October 3, 2009

The Ultimate Self-Hating Jew?

London's Daily Telegraph says Iran's stridently anti-Semitic President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born Jewish and that his family changed its name and religion when he was four.

I have no idea how accurate the story is, but it sure makes for an interesting read.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 3, 2009 8:57 AM
Comments

The puzzling thing to me is that the name in question, "Sabourijian", sounds Armenian, not Jewish.

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at October 3, 2009 12:39 PM

Gary,
I too used to think that any name ending in "-ian" was Armenian, but I've met some Persians whose names end in "-ian" who are not Armenian.
Harold

Posted by: Harold Author Profile Page at October 3, 2009 9:20 PM

"jian" or "jan" or "ian"

It is hard to tell, its all in the way it is being spelled the English way.

In any event as far as I am and Ahmadinejad are concerned he is Muslim as much as Columbus was Christians. That is unless and until Ahmadinejad converts to Judaism.

BTW, converts are the most righteous followers anyway. I bet it is very hard to find more pious Shia than Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at October 3, 2009 10:44 PM

I'm not sure I would call Ahmadinejad a pious Shia Muslim.

What the Iranian regime practice, i.e. that man-worshipping cult with the huge pictures of Khomeini is not exactly "Islam" in the strictest sense and not traditional Shia Islam either.

Ahmadinejad is not pious, he is simply a fanatic. Whether he calls his god Satan or Khomeini or pretends that his god is Allah is quite immaterial.

Posted by: Leauki Author Profile Page at October 4, 2009 9:52 AM

OT, or maybe not so OT, for glasnost and anand:

Yesterday a children's program aired by Hamas called for the "slaughter of Jews". How do you intend to spin that?

Posted by: Gary Rosen Author Profile Page at October 4, 2009 10:33 AM

So, converts are more fanatical then.

Posted by: leo Author Profile Page at October 4, 2009 11:43 AM
Yesterday a children's program aired by Hamas called for the "slaughter of Jews". How do you intend to spin that?

They don't mean slaughter the way we mean slaughter, just like Ahmadinejad doesn't mean wipe Israel off the map, but rather regime change. Fiery rhetoric is the way political expression is done in Arab and Muslim societies, and is not meant to be taken literally. Bridging language gaps between our cultures by not over-reacting to flowery Arabic rhetoric will only enable understanding; and understanding the other side can only foster true peace.

/sarc

Posted by: Li'l Mamzer Author Profile Page at October 4, 2009 4:34 PM

"Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of The Jews of Iran in the 19th century and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the validity of this argument. 'There is no such meaning for the word "sabour" in any of the Persian Jewish dialects, nor does it mean Jewish prayer shawl in Persian. Also, the name Sabourjian is not a well-known Jewish name,' he stated in a recent interview."

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/05/mahmoud-ahmadinejad-jewish-family

Posted by: David Boxenhorn Author Profile Page at October 5, 2009 3:44 PM

I wonder if M.A. ever traveled abroad under his old family name?

Posted by: Solomon2 Author Profile Page at October 5, 2009 7:04 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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