Amir Taheri Explains

Over the weekend, we noted the alarming report, originating with Canada’s National Post, that the Iranian Majlis had adopted legislation that 1) prescribed the (boring) clothing to be worn by Muslims, and 2) required non-Muslims–Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews–to wear color-coded badges. We also commented, on Sunday, on the Associated Press story that attempted to debunk the report by quoting, in succession, three Iranian spokesmen. Finally, on Sunday we noted that the New York Post was going against the tide, following up on the National Post’s original story with further reporting spearheaded by Amir Taheri.

Now, Mr. Taheri elaborates on what he knows:

Regarding the dress code story it seems that my column was used as the basis for a number of reports that somehow jumped the gun.

As far as my article is concerned I stand by it. The law has been passed by the Islamic Majlis and will now be submitted to the Council of Guardians. A committee has been appointed to work out the modalities of implementation.

Many ideas are being discussed with regard to implementation, including special markers, known as zonnars, for followers of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, the only faiths other than Islam that are recognized as such. The zonnar was in use throughout the Muslim world until the early 20th century and marked out the dhimmis, or protected religious minorities. (In Iran it was formally abolished in 1908). I have been informed of the ideas under discussion thanks to my sources in Tehran, including three members of the Majlis who had tried to block the bill since it was first drafted in 2004.

I do not know which of these ideas or any will be eventually adopted. We will know once the committee appointed to discuss them presents its report, perhaps in September.

Interestingly, the Islamic Republic authorities refuse to issue an official statement categorically rejecting the concept of dhimmitude and the need for marking out religious minorities.

I raised the issue not as a news story, because news of the new law was already several days old, but as an opinion column to alert the outside world to this most disturbing development.

Given Mr. Taheri’s past reliability on matters relating to Iran, I think this can stand as the best information we have, pending future developments.

Via Power Line News.

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