On Saturday, I received the following email from a reader of this weblog:
“I am writing regarding the Flashtrafficblog: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made yet another inflammatory speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. He began his remarks by praying, ‘O God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his righteousness.’ I have been trying to verify this Article you sent me, and I have only found that Ahmadinejad did indeed speak at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday September 23, 2010, but that this prayer ‘O God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his righteousness’ was ACTUALLY done before the Columbia University on September 24, 2007. Ahmadinejad did cause a stink at this U.N. General Assembly this Thursday, BUT IT WAS NOT DUE TO THE PRAYER that Flashtrafficblog claims he prayed before the meeting. I’m not sure why this seems like a case of you and/or your staff putting two separate Articles together to give your blog more weight and make it seem more scary than it already is?! But this seems like the case to me! It may even border being FRAUD!”
That evening, I sent the reader the following response:
Dear [Name withheld] —
Thank you very much for your note. I appreciate your concerns, but please allow me to allay them.
It is true that most media outlets (including CNN, which you cited) did not report President Ahmadinejad’s opening prayer. However, during his September 23, 2010 address to the U.N. General Assembly, the Iranian President did, in fact pray these words as I reported them. You can read the full transcript in the first and second links below. You can also watch and listen to Mr. Ahmadinejad pray this prayer on the third link below. The reason for your confusion may be, in part, because Mr. Ahmadinejad prayed essentially the same prayer at Columbia University on September 24, 2007.
- Transcript of the Sept 23, 2010 speech — http://www.scribd.com/doc/38037667/Mahmoud-Ahmadinejad-United-Nations-General-Assembly-FULL-Transcript
- Transcript of the September 23, 2010 speech from the Iranian President’s own official website – http://www.president.ir/en/?ArtID=24129
- Video of the Sept 23, 2010 speech – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IKUsbHfRew
I hope this is helpful. May the Lord bless you as you seek the truth.
Later, I received her reply: