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Voices from the depths of ignorance

By Kam Zarrabi

As the Persian poem goes, "The ignorant who is ignorant of his own ignorance, remains forever trapped in compounded oblivion." Or, bliss, as I would call it! But, add power to ignorance, and you get a dangerous concoction that, as that power grows, more potentially dangerous it gets. Now, add influence to the elixir of ignorance and power, and the potential becomes the kinetic force in motion of horrible consequences.

There is something yet more dangerous than that; hypocrites surfing the waves of mass ignorance. The hypocrites know better, but capitalize on the paranoia of their own creation, and gain fame and amass fortunes at the expense of the sheepishly admiring "ditto" crowds.

One well-known pundit of mass deception, whose daily radio talk show has more audiences than the Super Bowl, sounds as though he has even convinced himself of his warped view of realities! Of course, as physically out-of-shape as he has been, his hyper-passionate rhetoric would have caused him a heart attack long ago, were he not simply play-acting.

His latest barrage of unsolicited opinion about an area of the world he knows absolutely nothing about, had to do with Iran. As usual, he was basing his statements on unsubstantiated "facts-of-the-matter" or Gospel truths that nobody would dare doubt.

His position was, as is his patented style, brutally simple: Nations like Syria and Iran have, or can produce, absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, zero, (these were actually his words), outside oil! And, since both these nations are terrorist nations, it is their oil money that supports terrorism. So, since they have absolutely nothing but oil, by making sure they cannot sell their oil, we can effectively stop these terrorist nations from funding their international terror operations.

The attempt here is not to demonstrate this media-giant's obvious lack of international savvy. Anybody with IQ in double-digits should know that Syria is not an oil producing country, or that Iran is among few Middle Eastern countries that is not solely oil dependent for its economy. And, let us forget about the argument of who the true terrorist states and supporters of international terrorism are. Questioning such cavalier allegations is tantamount to treason in the minds of these opinion-molders these days.

In a free country everyone is guaranteed the right to free expression, and the pursuit of one's happiness. This enterprising fellow is simply pursuing his happiness as fast as he can; he has become rich and famous beyond his own dreams. Can anyone deny him his constitutional right to do what he is doing? Of course not.

Now, let's go to that small mosque that was the subject of a pictorial article in Payvand by a recent visitor to Tehran (Out of Touch: Back in the Mosque in Tehran!) . Let's listen to that mullah, and many more like him, whose nonsensical rhetoric permeate the minds of the ignorant and the simple-minded. Listen to the crowds of the ignorant and the misguided in the streets of Tehran who chant outdated slogans whose meanings are all but lost to most of them. Now listen to the self-serving media entrepreneurs right here, whose disingenuous and malicious pronouncements promote international hatred and mistrust. And, worse yet, listen to those belligerently self-righteous voices promoting conflict and aggression, rising with genuine conviction from the darkest depths of ignorance.

Now that we have managed to successfully denigrate the words ayatollah and mullah to generic nouns representing radical conservatism and closed-mindedness, we can safely apply these terms to many among our high-profile media pundits, Congressional leaders, and the steering committees of our foreign policy machinery. Yes, there are hard-hats as well as turbans, unshaved faces as well as swollen red necks. Unfortunately, closed-mindedness and intolerance know no boundaries.

I wonder what our recent visitor to that Tehran mosque thinks about the sermons of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Rush Limbaugh, etc., etc. I also wonder who does the greater harm to humanity, the foolish mullah who likes to see all Moslems disrupt work for noon-time prayers, or the holier-than-though, self-appointed saviors of mankind who offer their own brand of salvation, or death?

Since self-righteous we all stand, each securely in our own minds as is the nature of all mankind, let us show a touch more humility while we delve the death blow to those who would do the same to us, if given the chance. But, let us have the courage to stand the sight of a Bin Laden looking back at us in our own mirror, and the resolve to change that image if we want a safer world.

... Payvand News - 4/22/03 ... --

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