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Friday, September 22, 2023


Western media misrepresent Iran

The powers that be are trying their best to demonize Iran, especially President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The media is only fanning the flames with misquotations, outright lies and by refusing to publish vital information that just might stop certain misperceptions. The phrase most often quoted by Ahmadinejad is, "Israel must be wiped off the map." This, however, is not what was said. This misquotation came from an unlikely source, the Islamic Republic News Agency, and soon wound up in newspapers across the U.S. This single misquotation has conjured images of Iran using a nuclear weapons program to destroy Israel and has instilled fear in the American public.

According to Arash Norouzi’s article "Wiped Off the Map – The Rumor of the Century," the actual phrase in Farsi translates as, "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page in time." The Imam Ahmadinejad is referring to is Ayatollah Khomeini, who said the Israeli regime would fall.†Nowhere is the actual country of Israel mentioned, but the regime in control of Israel. The rest of Ahmadinejad’s speech was not mentioned in the press.

In his speech, Ahmadinejad said Zionism is used by the West to subjugate Muslims and manipulate the Middle East. While Ahmadinejad admits that removing American influence seems impossible to some, he also cites the Shah of Iran (a U.S.-installed monarchy), the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein as examples of regimes that seemed invincible yet, failed.

It cannot be denied that Ahmadinejad has said offensive things regarding Israel, yet he has not called for its destruction, but instead, a transition in government. Even though the misquotation came a little more than a year ago, it is still being used as justification to continue down the path to war with Iran.

The people of Iran are stigmatized as well, with pundits and political authorities using slurs against Iranians. This 24 mentality is present in Hollywood and in the media. According to Nasrin Alavi’s "Reformation Hymns: Islam, Iran, and Blogs" from the book "Everything You Know About God Is Wrong," edited by Russ Kick, the majority of those living in Iran are under 30-years old and are using the Internet to make Farsi the fourth most-used language in the blogosphere.

For instance, the Internet reaction to the Danish protests in Tehran was astounding. One blogger wrote a response to the Iranian revolutionary militia that said, "Unlike Iran, in the West what is published in a newspaper is not dictated by the regime. I agree with you that the cartoons are offensive but the best strategy is to ignore the ignorant."

This is a far cry from the stereotype of Iranians that is portrayed in the media, who of a nation of terrorist sympathizers that hate the West. Western CDs and DVDs are everywhere on the streets of cities, with cars and shops playing Western pop music. Although the media would like you to believe Iranians want to destroy America and Israel, a national poll published by the IRNA indicated 64.5 percent want to resume ties with the U.S., while 74.7 percent want dialogue between the nations.†

The fate of Iran lies in the youth, and not in the form of troops and bombs. The youth do not approve of the political repression, limitations on women and the actions of Ahmadinejad. Ultimately, the plea of one blogger sums up the hope for change to come: "I love freedom. But I believe that you have to make yourself free. No one else can free you."

Corgey, a political science junior, can be reached via [email protected].

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