Leaving Islam



Contemplating Evil: Western Media's Portrayal of Iran

By Amber Pawlik

I am trying to determine who is more evil:  the Ayatollah thugs of Iran or Western media.  It is the difference between thugs who brutalize and oppress their own people versus a group that has complete freedom to speak out against it, yet doesn’t – in fact purposely confuses and obscures the situation.

A brief overview of the Iranian situation is necessary.  For centuries, Muslim fanatics have been trying to force the Persian (Iranian) people, who were not and are not Islamic, to accept Islam through brutal measures.  The battle has gone with some victories and set backs for the Iranians.  This recent thug regime has been in place for 25 years.  The Ayatollah thugs are known as “hardlined conservatives.”  In very recent years a “reformist” movement led by President Khatami promised the Iranians to change the situation in Iran.  Ever since the “reformists," who hold power in government, have taken some power, they have produced no results.  When the Iranian people speak of Khatami, it is with disdain.  It can be speculated that the "reformist" movement was set up by the Ayatollah conservatives, solely to pacify the Iranian people. 

Now let’s see how Western media portrays the situation, for instance the special on Iran on ABC’s Nightline on Thursday January 29, 2004.

First, the show portrayed Iran as being more progressive than its neighbors.  Hey, Iran isn’t so bad: compared to Syria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea and Cuba even!

What is the purpose of this comparative standard?  To make us think that the Iranian situation isn't as bad as some others - so we shouldn't care?

Part of what they say makes Iran more progressive is that they have “democratic” elections.  On the Nightline special, they showed a man who was a “disqualified” candidate but they did not explain the situation fully.  In Iran, in order for someone to run for election, they must be approved by the existing government who judges if they are “Islamic” enough.  That would be like a communist society in which the leaders had “democratic” elections – but only among candidates who were sufficiently communist.  This is the enlightened Iranian “democracy” the Western media likes to point to. 

In Western media, as on Nightline, instead of portraying the debate as the people of Iran, mostly the students, versus the Islamic government, they portray the debate as being the reformist movement versus the “conservative” Islamic regime.  In other words, as one part of the government versus another, which may as well be the same thing.  All Western media believes they can pay lip service to the reformist movement, as opposed to the students, and be comforted in the idea that they don’t support oppressive brutes.

In regards to whether or not this reformist movement has produced results, Nightline interviewed a man in the reformist movement.  He said on camera that the young generation in Iran has very high expectations and they couldn’t expect the reformist movement to “solv(e) everything.” 

That’s right, young Iranians.  Children shouldn’t be too selfish.  Just as you cannot give children too much candy or toys, you can't give them things like human rights, prosperity, liberty.  Who are you, young Iranians, to have such high expectations as a free, stable society? 

The Nightline documentary interviewed a man named Jonathon Lyons, who they said was the only American journalist who lived in Iran recently.  Lyons said on the show he believed the solution to the problem was a “collaboration” between the conservative thugs and the reformist movement. 

“In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.” – Ayn Rand.

Let’s assume the reformist movement was legitimate, and that Lyons was saying we need a “collaboration” between those who wanted liberty and those who wanted oppression.  What will this accomplish?  What would a collaboration between a businessman and robber produce?  Would we have defeated The Evil Empire by means of “collaboration”?

On the show, everyone interviewed with the exception of the students kept insisting that the reformist movement “needed more time.”  They commanded everyone to be patient, be patient, be patient.

Here is something that I’ve noticed.  Whenever someone starts preaching about the need for more time and patience, they are generally a person reluctant to engage or do the work for any task in front of them.  They don't genuinely care about doing the job.  Their words are meant to demoralize people.  Anyone who genuinely cared about freedom and the mission at hand (any mission) would be calling for pressure to be put on to get effective change.

What would you think of someone who said that Castro wasn't so bad, his country has some nice things compared to other dictators?  What would you think of a media outlet who interviewed someone during NAZI Germany who insisted the way to freedom was "collaboration" with the NAZIs?  Now what do you think of our current Western media, who is intent on confusing and obscuring the situation in Iran?

I ask one more time, who is more evil:  the Ayatollah thugs or Western media?  You decide.   






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