Iran Imprisons Christians, Then Showcases Book on U.S. 'Islamophobia'

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

“War is deceit,” according to a statement attributed to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran were taking notes. After stepping up the persecution of Christians and even carrying out raids and arrests against them, Iranian authorities paused long enough to unveil, with great fanfare, a “scholarly” book about “Islamophobia” in the United States. Yes, that’s the real problem – and the American establishment media will nod along in agreement.


Evangelical Focus reported Tuesday that agents of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) “arrested at least twelve Christians, in a coordinated operation that took place in three different cities. The first arrest took place on 30 June, in Tehran, when ten intelligence agents raided the home of a Christian convert where there were around 30 Christians gathered.”

The agents recorded that raid, but at a certain point they turned off their cameras and began abusing the Christians, who were finally handcuffed, blindfolded, and taken away in a van with blacked-out windows. They were taken to their homes, where the IRGC agents searched for Christian material and beat some of them, along with some of their family members, including some who had not converted to Christianity.

Evangelical Focus noted: “It is believed that, in both raids, the agents were helped by an informant, who had infiltrated the group of Christians within the past few months and gained their trust.”

All this followed a report in late June that seven other converts to Christianity had been sentenced to prison or other punishments, including exile, fines, and work restrictions, for the crime of exercising their freedom of conscience. According to, “they were each convicted of the same charge – ‘propaganda against the state’ – under Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code, which provides for up to a year in prison for anyone found guilty of engaging in ‘any type of propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran or in support of opposition groups and associations.’”


Mansour Borji of the human rights advocacy group Article18 stated: “Condemning these people to prison because of their possession of Bibles and Christian symbols is a clear demonstration that Iran’s Foreign Minister and others aren’t telling the truth when they say that ‘no-one is put in prison in Iran simply because of their beliefs.’ These people have done nothing that could be construed as ‘propaganda against the state’ or ‘acting against national security’, but nevertheless they have been treated so unjustly.”

Meanwhile, the International Quran News Agency reported that “a book on political Islamophobia in the US was unveiled in a ceremony in Tehran on Monday,” that is, the day before the raids and arrest of twelve Christians.

The book in question is entitled Political Islamophobia at American Institutes: Battling the Power of Islamic Resistance, and is the masterwork of University of Tehran Professor Hakimeh Saghaye-Biriya. The Islamic Human Rights Commission not in Tehran, but in London, has published the book.

According to the International Quran News Agency, “it analyses the role of US think tanks in institutionalizing and fueling Islamophobia in the US government’s domestic and foreign policies.” During the ceremony at the International Quran News Agency in Tehran, Saghaye-Biriya “described Islamophobia as a branch of racism in the West. She said at a time when protests against racism have spread globally, there is a good opportunity to make a bridge between Islamic resistance and anti-racism movements in the world.”


During the ceremony, a video message from Wayne State University’s Saeed Khan was played; it “hailed the book for providing a good analysis of the role of political think thanks in US policy making and understanding the roots of Islamophobia in the country.”

Back in the real world, “Islamophobia” is a propaganda neologism designed to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women.

Meanwhile, this book, and the accompanying ceremony, reveals the insidious nature of the entire “Islamophobia” enterprise. The Iranian endorsement and propagation of this term, with the participation of Wayne State University’s Saeed Khan, recalls another Iranian initiative in academic propaganda: Carl Ernst, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill pseudo-academic whose work on Islam is so whitewashed, so fawningly apologetic, so complete in its denial of the jihad doctrine and Sharia oppression, that he was given an award in 2008 by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the genocide-minded anti-Semite who was at that time President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ernst happily flew to Tehran to accept. The incident was emblematic of how much American academia has degenerated.

After all, when was the last time you saw an American academic discuss the Muslim persecution of Christians, or Iran’s treatment of religious minorities, or the inconsistency of Iranian authorities in persecuting Christians while complaining about “Islamophobia”? That’s right: never. That’s not what they do in the Antifa indoctrination factories known as universities these days; they’re too busy recording video messages applauding Iranian propaganda.


Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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