When in Rome, do as the Iranians do?

Unbelievable. This photoshopped image of Rouhani meeting with Pope Francis would have been awesome if it or the sentiment behind it were real. Now it would be one thing if Iranians deferred to non-Muslim sentiments when hosting non-Muslims. If they changed their dining practices or served wine while Italians visited. Or even if they suspended public executions of political prisoners, lifted the death penalty for juveniles, temporarily halted the “prevalent” child marriages or abuse of minorities. Or heck, even if they didn’t demand, say, female U.S. sailors they’d arrested to wear head coverings.

But, in fact, when Europeans visit Iran, they defer completely to Iranian sensibilities and when Iranians visit Europe, Europeans still defer to Iranian mores. Napoleon said that “A man who goes into a country must comply with the ceremonies in use there.” Seeing American and European women in head coverings in Iran and other Muslim countries goes over a lot better when their own civilizations don’t neglect their own cultural norms to please others. Civilizations that don’t respect their own religious and cultural views but cater to the religious views held by political and business interests abroad are both schizophrenic and dying. If our elites can’t even spread the message of tolerance for other cultures through diplomacy and business, we’re doomed.