Tuesday, August 02, 2005


It's countdown to a new president in Iran.

Last night Khatami gave an important speech that K found pretty exciting. "Everything he should have said 8 years ago, he is saying now." I hope to find a good translation soon. You can read Payvand's summary here: http://www.payvand.com/news/05/aug/1005.html.

Until then, here is K's summary:

Since the beginning of the revolution, there have been two Islams. One that embraces tolerance and diversity and guarantees freedom of worship for Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians, and one that uses the tools of terror to impose its will. There is the Islam of Al Q'aeda and the Taliban and of those who support the use of methods of terror. And there is the Islam that says: we do not have all the answers. It says, we have to use scholarship to examine our faith and modernize our faith.

No manager in my government has ever been more than 5 meters from prison.

The Middle East can prosper when there is a true dialogue among the different faiths. The Middle East can prosper when Muslims, Christians, and Jews have a meaningful conversation with one another.

(1 ½ hours of explanation and then: standing ovation… )

I had a hard time following the speech. I'll just say that it was the most animated speech I have seen Khatami give and that it was interrupted several times by applause.

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