My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Monday, May 22, 2006

Was the Iran story a trial balloon?

Iranian jews are thankful for the outcry.
A leading spokesman for Iranian Jews is thanking the world for its outcry over a report that the mullahs were readying legislation that would require Jews and other religious and ethnic minorities to wear distinguishing markers.

While the legislation considered in the Iranian parliament, the Majlis, so far does not create a dress code for Iran's Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians - an echo of Nazi laws that required Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, and communists to wear distinctive armbands and badges - the spokesman, Sam Kermanian, said yesterday that he suspected early reports of this kind may have been a trial balloon.

"I am not sure if we have the whole picture. The person who originally reported this, Amir Taheri, is someone with fantastic credibility. In my heart, I think there must have been something that triggered this," Mr. Kermanian said.

Mr. Taheri, for his part, is sticking to his story. In a May 20 dispatch for the New York Post, Mr. Taheri wrote that the new Iranian law would envision separate clothing guidelines for ethnic and religious minorities, to "enable Muslims to instantly recognize non-Muslims so that they can avoid shaking hands with them by mistake."

An Iranian-American anti-regime activist living in New York, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, said the formal legislation does not contain language on the special insignias, but added that Mr. Taheri was correct in saying this measure is being discussed and considered.

"I have spoken to quite a few people and it is a subject being discussed," she said. "This is about being able to decipher who is who, so they can pinpoint the dissidents who make trouble for the regime and determine what ethnic group they come from."


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