Doesn’t hold up on the truthiness meter, but right-wing propaganda is better than the Onion in my opinion.
Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: Persian Shiite anti-Semitism is deep-seated and points to genocide (National Review)
The Persianophilic scholar E. G. Browne wrote those words in the 1920s about the entire pre-Pahlavi period of Shiite theocratic rule, from the ascension of the first Safavid shah, Ismail I, at the outset of the 16th century through Reza Shah Pahlavi’s installation in 1925, at the end of the Qajar dynasty. These Shiite clerics emphasized the notion of the ritual uncleanliness (najis) of Jews in particular, but also of Christians, Zoroastrians, and others, as the cornerstone of relations toward non-Muslims. The impact of this najis conception was already apparent to European visitors to Persia during the reign of Ismail I. The Portuguese traveler Tome Pires observed (between 1512 and 1515) that “Sheikh Ismail … never spares the life of any Jew,” while another European travelogue notes “the great hatred [Ismail I] bears against the Jews.”
The writings and career of Mohammad Baqer al-Majlisi elucidate the imposition of Islamic law (Sharia) on non-Muslims in Shiite Iran. Al-Majlisi (d. 1699) was perhaps the most influential cleric of the Safavid Shiite theocracy in Persia. For six years at the end of the 17th century, he functioned as the de facto ruler of Iran, making him the Ayatollah Khomeini of his era. By design, he wrote many works in Persian to disseminate key aspects of the Shia ethos among ordinary persons. In his Persian treatise “Lightning Bolts Against the Jews,” Al-Majlisi describes the standard humiliating requisites for non-Muslims living under sharia, first and foremost the blood-ransom jizya, or poll-tax, based on Koran 9:29.
He then enumerates six other restrictions relating to worship, housing, dress, transportation, and weapons, before outlining the unique Shiite impurity or najisregulations. It is these latter najis prohibitions which lead anthropology professor Laurence Loeb — who studied and lived within the Jewish community of Southern Iran in the early 1970s — to observe, “Fear of pollution by Jews led to great excesses and peculiar behavior by Muslims.” According to Al-Majlisi:
And, that they should not enter the pool while a Muslim is bathing at the public baths … If something can be purified, such as clothes, if they are dry, they can be accepted, they are clean. But if they [the dhimmis] had come into contact with those cloths in moisture they should be rinsed with water after being obtained… . It would also be better if the ruler of the Muslims would establish that all infidels could not move out of their homes on days when it rains or snows because they would make Muslims impure.
The dehumanizing character of these popularized “impurity” regulations fomented recurring Muslim anti-Jewish violence, including pogroms and forced conversions throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, which rendered areas of IranJudenrein — free of Jews. For example, the preeminent modern historian of Iranian Jewry, Walter Fischel, provides these observations based on the 19th-century narrative of Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel and additional eyewitness accounts:
Due to the persecution [by] their Moslem neighbors, many once flourishing communities entirely disappeared. Maragha, for example, ceased to be the seat of a Jewish community around 1800, when the Jews were driven out… . Similarly, Tabriz, where over 50 Jewish families are supposed to have lived, became Judenrein towards the end of the 18th century through similar circumstances. The peak of the forced elimination of Jewish communities occurred under Shah Mahmud (1834‒48), during whose rule the Jewish population in Meshed, in eastern Persia, was forcibly converted, an event which not only remained unchallenged by Persian authorities, but also remained unknown and unnoticed by European Jews.