21 May 2006

Iran and Poul Anderson

Iran recently implemented regulations requiring Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians to wear colored strips of cloth on their clothing.

Much of the Blogosphere went into orbit upon receipt of this news, which apparently was picked up by a Canadian newspaper and from there went to the Drudge Report.

Hooray for the internet. What's missing is perspective.

Distinctive clothing has always been a part of Dhimmi legislation. Non-Muslims in Persia have long since been subject to regulations on wearing of turbans, the type of shoes worn, and a requirement to wear a belt of a specific style. A Dhimmi which dared dress in such a way as to blend in with the Muslim population was considered to have broken his 'pact' and was subject to being murdered by any Muslim which cared to do so. Of course, the (pro-Western) Shah removed some of these regulations and stopped enforcing others. But Iran's proscriptions are perfectly in line with historical interpretations of Dhimmi regulation. A cloth strip is considerably less obnoxious than some of the things Dhimmis have been forced to wear in the past.

The Iranians are not taking a page from the Nazi playbook. The Nazis took one from the Muslim playbook.

On a more cheerful note, I got some packages of used fiction from an honor society in some private school. Included was the Poul Anderson anthology The Long Night. I was delighted to find that it contains one of my all-time favorite short stories, The Star Plunderer. That story is in a collection my father owned, and it made a great impression on my when I read it as a kid.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dracphelan said...

When I was shown this by a coworker, I told him the same thing. To me, it is really amazing the number of people who think the Nazis invented this idea.

3:28 AM  
Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...

I've not seen anything that actually shows that this legislation's been passed. Yet.

8:14 AM  

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