By Mark Ellis
The son of controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone converted to Islam in the Iranian city of Isfahan on Valentine’s Day, then met with Iran’s leaders and declared his solidarity with their nuclear ambitions.
“I am a Jewish Christian Muslim,” Sean Stone told CNN’s Piers Morgan on February 23rd. “I want to be able to understand all three religions and have a dialog with people all across the board. We don’t need to fight each other because of the book.”
Sean’s father won several Academy Awards for films such as “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” but has also stirred opposition due to his friendships with Cuban leader Fidel Castro andVenezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
When Sean told his father he converted to Islam, Oliver said, “Allah be with you,” Sean stated on CNN.
Sean’s personal ancestry is Jewish; he was baptized a Christian, and his father is a Buddhist. He doesn’t believe he actually converted to Islam; he holds the view that all three monotheistic religions worship the same God.
“Conversion is an interesting word because I don’t believe you can convert from one God — from the same God,” he told Fox411. “I’ve also believed in the same Judeo-Christian God. I think it’s a misunderstanding of Islam to say that Allah is a different God. It’s a different name for the same one. So I accepted Islam. And I think it’s an important move.”
After his “acceptance” of Islam, Sean adopted the Islamic name Ali. He decided to follow the Shiite branch of Islam over the Sunni branch due to a revelation he received inIsfahan, the former capital of Persia and Iran’s third largest city.
After a series of meetings with Iran’s leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he said he believes Ahmadinejad is not a fanatic and has merely been misunderstood. In the meetings, he advisedIran’s leaders to soften their rhetoric.
“I was able to say, ‘Let’s stop this down with America slogan and try ‘Down with Empire.’ People around the world can get on board with the ‘down with empire’ concept,” Sean told them.
Sean doesn’t believe reports that Ahmadinejad wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” He believes they want an orderly “dissolution” of the Jewish state.
“Where is he currently threatening to destroyIsrael, that’s my question? Sean asked CNN’s Morgan. “The dissolution of the Israeli state is like saying we want the dissolution of the Soviet Union. I don’t think anyone is going to launch nuclear weapons to achieve it. You can do it through other means like dialog. We need to have a dialog about the two state solution.”
When Fox’s Bill O’Reilly asked Sean if he was at peace with Iran possessing nuclear weapons, he said, “I am, because it’s a republic. And there are factions and it’s very much like this country. There’s a lot of unrest inside that country from the economic point of view. I think there could be an “Occupy Tehran” coming in the next months or years because it’s a dynamic place.”
Sean disagrees with the provocative statements made by Ahmadinejad in which he denied the holocaust, yet feels that’s inconsequential in light of current problems. “Regardless if he believes in the holocaust or not, it doesn’t justify the occupation of theWest Bankand the fact that the Palestinian situation has not been resolved. I don’t care if he believes in the holocaust.”
In his meeting with Ahmadinejad Sean pointedly asked whether they are developing a nuclear weapon. “No bomb,” Iran’s president replied.
Sean hopes to be a voice that will help bring peace to the Middle East. “I don’t want to see our country go to war and if it’s going to be over the potential threat that Iran is toIsrael. I would say that’s a complete lie,” he told CNN’s Morgan.
“If Israel attacks Iran preventatively, Russia will not stand by and let this happen…it would destabilize the region. You will radicalize the Sunni and Shiite divisions even more… it’s potentially World War III we’re looking at.”