One of the there days, MEMRI, the invaluable group that translates Middle Eastern print and broadcast media into English, is going to get punked by some mischevious Muslim journalists “reporting” something so absurd that even they don’t believe it.
But not today. The official Iranian TV news network, IRINN, aired a documentary a while back explaining how the Harry Potter stories are part of the Zionist conspiracy to conquer the world:
You really need to watch the clip — it’s too absurd to describe, though from the footage the documentary employs, it seems that the Cornish pixies are central players in the conspiracy.
Apart from the hilarity of the thing, this is actually yet another good sign for us. The idiots producing this stuff obviously don’t realize how damaging it is for the legitimacy of their own regime. For every Iranian provincial bumpkin who falls for this baloney, there’s an educated city person whose kids watch Potter on pirated DVDs who is wondering whether the people running the government have completely lost their minds.
This is why our long-term Mideast strategy should be to not interfere in the creation of even more Islamic theocracies, whose spectacular failures are the only way Muslims societies will ever repudiate political Islam. Or, as the columnist Spengler put it recently:
Theocracy subjects religion to a political test; it is hard for Iranians to repudiate the regime and remain pious, for religious piety and support for political Islam are inseparable, as a recent academic study documented from survey data.
As in the decline of communism, what follows on the breakdown of a state ideology is likely to be nihilism. Iran is a dying country, and it is very difficult to have a rational dialogue with a nation all of whose available choices terminate in oblivion.