One point is getting lost in the discussion about the Iran “jewish” star sham.
Background: A law passed by the Iranian parliament was initially reported as enforcing a dress code that would mark the various religions (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian). In the “reporting,” this morphed into making Persian Jews wear yellow stars. Horror shot round the world.
Then it turned out that: (from an article in Jewish Week)
Indeed, the law’s text and parliamentary debate, available in English from the BBC Service, discloses no provision mandating that any Iranians will have to wear any kind of prescribed dress. It instead focuses on promoting traditional clothing designs using Iranian and Islamic patterns, by Iran’s domestic fashion industry and preventing “the import of clothes incompatible with cultural Islamic and national values.”
The law is meant to develop and protect Iran’s clothing industry, Javedanfar said.
Note that: “no provision … that any Iranians will have to wear any kind of prescribed dress.”
A recent headline from The Guardian, April 20, 2006
Police in Tehran ordered to arrest women in ‘un-Islamic’ dress
Hello? Earth to progressive blogosphere? Maybe the reason the stuff about yellow stars found so many willing believers is because that nonsense is so similar to the actual nonsense perpetrated by the Islamists?
But the dress code doesn’t apply to Jews. Or “Iranians.” Only to women.
That’s all right then.
Update, June 1
It seems there is some controversy about whether one should criticise things also criticized by illiberals, just in case anyone lumps you into the company of fools. The issue isn’t argument in the forum of ideas, and changing your mind if you’re wrong. The issue is saying anything similar to what comes out of Malkin, to take an example at random.
Laura Rozen’s mentions the
“Iranian American human rights activist Ramin Ahmadi, up at Yale, who wonders why liberals like himself who opposed apartheid South Africa, dictatorships in Latin America, etc. have for the most part abandoned the Iran human rights issue, and not just during the Bush administration.”
Keven Drum says
“And yet, I know perfectly well that criticism of Iran is not just criticism of Iran. Whether I want it to or not, it also provides support for the Bush administration’s determined and deliberate effort to whip up enthusiasm for a military strike. Only a naif would view criticism of Iran in a vacuum, without also seeing the way it will be used by an administration that has demonstrated time and again that it can’t be trusted to act wisely. So what to do? For the most part, I end up saying very little.”
Call me naive, but that is not the same thing as stupid. The problem with the Bush Administration is that they don’t care about the truth. Among many other symptoms of that, they think a statement can be discredited because of who says it. (“Who said there are problems in Iraq? A Democrat? Well, there you are. It’s obvious nonsense.”)
Fighting that by abandoning our view of truth makes us the same as them. When we start pretending it’s not the truth that matters, but how fools will take it, we’ve decided to join them because we can’t beat them.
To hell with that. Do not go gentle into that good night.
Technorati tags: Iran, yellow star, Iranian badge, dress code