Interview: A Conversation with an Iranian Ayatollah

Among other non-Catholics speaking at the Synod, there was an Iranian Ayatollah, Ayatollah Mohaghegh, and Catholic National Register interviewed him. I don’t think his views are interesting at all, because Iranian propaganda is so important across the world, that we all know what are they. Anyway, it’s interesting to see the brainwashing the mullahcracy has done, even in “intellectuals”:

Ayatollah MOHAGHEGH

Q: Muslims who convert to Christianity are reported to suffer restrictions in Iran [Note from the interviewer: some say they are treated as renegades and traitors to Islam].

A: Freedom to choose a religion is one thing, conversion is something else. You need to differentiate between them. What does conversion mean? If I’m a Christian, for example, and after one or two years suddenly I declare that I am now outside the faith and tell everyone that they shouldn’t be a Christian, that Christianity is a hateful religion, then any Christian person would be bothered by such statements.

Q: Yet they should still be free to make them?

A: If conversion means taking action against Islam, then it’s not permissible. You are not allowed to take action against Islam by propaganda. We don’t allow such acts to be made against Christianity in Iran either.

He also says that if a person converts to another religion and “keeps it private“, there is no problem. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “freedom of religion is defined as the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance“. So, he is really contradicting himseld, specially after a pastor has been condemned to death because he converted from Islam (Note: so, no news!).

Q: The relationship between Islam and politics is a close one, particularly in Iran. Just how close are you to the political class in the country?
A: Religion and politics were very close before [the Iranian Revolution] because every law that couldn’t be affirmed by Islam had to be removed. This is in the Islamic Republic of Iran as well. According to the current Constitution, every election should be free, there should be a parliamentary democracy. There are some problems, but freedom of speech, freedom of writing, freedom to have political parties [are allowed] so I don’t see any difference between what we have in Iran and other democratic countries.

Do you ever speak out against government policies, for example on the nuclear issue?
That is something to ask the ambassador.

So, first he says there is “freedom of expression” and then he refused to answers a question, which is very easy to answer. Do you agree or you don’t with your government’s policy? “Oh, well, ask the Government“. Heh, why? Do they know even what you think? That would mean this guy has actually said Iran is a police state, something that’s not surprising at all.

By the way, in no “parliamentary democracy”, candidates and laws should be approved by any religious body as happens in Iran.

But he continues:

Q: What is your view on the Israeli-Palestinian question?
The nation’s point of view, that of the people of Iran, is that they want justice and to see justice realized. In Palestine, we favour democracy. But the Iranian people also say that the government of Israel is not elected by the people of that place [the Palestinians]. It is a racial government and we can’t accept that.

Racial? I thought that both Arabs and Jews are semites. Also, are Palestinians with Israeli nationality banned from voting in Israel? They are so “banned” that they are even elected to Israeli Parliament and can enter Israeli Army! In fact:

the rate of Arab Israelis who believe that Israel is better than most other countries (77%) is among the highest in the developed world with regards to this measure. 82% of Arab respondents said they would rather be a citizen of Israel than of any other country in the world.

Yes, I bet they are having bad time in Israel…

I am interested: would Iranians let me vote in their elections and if they don’t can I call Ahmadinejad a racist? This guy is ridiculous!

And the last interesting question:

A: Do you share President Ahmadinejad’s views on Israel?
I don’t know, I haven’t seen what he said – I was here when he went there [Note from the interviewer: on a recent visit to Lebanon, Ahmadinejad said Israel was “doomed”. Previously, he has called for the nation to be wiped off the map].”

He doesn’t know about Ahmadinejad’s position on Israel: well, he also says in the interview that “he can access to every web from his home” (I wonder if he ever reads something which is not supported by “the Government“…) and that there is no pressure on bloggers (something utterly ridiculous after Iranian blogfather Hossein Derakhsan aka Hoder have been sentenced to 20 years), but he doesn’t know about Ahmadinejad’s views on Jews. He must be the only person in the whole world! Ahmadinejad is going to be furious that, after all his propaganda against Jooozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, there are Iranian guys who don’t know about them!

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