Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Jews in Iran - How are they being treated ?


The Quran (Islamic Revelation from God through Muhammad (peace be on him) mentioned about the Jews and its relationship with the Muslim community. They are given the title People of the Book along with Christians. The Quran is critical of some Jewish practices, customs, traditions, behaviours and prejudices but at the same time declared that there are good people among them. Allah honoured them in the Quran as being choosen above all nations to be the torchbearer of His messages to mankind. Majority of the prophets believed by the Muslims in the Quran are of Jewish race as they are righteous servants of Allah. The Quran is not the only religious book that are critical of the Jews but the Jews are being critised even in the Old and New Testament. The point is that they are not condemned because they are Jews but rather the practices thay they commit goes against the universal law of morality and religious principles.

People Against Opposition

Quran and the Jews

[Quran - Surah Al Baqarah - 2.47] 
O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations.


[Quran - Surah Al Maidah - 5.78] 
Those who disbelieved from among the children of Israel were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, son of Mary; this was because they disobeyed and used to exceed the limit.



Iran's problem with Israel is its government & policies, not its people.

November 12, 2012 - Despite the US and Israel openly subverting, encircling, unleashing terrorists and threatening war upon Iran - the nation, both its government and its people, hold a balanced view toward the people living under the governments threatening them. Because of the torrent of propaganda washing over global audiences, many might be surprised at the conditions under which Iran's Jewish community live (thelargest population of Jews in the Middle East outside of Israel) - surprised that they have representation in the government, protections, and an ancient, thriving culture. 

Journeyman Pictures takes us into this community and offers us an alternative view of not only Iran's position toward Judaism and the world, but insight into the insidious, manipulative deceit of Western governments, including their Middle East client regime within Israel itself



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OP-ED COLUMNIST

What Iran’s Jews Say

Published: February 22, 2009

At Palestine Square, opposite a mosque called Al-Aqsa, is a synagogue where Jews of this ancient city gather at dawn. Over the entrance is a banner saying: “Congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution from the Jewish community of Esfahan.”

The Jews of Iran remove their shoes, wind leather straps around their arms to attach phylacteries and take their places. Soon the sinuous murmur of Hebrew prayer courses through the cluttered synagogue with its lovely rugs and unhappy plants. Soleiman Sedighpoor, an antiques dealer with a store full of treasures, leads the service from a podium under a chandelier.

I’d visited the bright-eyed Sedighpoor, 61, the previous day at his dusty little shop. He’d sold me, with some reluctance, a bracelet of mother-of-pearl adorned with Persian miniatures. “The father buys, the son sells,” he muttered, before inviting me to the service.
Accepting, I inquired how he felt about the chants of “Death to Israel” — “Marg bar Esraeel” — that punctuate life in Iran.

“Let them say ‘Death to Israel,’ ” he said. “I’ve been in this store 43 years and never had a problem. I’ve visited my relatives in Israel, but when I see something like the attack on Gaza, I demonstrate, too, as an Iranian.”

The Middle East is an uncomfortable neighborhood for minorities, people whose very existence rebukes warring labels of religious and national identity. Yet perhaps 25,000 Jews live on in Iran, the largest such community, along with Turkey’s, in the Muslim Middle East. There are more than a dozen synagogues in Tehran; here in Esfahan a handful caters to about 1,200 Jews, descendants of an almost 3,000-year-old community.

Over the decades since Israel’s creation in 1948, and the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the number of Iranian Jews has dwindled from about 100,000. But the exodus has been far less complete than from Arab countries, where some 800,000 Jews resided when modern Israel came into being.
In Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Iraq — countries where more than 485,000 Jews lived before 1948 — fewer than 2,000 remain. The Arab Jew has perished. The Persian Jew has fared better.

Of course, Israel’s unfinished cycle of wars has been with Arabs, not Persians, a fact that explains some of the discrepancy.

Still a mystery hovers over Iran’s Jews. It’s important to decide what’s more significant: the annihilationist anti-Israel ranting, the Holocaust denial and other Iranian provocations — or the fact of a Jewish community living, working and worshipping in relative tranquillity.

Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric.
That may be because I’m a Jew and have seldom been treated with such consistent warmth as in Iran. Or perhaps I was impressed that the fury over Gaza, trumpeted on posters and Iranian TV, never spilled over into insults or violence toward Jews. Or perhaps it’s because I’m convinced the “Mad Mullah” caricature of Iran and likening of any compromise with it to Munich 1938 — a position popular in some American Jewish circles — is misleading and dangerous.

I know, if many Jews left Iran, it was for a reason. Hostility exists. The trumped-up charges of spying for Israel against a group of Shiraz Jews in 1999 showed the regime at its worst. Jews elect one representative to Parliament, but can vote for a Muslim if they prefer. A Muslim, however, cannot vote for a Jew.

Among minorities, the Bahai — seven of whom were arrested recently on charges of spying for Israel — have suffered brutally harsh treatment.
I asked Morris Motamed, once the Jewish member of the Majlis, if he felt he was used, an Iranian quisling. “I don’t,” he replied. “In fact I feel deep tolerance here toward Jews.” He said “Death to Israel” chants bother him, but went on to criticize the “double standards” that allow Israel, Pakistan and India to have a nuclear bomb, but not Iran.

Double standards don’t work anymore; the Middle East has become too sophisticated. One way to look at Iran’s scurrilous anti-Israel tirades is as a provocation to focus people on Israel’s bomb, its 41-year occupation of the West Bank, its Hamas denial, its repetitive use of overwhelming force. Iranian language can be vile, but any Middle East peace — and engagement with Tehran — will have to take account of these points.

Green Zoneism — the basing of Middle Eastern policy on the construction of imaginary worlds — has led nowhere.

Realism about Iran should take account of Esfehan’s ecumenical Palestine Square. At the synagogue, Benhur Shemian, 22, told me Gaza showed Israel’s government was “criminal,” but still he hoped for peace. At the Al-Aqsa mosque, Monteza Foroughi, 72, pointed to the synagogue and said: “They have their prophet; we have ours. And that’s fine.”

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