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Rick Santorum: An American Ayatollah?

Posted By Robert Spencer On March 13, 2012 @ 12:45 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 83 Comments

It’s the latest Leftist talking point: Rick Santorum is a bit dangerous, a bit unhinged, deeply religious and dangerously fanatical, not to be trusted with the governance of our pluralistic republic, and certainly not with guardianship of the First Amendment protection of the freedom of religion. The prominent Leftist Muslim writer Reza Aslan has recently become a foremost exponent of these claims, although they did not by any means originate with him.

Leftist journalists and Islamic supremacist spokesmen always march in lockstep, using the same talking points, as I’ve pointed out previously in connection with Islamic supremacist boy Reza Aslan’s frequent recycling of tired and discredited Leftist/Islamic supremacist agitprop. Aslan is so abjectly intellectually bereft that he has apparently never had an idea of his own, but only repeats whatever his masters have determined to be the political line of the day, and can do nothing but hurl adolescent abuse at those who dare point out his unsavory allegiances and shoddy, dishonest reasoning. Aslan routinely lies about the positions of his opponents — apparently the real points they make are beyond his meager intellectual abilities to answer, so he has to resort to setting up straw men, and does so regularly.

Aslan’s latest straw man, and parroting of a Leftist talking point, comes in a piece so cutesy and self-conscious that the reader is almost embarrassed for him: “Grand Ayatollah or Grand Old Party?,” in Foreign Policy. It’s an exercise in moral equivalence, equating Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. The piece appeared on February 29, one day after — what a coincidence! — the Cagle cartoon above, which equates Santorum with Taliban suicide bombers. I am not saying Aslan cribbed from Cagle; what is more likely is that they’re both repeating a Leftist line that originated with neither of them.

Anyway, Aslan’s whole piece is summed up in its subtitle: “Who said it: Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei or U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum?” The bulk of the rest is a series of quotes, with the reader invited to guess which man said each, although only the most blinkered Leftist would fail to identify correctly the source of each one. Writes Aslan — and one can picture him mugging furiously for the cameras — “One is a religious fanatic railing against secularism, the role of women in the workplace, and the evils of higher education, as he seeks to impose his draconian moral values upon the state. The other is the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Yes, yes, Santorum is the American Khamenei, the American Taliban. No doubt he wants to mow down his own people who dare to dissent from his policies, blow up girls’ schools, throw acid in the faces of women who get out of line, make people wearing Western dress drink from latrine water, imprison and torture rivals and those who disagree with him, amputate the hands of thieves, murder apostates, stone adulterers — you name it. Of course, Leftists probably really do believe that Santorum wants to do those things, and are attacking him on that basis, even though it doesn’t seem to bother them all that much when the mullahs or the Taliban actually do them.

Behind this witless equivalence, there is a more sinister agenda. Aslan is a Board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), about which the Iranian human rights activist Manda Zand Ervin writes:

The Iranian American community widely believes NIAC…to be a Washington lobby group for the Khomeinist regime leadership. NIAC has long advocated unconditional negotiations with Tehran, and the total abandonment of all economic sanctions and military options against the Iranian regime. NIAC’s advocacy appears as a deftly veiled refusal to support the Iranian democracy activists and the Iranian freedom movement. This is not only un-American but contradicts all conservative ideals. The founder of NIAC, Trita Parsi is an unpopular figure within the Iranian-American community, as can be seen from his high disapproval ratings in a July 2011 poll of over 1800 Iranian Americans taken by the Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran. Senator Jon Kyl has called for an investigation into Trita Parsi and his work. Last month, on November 5, Parsi stated that criticism of Iran should be “punishable.”

So by equating Santorum with Khamenei, Aslan is not only smearing Santorum, but whitewashing the murderous mullahs, equating their bloody record with American social conservatism. In other words, Aslan is not just stupid; he’s evil.

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