel his disgraced non-verbal reaction by implicitly calling (homosexual) Americans sick and at the same time approaching the Muslim world.
In the minds of the two extremists, President Ahmadinejad and Imam Salam, a Muslim cannot be a homosexual. And those who are homosexual must be ‘healed’. This is their truth inspirited by Qur’an and made into legal discourse in Sunnah, hadith and so on…
“If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” ~ Qur’an 4:15-16
In April 2007 Mr. Bozorgmerh Ziaran, the Iranian diplomat in The Netherlands typified Iran as democracy. “There are different types of democracy,” he said. “You have criteria of your own to judge which society is democratic or not,” he added later on. After this analysis the diplomat concluded that therefore “Iran is a democracy”.
Meanwhile Two years earlier, on 18th of May 2005 in the runoff elections for presidency, Ahmadinjead made his statement about the place of democracy in Iran with these words: “We did not have a revolution in order to have democracy.”
It is not very difficult to see the contradictions and similarities. That’s political Islam in its best practical implementation!