Cleric contradicts Khatami

A top Iranian conservative cleric has called on Muslims not to embrace Western democracy, just a day after reformist President Muhammad Khatami gave it an unusually frank endorsement.

    'Curse and death to America' urges Iran top cleric

    "They are lying. Do not be fooled by them. Leave democracy alone," Ayat Allah Ahmad Jannati, who heads the powerful Guardians Council legislative vetting body, said in a Friday prayer sermon. 

    "Islam calls for justice, and this is what we understand," he added, before citing Muslim Algeria as an example of the failure of democracy. 

    "So do not forget: curse and death to America, since they do not believe in any thing except their own interests," said the cleric, who also sits on the Expediency Council, another powerful conservative-run oversight body. 

    Khatami's comments

    Jannati's comments came just a day after Khatami, a reformist cleric, made an address to a seminar on religious tolerance in
    Geneva. 

    "I think democracy is the only alternative. We can take it as Muslims," Khatami said. "We must accept this has been materialised in the West, we must accept this as Muslims." 

    The embattled president, who has seen his reform agenda blocked by some conservative institutions like the Guardians and Expediency Councils, warned the alternative to democracy was authoritarian and despotic rule.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.