Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lunch with the FT

With Azar Nafisi:

“On the right many people have this Samuel Huntington view of the Islamic world that it should be left to stew in its own barbarity. On the left, people are more respectful but they are equally simplistic. What both sides have in common is a lack of curiosity for what life is really like in countries like Iran. They have both forgotten that human rights are universal.”
Instead of arguing with the Iranian regime’s ideology, the west should speak directly about the rights of Iran’s people. She concurred: “Don’t tell the Iranian people that we are only interested in you because we don’t trust your regime with nuclear weapons. Tell them we respect your individual rights just as much as we do our own. People in Iran think they have been overlooked or that they are incidental.”
“America had its chance to help change Iran from within when Mohammed Khatami was president - he wanted a dialogue of civilisations. That was an opening. But the US would not talk to Iran. Now we have Ahmadi-Nejad. So America got its caricature.”,s01=1.html


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