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Ron Radosh

Evidently another OWS meeting two weeks earlier featured American religious leaders who told the Iranians that OWS “will redesign the world order.” One such religious leader attending was Imam Abdul Alim Musa from a Washington, D.C., mosque, who stated while in Iran that OWS activists “feel that all of us are part of the 90 percent” and thus oppose any government that “killed scientists, engineers, peaceful people,” referring to the assassination of Iranian scientists working on Iran’s nuclear development program. The imam also told them that OWS was “naturally against Zionism,” which was “the monster today.”

When told what the imam had to say two weeks before their own conference, Gautney seemed surprised, obviously believing that she was hosted by Iran because she was a self-proclaimed opponent of “inequality.” Hence, she felt that the imam was “a pawn in religious conflicts” of which OWS was not a part.

Why, I wonder, does Professor Gautney think Iran hosted her and the other American academics? Does she really think that the regime in Tehran is at all interested in addressing the social issue she is concerned with, except for their hope that it will weaken the U.S. internally? As far as Gautney (who seemed to be the only professor there willing to speak to an American reporter ) was concerned, the only issue was that of a “deeply unequal social and political system” in the United States. She saw her role in Iran as “representing the movement.”

When pressed about her own feelings on the regime in Iran, she claimed that she had “no education in Islamic history” and “no real understanding of the society,” and hence it would be “irresponsible” to say anything about the society she was in for the OWS solidarity event. Is she so stupid that she did not see the press reports when the Green movement was being suppressed and the regime was killing those brave enough to take part? Doesn’t she watch TV or read the American newspapers? Or is she so preoccupied with organizing OWS she is simply totally ignorant about anything else?

When reporter Levine challenged her and asked if she was free to speak her mind on any other subjects, she replied that she was only there to “give them real information about the [OWS] movement.” When asked why the Iranians didn’t want to share their views of their own government with her, she simply said they “have to toe a line there” and thus didn’t turn their “lens inward.” But Gautney then proceeded to do the regime a little favor, by noting her firm opposition to U.S. and world sanctions against Iran, which she claimed only hurt “the poor and middle-class people.”

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