In one of his rare outings during the Iranian presidential election campaign last week, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the man then designated as the likely winner by almost everyone, ran into a spot of bother. An old woman broke through his security ring, shouting, "May I have a word with you?" Once allowed to approach Mr. Rafsanjani, the woman removed his turban with a blow and shouted, "No more mullahs!" *Another People's Revolution in Iran. How quaint.
Thanks "Liz" for sending me the WSJ piece. The complete article seems to be the best analysis so far about the Iranian military's consolidation of power. That's going to go over in Israel like bacon at a bar mitzvah.
But we should look on the bright side. The new regime will at least be speaking straight. No more pretense to save face for the EU Three. They have no more face to keep up, anyhow.
Political mullahs like Messrs. Khatami and Rafsanjani tried to deceive Europeans, and often succeeded, by pretending to be Davos-style liberals abroad while telling women at home to cover their hair because it emanates a dangerous ray that makes men wild.* Wall Street Journal
With Mr. Ahamadinejad, however, you'll get what you see. Unlike Mr. Khatami, who claimed that Islam was the same thing as democracy, Mr. Ahamadinejad has no qualms about saying that the two are incompatible.
He is also open about his belief that women are not the equal of men and that non-Muslims cannot have equal rights with Muslims.
Messrs. Khatami and Rafsanjani tried to present to the Western world an "other" that was really the same bar the beard and the turban. Mr. Ahamadinejad, however, is proud of acting as the "other" that can never abandon its otherness.*
Anaysis by Amir Taheri
June 28, 2005