Iran’s Khamenei weighs in on Baltimore: ‘Hollywood-style Policing’

Elliot Hill and Mark Sovel | (TheLipTV)

The anchors debate the following speech from last Sunday of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in which he contrasted Iranian policing to the “Hollywood-style policing” of the United States, and slammed the treatment of African-Americans. The anchors discuss the question of whether, while the ayatollah has a point, he has a leg to stand on given that Iran’s human rights record is one of the worst in the world. What do Informed Comment readers think?

Khamenei said (trans. by BBC Monitoring):

“Hollywood-style policing

… the point is that power should not be mistaken with oppression. Strength should not be mistaken with moving forward without any control. In some countries, for example in America, the police are very powerful. They display muscular people in front of the cameras in the name of the police. Yes, they are strong, but they also kill innocent people.

They fire 15-16 shots and kill someone because they just wanted to use a weapon. This authority is not acceptable. This authority is accompanied with oppression. This authority will not bring about security. It spreads insecurity.

In the USA, after the incident, police officers go to trial and the court acquits them.

Moral values

We can hear this kind of stories in the world, which is empty of moral values. You can see this, for example, in America, where the president is black, and what is interesting is that they commit such actions against black men. Such things have been done.

They celebrate the end of slavery, which is discussable, set by a president [Abraham Lincoln]. Some scholars say this is not the reality of history. The issue was not an end to the slavery. It was war between north and south in America which lasted for years. On the one hand it was the issue of feudalism and agriculture and on the other hand industry. It [emancipation] was not really because of humanitarian feelings.

Compassionate policing

They [Americans] celebrate it, but the black are oppressed, ignored and humiliated. This kind of police authority is not favourable for Islam or us. We do not accept to give a Hollywood aspect to what our police do. We want the work done in its real sense and meaning: decisiveness, authority, meanwhile just, gentle and compassionate.

Compassionate! Sometimes it is needed to be compassionate. This is the symbol of Islam that the holy nature of God is on the one hand compassionate and merciful and on the other hand it has painful doom. I mean that these two are paid attention together. This must be distributed in the bottom of the pyramid. That is in our lives, behaviour and what we do including police work in which it must exist.”

TheLipTV: “Iran Slams US Racism Against Blacks”

7 Responses

  1. Reminds me of how the plight of African Americans was instrumentalized by the Eastern Bloc leaders in their propaganda.

  2. Khamenei the compassionate? After the protest of the so called green movement was gunned down that is slightly hypocritical…

    • I could not agree more. WhIle it seems that the Iranian leadership are rational actors on the world stage, they are repressive rational actors.

  3. Where’s the statistics and how many security men in Iran get convicted for wrong-doing, when there’s been cases against them, only to end up blaming the victim or making up the death as an ‘accident’, or for committing brutality during the elections protesters and then go into propaganda and intimidation mode against the deceased or their families?

    The moral values in censorship, suppression of the general public or abuses against minorities like the Bahai? Must be Iranian movie style policing.

  4. I don’t believe it can easily be ignored by just naming “Green Revolution”. What has been happening to blacks over the years and continues is deplorable. They live in fear, not admitted to colleges and unemployment. US has interfered in Iran enough by putting the Reza Shah before.
    I personally believe that any one can make feel ashamed the way blacks go through the justice system in US.

    • Of course it is right to criticise the the US police and justice system. But one suspects Khamenei does it only to distract from the human rights abuses of his own regime.

      Western politicians on the other hand remain mute on abuses in the US and scream holy murder about what is going on in countries they don’t like.

      That leads to the sad conclusion that politicians are nothing but a bunch of lousy hypocrites, regardless wether they are wearing suits and neckties or robes and turbans.

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