"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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The Duel in Islam

From Amir Taheri.

Amir Taheri highlights the different ruling models in Iran and Turkey, whom he points have historically steered Islam for centuries and are beginning to do so again.

FOR centuries, Iran and the Ottoman Empire, of which modern Turkey and Egypt were parts, fought for influence in the Muslim world. That changed when Turkish westernizers under Kemal Ataturk and their Iranian counterparts under Reza Shah Pahlavi decided that religion was the cause of their nations' decline.

Ataturk adopted the legend that the Turks descended from the Celts while Reza Shah promoted the idea of Iran as an "Aryan nation."

Amir Taheri points to four major differences in how Iran and Turkey run their countries: provenance, dethod of gaining power, record in power, and road map for the future. The contrasts are quite clear. He notes that several other nations have began to adopt the Turkish model and in fact use the words, Justice and Development Party (AKP), in their names in several instances. He also notes a new party has emerged in Iran,

Last month, the AKP also found an Iranian imitator - the newly formed Justice and Development Party of Iran (Etedal va To'seeh), which unites elements disillusioned with Khomeinism. The new party has yet to make its position clear on the key issue of walayat faqih, but the outline of its program for next March's general election is an almost verbatim translation of the election manifesto of Turkey's AKP.

Recently, the new party received a wink and a nod from Hashemi Rafsanjani, the businessman-cum-mullah who's emerging as a challenger to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's radical faction.

Amir Taheri end with a significant note.

Whether or not that is the case, what matters is that no one in Turkey is trying to imitate the Iranian model.

I would also note Musharraf in Pakistan is trying to implement Turkey's model; however, it is one country not using the term AKP in its party. In addition, it has both models vying for dominance in the country. The 18th of February will help determine which model succeeds in Pakistan and determine its fate for some time to come.

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