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Jun 22

Written by: Diana West
Monday, June 22, 2009 7:42 AM 

Today's NYT carries an observation that should give us further pause before assuming the Iranian protest movement is a movement of "freedom fighters."  UC Irvine's Roxanne Varzi, described as a cultural anthropologist "who has studied the way the [Iranian] government spreads its ideology," says, as the paper puts it, "The strength of the protests is that they have remained within religion." That would be Islam, natch. It is her view that "the opposition movement adopted the whole Islamic discourse." She says: "It is not meant to something anti-Islamic, even for those who are secular in their practices. Because they have kept inside that structure, it is hard for the government to justify clamping down on them."

Well, if the opposition movement is not meant to be anti-Islamic, it's not meant to be anti-sharia, either. So, poof, there goes the "secular" aspect to all this. If Varzi is right -- and we have yet to see  evidence (as in signs against sharia, for example) to the contrary --  the movement can hardly be assumed to be pro-liberty, because liberty, as a state of individuals endowed with freedom of conscience, speech, and equality before the law, is the most anti-Islamic force in the world.   

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