Forty Years of Iranian Intolerance


What does Iran's Islamic regime have to fear from the country's Christians, Baha'is, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Sunni Muslims, or Jews? Yet its treatment of these minorities is so repressive that it seems not unreasonable to ask if the clerics might be afraid of what they consider challenges to their fantasy of pure Islamic identity.

All this religious discrimination and persecution that resists even the protests from the world's highest bodies is a yet stronger indication of Iran's determination to defy the West and its values, and its appeals for human rights as mere tokens of the weakness of the democracies and the corruptions of gharbzadegi (West-struckness). It is time for that bias to end -- not through war, but through support for the Iranian people who desperately want their own freedom. A regime that can dismiss the norms of religious freedom so viciously is not worthy of respect. The Iranian people who have been fighting for their freedom all these years deserve our immediate help.

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