May 19, 2006

Completing the Circle

Update: Claims that religious minorities inside Iran would be forced to wear identifying colored badges are now being challenged and appear to be false.


Something old is new again:

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims. "This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."

Au contraire, my good Rabbi. Iranians are not acting like Nazis. As Michael Rubin
points out, they simply are acting more like Iranians:

The Nazi practice of forcing Jews to wear a yellow star had its origins in what is now Iran and Iraq when a ninth century caliph forced his Jewish subjects to wear yellow patches. From time to time, subsequent rulers revived the practice. Shiite clerics long deemed any food touched by Jews to be unclean. While blood libel only took root in Iranian society after the sixteenth-century arrival of European ambassadors, as Iranian society wrestled with modernity, violent anti-Semitism grew. Pogroms wiped out the Jewish community in some towns and villages in Iranian Azerbaijan in the mid-nineteenth century, and serious pogroms also swept through Mashhad, a Shiite shrine city in northeastern Iran in which the current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, was born and raised. It was also in Mashhad that, despite the oft-cited mantra that there is no compulsion in Islam, Shiite clerics forcibly converted the remaining Jews to Islam under threat of death.

Hitler's SS learned much from Iran, as Rubin notes above. It is reasonable, based upon history, to assume that Iranian President Ahmadinejad is once again moving his country in the direction of another pogrom, another Holocaust, though one created not by sword and fire, but fission.

As Jeff Goldstein noted yesterday, Ahmadinejad has taken steps that a pious member of his sect would before unleashing war, including the issuing of a da'wa:

In last week's post, "An Islamic Declaration of War?", I (and a number of other bedwetters and paste-eaters) tried to divine (sorry) the intent behind Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush—a letter that Robert Spencer noted at the time was curiously like a da'waan Mohammedan mandate required before waging war against unbelievers.

Today, we're again confronted with the prospects of a letter from Ahmadinejad, this one to be addressed to the Pope...

Jeff then links to Hot Air's Bryan Preston, who reminds us:

These letters are hardly unprecedented, as al-Reuters says. Their origins go all the way back to Mohammed, who often issued letters to the kings of lands he was about to attack to invite them to accept Islam before Mohammed would invade to convert them by the sword. Thus, the religion of peace spread far and wide. This, now second letter from the hand of Ahmadinejad is a da'wa—a call to Islam. It follows Mohammed's traditional letters. Implicit in such letters is the threat that if the recipient doesn't accept Islam voluntarily, he and his land will accept it by force. Or die resisting.

In Crazy Mahmoud's mind, he has now written to the chief of the world's top secular superpower and is writing to the chief of the world's unbelieving (vis a vis Islam) religious superpower (there being no equivalent of the pope in Islam). He is inviting them both to accept Islam, both personally and on behalf of their nation and church. Unless I miss my guess, in the letter to Benedict he will be, in essence, calling upon the Catholic Church to accept Islam–or die.

These letters are not well-wishes for the holidays or get-to-know-you cultural exchanges. They are threats. Mahmoud has something planned, and it would seem to me to be in the latter stages of finalization before it goes forward.

While I must admit that I'd earlier missed the significance of the da'wa letters, their historical precedence cannot be ignored. Every note played by Ahmadinejad so far has been played before, if via a different instrument, and this time, the Iranian instrument of choice is all but certain to be a MIRV.

Where would that lead?

I wrote two weeks ago in "Recalling the Twelfth Imam:

Recently, Iranian government officials went far enough to state that they could destroy Israel with nuclear weapons and absorb an expected Israeli nuclear counterstrike.

Tens of millions of people throughout southwest Asia would be likely to die in such an exchange.


Israel would be gone. The Palestinians would be gone. Iran would be gone. Jordan, Syria and Lebanon would suffer millions of casualties from the blast and intense fallout from the Iranian strike, and the Israeli counterstrike would likely blanket most of the "–stans," as well as China and India with a plume of radioactive fallout, exposing close to a billion people both indirectly and directly to airborne fallout and food-borne consumption of the same for many years to come.

As you may expect, a glowing Middle East wasteland would destroy the global energy market, collapsing economies around the world, including our own. No human on this planet would be untouched by the effects, which could take decades to recover from, if ever. It would also make Muslims hunted around the globe, setting the stage for a crusade the likes of which the world has never imagined. Islam, and what remains of 1 billion Muslims, would be targets for an entirely different kind of genocide born of fear.

Yeah, "wow."

Most of the punditry that has discussed the building nuclear crisis with Iran has discussed it in terms of asking when would we attack them, but as these da'wa letters indicate, it seems like it is Iran that is preparing to take the offensive. Considering that some think that Iran may already have nuclear weapons and that traces of uranium have been discovered in Iran that are close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads, this seems like it should be a contingency we should be preparing for.

Indeed, it may very well be something we are planning for, as strategic planning contractors working for the Pentagon have already delivered presentations predicting an Iranian offensive.

VII, Inc is one of these contractors with apparently deep ties in the Gulf Region. They compiled a 42-page presention in January titled "Iranian President-Islamic Eschatology Near Term Implications" which was presented to the U.S. military.

Eschatology is defined in the presentation as "a part of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or the ultimate destiny of human kind, commonly phrased as the end of the world or end of the age." The document explored the religious psychology of Iranian President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian mullahcracy, as well as historical, political, economic, and military influences.

VII saw just two possible scenarios as a result of their studies if Iran is left to function unimpeded, and both of those involve preemptive Iranian military strikes. One of these saw the possibility of the possible use of nuclear weapons in an Israeli response to a massive Iranian/Syrian rocket attack supported by Russia. This use of nuclear weapons was predicted well before recent developments that suggest the possibility that the Iranian nuclear program may be much more advanced than we first thought. It seems quite probable that Iran will use any nuclear weapons it may acquire or develop preemptively in an attack against Israel.

Should we wait, and allow them to make that rash choice instead of taking that option away from them, we will have but little choice in response.

Hitler's maniacal vision of how to unite the world under his power on the mid-twentieth century cost roughly 62 million lives before it was snuffed out in 1945. I'd prefer to see us act preemptively before things really do come full circle again.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 19, 2006 01:37 PM | TrackBack

"The Nazi practice of forcing Jews to wear a yellow star had its origins in what is now Iran and Iraq when a ninth century caliph forced his Jewish subjects to wear yellow patches."

This is just unfair. It neglects to mention the rich history throughout Europe of forcing jews to wear distinctive clothing:

It should also be pointed out, in fairness to the Caliph, that it wasn't just a question of applying a stigma. Jews were protected under early Islamic law, as being people of the book. The mark indicated that they had the right to violate some kinds of Islamic law without persecution. For the time, this was quite liberal thinking. It would be nice if we had advanced a little beyond that by now, but hey, maybe Iran will catch up eventually.

Posted by: Mat at May 19, 2006 01:44 PM

Sort of spooky; I've known several European survivors of concentration camps, and Iran may be headed that way.
BTW, hope you don't mind that I have added your site to my blogroll.

Posted by: BobG at May 19, 2006 06:07 PM

I think conservatives and liberals can agree that it would be a very bad thing for Iran to have nuclear capabilities.

However, if I were the leader of Iran, I'd want to have the bomb too. The geography is not looking too pretty for them.

This is why you only go to war, when it is really necessary. Our "political capital" has been spent. Bush has proven to be a very good "spender" in every sense of the word.

Posted by: Johnny at May 19, 2006 07:51 PM

The National Post has retracted the original story:

This is now looking like an extremely stupid storm in a tiny teacup, and therefore I hereby retract my rather bitchy "maybe they'll catch up eventually" line :-)

Will Confederate Yankee apologise for this unwarranted diatribe?

Posted by: Mat at May 19, 2006 11:55 PM

Iran: Lawmakers Debate Women's Clothing
Associated Press May 20, 2006

... Emad Afroogh, the legislator who sponsored the bill and is chairman of Parliament's Cultural Committee, said that the Canadian report was untrue and that the measure sought only to make women dress more conservatively and avoid Western fashions. Another lawmaker, Morris Motamed, a Jew, also said the Canadian report was false.

ALSO NOT TRUE Holocaust "historian" Edwin Black claimed that Iran was responsible for the Holocaust. But see Iran, Jews and the Holocaust: An answer to Mr. Black by Dr Abbas Milani of Stanford University.

More about Jews of Iran:
1- Jews in Iran Describe a Life of Freedom, Christian Science Monitor, February 03, 1998

2- Polish Jews were given refuge in Iran during WWII
Associated Press
Thursday, November 23, 2000

3- Iranian Jews PREFER Tehran to Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem Post Nov. 3, 2005

Posted by: hass at May 20, 2006 01:10 AM

Please note that as several posters above have noted, this story now appears to be false.

But why did you run a false story?

When I wrote this post, two separate MSM writers (Chris Wattie and Amir Taheri) had both published articles supporting the story of badges identifying non-Muslims. People who read this post will note that this has historical basis in the past, and that yes, Iran has used this in the past before pogroms.

As far as "unwarranted diatribe," everything else other than the lead paragraph is true.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 20, 2006 08:30 AM

What should be noted about the rebuttal of the story is following part from the National Post story Experts say report of badges for Jews in Iran is untrue

Mr. Kermanian said the subject of “what to do with religious minorities” came up during debates leading up to the passing of the dress code law.

“It is possible that some ideas might have been thrown around,” he said. “But to the best of my knowledge the final version of the law does not demand any identifying marks by the religious minority groups.”

Some call statements to such effect 'damage control.'

Posted by: Eg at May 20, 2006 09:08 AM


Why not come right out and say it?

The story is fake, but accurate.

Give me Dan Rather any day, you guys are pathetic.

Posted by: Observer at May 20, 2006 01:27 PM

I would suggest deleting the post at this point. As a Jew, I find it offensive to keep suggesting that the next Holocaust is just around the corner. It degrades the memory of family members and re-traumatizes through fear. Exploiting and exagerrating anti-semitism for political gain is not where we need to go as a movement.

Posted by: elel at May 20, 2006 07:09 PM

Jews were protected under early Islamic law, as being people of the book.

That is correct. In fact, Islamic countries have a proud history of tolerance towards Judaism. The Islamofascists of today disgrace a religion with a past that deserves respect. Let us not generalize about Islam on the basis of the actions of a small number of lunatics.

Posted by: Leonidas at May 20, 2006 11:10 PM

End of the Worldism
(Source: Whiskey and Gunpowder:
Up for some eschatology? ("The doctrine of the last or final things, as death, judgment, and the events therewith connected," according to Webster's). Mark November 25th on your calendar. The 25th marks the disappearance of the 12th Imam in Islamic theology. In Shiite theology, from what I can gather, the return of the 12th Imam from hiding will precede by one day the Day of Judgement. I suppose now that Bonner's book is out, the timing is good for this sort of thing. More seriously, it's a date terrorists are well aware of. And it doesn't come too far after the date the Iranians have scheduled to test their first nuclear bomb (November 4th or 5th, according to Michael Ledeen at National Review: ) Will the Israeli's send warplanes to Iran like they did to Iraq's Osirik reactor in June of 1981? They've been buzzing Damascus. And it's not like there's anyone in the Arab world left for them to alienate. And politically, taking out an Iranian reactor is something Sharon can do that Bush probably can't. The Israelis take the public blame, and in private, while most of the rest of the world sighs in relief, the Americans signal that there had better not be any retaliation against Israel. It's all just hypothesizing, of course. But it does touch on one crucial question...where ARE the terrorists and when are they going to strike again? Have we been so successful against them in the part of the war that doesn't make the headlines that we've limited their capacity to strike us anywhere but in Iraq? Remember back in February of this year, bin Laden promised he would be martyered within one year, "in the Eagle's belly." Time's running short. Where is the eagle's belly? Is bin Laden hiding in Iran, as Ledeen has long suspected...and will he martyr himself with the help of mullahs in Iran who are now under the spotlight of the world community (not that IAEA is, aone, going to compel the mullahs to come clean on their nuclear program.) Lots of questions. No answers. To be honest, I don't know much about it, or how much to take serioulsy. I'm not an expert on Islam. I did find this link, which seems useful:http: // Here's the money graph: Unlike Sunni Caliphs, who also lead the Islamic world in secular matters, Shi'ite Imams are spiritual leaders, and their followers believe they transmit the mystical aspects of God to humanity. The Shi'ite belief in the eventual return of the 12th Imam, called the Mahdi, is also a central feature of this form of Islam. The belief that the Mahdi will return to lead the forces of good against evil in an apocalyptic battle before the Day of Judgement is so important to Shi'ites that it overshadows life in the human world, which is seen as a corrupt and immoral place. Although Shi'ites are a minority of Muslims, they are a majority in modern Iran. The belief in the Imamate is so strong that during the Iranian Revolution in 1979 many Shi'ites believed that the Ayatollah Khomeini was the 12th Imam returning.

Posted by: Nostradamus at May 21, 2006 08:10 AM
In fact, Islamic countries have a proud history of tolerance towards Judaism.
Then why did they kick all the Jews out of their countries in 1948? Posted by: Macker at May 23, 2006 09:10 AM