Barack Obama was not the only leader whose remarks to the United Nations General Assembly this week included a mixed bag of criticism. As Western Journalism reported, Obama’s address called out terrorist groups for their deadly attacks before blasting the supposed racial discord he feels is prevalent throughout the U.S.
Cited as a potential ally in America’s fight against the terrorist group Islamic State, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shared his opinion that tensions in the Middle East are being stoked by meddlesome nations in the West.
Via a translator, Rouhani declared that existing “anti-Westernism is the offspring of yesterday’s colonialism” and “a reaction to yesterday’s racism.”
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His criticism of the West extended to its media, which he complained had the audacity to suggest Islamic State and other terrorist groups are influenced by Islam.
“On the basis of the teachings of all divine prophets,” he said, “from Abraham to Moses, from Jesus to Muhammad, peace be upon him, taking the life of a single innocent human is akin to killing the whole humanity.”
He said he is “astonished” that the murderous extremists at work in the Middle East and beyond claim to be Muslims.
“What is more astonishing,” he said, “is the Western media in line with them repeats this false claim, which provokes the hatred of all Muslims.”
In the eyes of the Islamic community, he complained, such reporting is seen as a conspiracy to defame the religion.
“Muslim people who every day recall their god as merciful and passionate and have learned lessons of kindness and empathy from their prophet’s teaching see this defamation as part of an Islamophobic project,” he concluded.
According to Rouhani, terrorists are not radicalized because of an adherence to their faith, but because they are being marginalized in society.
“To find the underlying causes of terrorism,” he said, “one must identify its roots and dry its source fountains. Terrorism germinates in poverty, unemployment, discrimination, humiliation, and injustice.”
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