Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy
The comparison does not wash.
Iran is responsible for its citizens.
Israel is not responsible for the citizens of Gaza, a territory that it unilaterally withdrew from years ago. Hamas is responsible for the citizens of Gaza, and Hamas tortures, murders, and executes people in Gaza.........as well as carries on an idiotic, suicidal war with Israel, bringing pain and suffering down on Gaza.....
As CDN Bear says, a more equitable and rational comparison would be between the Jews of Iran and the Arab citizens of Israel....
BTW, in 1980, there were 80,000 Jews in Iran, now there are 25,000......which I think says something about the way they are treated.......
I'd met a Persian Jew once, and he'd told me that his take on it was that the Iranian government was peeved that the Qur'an should grant explicit rights to Christians and Jews, and so would adopt the strictest, most minimalist interpretation of whatever rights are granted Jews in the Qur'an, and remove all other rights that are not explicitly granted to Jews in the Qur'an, totally stuck on the letter of the word and not the spirit of the text. He'd given the sarcastic response: Thank God the Qur'an at least mentioned some rights explicitly, or Iranian Jews would have no rights at all.
So I will agree that Jews are not very well treated in Iran at all. Again, they are better treated than adherents of religions that are not mentioned in the Qur'an, but if you're an atheist, Buddhist, etc. you're screwed. And if you're a Baha'i, it's even worse since Baha'is, though not Muslim, do believe in the Qur'an (albeit with a radically different understanding of its text), and so are considered to be apostates.
A Baha'i friend (since deceased many years ago) had told me that a few days after the Revolution, he'd gone to work at his engineering firm only to find that he'd been fired. So he asked for his last paycheck, and was told to go to accounting. At the accounting department, they'd informed him that according to the new laws, they were not allowed to pay him since he was a Baha'i. That very day, he'd gone home, packed his family and some belongings into the car, and drove straight to Pakistan, from there to Spain, and finally Canada. He was among the lucky ones. Others, some as young as fifteen, have been murdered by the regime. Yes the situation has improved somewhat, but only owing to the international community breathing down Iran's throat all the time. They've toned it down a little, but now, instead of killing Baha'is, just try to make their lives as miserable as possible by restricting education, etc. And I'm sure they'll still kill a Baha'i if they can find a good pretext to do so.
CUBert, I'll agree that Israel is in violation of many international laws with regards to Palestine, and certainly has some discriminatory religious laws for its citizens without a doubt. When comparing religious laws though, Iran makes Israel look open to other religions (and that says a lot when Israel effectively bans interfaith marriage on its soil!).
Looking at it that way, while I have no issue with Canada being friends with Israel and Iran (albeit an honest friend that will criticize them as any real friend will), I do have a problem with Canada forming bilateral alliances with either of those countries.
And as for the Jewish attractions in Iran, remember that Muslims also believe in the Hebrew Bible, and so in Iran it likely has to do with the government preserving those sites not as Jewish heritage, but rather as part of 'pre-Christian' Muslim history. In other words, the government would view Muslims as the rightful inheritors of Jewish history, Muslims being the true spiritual descendants of the Jews of the pre-Christian era.
Remember too that the ahadith require the state to provide a synagogue for any local Jewish community that cannot afford to build one themselves. While this might sound good in principle, it can also be hellish if done as a means of following the letter rather than the spirit of the law. After all, there is a big difference between Muslims happily protecting Jewish sites in a desire for mutli-faith friendship, and doing so with contempt and a grudge because according to the Qur'an, they have to. The same Persian Jew I'd met had mentioned that he'd once even read an article to the effect that Jews should be thankful that the Qur'an grants them protection or they wouldn't deserve even that.
Now yes, you'd think a true Muslim would love to do the bidding of God as taught in his sacred texts. But it would seem the reality is far darker than that: these same 'Muslims' seem to curse the fact that the Qur'an and ahadith grant Jews so much protection.
I'd like to add though that I reject the idea that between Israel and Iran, one must be all good and the other all bad. They both fall within a shade of grey, though granted Iran is of a darker shade.
In spite of this though, we should still be honest and acknowledge any good point or redeeming quality in both countries.