Always looking to score the cheap point, NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez cherry-picks a quote from an interview with Iranian dissident Ayatollah Mohsen Kadivar:
Kadivar: Perhaps Western countries should stop treating Ahmadinejad’s government as the legitimate government of Iran.
Lopez: I hope the White House is reading that.
Here’s Kadivar’s full answer to the question of whether the West can do anything to support a democratic reform process:
Kadivar: The tightening of sanctions is not the right path ahead. They affect the people more than the government. A military attack is something I categorically reject. Perhaps Western countries should stop treating Ahmadinejad’s government as the legitimate government of Iran. Otherwise, I think the reforms must be pushed forward from inside the country.
I hope the Green movement’s fake American friends are reading that.
The full interview with Kadivar is well worth reading. A protege of the recently deceased Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, the Green movement’s most prominent clerical supporter, Kadivar has a very rich body of scholarly work critically examining various theories of the State in Shiite jurisprudence, and the appropriate role of clerics in governance. One of the most significant aspects of the current protests in Iran, and the most threatening to the regime, is the way that a long-suppressed religious critique of the Iranian system of velayet-e faqih (rule of the clerics) has found a vehicle in the Green movement, and given calls for reform even greater force and legitimacy.
There’s little appreciation of this in evidence at National Review, of course. Indeed, scroll down a few posts from Lopez’s and you’ve got NRO’s resident “Muslim Peril”-ologists Mark Steyn and John Derbyshire debating “whether Islam itself is the problem.” This as Iranians are protesting their government with calls of “Allahu Akbar” from the rooftops every night. It’s amazing that it’s almost 2010 and this is still the state of the discourse among conservative blogs.