Saturday, September 04, 2010

Yet more Iranian paranoia

Here's an interesting episode from a couple of weeks ago. From the BBC:

An Iranian-made television series about the life of Christ being shown on two Lebanese channels has been taken off air after complaints from Christians.

The series was being shown during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on the Hezbollah-linked TV channel, al-Manar, and another station, NBN.

Lebanon's Christian community has condemned the show as a distortion of their beliefs.

Christians have complained that it is based on an apocryphal gospel, rejected by the Church.

The Gospel of Barnabas has a very different version of Christ's life from that found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The key variation is that it says Jesus was not crucified and was not resurrected -- the two fundamental Christian beliefs.

In this, it is actually very close to the story of Christ as told in the Koran.
It turns out that the cancellation of the series really ticked off Iran. From Iran's PressTV:
The complaints lodged by the Lebanese Catholic Church that forced two networks to stop airing an Iranian-made series on the life of the Prophet Jesus (PBUH) is all part of a rampant Iranophobia spreading across the Arab world.

Political factions and US-linked seditionists with the final aim of forcing the Lebanese Resistance Movement (Hezbollah) into political isolation hatched this plot.

After several episodes of The Messiah were broadcast on NBN and Al-Manar television channels, the country's Catholic Church issued a statement requesting a ban on the broadcast of the series.

...Some Islamic countries fear the growing demand for Iranian series in the Arab world and are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to cut the flow of Iranian art and culture into their countries.

These regimes are seeking to promote obscenity in the Arab world through a set of shallow television dramas that lack any moral message and which they widely endorse in their satellite channels.

For example Arab networks broadcast a number of lengthy, romantic series with obscene plots made by a certain Muslim country.

The main objective of this move is the cultural and artistic isolation of Iran in Islamic countries as well as boosting a culture void of all ethics or moral values. This policy can be best described as Iranophobia.

The two concepts of "Shiaphobia" and "Iranophobia" have long been on the US agenda, and Washington has been working with several Arab regimes toward this end.

Extensive propaganda against the dangers of the spread of the Shia faith in the world and the supposed threat of Iran's bids for nuclear technology was persistently broadcast in Arab channels to isolate Hezbollah and Iran.
This is hardly the only time that Iran is charging the world with "Iranophobia." I first noted this in May, and since then it has become a recurring theme on Iranian news sites.

Google News records about a dozen examples of Iranian media using that word in the past month.

Here's a recent one:
Iranian Justice Minister Morteza Bakhtiari warned that the US and the other arrogant powers have hatched plots to promote Iranophobia in the world.

"The world arrogance has once again resorted to its old agenda and is seeking to spread Iranophobia after its plot failed to spread seditions following the tenth presidential election in Iran," Bakhtiari told FNA on the sidelines of massive International Quds Day rallies in Tehran on Friday.
Apparently, Iran has taken to heart the successful promotion of the false idea that the world is Islamophobic - a stunningly successful campaign that is almost complete nonsense - and want to adapt that to the new claim of "Iranophobia," perhaps to gain sympathy.

Yet they are already using that as an excuse for everything that doesn't go their way, including the ludicrous idea that a TV series about Jesus is being criticized not for its content but because of its origins.