‘Moderate’ Iranian President Rouhani uses racist phrase at UN

‘Moderate’ Iranian President Rouhani uses racist phrase at UN

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s attempt to blame western states for the rise of radical Islam in his speech to the UN General Assembly nearly backfired awkwardly when he used a racist Farsi expression – but was saved by a quick-thinking translator.

During the speech on Friday, Rouhani claimed that “certain Intelligence agencies have put the blade in the hand of the drunken Zangi” – a phrase referring to irresponsible and dangerous jihadi groups, which was translated simply as “madmen” by the translator.

But according to Iranian opposition blog azarmehr, the word “Zangi” is actually a derogatory term for black slaves from Zanzibar in Farsi.

His use of the term was apparently based on a line from a poem by ancient Persian Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi: “It is better to put a sword in the hand of an intoxicated negro than ‘that knowledge’ should fall to a worthless fool.”

His use of the term was apparently based on a line from a poem by ancient Persian Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi: “It is better to put a sword in the hand of an intoxicated negro than ‘that knowledge’ should fall to a worthless fool.”

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