Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Iranian Human Rights Commission

If you haven't been huddling somewhere since the UK riots, you will already know that the brutal regime that governs Iran (if 'governs' is the right word) has announced the formation of some putative Human Rights Commission to sort out the British. They will, I think, send a delegation to these shores to instruct us in the true meaning of human rights. What that means, if I'm not mistaken, is advice on how to shoot down protesters of any kind, especially anyone marching for democracy and freedom. We'll all appreciate that, I know, and our police will be glad to exchange their baton rounds for more lethal 9mm parabellums. Being a Belfastman by birth and training, I can see now that our Troubles need not have gone on so long if we had only applied a full dose of human rights and shot everybody who went on the street during a curfew or went on a protest march. I can still remember a friend of my father's saying (this was at the very beginning of the thing) that he (a member of the B Specials no less) was off to get his sub-machine gun in order to kill Catholics. I used to think he was a bad man, but now, enlightened by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I recognize his devotion to human rights and his willingness to put them into practice.

Of course, it isn't all guns on citizens. This Iranian commission will, I'm sure, do sterling work telling us how to handle our own uncontrollable women. As we know, Iran is in the vanguard of women's rights in the world. They have a rightful place on the UN Commission for Women's Rights, and who can gainsay that? Look at it objectively. In the West, in the UK above all, women run wild. I have seen them with my own eyes. Even my wife is out of control (in Persian, bi-bazbini). She's goes to cafés with her sister, with no man around to keep an eye on her, she never wears proper hijab (bad-hijab é, agha), she sees male patients without a guardian present. And she's not the worst. But when the Iranians get here, they will sort women like her and her sister out. Her sister knows all about this: she used to be married to an Iranian, so I don't doubt she'll be eternally grateful to be put in her place again.

Most of all, they'll show us what to do with our homosexuals. As we know, Mr Ahmadinejad made it clear while speaking to the United Nations, there are NO homosexuals in Iran. We could be like that by the proper application of human rights values: once they are gone, there will be no more human rights issues and the Anglican Church (and a large part of the Jewish community) will have one problem less to deal with.

Speaking of Jews, The commission is bound to give us all pointers on how to deal with our Jews (and any Jews reading this should be dancing in the streets at the good times on their way for them). Iran, after all, loves Jews and only persecutes an indigenous religious minority, the Baha'is. They do have some naughty human rights measures they would like to apply to all Jews, of course, such as genocide. You can't argue with that, can you.

Of course, the human rights commission is just another vicious fantasy. Laughable, but indicative of something deeply worrying, not only in Iran, but throughout the Middle East. It is the ubiquity of the lie. The enormity of it. This lie has many forms, but some of the worst relate to Israel and the Jews. The worst is the claim that there were never any Jews in the Holy Land a.k.a Palestine. No Temple. No Me'arat ha-Machpela. No David. No Solomon. Abraham? He was the first Muslim and nothing to do with the Jews. The Israelis/Jews are Nazis. The racially mixed Israeli state is an apartheid state. As someone wrote to me last week, only one of Israel's wars was a defensive war. The Palestinians go back over 3000 years. Jerusalem is a holy city for Muslims, not Jews.

You know all this and more. What these and other tropes have in common is a compulsive need to turn history and contemporary fact on their head. Barefaced lies are stated publicly and without embarrassment, on the principle that saying something over and over again results in it being internalized and believed in with greater fervour than one might believe in fact.

It starts, I think, with the Qur'an. The Qur'an gives a host of Biblical stories devious twists, Islamicizing figures like Abraham, Moses, Ishmael, Mary, and Jesus. It is generally thought that Muhammad learned a lot from the rabbis of his day and came into contact with some heretical Christians, but that he garbled what he heard and produced alternative versions of Judaism and Christianity (thus, the Jews believe Ezra is the Son of God). The Quranic stories later get mixed in with accounts called Isra'iliyat, legends and fanciful tales from Jewish sources.

Since the Qur'an is deemed the Word of God, no Muslim will ever admit that it gets these things wrong. Instead, a new culture grows up, convinced of its own perfection. The Bible (both Jewish and Christian) has been hopelessly corrupted and cannot be relied on in anything.

And so it becomes easy to deny the truth of anything the Jews say or the propriety of anything they do. The lie is buttressed by the Qur'an and the Law. And secular means of establishing historical proof, such as archaeology, are sneered at just as much as the Bible. Our opponents live in a fantasy realm, impervious to Biblical and other classical accounts and immune to the methods of modern scholarship.

And now, no doubt, they are set to re-write the history of the UK.