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Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iran’s Culture of Deception Marks its Policies

The Shi'a religious tradition of pretending to be Sunni in order to avoid violent attack, even death, has resulted in a culture of deception which continues today, especially in Iran.
Mahmoud Agmadinejad tells Columbia University students "We don't have homosexuals in Iran," September 24, 2007.

Mahmoud Agmadinejad tells Columbia University students "We don't have homosexuals in Iran," September 24, 2007.
Photo Credit: Daniella Zalcman

[Note: This article was originally entitled The Turbin Burns the head of a liar in reference to a saying originating from a Jewish folk tale, "The hat burns on the head of the thief." The Jewish saying means that a thief is ultimately his own worst accuser.]

Visit Dr. Mordechai Kedar’s blog, Middle East and Terrorism.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


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7 Responses to “Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Iran’s Culture of Deception Marks its Policies”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Not to defend the Iranian regime, but non-Muslim societies engage in deceit as well. For example, during the Vietnam War, a fake commercial airline called Air America was set up to funnel arms to people who were supposed to be on our side. (Mel Gibson later starred in a movie about it.) There are many, many other such examples.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Not to defend the Iranian regime, but non-Muslim societies engage in deceit as well. For example, during the Vietnam War, a fake commercial airline called Air America was set up to funnel arms to people who were supposed to be on our side. (Mel Gibson later starred in a movie about it.) There are many, many other such examples.

  3. A big difference between a clanstine operation and what the Iranians are doing …..suppose you would consider all undercover ops by cia as deciet too!

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    The are by definition deceit!

    And it is a good thing that we have an agency that can carry out those kinds of operations (although Air America may not have been the best example as everyone knew what it was really up to).

    The Iranian regime is pure evil; I'm just not as sure as the Professor is that what he describes is at all unique to Shia Islam.

  5. Undercover is a form of deceit,used by cia,fib,sea, in the muslim world it is used to make treaties it has no intent on keeping,declarationd that it knows to be false act act,any means necessary to expand Islam is acceptable,but Iran takes that to a whole other level…

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    The US has made treaties it never intended to keep, particularly with American Indian nations. :(

  7. Brilliant. As an ex-Iranian, I know so well the culture of deceit, and of the need to lie about most facets of one's life out of politeness/desire to survive/desire to get ahead/just on principle, why give someone the truth when a lie will do? And of course, it's a GIVEN that everyone else and those in power are lying… of course, one cannot generalize, and some individuals are scrupulously honest, but all in all very true, and quite baffling for a western-educated person.

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