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Reform Jewish Leader Reacts to Reported Iranian Parliament Vote Requiring Non-Muslims to Wear Badges

Pelavin:  The legislation is beyond frightening. 

Contact: Emily Kane or Liz Kaplan | 202.387.2800 |

WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 19, 2006 – In response to published reports today that Iranian expatriates have said that the Iranian Parliament voted this week to approve a dress code that included requiring Iranian Jews to wear a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

The legislation that Iranian expatriates in Canada have said passed the Iranian Parliament is beyond frightening.  This odious legislation would require Iranian Jews to wear a yellow strip of cloth; Christians to wear a red strip; and Zoroastrians to wear a blue strip.   It is difficult, if not impossible, to conceive of a benign reason the Iranian government would need to identify a citizen’s religion at a glance.  Further, the use of yellow cloth to identify Jews, with its unmistakable and ugly revival of Nazi imagery, is particularly offensive.

If these reports are confirmed, we urge the United States, the United Nations, and the entire international community to speak out against the implementation of such a policy in Iran or elsewhere.


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations
across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.

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