by Julie Jigsawnovich
Tehrani friends tell me that when the economy started going bad in Iran, Ahmadinejad distracted the populace from his mismanagement by launching a "moral" crackdown on "problem" youngsters--including young women wearing bright colors. And the Shock propaganda TV shows were used to divert attention from government failings by scapegoating rappers, as Erfan Paydar pointed out in an article posted to this website. http://www.iranian.com/main/2008/what-truth
The Islamic Republic is now "re-educating" youths, redoubling efforts to instill/and reinforce Islamic ideas via a media "soft war," as reported in the New York Times.
But if the IRI is at all sophisticated, surely they realize that some Iranians will never show real enthusiasm for Islam. Now the IRI may also try to capture the attention and imagination of Zoroastrians and Iranians who love Persian history--try to get these people on their side.
I recently read the manuscript of a new book by a young Iranian who rewrote history to make Jews seem like the enemies of ancient Persians, even though they actually, historically got along well. The book was written within a mythological, game-like genre which may have the additional usefulness of especially appealing to military and basij-age males.
If the IRI succeeds in scapegoating and isolating Iranian Jews within the fantasy realm, they may have built on groundwork laid by the earlier Holocaust Cartoon exhibition in Tehran.
And if international sanctions do not successfully target Sepah/Revolutionary Guards, but instead mostly impact the populace of Iran, then an economic atmosphere may be created where propaganda scapegoating Jews inside Iran--because it's convenient--could be more readily accepted than it could be otherwise. This would violate the very spirit of Koroush/Cyrus the Great--and the greatness of heart of the Iranian people. Jews remember Cyrus for freeing them and allowing them to practice their religion. Iran is currently home to the largest population of Jews in the Middle East, outside of Israel.
Present day Iran seeks to bolster their defense against attack. Iran is being presented with an ideology of absolute submission to the will of the Supreme Leader--and religion is being used to sell this supposed utopia. 1930's Germany was afraid of being attacked. Germany was presented with an ideology of supposed racial purity and strength--and religion was used to sell this supposed utopia. The irony is that if the IRI passes special laws against Jews and persecutes them in a way even remotely resembling what happened under the Third Reich, then the IRI will strengthen Zionism exponentially.
Addendum: Fellow Iranium.com blogger, Faryarm, pointed out in their comment on this article that the regime already persecutes Bahais.