Heeding the Times from Harry Antonides' Desk

Ahmadinejad’s Blueprint for a New World Order

November 13, 2011

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pleaded his case before the world at the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2011. Some of what he said sounded promising, but can Ahmadinejab be trusted?I

 The case for Iran

Ahmadinejad started off by saying that there is an urgent need for fundamental changes in the international order. He believes that such changes must be based on the recognition that some people are divinely gifted to provide leadership. Such leaders, he says, must be guided by compassion, generosity, justice, integrity, and liberty, in order to satisfy men’s desire for happiness, prosperity, and security, all of this in keeping with the God-given dignity of humankind. 

He followed up with a long list of the things that are wrong in the world despite the historical achievements of the UN.  He laments the evils of war, mass-murder, poverty, political crises, slavery, colonialism, military dictatorship, Zionism and the oppression of the Palestinian people. The entire list is much longer, but you get the point. 

Ahmadinejad said that the same slave masters and colonial powers that instigated two world wars now have caused widespread misery and disorder. The powerful -- read the U.S and the West-- have become rich by impoverishing the rest of the world “through imposing poverty, humiliation and annihilation to others.”  So what is to be done, according to the President of Iran? 

Ahmadinejad called for collective cooperation because freedom, justice, dignity, wellbeing, and lasting security are the rights of all nations.”  He insisted that the “shared and collective management of the world” must take place under the “leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the Ultimate Savior of mankind and the inheritor of all divine messengers and leaders and to the pure generation of our great Prophet.” He assured us that in this way the “creation of a supreme and ideal society…is the guaranteed promise of Allah.”

He concluded: “The world is now witnessing more than ever, the widespread awakening in Islamic lands, in Asia, Europe, and America…. Our great nation stands ready to join hands with other nations to march on this beautiful path in harmony and in line with the shared aspirations of mankind.” What to make of this speech? 

The case against Iran

1. The first thing to note is that Ahmadinejad is using words such as freedom and justice, etc. that all people of goodwill also favour. The problem is that he is borrowing these terms to fool his audience into thinking that he, too, is a person of goodwill. The reality is very different because his frame of reference is one in which those terms have a very different meaning from what most of us would think. For instance, what he means by the words ”freedom” and “peace” are situations where Allah is the supreme ruler and Islamic law (sharia) is the supreme law  for individuals and society.  

2. The contradiction between Ahmadinejad’s words and the reality of life in Iran under Islamic law is stark. Fundamental to his version of Islam is the idea that it is more than a religion, because the mosque and state are merged. This makes Islam a political ideology that controls every aspect of life. The result is that there is no development of a free, civil infrastructure and no flourishing of economic, scientific and industrial development. Backwardness and poverty are rampant. (See the annual UN Arab Human Development Report, beginning in 2002.) There is no freedom of any kind and leaving Islam is a capital offence.  All attempts to create a more free society have been ruthlessly suppressed since the revolution of 1979. (See Paul Marshall, “Ahmadinejad Arrives in New York on a Wave of Religious Repression,” www.nationalreview.com, Sept. 19, 2011.)   

3. In belabouring the problems, injustices, and oppression in the world, Ahmadinejad was quick to lay the blame for these conditions on the prevailing international order. Though choosing his words carefully and ambiguously, he left no doubt about his conviction that the U.S. and Israel are the main culprits. Who can forget his threat to “wipe Israel off the map,” and Iran’s declaration of war against the U.S.?  How can he square those with his fine-sounding words about a harmonious new world order?          

4. His call for global governance must be seen in the context of his claim that some are divinely gifted for ”dominance and superiority.”  Furthermore, his statement about the need for global management under the “leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the ultimate Savior of mankind,” who will assure the “creation of a supreme and ideal society” is a telling reflection of Islamic supremacism. But how can an ideal society be established by a tyrannical ideology cloaked in a religion that preaches hatred toward all infidels, and especially toward Jews? It can’t be done, and won’t be done.