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Conservative Iranians blame “Jewish influence” for Tehran Mosque’s “ugly” design

A large new Mosque being built in Tehran, the capital of Iran, which has been hailed as evoking the “austerity of early Islam” has attracted ire from conservative forces in the country.

Reza Daneshmir, one of the architects of the Mosque, has said that the design departs with traditional Mosque architecture partly to appeal to young, less religious professionals in the city, adding that they “wanted it to be an avant-garde project, not a conservative and backward one”.

The Vali-e-Asr Mosque has been divisive in Iran. Whilst it has many supporters and admirers, one news source, Mashregh, has said that the building “looks like a Jewish kippa” and called for the architects to be tried for treason for “aiding the Zionist conspiracy”.

Other conservative voices in the country have decried the Mosque as the result of “Jewish and secular influence”. The idea that Jews are behind attempts to modernise is a common theme in European antisemitism, in which Jews are portrayed as attempting to erode national cultures. Like many forms of European antisemitism, it is an idea that is finding increasing amounts of traction in the Middle East.

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Iran’s Supreme leader calls to destroy “cancerous tumour” Israel, seemingly blames Israel for ISIS

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has called for a “holy intifada” to destroy the “cancerous tumour” of Israel.

In his opening address to Iran’s sixth international conference in support of the Palestinians, Khamenei described the whole world as being on a collision course with the “Zionist regime”. He said “From the beginning, this cancerous tumor has been developing in several phases until it turned into the current disaster…the cure for this tumor should be developed in phases as well.”

Describing Israel as a “cancerous tumour” is reminiscent of antisemitic language used against Jews, particularly in Nazi Germany, which referred to Jews as vermin or diseases which needed to be eradicated. The idea of Jews as a disease is still very common in far right antisemitism. According to the definition of antisemitism, it is antisemitic to use the “symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism to characterise Israel or Israelis”.

He reportedly blamed Israel for the current upheaval in the wider Middle East. Accusing Israel of founding, organising or funding ISIS is currently a very common antisemitic conspiracy theory which we are increasingly encountering online, and which we have covered instances of several times, including from a prominent anti-Zionist Facebook group and from a London-based Labour party fundraiser.

The Ayatollah said “the people of Palestine have no option other than keeping the flames of fighting alight by relying on Allah the Exalted and by relying on their innate capabilities, as they have genuinely done so until today” and also described the “brutal occupation” of Palestine as the worst case of oppression of a group of people in recorded history.

As an organisation, we have no position with the conflict between Israel, the Palestinians and other Middle Eastern states. However, describing the situation of Palestinians as the worst case of oppression in recorded history is ahistorical to the point of amounting to denial of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide and a plethora of other atrocities in human history. It is a statement that is calculated to demonise Jews as the perpetrators of the worst atrocity in human history, which is in turn being used to incite terrorism.


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Iran’s Supreme Leader releases Holocaust denial video on Holocaust Memorial Day while President tours Paris and Rome

As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani toured Rome and Paris on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, entertained by heads of state, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, released a video attacking the very existence of the Holocaust. Kamenei has often denied that the Holocaust took place, or suggested that if it did take place its scale is exaggerated. Under his direction, Iran has industrialised Holocaust denial, inserting it into popular culture through every means possible, even holding international Holocaust denial cartoon competitions, the next of which will be held in June

The video is entitled “Are The Dark Ages Over?” and was posted on Khamenei’s website on 27th January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Against the backdrop of images of the Auschwitz death camp, antisemitic Holocaust denier David Irving and others, the English subtitles of the Farsi video state: “No one in European countries dares to speak about [the] Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is a reality or not. Even if it is a reality, it is not clear how it happened. Speaking about the Holocaust and expressing doubts about it is considered to be a great sin. If someone does this, they stop, arrest, imprison and sue him. This is while they claim to be supporters of freedom. This is the ignorance that exists in today’s world. We should be awake. You dear brothers, dear people of Iran, Muslims in the great Islamic ummah and officials in different countries, should know that we can stand up against the ignorance.”

The video also begins by suggesting that Israel is behind ISIS, which is a modern-day antisemitic conspiracy myth, saying: “Who assists the fake Zionist regime? Who supports them? Who clears the road for them? Who stands behind them? It is Western powers — headed by America — that are doing so. This is while they say in their slogans that they are opposed to terrorism and ISIS. They are lying. They say things which are not true. This is ignorance.”

Source: MEMRI

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Clinton e-mail release prompts journalist’s antisemitic rant on television

The release of a new batch of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails prompted an antisemitic diatribe by a journalist in New York on state-run Iranian television.

The e-mails from Clinton’s private server showed that the former US Secretary of State considered a secret plan hatched by the US ambassador to Israel, Thomas Pickering, to foment Palestinian unrest and goad Israeli leaders into making concessions to the Palestinians.

Pickering’s e-mail, from 18th December 2011, said the plan was a potential “game changer in the region” and that the United States should undertake the campaign to spark protests, led by female Palestinians, against Israel.

In response to the email’s release last week, David Christie claimed on Press TV that Israel lobbyists “already own every politician in the Congress” and “control the entire media apparatus in the Western world,” allowing them to influence American politicians into acting in Israel’s interests.

Christie said: “It’s not a surprise that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was desperately searching for some way, some strategy, to deal with the racist-supremacist, warmongering psychopaths running Israel.

“But the miscalculation here is that the Zionist regime, headed up by master political-criminal and sociopath lunatics like Netanyahu, loves an opportunity to create another bloodbath.

“This is because when Jews control the media, they control the perceptions of everything among couch-potatoes in the United States,” enticing American voters to “vote for the candidate that is most loyal, not to the United States, but to Israel.”

Source: Press TV

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Iran offers $50,000 prize for ‘best’ cartoon mocking the Holocaust

A $50,000 prize will be offered to the creator of the ‘best’ cartoon mocking the Holocaust, in a competition organised by Tehran to be held next June.

Such competitions are not unusual in Iran; another was held earlier this year. Officials usually claim that the aim is to test the tolerance of the West for freedom of speech.

According to The Tower, “Iranian politicians who are often described as ‘moderates’ by the international media, including President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have refused to condemn the Holocaust in a straightforward manner. In contrast, Iranian political and military leaders over the years have been very clear about their genocidal aims toward Israel.”

Source: The Tower