Sabourjian: Ahmadinejad victim of a campaign

2009/10/04

Source (German): http://www.hagalil.com/archiv/2009/10/04/ahmadinidschad/
Published on hagalil.com on October 4, 2009
by Ulrich W. Sahm, Jerusalem, October 3, 2009
(Personal note: In this article there is not really any reference to the Green Movement at all. The reason for posting it is the larger context of a growing separation of Green Movement supporters in the internet on issues like the nuclear threat, Ahmadinejad’s alleged Jewish roots, and generally a lot of speculation, rumor and emotion. I wanted to provide an English version of this article, because the issue was brought up at Anonymous Iran in a discussion about an article questioning the reality of Iran’s dangerousness to the world – http://www.juancole.com/2009/10/top-things-you-think-you-know-about.html)

Allegations that Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad descended from a Jewish family that converted to Islam when he was four years old, was part of an “evil hypocritical campaign,” said Menashe Amir, an Israeli expert on Iran ..

Even though he has retired a long time ago, Amir daily broadcasts in Persian from an Israeli radio station to Iran. According to Amir, the campaign was kicked off by Mehdi Khazali, son of the conservative Ayatollah Khazali, on his personal website and was picked up by various blogs in the Internet in January.

Amir accused the British newspaper “Daily Telegraph” of technical mistakes in the research for the report on the alleged Jewish past of the Iranian president. So, the previous family name Sabourjian has “absolutely nothing to do with Jews”, said Amir. He further pointed out that Khazalis campaign against the Iranian president has even “anti-semitic features”: “Ahmadinejad is so much hated in Iran today that his alleged Jewish ancestry will further fuel anti-Jewish feelings.”

While the supposed Jewish ancestry of Ahmadinejad has so far only circulated on some rather untrustworthy internet blogs, the British “Daily Telegraph” as the first among respected and accepted media has picked up the story and referred to press photos showing Ahmadinejad’s identity card. Thus, it was discovered that his original family name was “Sabourjiad” and had been changed. Out of this story was then composed the false theory of his Jewish ancestry.

The Israeli broadcast on Saturday reported the “fact” that Ahmadinejad had been born a Jew and that his family converted to Islam, as the leading story. Even after Amir had explained that the information was poorly researched and completely wrong, the message was still dispersed on the radio news.

The original link leading to Khazali’s article on his private website, from which these claims had emanated, is not available anymore: http://www.drkhazali.com/articles-and-mails/397-1387-11-06-07-27-46.html…

© Ulrich W. Sahm / haGalil.com

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