Kaleem Kawaja 


Making bold controversial  statements is one way of drawing attention and many leaders have used it. Kaleem Kawaja examines the legitimacy of the pronouncements of  the Iranian President  Ahmadinejad.


It is true that since the formation of the state of Israel, that country has put extraordinary pressure on US foreign policy and has been successful in general in skewing the US foreign policy against the best interests of the

Muslim nations in the middle-east.  Some instances are fairly clear examples of this US foreign policy attitude of successive US Govt.


However, in the recent years as the Iranian President Ahmadinejad has faced substantial opposition at home for undemocratic practices (e.g. the less than fair manner in which the last Iranian Presidential election was conducted), he has taken up a needlessly provocative line against US and has claimed that he is representing the popular opinion in the Muslim world.  Some examples:


– In the face of huge documented evidence doubting that the Nazi holocaust of Jews occurred in Europe in the 1930s-1940s.  He did this a few years ago and kept up with this provocation.


– Iran will annihilate Israel


– In the face of substantial evidence, he stated last week that the 9/11 terrorist attack on US was perpetrated by US itself.


Not only it is very irresponsible for a senior official of a country to make such malicious and absurd statements, it creates revulsion among average Americans against the Muslims in general.  It makes the world think of

Muslims as lacking in intelligence and sense and as being rabble-rousers. Of course it helps Ahmadinejad divert attention from his own misdeeds of mismanagement in Iran.


In Iran Ahmadinejad himself has not made much achievement as President. Economy is in bad shape; growth has slowed considerably; relations with outside world including the Muslim world have stagnated. Without exploiting the above two topics Iran could still voice the opinion of the Muslim world of the unjust elements in the US foreign policy towards Muslims. 


Unfortunately a lot of Muslims including educated Muslims are falling prey to Ahmadinejad ‘s tactics and think of him as a Muslim hero.  This is very unwise.  Muslims need a builder and reformer (e.g. the Mughal Emperor Akbar or Sir Syed Ahmad Khan ) who can wisely steer the Muslim world away from confrontation and towards building bridges with the West.  Not a confrontationist and rabble-rouser.

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