What You Are Missing On The Iranian Nuclear Issue If You Don't Read French

We don't have a fair and balanced press in the US, UK, Canada and other countries traditionally allied with the US. We never hear the Iranian side on the nuclear issue. During the last two weeks, Le Monde and Le Temps have been publishing articles, agressive interviews on the Iranian position. The last of them was published today in Le Monde. I have posted and translated these articles. For the last one I need some time.
Iran Open to Dialogue on Its Nuclear Program
'Iran Strives for Security': Interview with Ali Akbar Velayati
In a conciliatory tone Velayati asks Europeans to press the US for moderation. This one will be translated later on this blog.


N. said...

Thank you Sophia, this is formidable!

I shall link to this.

But the question remains, on the matter of principle, how willing are the French to listen to themselves? They appear timid to me and when not, quickly shunned and shut up by the Anglo-media.

You see, they all say "oh Iranians talk well, but we don't believe them!!!"

ohdave said...


I tried to follow your links but it didn't work....

Sophia said...

My sitemeter tells me otherwise, that you accessed the post from the technorati link. Indeed I have linked to your original post on Hirsi Ali. And to have commented on this post without seeing the post on Hirsi Ali, which is just under the comment section you opened, you must have been really on a rush...

ohdave said...

Sophia, I didn't realize that the link opened at the bottom of the post, even below the comments, rather than the top. Weird. Maybe it's just my browser. Apologies on that one.

I plan to link to your translation of the LeMonde interview, and to summarize some other things I've seen in Le Monde, although I'm not up to translating. My French is not as good as yours.

Regarding you Ali piece, I had not read the whole thing yesterday but I did read it this morning. I'm afraid I can't match your zeal or your knowledge on the subject. Your point that Ali is using the subjegation of women merely as a means to attack Islam is something I can't speak on. I admit to a natural distrust of her due to the fact of her current employment. In her writing she protests admiration for elements of Islam but your critique, up to the point I am able to follow it, has made me question her intellectual honesty.

On the other hand, someone as committed to human rights as you are, and I admired your post on the Canadian Supreme Court, by the way, ought to be able to confront her arguments about the treatment of women on their face rather than simply questioning her credentials. Ali's larger point is the status of women in the Muslim world. I don't think it is neo-colonialist subterfuge to insist that tyranny, no matter where it exists, needs to be confronted and called out. If Ali's intentions aren't pure enough, please point out to me a more reasoned critique of the status of women in Islam, if you know of any. I'm anxious to read it if I can.

Sophia said...

Thanks for the comment.
I think Fatema Mernissi is the most prominent insider critic of the issue of women in Islam and the most credible, but not the only one in her category. She is a real scholar, which Ali is not. I have her original Ph.D. thesis and a friend who is doing a documentary on women in religions borrowed it from me.
Here is the link to her Wiki page

What irritates me Ohdave and I will be frank with you is that US citizens are not willing to really learn about Islam and find it easy to buy into clichés. It is not your case but sometimes, not knowing your subject makes you an easy prey.
You ask me to criticise Ali on the subsntance instead of attacking her credibility. I think she does not deserve that we criticise her on the substance because she is a fraud, it is a waste of time.

Sophia said...


It is important also to attack Ali's credentials, not only as an expert on Islam but also as an intellectual. She is none of these and I think someone has to do the job. I am furious that some people hold this person as a 'Voltaire'. Voltaire must be crying in his tonb or people will have to read Voltaire again because they only know of Voltaire the surface and the clichés...

N. said...

Hi Sophia, your translation project inspired me to translate things from Persian press. Check out my new post! I can't wait for the day that Americans are exposed for handing Iran to the hands of thugs like that Rezai guy!

Since March 29th 2006