We now know that a draft law introduced in Iran's Islamic Majlis (parliament) on May 14 contained no provisions for non-Muslims to wear identifying patches....
Yet in the hullabaloo that followed, we all seemed to lose sight of the fact that an essential part of the story was true enough.
Iran's theocratic lawmakers have, in fact, been drafting dress codes -- a kind of "run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes" exercise, Iranian-style. Whether or not any consideration was given to provisions that would mandate identifying badges for religious minorities, the version passed this month didn't contain such provisions. But whatever mooted dress codes may or may not contain, they're sumptuary laws. As such, they belong in the Dark Ages. Their natural home is the 8th century rather than the 21st....
As the philosopher George Santayana pointed out, those who don't remember history have to re-live it. Today, sumptuary laws are making a comeback. Even the French are flirting with them when they outlaw Muslim head dresses. Secular or religious, the world is sinking into neo-medievalism. Under Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad, the fossil-fuelled theocracy of the former Persia continues her simultaneous slide back into the Middle Ages and forward into a nuclear future.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
George Jonas, he of Vengeance fame, puts another emphasis on what the Iranian clothing law is really all about, even if there were no religious minority provisions. Unfortunately, it's a subscription-only article, so I can't provide a link, but hopefully it'll go up on his or Benador's site soon.