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You fail to understand... or I fail to communicate.

Reader comment on item: Those Danish Cartoons and Me
in response to reader comment: Chris G.

Submitted by Chris G. (United States), Jun 19, 2007 at 16:02

Mr. (or Mrs?) AS.... I am sorry that you fail to understand what I was saying. I may not have conveyed my ideas clearly. I know very well how Jewish Iranians are sometimes persecuted, jailed, and harassed by the Iranian government and authorities. However I am not talking about NOW. I am talking about why they have been allowed to exist at all in those countries all through Islamic history if it is in fact true that Islam says specifically to slaughter them all.

A lot of the oppression of Jewish Iranians dramatically increased after the Islamic Revolution under the leadership of the Ayatollah Khomeini. It is ironic that he moved away from traditional Shi'a values of tolerance and tried to mimic the Suadi Wahhabi Muslims in order to gain Sunni followers to spread his revolution worldwide. He also mixed in a lot of Marxist ideology into his fatwas as well. If you compare him with a more traditional Shi'a scholar like Ayatollah Al-Sistani in Iraq (who opposed Khomeini as did his teacher, the late Ayatollah Khoi) you will find a vastly different and more traditional interpretation of Shi'a Islam.

By the way, the Iranians who get oppressed the worst are probably the Bahai, a spin-off from Shi'a Islam who believe in a prophet after Mohammed. As for statistics, you are welcome to post those, but try to put your sources if you're quoting stats. That way I can research the methodology used in the collection of the stats if its publicly available. Statistics are only as good as their methodology. But I'm sure you can find some good youtube videos, stories, and pictures of atrocities in Iran. As a social scientist, such information, while interesting is not necessarily reflective of the broader Iranian culture.

At any rate, yes I know atrocities happen in Iran. They also do in the United States and in many countries. What is more important to me are the questions, "How often?", "What is the public response to these atrocities?", "What is the political response?" and other such questions. It is there where you get closer to the truth rather then just simply engage in the spread of propaganda in order to demonize another country, religion, or ethnic group. Oh also, by the way I was born in Tehran, Iran.

I also coincidentally have lived in Saudi Arabia. Guess what, I went to Catholic Church there at the old USMTM compound in Riyadh back in the 80's. Granted it was done in the movie theatre, but it was still like any other mass. You just weren't allowed to build churches there, teach other religions, or spread literature for other religions there. However Saudi Arabia is also the center of Islam. In many other Muslim countries, people worship quite freely other religions. These include Indonesia (the largest Muslim country earth and where I have also lived), Morocco, Malaysia, Tunisia, Turkey, Egypt, etc...
Now they do have inter-religious conflict sometimes, but it is the exception and not the norm.

Chris G.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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