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American Intolerance

August 31, 2005

I have come to a conclusion: Americans are some of the most intolerant people in the world. Don’t get me wrong. In America, you can do almost anything you want and get away with it. Americans enjoy unprecedented freedom. In many cases, they enjoy freedom even from their own laws. Just take a trip down any interstate and watch as thousands of Americans collectively and harmoniously break the speed limit. I suppose they figure that, if they break the law in unison, it is acceptable. But I digress.

As long as you live in America, you can enjoy such freedom, but if you live in another country, America must impose their perception of freedom on you. By now you should realize that my ulterior motive for this article is to discuss Iraq. A new constitution is being formed in Iraq, and as long as the Shi’a majority stay in power, no matter how long it takes, Islam is going to play a role in the new government.

The United States has tried every possible move to avoid this, and even the liberal opponents of Bush are upset that he has allowed this to occur. Those in favor of the Bush plan have always voiced their disapproval of anything Islamic and of traditional Muslims, in particular. The terrorists, they explain, hate “our way of life.” Their goal, according to them, is to take away American freedom. There is no chance, according to them, that the motives of the terrorists are to change American foreign policy, particularly their unflinching support of the Zionist Israeli regime, despite what the terrorists themselves say. Odd isn’t it? The terrorists claim to support one thing, but America wants us to believe they want another thing.

Clearly the methods used by the terrorists are wrong, but the majority of Muslims agree with the motives. What does that mean? Does that mean the majority of Muslims are terrorists? No, Islam forbids the killing of innocent people. But the cause, that is the liberation of oppressed people, wherever they are, is something that all Muslims cherish deeply. American policy makers are well aware of this, and so their goal is not simply to silence the terrorists but to also silence any criticism of their policies.

They also have a more obvious goal: to spread “democracy” to all parts of the globe. This global democratic vision is one that includes other western ideologies, such as secularism and materialism. It is, for example, not enough to be democratic. A country must also be materialist. That is why the democratically elected president of Venezuela is now receiving so much heat from the American democratic iron. How dare he empower the poor and exclude the rich! Even the great Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists is in favor of someday making Tibet a democratic state (free from Chinese oppression), but America would never take interest in supporting it because it would still be a religious, not secular, democratic state.

Which brings us to Iran. The Supreme Leader of Iran (the wilayat-e-faqih, the wali-e-amr, the head honcho, whatever you want to call him) is, according to western media, “unelected.” In reality, he is simply an anomaly. He did not steal his authority, like many dictators do, and he did not even necessarily want power. The Supreme Leader is, indirectly chosen by the people. If he were not a religious authority (mujtahid), he certainly could not be supreme leader. If people did not follow him religiously (taqlid), he would not have the people’s support. It is a collective acceptance of his authority. They also have a parliament (majlis) of elected representatives, an elected president, and elected vice presidents. Now, they do have a council of Guardians who are appointed, but so is the US supreme court, who determine whether something or someone (in the case of presidential candidates) are in line with Islam (which is part of their constitution).

So, to make a long story shorter, Iran is a constitutional democracy, and their constitution is based on Islam. Their laws, their way of living, and their foreign policies would be tolerable to most people. They are certainly not perfect, and their mistakes have been plenty. Nevertheless, they are a stable government, much more stable than any other government in their region, including Israel. And even the people who want reform in Iran wish to do so by peaceful means and an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, political process.

But even if Iran was not at all democratic, what business is it of any American? If the Iranian people are happy, why should we, the pinnacle of tolerance and freedom, care? Therein lies the extreme intolerance of Americans.

America’s hatred or Iran, then, is not because they are unstable or undemocratic. Their hatred stems from the fact that Iran is unsecular and unmaterialistic. They do not share America’s goals of materialism. The Shah of Iran did, despite his dictatorial oppression of his people. Musharraf of Pakistan, an unelected general, shares the US interest in “stomping out terrorism (read: Islam).” The King (yes I said king) of Jordan is practically a “good ol’ boy” to the US simply because he supports their material interests. The royal family of Saudi Arabia, that was formed through the killing of thousands and oppression of many, is one of America’s biggest Middle East allies.

So, why is an Islamic constitution opposed by America when it comes to Iraq? Is it because America truly believes an Islamic constitution will oppress women? (Iran, for the past several years, had a female vice president. America has never had one). Is it because they will support terrorism? (The only real evidence of any regimes supporting terrorism point to Saudi Arabia and Jordan, two US allies). Is it because they oppress non-Muslims? (According to Islamic shari’ah, non-Muslims must be allowed to practice their religions, and their tax, jizyah, is actually less than the Islamic taxes on Muslims). No, it is not any of those things. America is opposed to the plans of the SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) because they know that such a regime will not support America’s secular and materialistic interests. They will not allow American corporations to run their countries, and they will not sit by idly and allow Israel to run the religion according to their agenda.

Oddly enough, America cannot support the secular arabs of Iraq, because they are the ones leading the insurgency. It is not the Sunnis, who would probably love an Islamic government as much as the Shi’a. It is the secular arabs, who were on the payroll of Saddam Hussein, who stand to lose the most from any new government in Iraq. Saddam was once a US ally, and their only goal in taking him out was to replace him with another Saddam who would obey their orders better. That plan has already failed, and now the United States is left with the one thing they have never wanted: Islam. It’s growing, like a weed to them, even in their own backyards.

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4 comments

  1. what about black americans and how they were intolerated by the white


  2. hello is an idiot. You cant get intolerated by someone. you clearly arent educated enough to be reading this.


  3. You’re all idiots! Get a life! Not to mention you don’t know what you’re talking about!


  4. Myself, I hate the way corporations run the United States*. I live in the U.S.* and honestly, it drives me insane how every law and every tax and just U.S.* politics in general revolve around what “Big business” wants! U.S.* media is always talking about propaganda on foreign media networks when they are just as, if not even more guilty of the same practices!

    * I say U.S. and not America, because I feel that it is egotistical and politically incorrect to call a nation by the continent on which it sits, unless the continent is the nation.



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