Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s unexpected Christmas message is full of seasonal goodwill, but the Iranian President clearly believes that if Jesus Christ were alive today he would be on the side of Iran not the West.
In a pre-recorded speech, Mr Ahmadinejad suggests that Christ would have rallied against any global superpower who sees fit to occupy or bully other nations or send troops to expand their power.
“If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would stand with the people in opposition to bullying, ill-tempered and expansionist powers,” he said in a message of defiance clearly aimed at the US and its allies.
“If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over.”
“If Christ was on earth today undoubtedly he would fight against the tyrannical policies of prevailing global economic and political systems, as He did in His lifetime.”
President Ahmadinejad’s message will be aired by Channel 4 as an alternative Christmas message to the traditional speech by the Queen. The message, which the President has given in Farsi, will be subtitled in English.
The controversial decision by Channel 4 to air the message by a man derided as anti-Semitic and anti-gay was defended by Dorothy Byrne, the broadcaster’s head of news.
“As the leader of one of the most powerful states in the Middle East, President Ahmadinejad’s views are enormously influential,” she said. “As we approach a critical time in international relations, we are offering our viewers an insight into an alternative world view.”
President Ahmadinejad’s message goes on to suggest an optimistic reading of the current global economic crisis and its fallout.
“Fortunately, today as crises and despair multiply, a wave of hope is gathering momentum,” he said. “Hope for a brighter future, hope for the establishment of justice, hope for real peace, hope for finding virtuous and pious rulers who love the people and want to serve them – and this is what the Almighty has promised.
“We believe, Jesus Christ will return, together with one of the children of revered messenger of Islam and would lead the world to a rightful point; to a world of love, brotherhood and justice. The responsibility of all followers of Christ and followers of Abrahamic faiths is to move towards that and to prepare the way for the fulfilment of this divine promise and the arrival of that joyful, shining and wonderful age. I hope that the collective will of nations will unite in the not too distant future and with the grace of the Almighty Lord, that shining age will come to rule the earth.
“Once again, I congratulate one and all on the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ and I pray for the New Year to be a year of happiness, prosperity peace and brotherhood for humanity. I wish you every success.”
As we said in the intro, this is going to go down like a lead balloon in some quarters.
And note how the BBC, apart from a few words and phrases extracted from Ahmadinejad’s talk, devotes the greater part of its report to condemnation of the broadcast and such blatant distortions as the Israeli ambassador’s saying: “In Iran, converts to Christianity face the death penalty.
While it is true that an Iranian Muslim who renounces Islam is liable for punishment, given there is so much common ground between between the two faiths, the ambassador’s accusation is a calculated overstatement.
But don’t expect to hear that from the BBC. Instead the corporation – which is now little more than a byword for a New World Order propaganda – is more focused on telling readers how the “Ahmadinejad show ’causes offence’”.