Shi’ite Iran’s Genocidal Jew Hatred (Part 4)

Continued from part 3




Holocaust scholar Daniel Goldhagen has put forth the controversial argument that the Nazis melded centuries of annihilationist German Jew hatred to a state machinery capable of implementing the systematic mass murder of Jews. Citing the independent statements of Rafsanjani (from December 2001) and Ahmadinejad (from October 2005), Goldhagen, in a November 3, 2005 opinion editorial, cautioned,


Two Iranian presidents have now openly spoken about destroying Israel, with Ahmadinejad defiantly repeating his genocidal hopes again…despite the world’s condemnation of him.


Goldhagen’s visceral concern that  “…it would be folly for the world to treat the Iranian leaders’ words as anything but an articulation of their intent,” remained oddly de-contextualized for an historian of antisemitism with his particular mindset. Yet four centuries of najis-inspired Jew hatred in Shi’ite Iran, accompanied by pogroms, forced conversions, and other less violent, but continuous forms of social and religious persecution—none of which are ever mentioned by Goldhagen—surely meets his own prior standard—regardless of its validity—of an established “annihilationist” mentality in Germany. 


Irrespective of the controversy surrounding his earlier work on Nazi Germany, Goldhagen’s utter ignorance of Shi’ite Iran’s centuries old history of Jew hatred is pathognomonic of the current state of “scholarship” on Islamic antisemitism. Such ignorance may also explain the inability of our intellectual and policymaking elites to appreciate the prevalence and depth of support for such annihilationist views in contemporary Shi’ite Iran. Regardless, Iran must not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, certainly now, under the current regime, and into the foreseeable future.




Table 1. Behavior Code of Abul Hassan Lari (1622)


  1. Houses that are too high (higher than a Muslim’s) must be lowered.
  2. Jews may not circulate freely among the Believers
  3. In their stores, Jews must sit on low stools, in order they not see the purchaser’s face.
  4. Jews must wear a specially constructed hat of eleven colors.
  5. Around this hat they must sew a yellow ribbon, three meters long.
  6. Women must tie many little bells on their sandals
  7. Jewish women must also wear a black chador
  8. When a Jew speaks to a Muslim, he must humbly lower his head.


Table 2. The Jam’i Abbasi of al-Amili, Instituted by Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) and Administered in Some Measure Until 1925


  1. Jews are not permitted to dress like Muslims
  2. A Jew must exhibit a yellow or red “badge of dishonor” on his chest
  3. A Jew is not permitted to ride on a horse
  4. When riding on an ass, he must hang both legs on one side
  5. He is not entitled to bear arms.
  6. On the street and in the market, he must pass stealthily from a corner or from the side
  7. Jewish women are not permitted to cover their faces
  8. The Jew is restricted from establishing boundaries of private property.
  9. A Jew who becomes a Muslim, is forbidden to return to Judaism.
  10. Upon disclosure of a disagreement between Jew and Muslim, the Jew’s argument has no merit.
  11. In Muslim cities, the Jew is forbidden to build a synagogue
  12. A Jew is not entitled to have his house built higher than a Muslim’s


Table 3. Listing by Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864) of the “Oppressions” Suffered by Persian Jews, During the Mid-19th Century


  1. Throughout Persia the Jews are obliged to live in a part of town separated from the other inhabitants; for they are considered as unclean creatures, who bring contamination with their intercourse and presence.
  2. They have no right to carry on trade in stuff goods.


  1. Even in the streets of their own quarter of the town they are not allowed to keep open any shop. They may only sell there spices and drugs, or carry on the trade of a jeweler, in which they have attained great perfection.
  2. Under the pretext of their being unclean, they are treated with the greatest severity, and should they enter a street, inhabited by Mussulmans, they are pelted by the boys and mob with stones and dirt.
  3. For the same reason they are forbidden to go out when it rains; for it is said the rain would wash dirt off them, which would sully the feet of the Mussulmans.
  4. If a Jew is recognized as such in the streets, he is subjected to the greatest of insults. The passers-by spit in his face, and sometimes beat him so unmercifully and is obliged to be carried home.
  5. If a Persian kills a Jew, and the family of the deceased can bring forward two Mussulmans as witnesses to the fact, the murderer is punished by a fine of 12 tumauns (600 piastres); but if two such witnesses cannot be produced, the crime remains unpunished, even thought it has been publicly committed, and is well known.
  6. The flesh of the animals slaughtered according to Hebrew custom, but as Trefe declared, must not be sold to any Mussulmans. The slaughterers are compelled to bury the meat, for even the Christians do not venture to buy it, fearing the mockery and insult of the Persians.
  7. If a Jew enters a shop to buy anything, he is forbidden to inspect the goods, but must stand at respectful distance and ask the price. Should his hand incautiously touch the goods, he must take them at any price the seller chooses for them.
  8. Sometimes the Persians intrude into the dwellings of the Jews and take possession of whatever pleases them. Should the owner make the least opposition in defense of his property, he incurs the danger of atoning for it with his life.
  9. Upon the least dispute between a Jew and a Persian, the former is immediately dragged before the Achund [Muslim cleric] and, if the complainant can bring forward two witnesses, the Jew is condemned to pay a heavy fine. If he is too poor to pay this penalty in money, he must pay it in his person. He is stripped to the waist, bound to a stake, and receives forty blows with a stick. Should the sufferer utter the least cry of pain during this proceeding, the blows already given are not counted, and the punishment is begun afresh.
  10. In the same manner, the Jewish children, when they get into a quarrel with those of the Mussulmans, are immediately lead before the Achund, and punished with blows.
  11. A Jew who travels in Persia is taxed in every inn and every caravanserai he enters. If he hesitates to satisfy any demands that may happen to be made on him, they fall upon him, and maltreat him until he yields to their terms.
  12. If, as already mentioned, a Jew shows himself in the street during the three days of Katel (feast of the mourning for the death of the Persian founder of the religion of Ali) he is sure to be murdered.
  13. Daily and hourly new suspicions are raised against the Jews, in order to obtain excuses for fresh extortion; the desire of gain is always the chief incitement to fanaticism.


Table 4. Conditions Imposed Upon the Jews of Hamadan, 1892


1.      The Jews are forbidden to leave their houses when it rains or snows [to prevent the impurity of the Jews being transmitted to the Shiite Muslims]

2.      Jewish women are obliged to expose their faces in public [like prostitutes].

3.      They must cover themselves with a two colored izar (an izar is a big piece of amterial with which eastern women are obliged to cover themselves when leaving their houses].

4.      The men must not wear fine clothes, the only material being permitted them being a blue cotton fabric.

5.      They are forbidden to wear matching shoes.

6.      Every Jew is obliged to wear a piece of red cloth on his chest.

7.      A Jew must never overtake a Muslim on a public street.

8.      He is forbidden to talk loudly to a Muslim.

9.      A Jewish creditor of a Muslim must claim his debt in a quavering and respectful manner.

10.  If a Muslim insults a Jew, the latter must drop his head and remain silent.

11.  A Jew who buys meat must wrap and conceal it carefully from Muslims.

12.  It is forbidden to build fine edifices.

13.  It is forbidden for him to have a house higher than that of his Muslim neighbor.

14.  Neither must he use plaster for whitewashing.

15.  The entrance of his house must be low.

16.  The Jew cannot put on his coat; he must be satisfied to carry it rolled under his arm.

17.  It is forbidden for him to cut his beard, or even to trim it slightly with scissors.

18.  It is forbidden for Jews to leave the town or enjoy the fresh air of the countryside.

19.  It is forbidden for Jewish doctors to ride on horseback [this right was generally forbidden to all non-Muslims, except doctors].

20.  A Jew suspected of drinking spirits must not appear in the street; if he does he should be put to death immediately.

21.  Weddings must be celebrated in the greatest secrecy.

22.  Jews must not consume good fruit.






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