December 7, 2005 Special Dispatch No. 1041

Iranian Clerics Invite Fidel Castro to Convert To Islam; Iranian Satirists React

December 7, 2005
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 1041

Following recent reports that Cuban President Fidel Castro had received an invitation from Iranian clerics to convert to Islam, [1] and following a statement by Iranian Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati that "non-Muslims are animals that chew their cud and cause corruption on Earth," [2] two Iranian websites operating outside Iran posted satirical articles.

In his column in, well-known satirist Ibrahim Nabavi wrote about "Mohammad Abd Al-Fidel Converts to Islam" and "On Animals and Muslims." Another article, "The Islamic Republic and Castro's Weenie," by someone identifying himself as Abd Al-Qader Baluch, was posted on

The following are the translations of the articles:

Nabavi: "Mohammad Abd Al-Fidel Converts to Islam"

"Wonder of wonders! Nothing can compare to Islam's influence. According to news from senior Iranian elements, Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, has been invited to accept the religion of Islam. In my opinion, he is one of the best choices for converting people to Islam; indeed, Castro meets the necessary conditions for conversion to Islam for the following reasons:

"First: For years, Castro has not shaved his beard, while many of our brother Hizbullah members who deviated [from the righteous path] shaved their beards after a while. For example, we can point out Saeed Hajjarian, [3] [Ataollah] Mohajerani, [4] and Abbas Abdi. [5]

"Second: For years, Castro has repeated a single mantra, and is not willing to accept that the world has changed. Thus, he is eminently suitable for us.

"Third: In light of the fact that Cuba's main source of income is its prostitutes, Castro can direct and guide these acts of licentiousness after he converts to Islam. He will be able to establish the 'houses of modesty' [brothels established by permission of the Iranian regime] extensively in Cuba.

"Fourth: In light of the fact that Castro has for years prevented freedom of speech in Cuba, it seems that his beliefs have been similar to those of [Iran's] religious conservatives for quite a while. For this reason, everything fits.

"Fifth: In light of the fact that for years Castro has worn an army uniform, it is now clear that he is a born jihad fighter for Allah, and is one of our brothers the Basij.

"Sixth: In light of the fact that Castro has for some time had Parkinson's disease, and apparently will soon be ill with Alzheimer's, he himself can serve as Cuba's Marja' Taqlid ['authority for emulation' for Shi'ites].

"Suggestion: To complete the project of Castro's conversion to Islam, it is hereby suggested that his circumcision festivities be held in the presence of Venezuelan President [Hugo] Chavez and [Iranian President] Ahmadinejad, and that the picture of Castro in a white skirt following the circumcision be published extensively so as to deal a powerful blow to the privates of the 'global arrogance' [i.e. the U.S. and the West]."

Nabavi: "On Animals and Muslims"

"Following the human, Islamic, wise, profound, and thought-provoking declaration by Mr. Jannati regarding the five million human beings, including Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, and Kofi Annan - [namely] that 'non-Muslims are animals that chew their cud and cause corruption on Earth... - the following questions arise:

"First: Are the pope, Jesus, Mary, Moses, and the other prophets of God who were not Muslims also included in this category?

"Second: Are all the great scientists and philosophers of the world animals, or only most of them?

"Third: Aren't people such as Bijeh - the rapist Muslim Brotherhood member who raped and murdered 21 children and youths in the city of Pakdasht [in Iran] - engaging in corruption? And in contrast, is Mother Teresa included with the animals and those who cause corruption?

"Fourth: Isn't there a problem with the fact that [Jannati's] words will be translated this very day and make headlines in Time, Le Monde, and Newsweek, and will cause all the faithful of other religions, and the world's leaders, to speak out against Iran?" [6]

Baluch: "The Islamic Republic and Castro's Weenie"

"The leaders of the [Iranian] regime have invited Castro to accept Islam. In light of recent statements by Ayatollah Jannati, who said that non-Muslims are animals that chew their cud and cause corruption on Earth, it can be assumed that the content of the letter sent to the Cuban leader was as follows:

"Dear Animal! [emphasis in original]

"Honorable Brother Fidel Castro who will be granted a long and honorable life,

"In accordance with our jurisprudent duty, we ask the famous animal to stop chewing his cud on the planet Earth and to accept upon himself the honor of Islam.

"Fortunately, since we have no problem with Your Honor with regard to the beard, your welcome [into Islam] will be smoother than that of the rest of the animals.

"Instead of the cap, army uniform, and boots that you have been wearing for 70 years, it is sufficient that you don the enclosed robe, turban, and clogs.

"Since you will look like the senior ayatollahs, it will be possible for the religious seminaries of Qom to grant you the honorary degree of Ayatollah Fidel Castro. [7]

"Do not worry about your weenie and your circumcision. We will leave that to the reformists in the [Iranian] regime [emphasis in original].

"He [Allah] is the Guide, and you will be Mahdi [the Guided, i.e. the Messiah]." [8]

[1] In a November 23, 2005 report, the Iranian daily Iran cited Castro's statements as reported by the Iranian Farda News: "We sense that we are lacking something similar to religion in society, and we feel the vacuum." See, November 22, 2005.

[2] ISNA, November 20, 2005. The Guardian Council is a high-ranking supervisory body that oversees the Majlis and has the power to reject Majlis legislation on the pretext that it is against Shari'a. Likewise, the council has the authority to reject candidates for Majlis elections, the presidency, and the Assembly of Experts.

[3] Hajjarian is considered to be the theoretician of the Iranian reformist movement and a supporter of former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami.

[4] A deposed culture minister in Khatami's government.

[5] Abbas Abdi was involved, as a student, in the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, and has since become a reformist. In recent years he has been accused by Iranian conservatives of spying for the U.S. after he expressed public support for renewing Iran-U.S. relation.


[7] Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was raised to the rank of Ayatollah by the Qom seminaries in order to enable him to assume his post.

[8] .

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