How Do You Say "Jimmy Carter" In Farsi?

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Mohammad Khatami, Iran's moderate god that failed, says the Muslim world is "fed up with violence and extremism in the name of religion and is ready for an era of progressive, democratic Muslim governments." Speaking at a conference in Kuala Lumpur entitled "Who Speaks For Islam, Who Speaks For The West," Khatami announced, "After about two centuries of dispute between tradition and modernity in the world of Islam (there is) a high level of mental preparation for the acceptance of a major transformation in the mind and lives of Muslims."

Ex-presidents are always full of high sentence. Despite my growing conviction that religious moderates are the real problem, I'm glad Khatami is still out there speaking reasonably. But you can get a pretty good idea of what his words are worth by comparing coverage of his address. The AP story above says Khatami "did not refer to the [cartoon] controversy in his speech," but the Islamic Republic News Agency has a different version of events:

Insult to holy prophet of Islam is not the sign of freedom of expression, rather the sign of negating the truth and fanning hatred, said Iran's former president….

Khatami said denial of facts and fanning hatred will obstruct the channel of dialogue, resulting in clashes of cultures and political violence.

Khatami stressed that the worrying signs in the West should be taken seriously and new steps have to be taken for their prevention.

In today's world when Muslims and other communities have become growing dependent on each other, holy prophet of Islam, who is the symbol of solidarity and cohesion in the vast portion of the world, is insulted, regretted Khatami.

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  1. What’s the deal, by the way, with a magazine called “Reason” using a girl in a red bikini to lure subscribers? Shouldn’t she at least be wearing a pair of glasses to indicate her well-developed political intellect?

  2. Yeah, could somebody photoshop in some black-rimmed glasses to give her that “sexy smart girl” look?

  3. Whenever any member of any faction is about to say something unorthodox, he or she says something to the effect of, “Well, I’ve been a true believer for a long time now, and no one can question my credentials, but… In that context, I could see why he’d say the things he apparently said according to the Islamic Republic News Agency account. …but I also have to wonder if a copy of his speech went to Iran’s propaganda paper before it was given, and if he simply didn’t say in the speech what he’d originally written.

    P.S. You mean that isn’t a picture of Kerry Howley?

  4. “Despite my growing conviction that religious moderates are the real problem”

    Interesting. Care to elaborate?

  5. Sure: It’s the moderates who lure you into thinking you can find common ground with the crazies. At least with the crazies you know where you stand. And there’s a deeper problem: Moderates are hostages to the crazies. How often do we hear that we have to give up a certain amount of ground to the crazies, because otherwise the moderates will be “marginalized”-a concern that is bogus anyway, because the moderates are constantly losing mindshare to the crazies no matter what you do.

  6. It’s the moderates who lure you into thinking you can find common ground with the crazies. At least with the crazies you know where you stand.

    If it weren’t for me you would have long ago written off Bill Donohue as unreachable 😉

    Moderates are hostages to the crazies.

    I strongly suggest that you do what Bill Donohue says. Please, Tim, before it’s too late. I have a wife to go back to. Please. Help me.

  7. It’s the moderates who lure you into thinking you can find common ground with the crazies. At least with the crazies you know where you stand.

    Moderates are hostages to the crazies.

    I agree with both statements, but I think it’s far worse than that with “moderates.”

    Moderates are dangerous simply because they call themselves moderates when, in fact, they are apostates. If they could just be fucking honest for a second, no one would be tricked into thinking that the ranks of the religious are so vast.
    They are not, really. When someone calls oneself a moderate, what they typically are saying is that the fucked up text that had terrified and hypnotized their ancestors no longer applies to them. They seem to think that they can quote it at random when it’s convenient…like Mark Twain or Groucho Marx. Fair enough. I quote literature all the time. But when such habits are mislabeled religous, it tends to confuse things.
    I am probably as “moderate” as the next lapsed Catholic, but I don’t masquerade as a Catholic anymore. I got over that when I was 14, and the thought of embracing this text-based religion as an adult was repugnant to me. Now, I don’t pretend. I am now an anti-theist. I admit it.

    I am not a moderate because I reject too many of the more onerous aspects of Catholicism. I use birth control, drink to inebriation, covet my neighbor’s ass, refuse to turn the other cheek, and on and on. Yes, I still straighten up a bit when nuns walk into a room, but I do so in the same way I would for Buddhist monks. It’s more out of respect for those who choose to live ascetic lives, a choice that baffles me.

    I have an odd respect for those who still do believe in their foundational text literally, which is the basic requirement of the three desert religions. But one should admit that it’s a pretty nasty collection of stories. On one hand, in the Old Testament, it’s incest, genocide, fratricide, petty suspicion, etc. Then it ends with the book of Job and the tantrum-throwing abusive daddy-god punishing his most loyal subject to try to save face in a bet with the devil…really uplifting stuff. Then it turns the other cheek, so to speak, and in the New Testament you have the ultimate in mercy and passivity and anarchy.

    I think it’s disingenuous to pretend that there is any possiblity or moderation with regard to the bible. No quarter can be given to anyone who cherrypicks this stuff really. If you belong to one of more liberal or progressive sects of any of these religions…kudos to you…but stop pretending that you still belong to the chosen group of sheep. And let us get a clearer picture of who the fundies are. Like when the creationists in Dover Pennsilvania were found out.
    I’m just talking about Catholicism because it is the only religion I’m personally intimate with, and because it tends to be one of faiths with the highest percentage of “moderates.” I have a hunch, though, that this delusion of moderation is even more dangerous in Islam and Judaism…at least in 2006 that is.

  8. Can somebody tell me why nobody has made that chick in the red bikini “GOD”? Then, we can all get over the problem of there being “moderates” in religion.

    Moderate my ass. The men will be fanatics.

    So will all their wives.

    A whole new era of religious wars can begin.

  9. “Can somebody tell me why nobody has made that chick in the red bikini “GOD”?”

    She looks like somewhat of a snaggletooth, but she’s still got a killer body. I’d eat communion every Sunday (unless there was “wine.” I’ll leave that to the more pious types.)

  10. What’s the deal, by the way, with a magazine called “Reason” using a girl in a red bikini to lure subscribers? Shouldn’t she at least be wearing a pair of glasses to indicate her well-developed political intellect?

    Yeah, could somebody photoshop in some black-rimmed glasses to give her that “sexy smart girl” look?

    In lieu of photoshop, I’d like to offer the delicious Lisa Loeb to replace the RPG.

  11. Sure: It’s the moderates who lure you into thinking you can find common ground with the crazies. At least with the crazies you know where you stand. And there’s a deeper problem: Moderates are hostages to the crazies. How often do we hear that we have to give up a certain amount of ground to the crazies, because otherwise the moderates will be “marginalized”?a concern that is bogus anyway, because the moderates are constantly losing mindshare to the crazies no matter what you do.

    Are we talking about the Muslim World, or the Libertarian Party?

    ZING! Thank you ladies and gentlemen! I’ll be here all night!

  12. What’s the deal, by the way, with a magazine called “Reason” using a girl in a red bikini to lure subscribers?

    What? Isn’t it reasonable to expect hetrosexual males (or homosexual females) to be attracted to a beautiful woman? (Although, personally, I prefer brunettes and redheads.)

    You’re not a eunuch, are you?

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