They say acceptance is the first step in rehabilitation, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged in remarks at a press conference in Tehran today that Islam has a violence problem. On the face of it, such a statement seems like a step in the right direction:
He voiced concern that damage was being done to Islam’s reputation by the violence in its heartlands, and urged all Islamic nations in the region to stop the ‘violence, terror and massacres’.
This being Iran, though, there was another agenda at work. Its greatest rivals in the region are not America or Britain, but Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, and Rouhani implied that they are to blame for much of the violence he spoke of:
‘How many bombs and missiles have you purchased from America this year?’ Mr Rouhani asked. ‘If you had distributed the money for those bombs and missiles among poor Muslims, nobody would be going to bed hungry.’
Nevermind that Iran itself is the world’s most notorious sponsor of terrorism, having long supported violent anti-Israel groups such as Hezbollah. Its policy toward Israel is itself violent and unchanging.
Iran’s recent efforts to prop up the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad made Rouhani look especially hypocritical when discussing his purported sorrow at seeing Muslim children flee places such as Syria for the safety and security of non-Muslim countries. After all, a senior Iranian general was killed two months ago in Syria while helping organize government forces.
These children Rouhani spoke of wouldn’t have to flee their homes if Iran wasn’t so desperate to keep its violent ally in power, and Islam wouldn’t have such a violence problem if Iran wasn’t so consumed by hatred for our Israeli allies. It is nice to see some kind of acknowledgement of how Islam has come to be defined by its terrorists, but unless Iran recognizes it own responsibility for this happen, change is unlikely.