Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ahmadinejad wins again, and western observers wrong again...

Abbas Barzegar, a PhD candidate in religious studies at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia (USA) wrote a good piece for the Guardian on the election results in Iran. Why do the 'western experts' misjudge the situation in Iran so badly?

I have been in Iran for exactly one week covering the 2009 Iranian election carnival. Since I arrived, few here doubted that the incumbent firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad would win. My airport cab driver reminded me that the president had visited every province twice in the last four years – "Iran isn't Tehran," he said. Even when I asked Mousavi supporters if their man could really carry more than capital, their responses were filled with an Obamasque provisional optimism – "Yes we can", "I hope so", "If you vote." So the question occupying the international media, "How did Mousavi lose?" seems to be less a problem of the Iranian election commission and more a matter of bad perception rooted in the stubborn refusal to understand the role of religion in Iran. MORE HERE

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