Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Why Iran Matters?
I intend to write more in the coming days on the issue of Iran, but since I have not written in about a year due to health issues, I feel like the need to make a basic point here.
We are facing the very real possibility that Iran is going to have nuclear weapons within in a few years, maybe even as soon as 2010. This is a state led by a man who has spoken openly of removing the nation of Israel off the map. Whatever your feeling about the need for a Palestinian state, and I am in favour of it if they can prove they can govern without corruption, without violence an dmost importanly, without devoting themselves to killing their neighbours in Israel, the fact is that the current regime in Iran has stated its desire to end Israel. This is deeply troubling.
But even more than the nuclear issues, we now have a state that has: 1) persecuted to the point of death the followers of Bahai 2) had a rigged election that has resulted in the death of innocent protestors and now the imprisonment and potential death of opposition leaders 3) the supplying of terror and rebel groups in Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and now possibly Afghanistan and 4) has systematically crushed the basic human rights of women.
When I was growing up there was one political party that stood for human rights - the Democrats. As a Christian and one committed to the worth of each human being, that is one of the things that I have deeply admired about that political party through the years. But President Obama has gone on Iranian media to reach out to them, he has validated the flawed election, and he has taken many steps against the human rights community.
Why would he do this? And what is a Christian to do for the people of Iran? I know you might be thinking that my only interest is the spread of the Gospel in the country, and this is true, I do care about this. But even more basic is that average people in that country might have the hope for freedom - freedom of religion but also freedom to pick their own job, to dress as they see fit, to vote for anyone they want, to walk the streets without fear of arbitrary arrest. Can we stand for human rights in Islamic countries as Americans and as Christians? And what do we make of the current administration’s abject failure to address human rights in Iran as well as places like Venezuela, Sudan, Russia and just about everywhere?
Do human rights still matter?