Ignaz Goldziher, ''Arab und ''Agam. Muhammedanische Studien I. Halle. 1889-1890. I p. 101. tr. London 1967-1971, I, p. 98 that Ibn Khaldun has meant Persians. Moreover, the word "Ajam" itself is derived from the root A-J-M and refers to "to be unclear, vague and/or incomprehensible" as opposed to Arabi which means "clear, understandable, with perfect Arabic tongue". Anti-Iranianism in early Islamic period
Patrick Clawson states that "The Iranians chafed under Umayyid rule. The Umayyids rose from traditional Arab aristocracy. They tended to marry other Arabs, creating an ethnic stratification that discriminated against Iranians. Even as Arabs adopted traditional Iranian bureaucracy, Arab tribalism disadvantaged Iranians."
The conquest of Persia and beyond was thus seemingly intended to raise new revenues. Naturally, the native population did not appreciate this exploitation. Many Arab Muslims believed that Iranian converts should not clothe themselves as Arabs, among many other forms discrimination that existed.
Mu''awiyah, in a famous letter addressed to Ziyad ibn Abih, the then governor of Iraq, wrote:"Be watchful of Iranian Muslims and never treat them as equals of Arabs. Arabs have a right to take in marriage their women, but they have no right to marry Arab women. Arabs are entitled to inherit their legacy, but they cannot inherit from an Arab. As far as possible they are to be given lesser pensions and lowly jobs. In the presence of an Arab, a non-Arab shall not lead the congregation prayer, nor they are to be allowed to stand in the first row of prayer, nor to be entrusted with the job of guarding the frontiers or the post of a qadi."
Mistreatment of Iranians and other non-Arabs during early Islam is well documented. To begin with, the Umayyids did not recognize equal rights of a Mawali and believed that only "pure Arab blood" was worthy of ruling. Neither did they make any effort to mend relations with the Mawali after making declarations like:"We blessed you with the sword (referring to the conquests) and dragged you into heaven by chains of our religion. This by itself is enough for you to understand that we are superior to you."
The Umayyid Arabs are even reported to have prevented the Mawali from having kunyas, as an Arab was only considered worthy of a kunya. They were required to pay taxes for not being an Arab:"During the early centuries of Islam when the Islamic empire was really an ''Arab kingdom'', the Iranians, Central Asians and other non-Arab peoples who had converted to Islam in growing numbers as Mawali or ''clients'' of an Arab lord or clan, had in practice acquired an inferior socio-economic and racial status compared to Arab Muslims, though the Mawali themselves fared better than the empire''s non-Muslim subjects, the Ahl al-dhimma (''people of the book''). The Mawali, for instance, paid special taxes, often similar to the jizya (poll tax) and the kharaj (land tax) levied on the Zoroastrians and other non-Muslim subjects, taxes which were never paid by the Arab Muslims."References in Persian literature
Zarrinkoub presents a lengthy discussion on the large flux and influence of the victorious Arabs on the literature, language, culture and society of Persia during the two centuries following the Islamic conquest of Iran in his book "Two Centuries of Silence". Iranian languages suppressed
After the Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire, during the reign of the Ummayad dynasty, the Arab conquerors imposed Arabic as the primary language of the subject peoples throughout their empire. Not happy with the prevalence of the Iranian languages in the divan, Hajjāj ibn Yusuf ordered the official language of the conquered lands to be replaced by Arabic, sometimes by force.
From Biruni''s From The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries (الآثار الباقية عن القرون الخالية):وقتی قتبیه بن مسلم سردار حجاج، بار دوم بخوارزم رفت و آن را باز گشود هرکس را که خط خوارزمی می نوشت و از تاریخ و علوم و اخبار گذشته آگاهی داشت از دم تیغ بی دریغ درگذاشت و موبدان و هیربدان قوم را یکسر هلاک نمود و کتابهاشان همه بسوزانید و تباه کرد تا آنکه رفته رفته مردم امی ماندند و از خط و کتابت بی بهره گشتند و اخبار آنها اکثر فراموش شد و از میان رفت "When Qutaibah bin Muslim under the command of Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef was sent to Khwarazmia with a military expedition and conquered it for the second time, he swiftly killed whomever wrote the Khwarazmian native language that knew of the Khwarazmian history, science and culture. He then killed all their Zoroastrian priests and burned and wasted their books, until gradually the illiterate only remained, who knew nothing of writing and hence their history was mostly forgotten."
It is difficult to imagine the Arabs not implementing anti-Persian policies in light of such events, writes Zarrinkoub in his famous Two Centuries of Silence, where he exclusively writes of this topic. Reports of Persian speakers being tortured are also given in al-Aghānī. Shi''a Islam and Iranians
| ||This section relies on references to primary sources. Please add references to secondary or tertiary sources. (May 2014) |
Predominantly Shia Iran has always exhibited a sympathetic side for Ali and his progeny. Even when Persia was largely Sunni, this was still evident as can be seen from the writings remaining from that era. Rumi for example praises Ali in a section entitled "Learn from Ali". It recounts Ali ibn Abi Talib''s explanation as to why he declined to kill someone who had spit in his face as Ali was defeating him in battle. Persian literature in praise of Ali''s progeny is quite ubiquitous and abundant. These all stem from numerous traditions regarding Ali''s favor of Persians being as equals to Arabs.
Several early Shi''ite sources speak of a dispute arising between an Arab and an Iranian woman. Referring the case to Ali for arbitration, Ali reportedly did not allow any discrimination between the two to take place. His judgment thus invited the protest of the Arab woman. Thereupon, Ali replied, "In the Quran, I did not find the progeny of Ishmael (the Arabs) to be any higher than the Iranians."
In another such tradition, Ali was once reciting a sermon in the city of Kufah, when Ash''as ibn Qays, a commander in the Arab army protested, "Amir-al-Momeneen! These Iranians are excelling the Arabs right in front of your eyes and you are doing nothing about it!" He then roared, "I will show them who the Arabs are!" Ali immediately retorted, "While fat Arabs rest in soft beds, the Iranians work hard on the hottest days to please God with their efforts. And what do these Arabs want from me? To ostracize the Iranians and become an oppressor! I swear by the God that splits the nucleus and creates Man, I heard the prophet once say, just as you strike the Iranians with your swords in the name of Islam, so will the Iranians one day strike you back the same way for Islam."
When the Sassanid city of Anbar fell to the forces of Mu''awiyeh, news reached Ali that the city had been sacked and plundered spilling much innocent blood. Early Shi''ite sources report that Ali gathered all the people of Kufa to the mosque and gave a fiery sermon. After describing the massacre, he said, "If somebody hearing this news now faints and dies of grief, I fully approve of it!" It is from here that Ali is said to have had more sympathy for Iranians while author S. Nureddin Abtahi claims that Umar highly resented them. Modern times
It was in Baghdad where the first Arab nationalists, mainly of Palestinian and Syrian descent, formed the basis of their overall philosophies. Prominent among them were individuals such as Mohammad Amin al-Husayni (the Mufti of Jerusalem) and Syrian nationalists such as Shukri al-Quwatli and Jamil Mardam. Sati'' al-Husri, who served as advisor to the Ministry of Education and later as Director General of Education and Dean of the College of Law, was particularly instrumental in shaping the Iraqi educational system. Other prominent Pan-Arabists were Michel Aflaq and Khairallah Talfah, as well as Sati'' al-Husri, Salah al-Din al-Bitar, Zaki al-Arsuzi and Sami Shwkat (brother of Naji Shawkat). These individuals formed the nucleus and genesis of true pan-Arabism.
Sati'' al-Husri''s campaigns against schools suspected of being positive towards Persia are well documented. One dramatic example is found in the 1920s when the Iraqi Ministry of Education ordered Husri to appoint Muhammad Al-Jawahiri as a teacher in a Baghdad school. A short excerpt of Husri''s interview with the teacher is revealing:"Husri: First, I want to know your nationality. Jawahiri: I am an Iranian. Husri: In that case we cannot appoint you."
Saddam Hussein Al Majid Al Tikriti forced out tens of thousands of people of Persian origin from Iraq in the 1970s, after having been accused of being spies for Iran and Israel. Today, many of them live in Iran. Iran–Iraq War
Early on in his career, Saddam Hussein and pan-Arab ideologues targeted the Arabs of southwest Iran in an endeavour to have them separate and join ''the Arab nation.'' Hussein made no effort to conceal Arab Nationalism in his war against Iran (which he called "the second Battle of al-Qādisiyyah). An intense campaign of propaganda during his reign meant that many school children were taught that Iran provoked Iraq into invading and that the invasion was fully justified.
On 2 April 1980, a half-year before the outbreak of the war, Saddam Hussein visited al-Mustansiriyyah University in Baghdad. By drawing parallels to the 7th-Century defeat of Persia in the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, he announced:"In your name, brothers, and on behalf of the Iraqis and Arabs everywhere, we tell those cowards who try to avenge Al-Qadisiyah that the spirit of Al-Qadisiyah as well as the blood and honor of the people of Al-Qadisiyah who carried the message on their spearheads are greater than their attempts."
Saddam also accused Iranians of "murdering the second (Umar), third (Uthman) and fourth (Ali) Caliphs of Islam", invading the three islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs in the Persian Gulf and attempting to destroy the Arabic language and civilization.
In the war, Iraq made extensive use of chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds. Iran expected a condemnation by UN of this act and sent allegation to UN. At time (-1985) the UN Security Council issued statements that "chemical weapons had been used in the war." However, in these UN-statements Iraq was not mentioned by name, so that the situation is viewed as "in a way, the international community remained silent as Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Iranian as well as Iraqi Kurds" and it is believed that the United States had prevented UN from condemning Iraq.
In December 2006, Hussein said he would take responsibility "with honour" for any attacks on Iran using conventional or chemical weapons during the 1980–1988 war, but he took issue with charges he ordered attacks on Iraqis.
On the execution day, Hussein said, "I spent my whole life fighting the infidels and the intruders, I destroyed the invaders and the Persians." He also stressed that the Iraqis should fight the Americans and the Persians. Mowaffak al Rubiae, Iraq''s National Security adviser, who was a witness to Hussein''s execution described him as repeatedly shouting "down with Persians." Hussein built an anti-Iranian monument called Hands of Victory in Baghdad in 1989 to commemorate his declaration of victory over Iran in the Iran-Iraq war (though the war was considered by many to have ended in stalemate). After his fall, it was reported that the new Iraqi government had organized the Committee for Removing Symbols of the Saddam Era and that the Hands of Victory monument had begun to be dismantled. However, the demolition was later halted. Other Arab states
Some Arab states show hostility to Iran. Al-Salafi magazine, quoted in The Times, states, "Iran has become more dangerous than Israel itself. The Iranian revolution has come to renew the Iranian presence in our region. This is the real clash of civilisations."
In January 2007, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah said that attempts to convert Muslim Sunnis to the Shi''a branch of Islam would not succeed and that Sunnis would always make up the majority of the world''s Muslims. Although Abdullah did not mention Iran by name, his comments appeared to be aimed at easing Arab concerns over the Shi''a nation''s growing influence in the Middle East. "We are following up on this matter and we are aware of the dimensions of spreading Shi''ism and where it has reached", Abdullah told the Kuwaiti Al-Siyassah daily. "However, we believe that this process will not achieve its goal because the majority of Sunni Muslims will never change their faith", he added. Ultimately, "the majority of Muslims seems immune to any attempts by other sects to penetrate it (Sunnism) or diminish its historical power." While there have been no specific examples of Iranians trying to convert Sunnis, Arabs fear such conversions would accompany Iran''s growing powers. Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda has been increasingly singling out Iran and Shiites, describing the "Persians" as the enemy of Arabs and complicit in the occupation of Iraq. The Netherlands
The requests of the Ministry of Education and Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands to monitor Iranian students has led to a situation that Iranian students cannot study at the University of Twente in the city of Enschede and Eindhoven University of Technology in the city of Eindhoven. The latter university had even asked the AIVD (the Dutch intelligence service) to monitor the Iranian students. AIVD stated that it was not their duty to do this and the University has decided to stop admitting any applicants from Iran no matter what degree they are seeking. The reason provided by the Dutch government is that it fears the theft of sensitive nuclear technology that could assist the Iranian government in constructing nuclear weapons. After protests were lodged, the Dutch government announced again that the Iranian students and the Dutch citizens of Iranian extraction, are not allowed to study at many Dutch universities and some areas in the Netherlands are off-limits to them.
Additionally, several other universities stated that the government had prohibited them from admitting students from Iran, and technical colleges weren''t to allow Iranian students access to knowledge of nuclear technology. It was noted that this was the first time after the German occupation during the Second World War that ethnic-, religion- or racial-based restrictions were imposed in this part of Europe. Harry van Bommel, a parliamentarian of the Dutch Socialist Party (SP), condemned this berufsverbot, deliberately using a German word which is associated with the Second World War. Although the Dutch authorities state that the UN security council''s resolution 1737 (2006) authorizes them and obliges all member states of the UN to take such a measure, the Netherlands remains the only country to have done so. Turkey
Iran''s Minister of Culture Hossein Saffar Harandi has called the disrespect to the Persian Shahnameh by some Pan-Turkists as the "introduction to Anti-Iranianism". Canadian author Kaveh Farrokh claims that pan-Turkist groups have encouraged anti-Iranian sentiments.
Historically, the Shia Muslims were discriminated in the Ottoman Empire as they were associated with their Iranian/Persian neighbors. In Turkey, relatively large communities of Turks, Kurds and Zazas are Alevi Shia, while some areas in Eastern Anatolia, notably Kars and Ağrı, are Twelver Shia. Sanctions against Iranian scientists Main article: Sanctions against Iranian scientists
The United States has been creating obstacles for research of Iranian scientists, according to the 2004 ruling of the US Department of the Treasury, which tied their scientific work to trade embargo of Iran.
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