Friday, March 8, 2013

Semantics is Everything

[He] is alive, as long as justice, love and freedom are living. He is alive, as long as piety, brightness, and humanity are living. He is alive, as long as nations are alive and struggle for consolidating independence, justice and kindness. I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Saviour, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all.

These could be the words of a Christian leader in the wake of Abraham Lincoln's death. In reality, they are the words of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, concerning the recent death of Hugo Chavez.

If nothing else, this paragraph reminds us that wars are often fought over semantics, and that those of us in the West do not have a hegemony on meaning.

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