Innocence of Muslims Predecessor: Wrestler Iron Sheik is a Reminder of Long Standing Animosity Toward the Middle East

A rapidly-growing Twitter star, former WWE/WWF wrestler the Iron Sheik, aka Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, is a living reminder of the Obama campaign's insurmountable challenge in making average Americans believe that people in the Middle East love America and Obama, and merely want to burn, ravage, and kill because they can't get their hands on the Innocence of Muslims film and its creator.

The Sheikh built his popularity as a top pro wrestling star as a villain audiences loved to hate. He fueled his rise to the top of pro wrestling fame by capitalizing on American hatred and resentment of Iran during the Iran Hostage Crisis (1979-1981), chanting "Iran Number One!" when facing opponents like Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund. After the crisis was resolved, the Sheikh continued his anti-American act by tag-teaming with other villains like Russian bad-guy Nikolai Volkoff.

The Sheik was notable for his simple declarations of Iranian pride and hatred for the U.S. and any opponents. His signature move was the "Camel Clutch," a painful-looking maneuver.


Iron Sheik Camel Clutch
Iron Sheik Camel Clutch

The Sheik was defeated for the WWF championship by Hulk Hogan, omnipresent on television, toys and video games throughout the 80's. Today, the Iron Sheik tweets frequently, maintaining a popular Twitter feed with about 160,000 loyal followers. He's fully in-character for all tweets, which come regularly throughout the day. Still threatening other wrestlers and sports figures, the Sheikh alternates between praise for some, and dire warnings of punishment for others who fail to meet his standards.

On the NHL player lockout he tweeted:

The Sheik gets a number of fan mentions a day:

The Sheik commented throughout the recent violence in the Middle East:

In Sheik-speak, "old country way" is very bad.

Younger Americans don't remember the Iran Hostage Crisis, but they do remember 9-11 and the past decade of war. They are unlikely to ignore the fact that rioters killed our ambassador, are destroying schools and embassies, and burning the American flag. The Sheik gets this, even if the Obama administration and media commenters do not.