The two men share spiritual values

Nothing’s too good for the Iranian president.

Italian officials keen to spare the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, any possible offence on his visit to Rome covered up nude statues at the city’s Capitoline Museum, where Rouhani met Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister.

Photographs of Monday’s visit show both men standing near a grand equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor. Nude statues in the vicinity were covered by large white panels.

I think the Italian officials misunderstand. It’s not that the Iranian mullahs and government hate statues of naked women, it’s that they hate women – live women, women walking around and breathing, women who could cause trouble for them. The male theocrats aren’t prudes, they just want to control women. Statues are only statues, and besides they’re Italian, and in Italy.

The decision to cover the artwork was seen as a sign of respect for the Iranian president, according to the Italian news agency Ansa. Not everyone agreed.

“Respect for other cultures cannot and must not mean negating our own,” said Luca Squeri, a lawmaker in Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party. “This isn’t respect, it’s cancelling out differences and it’s a kind of surrender.”

In another placatory gesture by Italian officials, alcohol was not served at an official dinner held in Rouhani’s honour, abiding by a standard diplomatic gesture for visiting Muslim dignitaries.

That’s a whole different thing though. It’s not comparable. Alcohol isn’t a person. Alcohol doesn’t have rights that the Iranian regime violates. The hatred of non-muffled women leads to violations of the rights of living breathing walking talking women. That’s a great deal more important then whether or not alcohol is served.

Rouhani’s visit to Europehis first since sanctions were lifted in Iran – was supposed to take place in November but was delayed following the Paris terror attacks. On Tuesday, he had a private meeting with Pope Francis and other top church officials where the two leaders held “cordial” talks, the Vatican said, adding that the two men shared “common spiritual values”.

Of course they do, especially the “value” that women are stupid and inferior and have to be suppressed.

4 Responses to “The two men share spiritual values”