Saturday, May 20, 2006

Confusion About Iran's Alleged Non-Muslim Dress Code

A report out of Canada confirmed that Iran recently passed a law requiring non-Muslims to wear identification markers on their clothing. In light of this report, many people have weighed in on such a despicable move by the Iranian government. I hate to put a stop to all the fun, but this story may not be entirely true.

It is true that a bill was given initial approval by the Irani parliament that will serve to encourage Islamic dress, particularly as it pertains to women. However, this bill does not also require that non-Muslims be singled out with special badges. New information is making this seem to be nothing more than a terrible rumor.

The Irani government has denied all claims that such a bill was discussed or passed. Granted, it's hard to believe anything they say these days, Dr. Zin of Regime Change Iran reminds us that:

Ahmadinejad wants a national dress policy for Iran, but thus far it is only talk. This report, that includes identifying religious minorities with badges has NOT been part of the public debate in the past. It is possible that this will be part of the debate in the future, but the actual text of the dress code proposals do NOT include this language at this time. Ultimately, the decision on such a proposal will be in the hands of the Supreme Leader. So this story if accurate is a long way off from implementation.

Ahmadinejad may be a total nut job and anti-Semite, but we cannot forget the history of Iran and its people which includes a vast welcoming of other religions. In fact, for the better part of the Middle Eastern "situation", Iran and Israel were not enemies. Iranians have pride in the fact that their country (especially under the Shah) welcomed people of all religions.

As such, it does not go well with the national fabric of the people of Iran to discriminate in such a manner. In fact, it would be a horrible internal political move. Ahmadinejad who is already facing criticism from his constituents would not do well to cast them in a light that is reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazis.

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