Roger L. Simon

No Versace in Tehran

As many of you know, a small but interesting brouhaha has been created by a Canadian National Post story – based on a Amir Taheri column in the NY Post – alleging that the Mullahs were considering enacting dress codes (shades of the Holocaust) for political minorities in Iran. Denials have been issued. Maurice Mottamed – the Jewish representative in the Iranian parliament (what a job!) – proclaimed the allegation a “mischievous act” and said he had never heard of such a piece of legislation. My friend Tim Blair opined this might be the Plastic Turkey Story for conservatives and conservative blogs, who jumped on the salacious rumor without confirmation.

Well, maybe.

Let’s leave aside for the moment that Sen. Chuck Schumer was the first politician to howl in protest and that the liberal-conservative dichotomy is so tedious it’s in danger of replacing Ambien as the world’s most popular sleeping pill. Something is clearly going on here – the question is what. Legislation about dress codes has apparently been in front of the Majlis for some time. Part of the intention of this legislation would be to encourage Islamic dress among the young by preventing the sale of designer clothes and jeans. We could insert a number of jokes here, but what constitutes Islamic dress and how that relates to Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians (all Iranians were once Zoroastrians) are not clear. According to Dr. Zin at Regime Change Iran, maybe it could be. He writes:

Amir Taheri said the law “envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities.” This was taken by many to mean that the current law requires it, but the word “envisages” means: To conceive an image or a picture of, especially as a future possibility: envisaged a world at peace.

Why does he say it “envisages” it? Perhaps it is because it has been reported that a separate dress code for minorities has been included in earlier versions of the proposed law. Later in the article he discusses specifics of what this dress code would require. This has created confusion for many since in this part of the article it appears as if he is saying it is part of the current bill. Hopefully Amir will clarify this point in the near future. Unfortunately, since no one has yet published a complete translation of the actual text of the law we will have to wait until it is available. One would think that the main stream media would publish a complete translation of it, but as of this time it is not available.

Don’t held your breath. Meanwhile, as David Horovitz at the Jerusalem Post points out, why the astonishment? Ahmadinejad has already declared his support for wiping Israel off the map. Dress codes are small change by comparison.

UPDATE: Neoneocon has a post on how Mr. Mottamed (see above) and similar representatives get elected to the Majlis.