Iranian Clerics Attack Ahmadinejad For Hugging Chavez’s Mother

220px-Mahmoud_AhmadinejadThe bizarre world of Iranian extremism was evident again this week as clerics in Iran raised a hue and cry over a picture where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is shown consoling Hugo Chavez’s mother with a hug. Clerics called the picture a sin and abomination against Islam. They also attacked another cleric, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Mirtajeddini, who felt no moral difficulty in lying about the hug and saying that the photo was doctored.


One of the clerics, Mohammad Taqi Rahbar, from Qom denounced the hug as “forbidden” and a sin: “Touching a non-mahram (a woman who is not a close relative) is forbidden under any circumstances, whether shaking hands or touching by the cheek … and contrary to the dignity of the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Ahmadinejad was also denounced for calling Chavez a “martyr” who will be resurrected like Jesus Christ and Imam Mahdit, a 9th century saint revered by Shiite Muslims. One cleric wrote “Your knowledge of religious issues is limited and no intervention could be made in this matter.”

The role of Iranian Vice President and cleric Mohammad Reza Mirtajeddini is particularly interesting. For all of his religiosity, Mirtajeddini did not hesitate to say that he was present at the time and the hug never occurred. He accused the media of doctoring the photograph.

Of course, Ahmadinejad and Mirtajeddini clearly lost a kindred spirit. Chavez worked to destroy the free press in the country and embraced every tyrant on Earth, including Ahmadinejad.

Source: OregonLive

59 thoughts on “Iranian Clerics Attack Ahmadinejad For Hugging Chavez’s Mother”

  1. Nobody says anything about tolerating the intolerable. The problem is my definition of humility. We (Americans) have this tacit inner certitude, that we have a monopoly of what’s right, what’s tolerable and what’s not, and others don’t.
    I know it’s hard for me to make a point, when something seems so “Natural” for us…And that’s not humble in my view.
    One has to understand that non-humble people, believe deeply that there is nothing wrong with them. And that’s how we Americans often feel and act.
    We think that it’s so easy to tell what’s wrong from what’s not, and that the “good people” of the world need us for that gift we have.
    Small example: when Iraq was viciously attacking Iran with our very active help (in fact western powers provided and facilitated the use of chemical weapons) the iranians (ayatollas) had the option to retaliate with similar illegal weapons or not. They thought it over and decided it was not a good idea after all, even when they lost one million in that war that was happening in the middle of their Den. Any reasonable actor would have acted otherwise….this fact is hardly ever mentioned, while it constitutes a noble move…But wait, they have beards…..Never mind!!!!!
    Japan kills 3000 of our people, hold on: Nuke these suckers massively at the hour when their kids are getting out of school, but since we’re always righteous, the reasonable world would understand. then go burn alive 4 million Vietnamese, because, I can’t remember…
    Maybe some Volvo drivers would respectfully object while sipping their Cappucinos….We are very civilized!!!! because our leader can hug Sarkozy’s wife!!
    My apology if I sound this alarmed, but I’m sorry, those who can’t at least feel what I’m coming from can never understand why the world often resents us, and why we have to keep thousands of military bases, in every corner of this world, with thousands of weapons on them, and then convince ourselves that it’s justifiable because people of the world are not as good as us.

  2. “Being a civil libertarian doesn’t require you to tolerate the intolerable — or ignore it either.”

    Copy that, mespo.

  3. Keith:

    “Obama was “attacked” when he “bowed” to greet some leader. Why is it an ok debate when a bodily move, has some negative significance here, and not ok to have others mumble about a different bodily move that could have some symbolic and political significance…”

    *****************

    Huh? No one here attacked Obama for complying with protocol. Most of us just snickered at the jingoism of his critics.That’s precisely what Professor Turley is doing in pointing out the religiosity run amok of these clerics. And btw, these clerics aren’t just mumbling; they’re stoking the fire. They know this rhetoric stirs up ideologues into a frenzy over perceived insults to Allah or the Qu’ran or the Hadith.

    We have group of religious zealots, bent on violence in defense of their faith, who’ve shown no reluctance to kill their way into the news. Their machinations should be on display 24/7.

    Being a civil libertarian doesn’t require you to tolerate the intolerable — or ignore it either.

  4. Was it all clerics or just a few extremists? I would expect more than one opinion on the topic, even in Iran. Sounds like propagandist selection.

    Chavez worked for the Venezuelans . He “renegotiated” with the multi-national oil companies so that the people of Venezuela got more of the profits.

    For more about Chavez, here’s Winona LaDuke’s take

    http://www.honorearth.org/news/song-hugo-chavez

    excerpt:
    At a 2005 Congressional hearing , oil executives were being chastised because corporate earnings were matched with dire conditions in many communities. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch/Shell – reported total earnings last quarter of nearly $33 billion. In the meantime, many Americans were facing fuel poverty, absolute hardship about keeping their houses warm. Twelve U.S. Senators asking oil companies to donate some of their record-setting profits to people in need.

    Citgo Petroleum, joined with Citizens Energy under the leadership of Joseph Kennedy and began distribution of fuel oil from the Bronx and Brooklyn to the Alaskan Sub Arctic. Our reservation was included. Our first year, we received roughly $l.7 million in fuel assistance, and this continued for six years since. Each year, tribes in northern Minnesota, North Dakota and elsewhere have benefited from the largesse of the Venezuelan government owned Citgo Petroleum Corp. As the price of fuel went up, 240 tribal communities received hundreds of millions of dollars of fuel assistance . Citgo was the only company to respond to the US Senators, and wasn’t even an American company.

    Some politicians encouraged our tribes to turn down the money, but Wayne Bonne , attorney for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, commented, “To us, it would be a foolish move. We’re not a wealthy tribe…We could make a political statement, but making a political statement while your people freeze is not very wise.” “The program is not a political program, it is an assistance program,” the Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum explained. “You don’t have to be politically loyal to us to be part of this program.”

  5. Mike S.,
    those fact thingies just keep getting in the way of what I believe in! 🙂

  6. Arthur R.Erb said:

    “Just think what would happen in the US if the Pentagon decided to get rid of Obama, and failed. Think that Faux News would keep its license if it supported such a coup?”

    Yes, just as the MSM did when JFK’s Administration was the object of a Coup d’tat. Likewise, Nixon.

    Even so-called liberal Rachal Maddow referred to a pistol as being “just like the one Oswald used” to kill Kennedy. Even though Oswald didn’t shoot anyone.

  7. The nuns would simply tell us to, “Leave room for the Holy Spirit.”

  8. Mark hit it right on the head. Such is the nature of evil men turning on each other.

  9. What a bunch of silly repressed repressive oppressive nasty bullies! They’d be on “time-out” in my day-care center if they pulled something like that. A FULL FIVE-MINUTE TIME OUT with no attention whatsoever.

  10. I second Keith’s opinion about Jonathan Turley’s seemingly unhealthy obsession with all things Islamically exteme. Yes, I know, these clerics are truly idiots, whether they are in Iran or in Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan. Their literal explanation and enforcement of the rules does not take in consideration that every rule is dependent on the circumstances and the intentions. Most Muslims understand the “hug” as a compassionate, natural and welcomed gesture and would not even spend 2 seconds dwelling on it. Since clerics however, especially in Iran, are positional and political animals whose job is make up and enforce “rules”, one can say that their “job” is to call out Ahmad (whom they hate).
    In the name of fairness though, I ‘d love it if Pr. Turley turns his eyes, and pen towards our cousins, the orthodox Jews in Israel, who are just as misogynistic and extreme as these islamic clerics. Orthodoxy by any name, or robe, or cloak, is just orthodoxy.

    1. “In the name of fairness though, I ‘d love it if Pr. Turley turns his eyes, and pen towards our cousins, the orthodox Jews in Israel, who are just as misogynistic and extreme as these islamic clerics. Orthodoxy by any name, or robe, or cloak, is just orthodoxy.”

      Po,

      Frankly, you don’t know what you’re talking about. If you follow the link below you will see 27 articles on this blog dealing with the excesses of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, both in Israel and in the U.S. As you may know I am Jewish and one of those articles is a guest blog I wrote. You will also note that I commented on a number of those articles and my position, like yours, is that fundamentalism in any religion equals misogyny and oppression Both Keith’s allegations of Jonathan Turley’s “unhealthy obsession” does not stand up to the evidence.

      http://jonathanturley.org/?s=orthodox+Jews

  11. Like Church Lady, they were probably afraid that Ami’s private parts where all tingly when he hugged the grandmother.

  12. enough already!
    Obama was “attacked” when he “bowed” to greet some leader. Why is it an ok debate when a bodily move, has some negative significance here, and not ok to have others mumble about a different bodily move that could have some symbolic and political significance….
    I’m beginning to think that Mr. Turley’s obsession with the muslim world is exaggerated. I find that attitude hard to reconcile with the civil libertarian ideology you champion. To be a true civil libertarian, is to accept the “bizzareness” of others, not the obsession to point the finger at others at any occasion. This hides a certain selfish urge to correct the “other”, to show them the “right way”. your way…
    It’s not noble.
    And yessss, I keep coming back to this blog….

    1. “To be a true civil libertarian, is to accept the “bizzareness” of others, not the obsession to point the finger at others at any occasion.”

      Keith,

      In your mind are there no human standards? There is a wide difference between what we might consider “bizarre” behavior in other cultures and what is clearly not humanly acceptable in any culture. To my mind a “true civil libertarian” does not accept the “unacceptable, simple because it reflects the aberration of a particular subset of a culture. The acceptance of issues such as the oppression of women in many Muslim states, merely because they represent local mores, gives that oppression equivalence to the treatment of women as equals. That is illogical and incorrect.

  13. Mike S., excellent point. A religion of compassion? certainly not the way these clerics (really, clerics?) talk.

  14. It’s always this way. Evil turns on itself once it has established unchecked power. It’s déjà vu Night of the Long Knives .

  15. There’s a lot of politics in this, but for now I’ll ignore them and think about the lack of humanity. How any interpretation of religious belief can come up with a formula that bans the hugging of a bereaved mother, because of no kinship ties, is to me an indication of insanity. What Ahmadinejad did was a human reaction older than time. The insanity of some Iranian clerics goes far beyond the bounds of acceptable human behavior. I can only imagine with a shudder how emotionally constricted these clerics are.

  16. From what I have seen, the press is pretty free in Venezuela and they do not spare Chavez in the opposition press. Not only that, but Chavez won three free elections, unlike the Iranian leader and the other despots who he sought out as allies against the USA. I cannot blame him for his embrace of them since the US supported the coup that put Chavez in prison and probably would have executed him had the people of Venezuela not intervened. I can see how being rounded up and placed under arrest in a coup might color ones opinion of the supporters of the coup. So whatever limits and attacks against the opposition which showed NO concern for legality, can be more than justified.

    Just think what would happen in the US if the Pentagon decided to get rid of Obama, and failed. Think that Faux News would keep its license if it supported such a coup? In fact, I would support putting the employees in prison for treason trials and Ailes would be leading them in the dock. Then if found guilty, I would favor execution. for those who supported and cheered the coup on. The military plotters would deserve the same treatment too. So I think that Hugo was quite kind to those folks and the opposition given their past behavior and treason. It does not mitigate the evil of some of the leaders he supported, but one has to remember what the US did with Uncle Joe Stalin during WWII. I KNOW that Stalin beat ALL of Chavez’ allies in evil and mass murder. So if FDR and Churchill get a pass on their embrace of Stalin, I think that a similar dispensation can be granted Chavez given the actual circumstances of US aggression against his country.

  17. And it’s proper in the country to adopt some of there custom and practices when visiting for official reasons…

  18. Keep in mind that Amadinejad is something of a reformer and not a part of the clergy that want to run Iran. Its easy to lump them all together but he has been in trouble with the ruling consul several times for not following their dictates. There may be a political reason for the charge.

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