The Ethnic Instability of Iran
Avoiding all political correctness, there are some ancestral reasons that Iran should have been easy to deal with. However, the last administration coddled the mullahs in Iran and let opportunity fly away. It may be too late to do anything about it right now; however, later on, after Iran is in pieces, there could be a basis for change.
Iranians (historically called Persians) are not Arabs. Iran (Persia) was home to a set of rather mighty empires, most notably the Achaemenid Empire, which fell to Alexander, then later on the Parthian and Sassanid Empires, which kept the Roman Empire at bay until Emperor Heraclius (Bzyantine/East Roman Empire) finally defeated them in A.D. 628.
To put it bluntly, and politically incorrectly, the Persians were not Semites, but Indo-Europeans. To those unaware, Indo-Europeans are those peoples who came out of the Caucasus area, hence the term "Caucasian." Most moved west into Europe; a noticeable few went eastward into Iran, northern India, and Xingjiang, China (the Uyghurs). Persians are essentially Europeans who went the wrong way.
To this day, ethnic Persians can pass easily for Mediterranean Greeks or Italians. To further emphasize this, the Balkan Croatians claim descent from these Iranians.
According to a recent research, in the time before the great migration of nations (before the fall of the Western Roman Empire), two tribes of Iranian origin set out on a great adventure. Serbs and Croats were once tribes of Iranian origin[.]
Indeed, Iran's national language is an Indo-European tongue: Farsi. Farsi uses an Arabic alphabet, but the language is not Semitic – think of Yiddish, which is a Germanic/Slavic dialect that uses the Hebrew alphabet. Likewise, Iranian is closer to English than Arabic.
So what happened?
The Byzantine (they called themselves Roman) and Sassanid Persian Empires fought a brutal decades-long war, which Byzantium finally won in A.D. 628. Both empires were so weakened that they fell prey to Islam just a few years later. Byzantium had some fight left and would take over 800 years to fall, but Persia was conquered in two decades by A.D. 651.
The Iranians have never forgotten this. We all know that with Islam comes the sexual takeover of the female population. Women are booty, and there is a degree of genetic drift, as children of mixed ethnicity arrive nine months after conquest. Islam – which originated on the side of the Arabian peninsula adjacent to the African coast – must have necessarily brought in some African blood as well. The ethnic makeup of Iran today is not what it was 1,400 years ago, pre-Islam.
To put it bluntly, if the Viking predations lightened the complexions of many European nations, Muslim invaders made them more swarthy. The clearest example of this would be the Gaels versus the Galicians of Spain. Galicia was once a temporary waystation of the Goidelic Celts, who, according to legend, then went from Spain to Ireland. These Celts were once the same people. Only in the 8th century, Ireland was hammered by the Vikings, while Spain was hammered by the Moors. The Irish were lightened a bit, while their Galician cousins acquired a tan. Thirteen hundred years later, the Galicians of Spain are sometimes a bit swarthier than the Irish, even though they take pride in their Celtic ancestry. The same mechanism operated in Iran.
Iran's core ethnic group is besieged, however. Persians are only 61% of the population. Ahmadinejad was not an ethnic Persian. His mother claimed to be a descendant of Mohammed, indicating maternal Arab ancestry in part. There was a very disputed rumor that he was part-Jewish on his father's side.
A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots.
A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.
Historically, the Persian ethnic core of Iran truly despises Arabs and has mixed feeling about the religion of Mohammed that the Arabs brought with their invasion. It may be one reason why Iran almost singularly holds to Shi'a Islam. If they were going to be forced to be Muslim, they would be damned if they were going to be standard Sunni; that was too Arabic for them.
[Iranian intellectual Sadek Zibakalam said,] "I think the majority of Iranians of all types hate Arabs, and I believe they hate us, too," Sadek Zibakalam, who is also a professor at the University of Tehran, said in an interview with the Iranian weekly Sobh Azade. ...
This hatred, Zibakalam argued, is not the product of the current hegemony conflict in the region, as many people might suspect, but has its roots in history.
"Persians will never forget their defeat at the hands of Arabs in the Battle of Qadisiya 1,400 years ago. It is as if a fire keeps seething under the ashes and is waiting for the right moment to explode," he said.
To those who know history, this means that this Persian hatred stems back to the 7th-century invasion that brought Islam to them. Iranian national identity is a contradiction. How can they hate the Arabs who conquered them, yet love the Islam that the Arabs imposed on them?
This contradiction will not easily disappear. In fact, Iran is seeing a resurgence of Christianity.
Iranians have become the Muslim people most open to the gospel in the Middle East.
[M]ore Iranians have become Christians in the last 20 years than in the previous 13 centuries put together since Islam came to Iran. In 1979, there were an estimated 500 Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today, there are hundreds of thousands – some say more than 1 million.
Historically, the ancient Persians, such as Cyrus the Great, were friends of the Jews. Cyrus issued an edict that the Jews were to return from the Babylonian captivity and rebuild their temple. During the Byzantine-Sassanid War (A.D. 602-628), the Jews and Persians were allies against Christian Byzantines. Anti-Semitism is not in Persian blood. It is an Islamic import. This also is a contradiction.
This may seem like the history of Mars to us Americans, but it is known to every true ethnic Persian.
Islam has a track record of destroying history wherever it goes, which suppresses outward expressions of the truth. The psychological dissonance is untenable, and in a typical Islamic response, the mullahs of Iran have sought to erase Iran's history, and thereby erase the contradiction, lest the people wake up.
The Islamic Republic has made no secret of its desire and intent to destroy any and all vestiges of Iranian heritage and national identity[.] ...
[The Islamic Republic] has eliminated references to Iran's ancient history in textbooks. All of this anti-Iranianism by the IR has provided much needed ammunition to those who question to whole idea of Iran as a nation, and has allowed those characters to label Persians as recent invaders of independent and sovereign nations, denying ... the fact that this territory has been called "Iran" for the past 2500 years.
The 61% of the country that is true Persian knows better. This historical tension is what the West should have exploited, and what the mullahs fear most. The true Iranians (Persians) should be encouraged to assert a Persian ethnic identity in contradiction to the fantasies concocted by the mullahs. And when ready, the West should encourage the Persians to divest themselves of Islam as nothing more than a noxious imperialistic Arabic import.
We in the West tend to divorce religion from politics. In the Mideast, that will not work. The Iranians should be encouraged to return to their roots, which, oddly, were Judeophilic and European until the Muslims invaded.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who wishes he had availed himself more fully of the opportunity to learn Spanish in high school, lo those many decades ago. He writes on the Arabs of South America at http://latinarabia.com. He also just started a website about small computers at http://minireplacement.com.