Professor Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community. Clarion Project films have been seen by over 50 million people. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Yes They Can! Hassan Rouhani Music Video: Iran’s answer to Obama Personality-Cult PresidencyPosted: December 1, 2013
An MTV-style video shows Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, riding high after 100 days in office
Colin Freeman, and Naeim Karimi report: With its gentle acoustic guitar and message of tolerance and world peace, the MTV-style video has the feel of a celebrity charity song. But as a succession of young men and women sing in front of the microphones, the presence of a sombre, white-turbaned cleric shows that this is no routine pop production.
Still triumphant from his recent nuclear deal with the West, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, got a new starring role last week – this time in a music video marking his 100th day in office. Given that musical instruments are banned on state television, its depiction of a male guitarist an d female drummer would itself be enough to annoy the Islamic Republic’s hardliners. But the lyrics, too, could not be further from the “Death to America” rhetoric associated with Iran during the last 30 years.
“Let our hearts be cleaned of resentment, let conciliation and friendship substitute animosity,” the song goes. “The road ahead is long and I am a new traveller.” Shot by the team that did Mr Rouhani’s summer election campaign, the video, entitled “New Traveler”, attracted nearly half a millions viewers in its first day online, many of them noting its clear similarities to Barack Obama’s 2008 “Yes We Can” film.
And much though Iran’s hardliners may resent it, right now the comparison seems justified.
For 100 days in, Mr Rouhani is riding high on the same kind of popularity that Mr Obama enjoyed at the start of his first term, with reform-minded Iranians finally hopeful that the country is heading for better times.