Tuesday, October 6, 2009

He's NOT Jewish!

The "Ahamdinijad is Jewish" rumors have turned out to be a hoax. See
The Guardian's response to the original claim found in The Daily Telegraph. His father was in fact a devout Shia. The details:

The outcry about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad having Jewish origins has turned out to be a hoax. An article in The Guardian has taken apart the original paper in the Daily Telegraph point by point. Written by an Iranian Jew, the article notes the Ahmadinejad family is of solid, very religious Shia background, and the mother is a Seyyede, the equivalent of a Cohen in Judaism. It states that Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of The Jews of Iran in the 19th century and an expert
on Iranian Jewish communities, discusses the original name Sabourjian. ''There
is no such meaning for the word 'sabour' in any of the Persian Jewish dialects,
nor does it mean Jewish prayer shawl in Persian. ''Also, the name Sabourjian is
not a well-known Jewish name,'' he stated in a recent interview. In fact,
Iranian Jews use the Hebrew word ''tzitzit'' to describe the Jewish prayer
shawl. Yeroshalmi, a scholar at Tel Aviv University's Center for Iranian
Studies, also went on to dispute the article's findings that the ''-jian''
ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews.
''This ending is in no way sufficient to judge whether someone has a Jewish
background. Many Muslim surnames have the same ending,'' he stated.

The Gaurdian continues that upon closer inspection, a completely different interpretation of "Sabourjian" emerges. According to Robert Tait, a Guardian correspondent who travelled to
Ahmadinejad's native village in 2005, the name "derives from thread painter -
sabor in Farsi - a once common and humble occupation in the carpet industry in
Semnan province, where Aradan is situated". This is confirmed by Kasra Naji, who
also wrote a biography of Ahmadinejad and met his family in his native village.
Carpet weaving or colouring carpet threads are not professions associated with
Jews in Iran.

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