Feature

Grand Ayatollah or Grand Old Party?

Who said it: Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei or U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum?

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

One is a religious fanatic railing against secularism, the role of women in the workplace, and the evils of higher education, as he seeks to impose his draconian moral values upon the state. The other is the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Despite his losses on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the Arizona and Michigan primaries, former Sen. Rick Santorum is plowing ahead with his campaign to be president of the United States. Given that he lost by only 3 percentage points to Mitt Romney in the former governor’s home state, it is safe to say that the GOP contest is far from over.

As we move ahead to Super Tuesday — March 6 — and what could be the deciding factor in this overlong primary season, Santorum still has one last chance to pull off an upset. If that happens, the former senator from Pennsylvania may finally get his chance to bomb Iran, as he has promised to do.

But before that happens, let us pause for a moment and become a bit more familiar with the dramatis personae who, if given the opportunity, may soon plunge the world into holy war.

It’s time to play: Khamenei or Santorum? Who said what?

Can you guess which of the two said the following? No cheating!

1. "We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth." 

Answer 1: Santorum

2. "We believe in democracy and we also believe in freedom, but we do not believe in liberal democracy."

Answer 2: Khamenei

3. "Although the literal meaning of socialism is equitable distribution of wealth, it is associated with other concepts which we hate. Over time, socialism has come to be associated with certain things in society that are unacceptable to us."

Answer 3: Khamenei

4. "The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness."

Answer 4: Santorum

5. "This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war."

Answer 5: Santorum

6. "This is a war between two willpowers: the willpower of the people and the willpower of their enemies."

Answer 6: Khamenei

7. "Go back and read what the sirens did once you arrived on that island.… They devour you. They destroy you. They consume you."

Answer 7: Santorum

8. "The American people’s hatred for Iran is profound." Oh wait, we got that one backward. Sorry. It should read:

8. "The Iranian people’s hatred for America is profound."

Answer 8: Khamenei

So, how did you score?

7-8 correct: Supreme leader

5-6 correct: Religious warrior

3-4 correct: Agnostic

1-2 correct: Radical secularist

0 correct: You make me want to throw up.

Thanks for playing!

Reza Aslan is a writer, commentator, professor, producer, and scholar of religions. His books, which include "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" and "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam," have been translated into dozens of languages around the world. As Aslan told FP for "The Final Word," he believes Islam does not clash with American culture because the two are inextricably linked. And though the American Muslim community may be relatively small, he says, it is incredibly diverse and quickly growing into "one of the most dynamic young religious communities in the United States. A community that is becoming something completely unique."

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