Bill Maher on CNN Live with Larry King on the difference between Iranians and Arabs!

Jan 31, 2004
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#1
Bill Maher - the well known former showbiz controversial political talk show host was on Larry King live last night.

His views are generally democratic and anti-bush when it comes to foreign policy. He is also anti-establishment and passionately hates religion, but on many issues such as national security and other domestic and social policies he could be considered a far right conservative!
Generally He tries to be a straight shooter with no attached political line.

Anyways, last night the issue of Iran came up and he tried to explain in a simplified manner how profoundly different Iran and Iranians are as a whole than Arabs, socially, politically, racially and historically.

He mentioned that Iran will be a whole different ball game for US than any Arab country and how much more bigger, stronger and culturally sophisticated Iranians are than their Arab counterparts!

He also mentioned how he first came to realize this when his girlfriend attended an elite boarding school in Switzerland in the late 70s, and while hanging out and observing the very many wealthy middle easterners who attended the same school.
He said while the very many Arab students literally looked and talked like people out of a civilization from the middle ages only accompanied with big suitcases of money, Iranian students looked strong, handsome and way more progressive in their thinking.
He jokingly said they were pretty much kids out of 50s and 60s, "perhaps 10-20 years behind our own students as opposed to Arabs who felt like they are 600 years behind" !!

And then out of nowhere he said: "look, they are just different, they are indo_Aryans..." and then he didn't want to elaborate further on it.

All in all I liked the simple and interesting way he put his opinion and perhaps these true facts with regards to the difference between Iranians and Arabs together, although I could have made out without the word "indo-". But hey I'm happy with just about any compliment and recognition these days.

Fortunately he doesn't know that our arabization has been under way for 26 years now.

by the way, Islamists and the little communist student community shouldn't take offense to this.
 
Oct 18, 2002
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704 Houser
#2
If his opinion of Iranians is predicated on the basis of his girlfriend's observations of a bunch of affluent upper-class Iranians who had the luxury of attending a boarding school in Switzerland, then the poor guy is profoundly mistaken. The core of Iranian society at that time was deeply religious, uneducated and pathetically poor and still is. He is just another man out of touch with the reality of situation in Iran. Like it or not, Iranians function more like the arab culture than any modern western society except maybe in some Northern neighborhoods of Tehran and a few other select places in bigger cities. The rest of Iran is just as backward as any other "stuck in middleages" countries.
 
Jan 31, 2004
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#3
Well this response was expected. First of, his 'Initial' observations apparently came from the months he personally spend in Europe and at that school, attended predominantly by 'middle eastern' students.

One usually notices such social traits first through personal experiences and observations. Exactly the same way you managed to label almost all Iranians and their 'core' as backwards as Arabs !. I'm sure you didn't read a book on this, nor did you conduct an extensive study on the level of backwardness of Iranians, you came to this conclusion most likely through your own personal experiences, observations and the sentiments of those people surrounding you.

You may have noticed severe backwardness in smaller Iranian cities through your experiences, but then I may have observed a much more advanced village or town in the Kurdish area for example which looked and sounded a lot more progressive.
So he is allowed to have his opinion on this issue based on his experiences just like you do.

Second, to make sure this exact point is also somehow addressed, he chose this specific personal experience as a more fair point of judgment in that it represented similar groups from the two different societies. Obviously he made it clear that the school was attended by both elites of the Iranian society and that of Arab societies.

In other words, in general he felt that the Arab students were filthy rich, yet extremely backwards in their thinking towards the world and its ideas, where as the filthy rich Iranian students displayed a much more fresh and intelligent view of the world.

Would this experience alone be enough to make judgment on 2 societies on broad basis? - probably not. Are a large segment of Iranian society 'Gavs' and 'Gossfands' ? Hell Yeah - I agree with you here!

But based on our own personal experiences, of that of our friends and family and most importantly based on historical references we are ok to make a fairly acceptable judgment on the two civilizations.

I personaly think that there were a fairly good sample, test and control groups at his disposal for this - his personal observation.
 
Jan 21, 2005
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#4
Farsi Zaban said:
If his opinion of Iranians is predicated on the basis of his girlfriend's observations of a bunch of affluent upper-class Iranians who had the luxury of attending a boarding school in Switzerland, then the poor guy is profoundly mistaken. The core of Iranian society at that time was deeply religious, uneducated and pathetically poor and still is. He is just another man out of touch with the reality of situation in Iran. Like it or not, Iranians function more like the arab culture than any modern western society except maybe in some Northern neighborhoods of Tehran and a few other select places in bigger cities. The rest of Iran is just as backward as any other "stuck in middleages" countries.
What is your definition of "backwards"? North Tehran maybe full of wealthy people, but this does'nt indicate much about how educated they are. We have many top students in local Universities and abroad. I have met many and I have'nt notices any correlation between wealth and their level of inteligence! actually probably if there was some correlation it was that many smart ones were from poorer families. Where our scientist come from? Where our Philosophers come from? not necessary North Tehran !!
 

Bong

National Team Player
Oct 18, 2002
5,476
8
#7
Well, in the 1980s U.S. was pro-Arab anti Iran. The Bush people still are...but i suspect that eventually if our damn government doesnt screw up, we can have a rapproachment with America at the disadvantage of our Arab neighbours. Our foreign policy has to be nimble and steady like the chinese...they were getting so much shit from America in the 1950s and 1960s. But eventually America came around to be better friends with them than the Soviets. I think any smart Iranian leader will have to drive a wedge between the arabs and americans...thats the biggest national security nightmare we are going to have to deal with. Of course if we are really smart, we will be able to deal with bpoth sides...but encourage them to have problems with one another...
 

ball_hugger

Bench Warmer
Feb 11, 2005
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#8
Iranians have a ton more in common with arabs than they do with any western country, thats just a fact and stop talking about race and iranians beign of aryan and/or indo aryan and balah blah balony, firnst of all you are only embarrasing yourself when you talk like that because it makes it look like you are ashamed of what you are and second of all a group of tribes moved from eastern europe to iran 3000 years ago put two and two together and you will know there is nothing left of those people race/traits. just be happy of what you are and dont think about this stuff too much its seriously bad for your health,

ps to all iranians that think they are being slick by saying they are persian rather than Iranian,, I know quite alot of americans that know there is no difference but say nothing but in private they have told me its very pethatic
 
Oct 18, 2002
6,139
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Los Angeles, CA USA
#9
ball_hugger said:
Iranians have a ton more in common with arabs than they do with any western country, thats just a fact and stop talking about race and iranians beign of aryan and/or indo aryan and balah blah balony, firnst of all you are only embarrasing yourself when you talk like that because it makes it look like you are ashamed of what you are and second of all a group of tribes moved from eastern europe to iran 3000 years ago put two and two together and you will know there is nothing left of those people race/traits. just be happy of what you are and dont think about this stuff too much its seriously bad for your health,

ps to all iranians that think they are being slick by saying they are persian rather than Iranian,, I know quite alot of americans that know there is no difference but say nothing but in private they have told me its very pethatic
Hahaha... here come the a(pes)rabs....
 
Oct 18, 2002
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Jeebusville
#10
I found the transcript:

...But Iran, that's a different story. That's a big country. I know a lot of Iranian people. They're not Iraqis. They're not backwater people. I taught school in Switzerland in 1978.

KING: What?

MAHER: Yes. I was -- this is a good Valentine's Day story. When I was at Cornell finishing up my studies, I was in love my senior year. And my girlfriend at the time went to Switzerland over the summer. She was a linguistics major and she taught school at College De La Main (ph), where you taught foreigners, rich foreigners by the way, who came in and she taught the summer session. And I followed her there. She got me a job, and at that time, this was 1978, the kids who could afford this school were mostly from the Middle East. This was oil money. And the Saudi Arabian kids, they would come with a suitcase full of $100 bills. They would go home on the weekend and then come back literally with rolls of $100 bills. They would go shopping, they would buy shirts and suits, they would wear them once and throw them away. They were straight out of the Middle Ages. The boys would hold hands, teenage boys. We'd take them to the park. There would be a boy with another boy's head in his lap. Things that would look a little askance.

But the Iranian kids, they were not out of the Middle Ages. They were out of the 50s. They were only 20 years behind. They were tough with the leather jackets and the hair. I'm telling you, they were 20 years behind.

KING: Won't be easy?

MAHER: I'm just saying that that is an Indo-Aryan culture. That is not a kind of country you could kick over. By the way, they are ripe to join the modern world. Most of their people want to. They are truly oppressed by their mullahs and I think they'll be able to undo that on their own.
 

Bong

National Team Player
Oct 18, 2002
5,476
8
#13
well human beings are human beings....but there is no doubt that there is truth to the statement that the arabs are at the current point in history are weak intellectually and culturally. Thats not because they are inherently stupidier...but simply because they have only come out of their tents in the desert (in the case of the saudis and qataris, etc.) or that they have attained nationhood only in the twentieth century after the demise of the ottoman empire in the case of the more cultured arab nations.
 
Oct 1, 2004
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#14
Interesting to read, considering once I remember on his show "Politically Incorrect" he was saying Iraq was right to attack Iran, and was practically prasing Saddam.
 

Niloufar

Football Legend
Oct 19, 2002
29,626
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#15
Fatso said:
Interesting to read, considering once I remember on his show "Politically Incorrect" he was saying Iraq was right to attack Iran, and was practically prasing Saddam.
oh yeah?really?!I missed that show then.

Overall, good points by Maher. he is quite right. although he cant be precise on difference bn Iranians and Arabs but his has right opinion about Iranians being totally different than Arabs and therefore a mistake to attack them,or the fact that Iranians do welcome becoming modernized,..
 
Jan 21, 2005
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#16
ball_hugger said:
Iranians have a ton more in common with arabs than they do with any western country, thats just a fact and stop talking about race and iranians beign of aryan and/or indo aryan and balah blah balony, firnst of all you are only embarrasing yourself when you talk like that because it makes it look like you are ashamed of what you are and second of all a group of tribes moved from eastern europe to iran 3000 years ago put two and two together and you will know there is nothing left of those people race/traits. just be happy of what you are and dont think about this stuff too much its seriously bad for your health,

ps to all iranians that think they are being slick by saying they are persian rather than Iranian,, I know quite alot of americans that know there is no difference but say nothing but in private they have told me its very pethatic
I also agree most Iranians have more in common with Arabic culture than western culture. Saying "Iranians" should mean people of Iran in general. Ofcourse there are some Iranians who like to live more western, but this is not common.

Also I think telling forigners that we are Persian instead of Iranian, shows some low self steam. Always keep your head high and say I am Iranian, what about those Iranians who are not Persian? would they be any less than us?
 
Oct 18, 2002
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Los Angeles, CA USA
#17
ankaboot said:
I also agree most Iranians have more in common with Arabic culture than western culture. Saying "Iranians" should mean people of Iran in general. Ofcourse there are some Iranians who like to live more western, but this is not common.

Also I think telling forigners that we are Persian instead of Iranian, shows some low self steam. Always keep your head high and say I am Iranian, what about those Iranians who are not Persian? would they be any less than us?
I say Iranian... But I think some say Persian just so people understand that we arent arab... I know thats the last thing I want people to mistake me as....
 
Oct 1, 2004
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#18
AliDaeiClone said:
I say Iranian... But I think some say Persian just so people understand that we arent arab... I know thats the last thing I want people to mistake me as....
Getting mistaken for Indian would be worse in my opinion.
 
Dec 12, 2002
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usa
#19
I like Bill Mahr ,he is a real intelligent and funny individuale ,I pretty much agree with most his views ,
but the one I liked it the best was his remark about Bill Clinton in his HBO show ,he described Clinton as the biggest scumbag on earth ,but sametime because of his charm one can not resist Fuc..ing him .
 
Oct 18, 2002
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#20
[His views are generally democratic and anti-bush when it comes to foreign policy. He is also anti-establishment and passionately hates religion, but on many issues such as national security and other domestic and social policies he could be considered a far right conservative!]

There is a name for Bill Maher's type of political approach. It is called "Libertarian".

[from a proud libertarian ;) ]