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Anti-Semitism in the Iranian Blogosphere

Hamid Tehrani, the Iran editor for Global Voices, has an interesting new article on the History News Network site about anti-Semitism in the Iranian blogosphere: “Iranian anti-Semitic Bloggers: From Mickey Mouse’s Plot to Gaddafi’s Jewishness.” Hamid reviewed some 30 anti-Semitic blogs, which he sees as a subset of Islamist bloggers, that can be further sub-divided between nationalists and Islamists. Hamid also believes that these blogs have a pretty small readership. Further, he finds they all blog anonymously, are pro-government and emerged after Ahmadinejad became President.

Hamid concludes:

Anti-Semitic blogs are a small part of the Iranian blogosphere and can be considered a sub-group of Islamist blogs. These blogs show that anti-Semitism is a dynamic movement in Iran, able to combine traditional/religious, national and Western elements.

The conspiracy theories these blogs peddle reflect the trademark rhetoric associated with Ahmadinejad: denial of the Holocaust, suspicions about 9/11, claims that inflation is a Jewish plot. All of these claims have a common element: the denial of facts.

All Iranian statesmen do not support Ahmadinejad’s attitude. Former President Khatami calls the Holocaust a reality. Many Iranian religious leaders, despite their strong anti-Israel rhetoric, seldom sound anti-Semitic.

In our own Iranian blogosphere research we did not specifically look for anti-Semitism, but we noted that some blocked blogs reviewed by the OpenNet Initiative that were outside of the Secular/Expatriate cluster (the most frequently blocked cluster), appeared to be blocked because of anti-Semitic remarks.

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