Magazine | October 28, 2013, Issue

Transcript from the Al Jazeera Political Talk Show The Al-Irshad Group

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Host Al-Irshad: Issue One! Tweet, Tweet Went the Bird of Peace! In the wake of the Revolutionary Islamic Republic’s election, President Hassan Rouhani has embarked on a charm offensive, going so far as to tweet messages to the hapless half-man president of the United States! Question: Is this the beginning of a new prestige for the Islamic Republic? I ask you, syndicated columnist Qu’Turush.

Qu’Turush: That’s a simplistic way to look at it, Al-Irshad. With respect, the actions of President Rouhani are exactly consistent with the actions of his predecessor. The difference is only in the medium. The last president spoke. This president tweets. It’s a great way to connect with the kids.

Political Consultant Salil Faqtb: What is this, tweets? What is this filthy word? It sounds like the noise made by a homosexual Jew when he puts on his tight pants. I don’t understand this nonsense.

Qu’Turush: That’s the problem with our side, right there. Salil Faqtb, Twitter is a light social network of 140 characters or less –

Al-Irshad: That’s almost twice the number of virgins a believer receives in heaven.

Qu’Turush: Yes, though I don’t see how that’s relevant.

Salil Faqtb: Of course it’s relevant! Your whore mother be damned!

Ba’ath Strategist Ali Ba’Nasri: Can we return to the question? It’s really about messaging. This administration is on message all the time. Their communications shop is about the best in the business. What Rouhani is saying is, basically, “We’re here, we’re online, we’re tweeting, we’re cool, and we have nuclear weapons.” That’s a powerful message to the world’s youth.

Al-Irshad: Exit question: Will this president reap more or less power and prestige from his use of social media?

Qu’Turush: More.

Ali Ba’Nasri: More. Have you seen his Instagram? Terrific use of filters! He did one of a bride burning near Isfahan that was just so cool.

Salil Faqtb: This is meaningless nonsense. You should all die. I will douse your beard with petrol and set it on fire for your stupidity and trivial concerns.

Al-Irshad: Issue Two! Satan Shutdown! As the American government enters its second week of budget paralysis, the question is: Who profits? Can the Islamic Republic reap benefits from the disarray of its sworn enemy? Ali Ba’Nasri?

Ali Ba’Nasri: That will be challenging. The key here, of course, is that a very small group of — let’s be honest — radicals in the House are holding the entire budget process hostage.

#page#Al-Irshad: Hmmm. “Radicals holding something hostage” has a nice ring to it.

Ali Ba’Nasri: Yes, that’s the ironic part of it. Here, though, I have to say, it’s disruptive. Let’s get a clean vote, up or down.

Salil Faqtb: You are a diseased and pox-ridden man-whore. What are they supposed to do? Sit around and wait for the ladyboy president to wake up and smell the unmistakable odor of the burning flesh of a female relative who has brought dishonor to her family? Should he . . . wait, where was I?

Al-Irshad: Next question — Issue Three: Server Meltdown! At the official launch of Obamacare this week, reports were mixed at best. The computer systems weren’t working, the servers shut down, and the number of enrollees was pathetically small. Question: Is this the beginning of the end of the Big Government movement in the United States of Satan, or simply a glitch along the way?

Qu’Turush: Al-Irshad, what’s important here is that millions of Americans — mostly non-Jews, by the way — are now going to have health-care coverage. Could it have been done better? Sure. Could the Republicans have stepped up to contribute to the plan’s design? Yeah. But at the end of the day, are millions of non-Jew Americans better off? You bet.

Ali Ba’Nasri: As a political question, though, it’s undoubtedly a black eye for the silly president. Many Jews are, in fact, covered by his plan.

Salil Faqtb: Excuse me, am I on the right show here? Did everyone here take a stupid pill this morning? This is nothing less than an attempt by a whoremongering nation to supply itself with free sex pills and unlimited genital massages! The entire nation should be flogged senseless, though I have no doubt that many would find that sexually appealing. You all disgust me. What is this get-along-go-along nonsense? The increasingly insane and blasphemous ramblings of the so-called establishment media are why so many of our countrymen are tuning us out.

Ali Ba’Nasri: It’s exactly that kind of tone that’s turning off the middle.

Salil Faqtb: Why is this prancing homosexual speaking to me? Die! Die a thousand deaths!

Ali Ba’Nasri: Seriously? You want to meet outside?

Salil Faqtb: I will behead you right here!

Al-Irshad: Gentlemen! Please!

Qu’Turush: Can we talk about something we surely all agree on? Ted Cruz.

Salil Faqtb: Love him.

Ali Ba’Nasri: Me too.

Al-Irshad: Me three! Bye-bye!

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Hope Springs Cautiously

Like the climate, British politics has seasons. The conference season, which opens the political year, is in September and October, beginning with the Trades Union Congress conference, ending with the ...


Politics & Policy

The Nth State

The United States of America was born after a group of reckless colonial traitors added their signatures and “sacred honor” to a declaration of political separation and backed it up ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Messianic Style

The chapter titles in A. Scott Berg’s life of Woodrow Wilson — “Advent,” “Baptism,” “Isaiah,” “Paul,” “Ascension,” “Resurrection,” to name a few — are, when coupled with the Biblical epigraphs, ...
Politics & Policy

The Deepest Truths

David Bentley Hart is probably the greatest living scholarly defender of religious thought. The title of his 2009 book Atheist Delusions is nicely descriptive: The book pits the actual Christian ...
Politics & Policy

Bad Judgment

It’s been over a quarter-century since Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court became a defining moment in the confirmation of federal judges. Since the distinguished judge and former Yale ...
Politics & Policy

Before Oprah

We have been together a long time, Gentle Reader, so you will not be surprised by my reaction to this enormous biography of the menacing extrovert who wrote How to ...


Politics & Policy


A Taboo Worth Keeping I am the author of one of the pieces Jonah Goldberg addresses in his article “The Taboo Cliché” (September 30). While I don’t speak for the other ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Our World War II vets surely remember when “To the barricades!” had an entirely different meaning. ‐ The Obama administration celebrated the shutdown face-off by barricading open-air public monuments and ...

Welcome to Obamacare

Welcome to the ACA WellBeing Market Access-Point Portal v.1.01. Please make a selection from (server disconnected) Welcome to the ACA WellBeing Market Access-Point Portal v.1.01. If your previous session was interrupted, ...
Politics & Policy


SOME PAINTED SCENES Each segment of the year makes painted scenes, Creating sonnets. Thin and icy greens, Translucent, stuck in frigid air Hold promises, stuck in a frozen stare, And every edge that melts slips ...
Happy Warrior

The Zombie State

There’s a certain amount of lingo that comes with the provision of health care. In most developed countries, these words are “doctor,” “nurse,” “scalpel,” “appendix,” that sort of thing. But ...

Most Popular


How to Bend the News

This, from ABC, is a nice example of a news organization deliberately bending the truth in order to advance a narrative that it wishes were true but is not: Venerable gun manufacturer Colt says it will stop producing the AR-15, among other rifles, for the consumer market in the wake of many recent mass ... Read More

Trump’s Total Culture War

 Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former president George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of ... Read More

George Packer Gets Mugged by Reality

Few journalists are as respected by, and respectable to, liberals as The Atlantic’s George Packer. The author of The Assassin's Gate (2005), The Unwinding (2013), and a recently published biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, Packer has written for bastions of liberal thought from the New York Times Magazine ... Read More

Iran’s Act of War

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is ... Read More