Iran Presidential Election

by Richard on June 25, 2005

How are we supposed t react to the landslide victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran’s Presidential election?

Assuming that the elections were conducted fairly (an assumption which is very open to challenge) should the election of a fundamentalist hardliner be welcomed as the will of the people, or seen as a threat. It is all well and good spreading democracy, but can we deal with the fact that some countries are going to elect leadership that may not suit western interests?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Dave Warnock 06.25.05 at 11:37 am

Given that the last fundamentalist hardliner to elected, President GW Bush, has been such a problem for western interests I think we should be very worried ;-)

2

Richard 06.25.05 at 12:47 pm

I almost wrote those very words, and thought better of it! What is they say about great minds? :)

3

Joel 06.25.05 at 1:18 pm

I’m almost reminded of an anti-drug commerical that ran in the U.S. for a while. The idea was of people who used cocaine to have more energy to make more money so they could buy more cocaine to so they could work harder and longer to make more money to buy more cocaine and so on until the commercial allotment time was up.

If we make more people mad, we have more people we need to kill, which makes even more mad, then we have even more to kill. Then we can justify more weapons and claim we are strong on defense. So then we can kill more people and make more people mad that will also then need to be killed. However, this isn’t a commercial, so the cycle can continue.

Don’t you get the sheer brilliance of the Bush foreign policy? Or, we could try spreading freedom by example. Nah.

4

John 06.25.05 at 5:55 pm

Dave, I have two questions:

1. What is your definition of ‘fundamentalist’?

2. How does Bush qualify under this definition?

5

Richard 06.26.05 at 12:03 am

My definition of fundamentalism would say that it is a movement of 20th Cent. Christianity originating in the USA. It holds the Bible to be inerrant and tends to interpret the Bible through the lens of dispensationalism. Fundamentalism arose as a reaction to the methods of Biblical criticism. (Despite the fact that I used it myself, fundamentalist is not really a word that makes much sense in relation to Islam. Critical methods have never been adopted by Muslims, and all muslims believe the Quran to be inerrant)

If GWB is not a fundamentalist, he certainly tends strongly in that direction. Doesn’t he?

6

Dave Warnock 06.26.05 at 1:58 am

John, just so you know. My other name is Richard ;-)

7

DH 06.27.05 at 7:23 pm

Richard, just so you know, I’m not a dispensationalist and I do not see GWB as a fundamentalist. To me that is an overgeneralization attack that is typical of the “other side”. I see no reason to use terms that are on a scale (dispensationalism, inerrancy). All scholars know that there are levels within each one. To label someone as one without recognizing the graduated scales for the terms, I feel, is judgmentalism.

Just for the record on a 1-10 scale, I’m an 8 on inerancy (many “in my camp” do not believe in the personality of the particular writers ofthe bible while I do) and a 5 on the dispensationalism scale (end times the only reason I’m even a 5 at all). So you see the labels just don’t fit the average peron who you would categorize in the particulars.

8

Richard 06.28.05 at 12:15 am

I don’t use the word “fundamentalist” as an attack, DH. I hope it is merely descriptive. I don’t agree with the way that fundamentalism uses the Bible, but I hope I don’t use the word in a perjorative sense. I’m puzzled about the sliding scale of inerrancy you describe. I’ve always thought of inerrancy as one of those “absolute” words - it is or isn’t. How can something be 80% inerrant?

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