Monday, February 10, 2014

Would You Want to be a Jew in Iran?

I know I wouldn't. Going strictly by this NYT bit of puffery, though, you might get the impression that it's really not all that bad:
Though the Jewish population of Iran is dwindling — now at about 9,000, according to an official census by the Statistical Center of Iran, though other estimates range to 20,000 — the country has the largest number of Jews in the Middle East after Israel. 
Dr. Morsadegh, the surgeon, has devoted his life to that diminishing community. He was a leader of the Tehran Jewish Committee, a group that supports synagogues, schools and other facets of Jewish life in Iran, and in 2008 was elected as the Jewish representative in Parliament, where five official religious minorities have a permanent seat.
He will not say that the situation for Jews and the other official religious minorities — Christian Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Zoroastrians — is perfect in Iran. The five minorities would like to see an Islamic law changed that allows one of their faith who converts to Islam to get the entire inheritance of his or her non-Muslim family, for example. Yet things are worse for evangelical Christians and Bahais, who can face prison sentences and in many cases exclusion from higher education.
Dr. Morsadegh said former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repeated Holocaust denials left psychological scars, as well. “Look, all Jews believe in the Holocaust,” he said. “It would have been much better if the former president had not raised that issue.”
President Rouhani has remained silent on the Holocaust, and in September his social media team wished Jews around the world a happy Rosh Hashana.
“It has gotten a lot better,” Dr. Morsadegh said, recalling how thousands of Jews left the country after the 1979 revolution...
Don't tell me, lemme guess: He can heartily recommend President Rouhani to everyone?

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