Iran Denies It Passed Law to Force Non-Muslims to Wear Badges
May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Iran denied a report that it passed a law
that would force non-Muslims in the Islamic Republic to wear colored labels identifying their religion.
The Canadian National Post yesterday reported Iran's parliament passed a law last week for a public dress code that would require Jews to wear a yellow strip of cloth on their clothing, Christians a red one, and Zoroastrians blue. Iran is a predominantly Muslim country.
``Such a bill was never introduced in the parliament,'' said Maurice Motammed, Iran's only Jewish deputy who represents Iran's community of 25,000 Jews, on state television today. ``Iranian minorities benefit from the same liberties and social rights as other people.''
A bill to promote ``an Iranian and Islamic style of dress for women'' was passed in Iran's Parliament on May 14. However, it didn't mention religious minorities, Emad Afrough, head of the parliament's cultural committee and one of the main designers of the measure said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA. The article appeared in several newspapers around the world, drawing criticism from top Canadian and Australian officials. U.S. State department spokesman Sean McCormack said such a decision would be ``despicable'', Agence France-Presse reported yesterday.
The report was described by Iran's local state media as a failed ``campaign lead by a Zionist newspaper.'' Iran's new president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under criticism since his election in June 2005 for questioning the existence of the Holocaust and for his statement that ``Israel should be wiped off the map.''
Wouldn't you know they can always manage to blame 'the Zionists' for everything, lol? Even if such a move could hardly be seen to be in the Zionists best interests.
WorldNet Daily writes that Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said he believes the original reports, although acknowledges he has no independent confirmation.
"We know that the national uniform law was passed and that certain colors were selected for Jews and other minorities. If the Iranian government is going to pass such a law then they are not likely to be forthcoming about what they are doing."
Even under Shah Abbas, one of the more enlightened Safavi Monarchs in his treatment of religious minorities, particularly the Armenians, the jews, along with Zoroastrians and Christians became subjects of forced conversion, and evicted from Isfahan in 1656 because of their pollutant effect and religious impurity. But many forcefully converted Jews continued to practice their religion in secret and the failure of the policy gave rise to protests by the clergy and some Moslem erchants who did not consider these converts as real Moslems and hence a new edict in 1661 allowed them to revert to open practice of Judaism under state restrictions, including the wearing of a patch to identify them as Jews. The wearing of a patch to identify a non-believer was not limited to the Jews, and was also required for the Christians who wore a cross, though by a decree, the Armenians were exempted from wearing a patch. 10
It appears that the Nazis were preceded by the Iranians on this "badge" idea. Perhaps the word comes from "badger"...