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View count:711,744
Likes:17,844
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Comments:4,361
Duration:03:17
Uploaded:2009-07-12
Last sync:2019-06-13 16:20
Shawn's new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kJEGvY6_QY (Subscribe to his channel!)

In which John discusses the continuing protests in Iran against the rigged election there, why it matters for all of us, and some commenters' consistent failure to understand that Islam (like any religion) is not a monolith.


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John: Good morning Hank, it's Sunday, July something. Hank by now I think we have established that nerdfighters should not treat the vlogbrothers as a calendar. Today we are going to talk about Iran and monolithic enemies but first let’s talk about what Shawn is up to in Bangladesh.

So Hank new nerdfighters may not know this but we have a guy in Bangladesh, named Shawn who is pwning poverty for us. Well, not just for us also with us because he uses our money to help pwn the poverty. Shawn has an amazing new video about what he is doing in Bangladesh these days. Check it out in the sidebar, God I hope it’s over this way.*Sings* I don’t have any spatial intelligence. I always point in the wrong direction.

So, Hank since I made a video about the rigged presidential elections in Iran a few weeks ago, I have been reading a lot of amazingly stupid YouTube comments. Hank, I know a lot of people would think it is redundant to say "amazingly stupid YouTube comments," and that I just could have shortened it to "YouTube comments." But the fact is that nerdfighter comments on YouTube are generally so thoughtful and respectfully that I am always kind of shocked when the non-nerdfighters show up and they’re all giant squids of angry, like (imitating a squid) blah blab blab blab blab blab. So Hank just to clear things up I want to answer a few questions and I apologize in advance if I start ranting. One…

Commenter: Why do you care about Iran, Iran is Iran’s problem, why don’t you care about America?

John: Okay, caring about America and caring about Iran are not mutually exclusive. It’s not like Iran is pirates and America is Ninjas and we all have to pick sides between them. (Ninjas). It is true that Iranians have to solve Iran’s problems in the same way that Americans have to solve America’s problems. But it is amazingly stupid to pretend that America and Iran don’t have anything to do with one another. I mean we share a frickin planet. I like the planet. In terms of places I might live this planet is like my second favorite after Mars and I would totally go live on Mars and stop worrying about America and Iran but unfortunately I am no good at terraforming. Nerd jokes, nerd jokes, nerd jokes. Number two…

Commenter: Don’t you know it doesn’t matter who the president of Iran is because no matter who is president the same Grand Ayatollah will still be the supreme leader?

John: Yes, I do understand that but it still matters who the president of Iran is. First off, it matters to the Iranian people because Ahmadinejad has single handedly ruined the Iranian economy and has let loose these horrifying morality police. Second off, it matters to the world because before Ahmadinejad was president they had a less crazy president and things were better between Iran and the rest of the world. Third… (2:15)

Commenter: What does it matter? They are all Muslims who want to destroy America.

John: Grrrrrr… Ok, you question presupposes that Islam is a single monolithic thing, which is just not factual. No religious tradition is ever only one thing. All religious traditions are massively diverse, like I am a Christian but theologically I probably have more in common with some liberal Muslims than I do with some conservative Christians. Religion is not just a set of practices or a singular monolithic belief system. Religion is a response to revelation and different people respond to revelation differently. We cannot continue to assume that each religion represents only one set of ideas!

The protesters are inspired by Islam, those who fight the protesters are inspired by Islam, the work we are doing in Bangladesh is inspired by Islam and the corrupt government of Bangladesh is inspired by Islam, it is not just one thing. With every revelation some people respond by making the world better and some respond by making it worse, which is true of religious revelations and secular ones alike. The revelation is not the problem…we are. Hank, you’ll see me on Tuesday.