A pretty brilliant comment. Not much I could add.
M. Ali says:
January 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm
To the western racist, an Iranian, facing certain death & yet facing his enemy in the Iraq War, is considered insane, worshiping death, and desiring suicide. Yet, the same act would be considered heroic in the west. Both historical references & pop culture shows that the west values self-sacrifice greatly, if done by the western individual or group.
Tons of examples can be found in their pop culture. Will Smith, drove his airplane, straight into the alien ship in “Independence Day”, saving the world through his act of sacrifice, a suicide attack. I don’t remember any review of the film claiming that the hero of that film was a dangerous religious fanatic, or that its ending affecting its mainstream appeal.
Even in western political slogans, we see a strong emphasis on self-death. “Give me freedom or give me death”and “it is better to die on one’s feet than live while on your knees”shows that the west also believes that life, just for the sake of being alive, is not worth much.
Therefore, this double standard exists. If a western man, gives his life for the greater good, he is a hero. If the Iranian holds the same belief, he is an Islamist fanatic, martyring himself for 72 virgins (when was the last time, you have heard any Muslim talk about the 72 virgins?), and loving death.
Speaking of double standards, “the hidden imam” is not unique to Islam or Shiaism. The Messiah is supposed to return in almost all religions (even non-Abrahamic ones) at the end of days, and it is one, they all look forward to. Yet it is shown as unique to Iran.