Iran's Answer to Yellow Stars

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Reader Clay Young passes along news that Iran is filching a play from the Nazi playbook:

Iran's parliament passed a new law this week that would force the country's Jews, Christians and other religious minorities to wear color-coded ID badges.

Iranian expatriates confirmed reports the Iranian parliament, or majlis, has approved a law that would require non-Muslims to adhere to a dress code which mandates they wear "standard Islamic garments," according to Canada's National Post.

The roughly 25,000 Jews living in the Islamic Republic would have to attach a yellow strip of cloth to their clothing, Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would wear blue ones.

Whole revolting thing here.

Update (May 20): Turns out the story isn't true. The skinny is here.

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  1. The Volokh Conspiracy thinks this story may be a hoax. Notice the story is coming from expatriates, not from Iran itself.

  2. I hope their right and this is a fake Syd.

  3. If this is true, then this, combined with the aggresive nuclear program, is making it so easy for us to bomb the crap out of them. Are they just plain asking for it or what?

  4. Can’t wait ’til we see what our National ID cards look like.

  5. Hmm. Don’t think it’s a hoax. The Canada Post article quotes ministry officials within Iran on a whole host of exciting new developments, like ancient Greek men’s girly dresses.

  6. Jews would have to attach a yellow strip of cloth to their clothing, Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would wear blue ones.

    And Rastafarians would have to wear an image of a marijuana leaf.

  7. “Iranian expatriates confirmed reports the Iranian parliament, or majlis, has approved a law that would require non-Muslims to adhere to a dress code which mandates they wear “standard Islamic garments,” according to Canada’s National Post.”

    Were any of the expatriates named Curveball or Chalabi?

    And isn’t National Post a bit of a neocon-leaning paper?

  8. The 3,000 leprechauns living in Iran can wear blue moons, green clovers, puple horse shoes horseshoes, pots of gold, rainbows or red balloons.

    The ayatollah is always after me lucky charms.

  9. And Buddhists will be required to wear fat-suits.

  10. Don’t quite believe this one either.

    However, it should come as a shock to a lot of people in the west that there are still tens of thousands of Jews living in Iran 25+ years after the revolution — perhaps they have a more diverse and subtle society and culture than we give them credit. I mean are there any Jews living openly in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, etc. tags or not? I know there are pockets of Christians in some of these places, but Jews? Correct me if I’m wrong…

  11. Via CIA World Factbook, percentage of Jews:

    Saudi Arabia: 0%
    Jordan: 0%
    Syria:

  12. Whay always yellow for Jews? I’ve always wondered. And what about atheists? If this is true, it’s really scary stuff, given their current regime.

  13. Stupid server. Syria, Iraq and Lebanon also have zero to negligible populations of Jews.

  14. While I’ve become reasonably well-convinced (thanks to my fellow H&R posters) that Iran’s gov’t does not pose a serious threat the US, they certainly are still a horrifying lot.

    My heart goes out to the people around the world who are trapped under dictatorships of this nature – North Korea, Iran, Cuba and on and depressingly on.

    As a libertarian, I don’t have a good answer to the question of how to deal with these states. Clearly, there’s no legitimate state interest in acting against them as a nation; just as clearly, the conscience cries out for us to not just turn our backs while such horrors are visited upon the world.

    What can we do?

  15. At least one report is saying its fake

  16. As a libertarian, I don’t have a good answer to the question of how to deal with these states. Clearly, there’s no legitimate state interest in acting against them as a nation; just as clearly, the conscience cries out for us to not just turn our backs while such horrors are visited upon the world.

    What can we do?

    Well, there’s always endlessly arguing about it on the internet.

  17. What can we do?

    Stand by and watch the world go to hell or try to do something about it. Unfortuneately, asking them nicely ussually doesn’t work very well. The leaders of Iran are nothing if not direct. They are pretty clear that they plan to build a nuclear weapon and use that to first destroy Israel and then destroy the non-muslim world. Unless you believe tha they are lying, then it is hard not to see them as a threat to the U.S.

  18. Whay always yellow for Jews? I’ve always wondered. And what about atheists?

    Atheists have to wear transparent badges.

    And agnostics aren’t allowed to make up their minds whether to wear a badge or not.

  19. What can we do? Offer the Iranians the opportunity to be the home of Islamo-Disney. For that, I think they’d be willing to do almost anything.

  20. I think they already are Pro, it is called Qom and they are damned pissed off that Universal has opened a competing park in Najef.

  21. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a hoax.

    On the other hand, if “religious police” are running around, wouldn’t it be prudent once in a while to wear some kind of “off-limits” notification? Such as “Oops, I was gonna arrest that guy for not being at Friday Prayers, but I can see he’s a Christian by that crucifix necklace he’s wearing.”

  22. Nick- Thanks for the double take-

    The right side image on the link you provide evidenly illustrates a well dressed Iranian Anne Coulter fan wearing a state mandated Scarlet Che Crossout in lieu of chadoor.

  23. Yeah, I’m very skeptical of the story. As utterly horrible as the Iranian regime is (and it is) I have a hard time believing that even it could be so completely batshit insane as to try something like this. Then again, this is the same group that allows a woman to have her head bashed to a bloody pulp for adultery and the hanging of a teenage girl for having sex, so who knows…

    An any rate, the “yellow badge” apparently has a long and distinguished history. The Muslim world’s practice of forcing non Muslims, or dhimmi, (though Jewish people have been of particular interest) to wear distinctive clothing (traditionally yellow for Jews) dates back to shortly after the time of Mohammed. It seems European Christians, however, were very quick to realize the benefits of this method for allowing the convenient and efficient persecution Jews; examples of Popes and Kings forcing Jews to wear distinguishing items, from yellow badges to cone shaped hats, abound.

  24. GO FUCK YOUR MOTHER NEOCON LYING ASS BEATCH!!!!

  25. Reader Clay Young passes along news that Iran is filching a play from the Nazi playbook…

    Actually they were/are both filching from the Fourth Lateran Council’s playbook of 1215 CE.

  26. tomwright,

    The use of badges, etc. to identify Jews was common in Christian societies from the 13th century until the 18th century.

    emmajane,

    It hasn’t always been yellow and it wasn’t always a badge. Sometimes it was badges that looked like the Ten Commandments. At other times it was special types of garments like distinctive hats.

  27. John, I don’t doubt their ill intent towards us, but their ability to actually deliver such a weapon here.

    By the time they’d nuked Israel oh, about once, I think that they’d probably get phone calls from Moscow, Beijing, Jeruselem (or wherever the provisional capitol was located) and probably even Washington, informing them that they had exactly five seconds to come out with their hands in the air, and report to the nearest war-crimes tribunal.

    As much as Israel is an international pariah (outside of their relationship with the US), I really do not think that the world would stand idly by and watch Iran actually destroy the whole country. One or two cities, maybe, but that’s all they’d get.

    Not that I think it’d be acceptable for Iran to nuke Israel, mind you — just thinking through what would happen next.

    On a side note, why is it that amongst people who come from the birthplace of chess, there seems to be an inability to look more than one move ahead?

  28. If the point is to identify non-muslims, why do they need more than one color?

  29. Israel has a second strike capability and hundreds of nukes. If anything happens to Tel Aviv every Muslim country in the Mideast will be incinerated.

  30. Iran is so low-tech. Badges are so mid-20th century. Why can’t they just keep detailed computer records of people like a civilized country?

  31. Dr. Duck, it’s so that they know which camp to send people to…

  32. Isn’t UPI owned by the same cult leader that owns the Washington Times?

  33. “…or try to do something about it.”

    It’s the details of that “something” that’s the problem.

    As the Really Big Idea That Couldn’t Possibly Go Wrong is aptly demonstrating in Iraq, it is almost always possible to make things worse.

    Remember when Iraq hawks used to respond to concerns that the invasion would destablize the Middle East by saying, “Oh no! We wouldn’t want to destabilize the Middle East!” Well, hardy har har. I hope you like Iranian nukes.

    If someone’s got a good idea about what to do about the Iranian situation, I’m all ears. But “we need to do something, and the only thing I can think of is to kill a bunch of people with expensive munitions and hope it all turns out ok” isn’t going to cut it.

  34. b-psycho,

    Yes. They also run those flower-selling operations with the yellow signs with red lettering reading “ROSES” that you see by the side of the road.

    And they got Jesse Helms to sponsor a bill declaring the Moonie celebration “True Parents Day” to be a federal holiday, called, “Parents Day.”

  35. We do seem to have allowed a mess to develop in Iran. Hard to see this ending without an earth-shattering kaboom of some sort, I fear. Of course, they are going out of their way to alienate most of the planet, even turning down a generous offer from Europe, but I don’t know that things needed to get this far. Most likely, they figure that it’s worth the gamble to try to get the bomb, because they know that we could conquer them and replace their government in about the time it took me to type this message. Not that I want that to happen–I get bad vibes about extending our reach that far in the Middle East.

  36. There is nothing to be done. Humanity, on average, is too stupid to live. We will destroy ourselves with our own technology. Enjoy the last few years or decades we have left!

  37. Considering that the Taliban regime did the same thing, except they used the badge for identifying Hindus, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch. And Ahmadinejad is right up there with Mullah Omar on the loopy scale.

  38. Deus ex Machina,

    Yes, but he doesn’t wield the power in Iran.

  39. I have no idea whether the story is true, but the system of color coded garments for the peoples of the book–the tolerated non-muslims–is an old Islamic tradition. The only odd thing in this story is that Christians are supposed to wear red, when their traditional color was blue.

  40. The only odd thing in this story is that Christians are supposed to wear red, when their traditional color was blue.

    Maybe the Iranians have clued into the whole Red State/Blue State concept and changed their system accordingly.

  41. THIS STORY NOT TRUE!
    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.

  42. THIS STORY NOT TRUE!
    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.

  43. hass you ruined it, when this thread had just nicely gone off on an irrelevant tangent.

    dweeb!!!!

  44. Clean Hands,

    I don’t doubt their ill intent towards us, but their ability to actually deliver such a weapon here.

    That’s the easier problem to solve technology wise. Russia will quite probably be willing to help them out on this front.

    As much as Israel is an international pariah (outside of their relationship with the US), I really do not think that the world would stand idly by and watch Iran actually destroy the whole country. One or two cities, maybe, but that’s all they’d get.

    I think the world could very easily sit by and watch. Europe would bitch the whole way, but don’t expect them to actually *do* anything about it.

    I wouldn’t bet much that Europe could do much about Iran on its own, even if it decided it wanted to. Every year they decide to spend more on the welfare state and less on defense.

    Iran can probably think this through too. I’m not so sure they’re only thinking one move ahead on the chess board. In fact, they could be going for the four move check mate deal.

    It would probably end in stalemate, and they probably know it. But if you’re out manned in a big way, stalemate might not look so bad.

    Who knows how much of this whole thing is just posturing on their part, or what they’ll actually do once they’ve got their new toys. Because, I expect they’ll eventually succeed in building what they want.

    My concern is that they have the right political environment to go make some crazy decisions and then act on them.

    I’m in favor of letting people own guns, except for the lunatic next door who should definitely *not* be allowed to own a gun.

  45. Pro Libertate,

    We do seem to have allowed a mess to develop in Iran.

    Contrary to joe’s typical blue state opinion, Iran was a mess way before we invaded Iraq. They’ve been pursuing long range ballistic missiles and other high tech stuff for a very long time, and have been on our list of not-so-distant-future potential Serious Threats. That’s part of what got them a seat at Bush’s Axis of Evil table.

    All Iraq has really done is bring them out of the closet.

    It’s true that our Red State of Mind poked a stick into the hornet’s nest. But it was most certainly a hornet’s nest to begin with, not a benign little Nice Place.

    Hard to see this ending without an earth-shattering kaboom of some sort, I fear.

    Then the whole problem will be solved with an alludium Q-37 Space Modulator. Which we will build while Iran is trying to figure out nukes. Ha!

    Of course, they are going out of their way to alienate most of the planet, even turning down a generous offer from Europe, but I don’t know that things needed to get this far.

    They really don’t need Europe, and contrary to popular (again typical blue state) opinion Europe isn’t “most of the planet”. Europe isn’t even very much of the planet.

    China and/or Russia are going to be in league with Iran. They have been in the past (again, pre-Iraq invasion) and will be in the future.

  46. Couldn’t possibly be true. Sounds like agitprop to me.

    But, if it is…then let us refer to the Vatican’s playbook, circa Pope Innocent III. To paraphrase the “Nulla salus extra ecclesium,” Kill them all and let God sort them out.

    Heh, just kidding.

    The moral here? All religious-fascists have the same goal. Total world domination.

    The defense? Critical thinking, Nietzsche and guns.

    Have fun out there.

  47. Nick, I thought you were smarter than to fall for something like this. As for the National Post, well, they will publish any poorly reasoned/ baseless crap (Mark Steyn, Matt Welch, etc.).

  48. Kahn, the earth does obstruct my view of Venus, after all 🙂

    I don’t blame us for Iran per se, though I do think we’ve missed opportunities with them (esp. back in the Shah days). In the end, they’re the ones pushing things to the brink, even without our involvement.

    I actually think that Russia is going to change sides on this one. A nuclear Iran on their borders (well, across the Caspian Sea, these days) is not a good thing. Especially with Russia having their own trouble with Islamic folk. As they always have, the Russians want to show that they are the arbiters of that part of the world, which is why are so obstructionist in our dealings with Iran. We should just tell them that we acknowledge their importance and await their solution of the matter 🙂

  49. My “white to move and mate in two” solution to this little chess problem:

    1. B2 from Whiteman AFB drops nuclear bomb from 50,000 ft onto Iranian military installation housing nuclear weapons projects, under cover of night when everyone’s asleep.

    1… Iranians awake to a huge flash and bang, and collectively wonder what the fuck just happened. (It’s pretty convenient that nuclear weapons destroy everything, including witnesses and evidence.)

    2. US offers to send cleanup teams, humanitarian aid, and lots of potassium iodide pills after Iran’s little “nuclear accident” and continues to warn that nukes should only be developed under adult supervisions… don’t try this at home kids, leave it to the grown-ups.

    2… Everyone blames everyone else, but nobody can prove who really dunnit. Some blame the US, but they’ve been blaming the US for everything under the sun, so what else is new. Regardless, their precious nuclear program has been blown to bits. Black resigns.

    or:

    2… Even if they can prove it was the US, it dawns on them that if we’d nuke them once, we’ll nuke them again, anytime they get out of line.

    Black resigns.

  50. Russ R:

    Isn’t that sort of the LMAO ‘nuke the moon’ strategy?

    ‘course, it just might work….

    One problem though, the residue from the explosion can be traceable, based on proportion of various substances from the bomb.

    Hey, I saw it in a movie so it has to be true, right?

    Right? (crickets, chirps various night time noises)

  51. Wow, a story from the worthless UPI, sourced to nameless Iranian expats! About supposed legislation! Aren’t laws usually.. you know.. published? I thought Majlis sessions even run on TV and radio sometimes. Surely primary sources would have existed for something like this.

    But no, the National Post ran with it and H+R followed suit.

    For a magazine that touts skepticism and independent thinking, y’all are quick to cite some pretty sketchy stuff on a regular basis. Pay-for-play think-tank releases, TCS, and now far-right “newswires”. 😉

    Will there be a followup H+R post noting that it was a hoax and musing on the benefits and gotchas that come with the growing crop of self-styled and co-opted newswires?

  52. I dunno. There’s a difference between the mental masturbation of a blog and Reason magazine. It’s in the nature of blogs to comment on stuff right away. Besides, this item wasn’t exactly incredible given the nastiness that has come out of Iran about Jews.

    I’m not exactly sure that there is a left-right issue with Iran. Even joe has mused that Iran is a problem. We may have made things worse, but, at the root of things, the problem lies there, not here.

  53. This is beginning to have all the marks of the right-wing answer to the George Bush National Guard memos story–one that was too good to check.

  54. A Jewish member of the Parliament in Iraq has been contacted, and stated that no such provision exists in the law. What actually happened is that some extremists brought it up, but the more moderate elements in Iran wouldn’t go for it.

    Just as many Americans feel Bush doesn’t speak for them, so many Iranians are embarassed by their loose cannon President. This is a good window into the political process there. There is repression and extremism, but there are moderate democratic elements as well.

  55. Maurice Motammed, a Jewish member of Iran’s Parliament, dismissed the report as “a complete fabrication” and said: “It is a lie, and the people who invented it wanted to make political gain.”

    Iran’s conservative-dominated Parliament is debating a draft law that would discourage women from wearing Western clothing and increase taxes on imported clothes and fund an advertising campaign to encourage citizens to wear Islamic-style garments.

    A draft received preliminary approval last Sunday and Parliament debated it this week, but the bill has not been passed.

    In Tehran, MP Emad Afroogh, who sponsored the bill and chairs the parliament’s cultural committee, said today there was no truth to the Canadian newspaper report.

    “It’s a sheer lie. The rumours about this are worthless,” he said.

    “The bill is not related to minorities. It is only about clothing,” he said. “Please tell them (in the West) to check the details of the bill. There is no mention of religious minorities and their clothing in the bill,” he said.

  56. Russ2000–

    Can’t wait ’til we see what our National ID cards look like.

    What? You obviously weren’t paying attention

    How much of your ‘life data’ (financial/credit status, educational background, employment history, medical info, criminal convictions, etc.) does not have “that number” attached to it?

  57. Russ, you lunatic, I hope you aren’t under the impression that those B-2s are actually undetectable or anything. If so, I admire your faith in American industry.
    I also admire your simple confidence that a) the Iranians have put their entire programme above ground in the same place and b) that US intelligence would know where that place is.

  58. Expats huh? Figures. Sure sounds like the same ol’ crap comming from the same ol’ sources drug us into the war in Iraq. Some people never learn I guess…

  59. Hey Nick, you’re a useful idiot for the neocons!

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