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The Iranian Answer To “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”

Iran, as we all know, is a theocracy. That means Islamic law and thus Islamic clerics, have great influence. One of the clerics which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regularly consults, has recently laid out the Iranian version of “enhanced interrogation techniques”. It is rather revealing, both about the mentality of those that we’re fighting (and make no mistake, we’re engaged in a war with Iran, even if only through surrogates) and the religion they claim.

It appears, at least in the version of Shi’a Islam this cleric claims, that the use of rape, torture and drugs are perfectly permissible for use against enemies of that state – after ritual washing and proper prayers, of course.

“Can an interrogator rape the prisoner in order to obtain a confession?” was the follow-up question posed to the Islamic cleric.

Mesbah-Yazdi answered: “The necessary precaution is for the interrogator to perform a ritual washing first and say prayers while raping the prisoner. If the prisoner is female, it is permissible to rape through the vagina or anus. It is better not to have a witness present. If it is a male prisoner, then it’s acceptable for someone else to watch while the rape is committed.”

Lovely – religiously sanctioned rape and sodomy. And, of course in the case of Iran, that means state sanctioned rape.

These questions were apparently raised after allegations of rape surfaced in connection with election protesters the regime had jailed. Oh, and you’ll love this little disclaimer:

This reply, and reports of the rape of teen male prisoners in Iranian jails, may have prompted the following question: “Is the rape of men and young boys considered sodomy?”

Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi: “No, because it is not consensual. Of course, if the prisoner is aroused and enjoys the rape, then caution must be taken not to repeat the rape.”

Because we certainly wouldn’t want anyone enjoying it – no word about what they’re supposed to do if the rapist enjoys it. Rinse and repeat, I suppose.

As for women?

A related issue, in the eyes of the questioners, was the rape of virgin female prisoners. In this instance, Mesbah-Yazdi went beyond the permissibility issue and described the Allah-sanctioned rewards accorded the rapist-in-the-name-of-Islam:

“If the judgment for the [female] prisoner is execution, then rape before execution brings the interrogator a spiritual reward equivalent to making the mandated Haj pilgrimage [to Mecca], but if there is no execution decreed, then the reward would be equivalent to making a pilgrimage to [the Shi’ite holy city of] Karbala.”

What a job description – a “rapist-in-the-name-of-Islam” who, while committing what any other civilized country would consider a heinous crime punishable by life behind bars is promised “Allah sanctioned” pilgrimage equivalents, depending on the status of his helpless prisoner. Always a nice bonus to get your Haj credits while performing such a valuable service for the state.

As we rip ourselves apart debating the cruelty of blowing second-hand cigar smoke in the face of a detainee caught trying to kill Americans, consider what our adversaries gladly reveal about their own moral code. That’s not to condone or rationalize torture by our side. It is instead to provide a reality check for those who need it.

Iranians love to tell the world how they are one of the world’s oldest civilizations and will expound at length about the contributions their civilization has made to the rest of the world. While it’s true that Persia has indeed make a number of outstanding contributions over the centuries, modern Iran is a religiously warped and perverted state which apparently regularly churns out religious leaders such as this whack job. The problem is he’s not hidden away in some mental hospital jibbering only to some health care professional who shakes his head in amazement before quietly closing the door of his cell and leaving him there alone until the next session.

Instead he’s an adviser to the President of the country and what he says is being acted upon throughout the prisons and jails of Iran. What a miserable, awful place. It is hard to imagine living in a country in which religious leaders not only condone but encourage and incentivize the behavior you read about above, isn’t it?

For you lovers of the state, this is a cautionary tale – anything can be made legal, as demonstrated above. And, as a wise man once said, “the state is coercion”. The combination, unfortunately, can, and does, bring exactly what Iran now suffers.



10 Responses to The Iranian Answer To “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques”

  • But we’re monsters for using cold rooms, loud music, and dunking the mofo’s in water…

    We. Are. Doomed.

  • Why didn’t we stamp out these… THINGS… when we had the chance???

    Thanks, Jimmuh!

  • Ask any progressive, we shouldn’t be using our moral standards to judge their society. Nope nope nope. It’s really all the same, don’t you see? We lock people up, sometimes they get raped by other inmates! They lock people up and are raped as part of an institutional method for gathering information. It’s the SAME, don’t you see? All the same.

    We condemn inmate rape, and they, uh, encourage it, it’s, uh, all the same.

  • I recall that there was some indignation when President Bush labeled Iran as “evil.”

    I guess they’re just misunderstood.

  • From the article: “The following text is from a transcript alleged by Iranian dissidents to be a series of questions and answers exchanged between the ayatollah and some of his supporters. ”

    It’s from a transcript that Iranian dissidents claim is an interview. That’s nowhere near a quality source. Claiming the cleric said these things, when all we have is a document that the unknown and unidentified dissidents allege to be his words, is a bit more than a stretch…

    I’m normally with you, and Iran is pretty evil, but you’re reaching here.

    • The fact that dissidents exposed these views mean either 2 things:

      1. These are false reports designed to stir up hatred for the Iranian regime.

      2. These are true reports designed to stir up hatred for the Iranian regime.

      If 2 is true, then at least it means that there exists Iranians who do NOT approve of prisoner rape.

  • This reminds me: I remember discussing the fall of the Native American empires with my dad one time. I was talking about how tragic it was that a culture was all but snuffed out, and he surprised me with the statement that “There are some traditions that might be better left extinct.” He cited human sacrifices as an example.

    At the time, I didn’t believe him- I thought that as time passes, a culture evolves, especially when it’s in contact with other cultures, and eventually it can purge itself of its worse parts. And then I see this… “Non-consentual rape isn’t sodomy. Rape is an acceptable interrogation technique. If raping a girl, do it without witnesses; if raping a boy, he can call up a spectator.”

    I don’t know what to believe in anything internationally, anymore.

  • This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 9/3/2009, at The Unreligious Right