Rumors about Fate of Iranian Jews

  • November 21, 2006

Several rumors have been circulating in e-mail, blogs and other online media about the fate of Jews living in Iran. One suggests that an "Islamic Army" carried out a massacre of Iranian Jews in Shiraz on November 12, 2006 with 1,700 killed and many thousands more attempting to flee the country. This rumor is false, and has absolutely no basis in reality. There have been no attacks, or threat of attacks, against Iran's Jewish community.

Another rumor suggests that Iran has passed a law that requires Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinguishing badges on their clothing reminiscent of those required by the Nazis during World War II. This rumor, sometimes containing the subject line, "Badges for Jews and Christians in Iran," stems from a May 2006 report in Canada's National Post that intimated such a law was under consideration. That story has since been discredited and was retracted by the Post.

These rumors, and others like them, attempt to play on concerns that have arisen as a result of the anti-Israel rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for the demise of the Jewish state and has questioned the fact of the Holocaust.

Despite his rhetoric against Israel, there has been no change in the status of the Jewish community in Iran and its general acceptance within Iranian society.

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