Across the Bay

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Kristof on Iran and Euros

Nicholas Kristof wrote this piece for the NYT on what he sees as perhaps the only Muslim population that likes the US: Iranians! Kristof was amazed at the sources of hospitality and hostility in Iran:

"Oh, that one instance when I was treated inhospitably? That was in a teahouse near the Isfahan bazaar, where I was interviewing religious conservatives. They were warm and friendly, but a group of people two tables away went out of their way to be rude, yelling at me for being an American propagandist. So I finally encountered hostility in Iran — from a table full of young Europeans."

I have always maintained that Iran will be ahead of the Arabs in democratization and reform. This is evident in the serious internal debates that are going on in Iran that touch at the heart of Islam (see Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons' Answering only to God: Faith & Freedom in Twenty-First Century Iran) while the Arabs are too busy rejecting any calls for reform because they're coming from "outside"! Eat your heart out Ghassan Tueini. Tueini, hearkening back to Arab Islamic (even though he's Christian) animosities towards the Ajam, still refers to Iranians as Furs and always has jabs at them and the Turks and what he sees as their ascendency in the ME at the expense of Arabs (as if Arab ascendency in the ME, and not that of non-Arabs, is somehow supposed to be self-evident!). Tueini still thinks it's the turn of the 20th c. and that his staunch racist Arabism is actually a workable ideology! The satisfaction is therefore double.