Saturday, May 20, 2006

Yellow Badges

On Friday, the Canadian National Post reported on a new law which has been passed in Iran. It concerns dress codes for Muslims and for non-Muslims. The most startling revelation is this:
Religious minorities would have their own colour schemes. They will also have to wear special insignia, known as zonnar, to indicate their non-Islamic faiths. Jews would be marked out with a yellow strip of cloth sewn in front of their clothes while Christians will be assigned the colour red.
Yellow badges? Jews? Ahmadinejad is the next Hitler you know. What more proof do you need?

It's not true though. Not if you believe Maurice Motamed (as reported by Ynet, part of Israel's largest media company) anyway. He's the only Jewish MP in Iran and he represents the 25,000 Iranian Jews who live there. He says "restrictions for minority or other religions were not mentioned" when the law on Muslim dress was passed. And the National Post later reported that "Experts say report of badges for Jews in Iran is untrue".

My surprise at reading this was obviously non-existent. The story is almost certainly a crude but worrying outbreak of propaganda against Iran.

Daily Kos has details as to the origins of the story. Would it surprise you to know that the words "key", "neo-conservative" and "figures" make an appearance? No, thought not.

Can you hear the drums? They're starting to beat to a very familiar rythym.

One other thing about this. After more than a year of fairly steady blogging, I've had my first ever comment deleted today. At this post at Harry's Place. Do I get a badge for that?

My comment was short. I linked to the Ynet article above and said something like:
This story isn't true.

Good job on spreading Monger propaganda though boys. Let's bomb the f*ckers anyway.
OK, it probably was a bit trollish and a bit snide but I'd genuinely like to know whether they put any thought into the likely source of this story before posting so unquestioningly on it. I thought I'd raise the issue in my own special way. Alas, no response was forthcoming. Now I'll never know whether they really are manipulative warmongers or just gullible and easily manipulated themselves.

To be fair, it's their site and they can delete what they like. To be honest, although H'P has a far larger readship than my humble blog, I doubt many people would have bothered to read the umpteenth comment on an old thread. But they must have been offended by it in some way and I certainly wouldn't challenge their right to remove it.


Bear with me on this. On Thursday, a nice person (thanks) linked to one of my posts on the This is London current affairs forum (This is London is part of the Daily Mail group if you wondered). I've been following the conversation there since. Most people seemed to agree with what I'd written but yesterday, someone disagreed. They repeated the tired old nonsense that most of the media was over-stating the violence in Iraq. For a real understanding of the situation in Iraq, this person said, you should read the writings of one Amir Taheri. That's the same Amir Taheri who wrote the yellow badges story above.

Oh dear. Being a public spirited individual, I felt it was my duty to point out that Amir Taheri is actually a neo-conservative stooge so last night I signed up to the forum and submitted my comment to that effect. My post went into the moderation queue.

This morning, when I went to check if there'd been any responses, I discovered something rather startling. Not only has the moderator not posted my comment but they've deleted the entire thread. This, judging by their archives, is an unusual occurrance. It seems that there are those in t'media who would rather people didn't know that Amir Taheri is a neo-conservative stooge.

So, public spirited bloggers, how about you join me in doing this:

Amir Taheri is a neo-conservative stooge.

Or something like it. I don't know about you but I think its important to try to challenge the propaganda of right-wing media loons as they attempt to manipulate public opinion in order to generate support for another military misadventure.

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Davide Simonetti said...

Hello, I've linked to this post and put up a similar "Amir Taheri is a neo-conservative stooge" message. Please excuse me paraphrasing some of your piece, I couldn't do it any better.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I'm too flaky to sustain a blog. However, I did get twice into this thread;

It's quite an enjoyable game this.

Cheers, Alex

septicisle said...

Harry's Place is a waste of time. That they believed what was obviously a huge amount of crap, which anyone who'd bothered to spend 5 minutes checking would have realised, just shows how far some parts of the "left" have gone.