Mike Talks With Andrew Bieszad On Iran
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Let’s talk to Andrew Bieszad, who is an Islamic scholar and a frequent guest on this show. He knows more about Iran, the history of Iran and the people that populate it now. Of course, always welcome back, Andrew.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s talk to Andrew Bieszad, who is an Islamic scholar and a frequent guest on this show. He knows more about Iran, the history of Iran and the people that populate it now. Of course, always welcome back, Andrew. Say hello to David Simpson, my friend.
Andrew Bieszad: David, pleased to meet you.
David Simpson: Hello.
Bieszad: Mike, good to hear from you again.
Mike: Always good to hear from you. A little perspective on the people of Persia and a little bit of history – do you think all 80 million Persians wish to be evaporated in a nuclear firestorm?
Bieszad: Of course, CNN told me so.
Simpson: Let’s just turn the radio off then because we got the answer.
Bieszad: I’m more than happy to go into Iran’s history and talking about them. Hopefully I can clear up some of this nonsense, this true American myth we have about Iran being, to quote former President Bush, being part of this “axis of evil,” and getting some real perspective on this issue. Iran is really old. When I say really old, I mean really old. They have a civilizational history that goes back to about 9,000 BC that we know directly from records, I mean a lot of history. We can see written reliefs and read about them going back that far. This is not like America. America is, at best, what, 400 years old? I’m including the period we are as a country but also when we had the Anglo-Saxon settlers that came here. Iran’s history goes back a lot further and the people understand this.
Iran’s conversion to Islam did not happen until approximately the year 639. This is about seven years after the early Islamic expansion. Basically Iran got into a fight with the Muslim armies and lost. A bit of background, important information about this. Iran never liked the Arabs. There has always been a hatred between the Iranians and the peoples of Arabia. They’re very worried for weirdo [speaking Arabic], he’s a weirdo or he’s a stranger. That literally also means “He is a Persian.”
Mike: I didn’t know that.
Bieszad: Oh, yes. The Persians feel that the Arabs are barbarians. They feel the Arabs are uncultured, they are shiftless, they have no religion, they have no sense of identify and culture. They just live in the desert and fight and kill each other and sacrifice their children, which, for much of Arabian history, is quite accurate.
Simpson: Andrew, does that persist today? Is there still some of this divide that goes on?
Bieszad: That’s what I’m getting to. It’s attitude. In spite of the fact that the Persians were converted to Islam at the sword and that they are very much practicing Muslims, they’ve always, one, resented that conversion because it came at the hands of the Arabs, and they still feel themselves as better than the Arab peoples. You can compare it similar to the animus that Germany and some of the Nordic countries have for some of the Slavic people of Eastern Europe, or what Japan has for some of the Korean and Chinese peoples. They don’t like them. They don’t like each other. They haven’t for 2,000 years.
Whenever you talk about these people, whenever you pick a side with one, you’re taking a side against the other. The Middle East is tribal. It doesn’t matter how modern or how advanced the countries are, if you pick one, you’re going against the other. How does the saying go: Brother against brother, family against family, and everyone else against the foreigner. As foreigners going in, we’re putting ourselves in a bad situation here.
Simpson: Are Americans foreigners over there?
Mike: No, no, we’re loved the world over.
Bieszad: We’re just here to bring liberty, freedom, and democracy, and if you don’t like it, we’re going to shoot you and take your oil. There you go.
Mike: It’s a great policy.
Bieszad: Iran is very interesting with that, though. Iran is very interesting because Iran was originally Sunni Muslim. People don’t know this for the most part. They were Sunnis for most of their history of being Muslim. The change happened in the year 1501. Their current leader of Iran was Shah Ismail I. He took power. At that time he received a delegation of Muslim missionaries from southern Lebanon, Shia Muslim missionaries. Most people don’t know southern Syria and southern Lebanon were bastions of Shia Islam for a very long time and still are. Bashir al-Assad, the last president of Syria, he’s part of a sect called the Alawites. They’re an offshoot of Shia Islam, which constitutes 20 percent of the population. Twenty percent more of Syria’s population right now is orthodox Shia. There are other smaller Shia sects, such as the Ismailis or the Druze. These missionaries came to the shah. They talked to him about Shia Islam and he thought it was great and he converted. He forced the entire country to convert to Shia Islam. Anybody who was Sunni had to either convert or was put in prison or killed, particularly among the elite. Among the common man it was not so.
I also should mention that many of your great Muslim scholars came out of Persia. For instance, I talk about Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Muslim was from Nishapur, Persia. Bukhari was from Uzbekistan. However, Uzbekistan was always under Persian influence, and continues to be. These people are Muslim but they associate with the Persian culture. Many of your other great minds – the most orthodox mind of Sunni Islam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, he was from [unintelligible]. Many of the great minds Sunni Islam has are actually Persian in origin. They’re not from Saudi Arabia or these other countries.
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And these others may be coming from Syria or some of the other nations that have had a close relation with Persia, not all of them but many of them have. And Persia knows this. They know they’re smart. They know they wrote a lot of these books. They’re proud of it. They look at the Arabs still and say: You dumb Arabs are still pounding sand down there.
Mike: Andrew Bieszad, author of Lions of the Faith, did I hear you right? Are there some Christians in Iran?
Bieszad: Actually, there are quite a bit. Many of these Christians, I should say, are of Armenian stock. Contrary to what a lot of people – you see, Armenia was part of the Soviet Union, but, historically speaking, Armenia and Georgia constitutes this kind of odd wave that originally began in central / eastern Anatolia, what is today Turkey. I t kind of curved up from the Caucasus and went down into Persia a little bit. You have about five, maybe ten percent are Armenian Christians. That number has decreased, but these people are Armenian Orthodox or Armenian Catholics.
Mike: So they’re due to get their share of American exceptionalism, too. That’s going to make us really great Christians after we gas or incinerate or invade and maim and kill and blow up and do every other hell forsaken thing to the Christian populations of Iran. Of course, they’ll say: We didn’t know that before we went in. The same thing we did to the Christian populations of Iraq, which were just genocided out by ISIS and the other marauders. It’s always a point of interest to me that it’s the madmen that we’re supposed to go take out that are the threat to the world that are actually keeping the real madmen, the Islamic madmen from actually doing what Islamic madmen do, which is jihad against Christian populations and enslaving them. It’s what Gaddafi was doing. They’ve kind of been doing that with the Coptics in Egypt. Saddam was certainly doing it with the Catholic and other Christians in Iraq. Assad is still doing it with the Catholic and Christian populations in Syria. Just notice all the places we have to go in and fix are places that do have Christian populations. But it’s only after the fact that we go: Oh, yeah, well, we didn’t mean to kill them, but we’re pro-life.
End Mike Church Show Transcript