[WHOA! Is it just my browser or did the National Post story suddenly vanish? You can see the results of a search here, but that first link, "Iran eyes badges for Jews," simply takes you to a blank page. That second link, though, "A colour code for Iran's 'infidels'," seems to be still active, but one has to wonder for how long.
Down the memory hole, as they say. I wonder if it's too soon to start looking for furious back-pedaling from some of these folks.]
[DOUBLE WHOA. Pogge calls bullshit on this story as well, and reports that the original story has been denied by Iran's only Jewish MP. That sounds pretty clinching, doesn't it? Time for the total lack of recriminations to begin.]
Via AmericaBlog, first we have the spectacular claim from the pages of the National Post:
Iran eyes badges for Jews
Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.
With, of course, all of the appropriate persons reveling in the martyrdom and victimhood of it all:
"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."...
"There's no reason to believe they won't pass this," said Rabbi Hier. "It will certainly pass unless there's some sort of international outcry over this."
Bernie Farber, the chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he was "stunned" by the measure. "We thought this had gone the way of the dodo bird, but clearly in Iran everything old and bad is new again," he said. "It's state-sponsored religious discrimination."...
Mr. Behroozian said it will make life even more difficult for Iran's small pockets of Jewish, Christian and other religious minorities -- the country is overwhelmingly Shi'ite Muslim. "They have all been persecuted for a while, but these new dress rules are going to make things worse for them," he said...
"The world should not ignore this," said Rabbi Hier. "The world ignored Hitler for many years -- he was dismissed as a demagogue, they said he'd never come to power -- and we were all wrong."
Mr. Farber said Canada and other nations should take action to isolate Mr. Ahmadinejad in light of the new law, which he called "chilling," and his previous string of anti-Semitic statements.
"There are some very frightening parallels here," he said. "It's time to start considering how we're going to deal with this person."
Yes, yes, let's all feed that big, bad persecution complex, shall we? Um ... hang on, what's this?
The National Post is sending shockwaves across the country this morning with a report that Iran's Parliament has passed a law requiring mandatory Holocaust style badges to identify Jews and Christians.
But independent reporter Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli Middle East expert who was born and raised in Tehran, says the report is false.
"It's absolutely factually incorrect," he told The New 940 Montreal.
"Nowhere in the law is there any talk of Jews and Christians having to wear different colours. I've checked it with sources both inside Iran and outside."
So, if this story turns out to be true, then it's not even arguable that the Iranian government are a bunch of complete nutjobs. But if it's not true, I'm going to be really interested in how much of a retraction we see from all of these folks.
Let's stay tuned, shall we?
A LITTLE BACKTRACKING ALREADY: Credit where credit is due -- Stevie Boy is being careful to qualify his outrage (emphasis added):
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says news reports that Iran could require Jews and Christians to wear coloured labels in public might be true.
Well, sure, they might be true. On the other hand, they might be false. It might be true that Stephen Harper has sexual relations with box turtles. On the other hand ...
"And the fact that such a measure could even be contemplated is absolutely abhorrent."
Of course, such a measure might never have been contemplated in the first place. And Harper continues to mix claim and speculation:
Harper said he could not vouch for the accuracy of the report. But if true, he said it would be a throwback to one of the most odious chapters in human history.
"It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the Earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany," he said.
The report is a reminder that Iran must never be allowed to gain nuclear weapons, Harper said.
Hey, here's an idea. Let's make a note of any other blogs that jump all over this story, and check back later if the story doesn't happen to pan out. Just for the entertainment value.
Three. (With some pretty lame qualification.)
TWO VERY IMPORTANT POINTS: First, let me make it painfully, excruciatingly clear that, as far as I'm concerned, it's still not clear if the original story is true or not. If it is true, then there's absolutely no argument that the rulers of Iran are a bunch of reprehensible thugs. The point is how blindingly quickly the right-wing wankersphere jumped all over this story and what they'll do as penance if it turns out to be total rubbish. We know how quickly they can accuse. Let's see if they're as good at apologizing if the need arises.
[UPDATE: Wanker-style retractions are now being collected here.]
And second, every web page that I've collected above shares the common property that, at the time I linked to it, it was repeating the Iran story with absolutely no skepticism or qualification whatsoever (with the single exception of Damian Penny, whose qualification seems particularly pathetic). This means that, if any of those pages suddenly start being a little skeptical, that skepticism was added after the original posting. Just so you know.
THE JOY OF DISCRIMINATION: By the way, all you outraged American wankers might want to be a little more restrained in your sputtering fury over this story, given that your heroes have some unseemly habits of their own:
Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?
[The first George] Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.
Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?
Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists.
So atheists were neither citizens nor patriots. I guess they should be grateful George didn't make them wear armbands or something.