Not again? Iran plans to require religious minorities to wear colored ribbons on the front of their clothes so that they can be easily identified. What good can possibly come from this? If this reminds the astute reader of some ugly business which occurred all over Europe during the middle of the last century, your not alone. When informed of the plan, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said "If that is true I would find that totally repugnant. It obviously echoes the most horrible period of genocide in the world's history -- the marking of Jewish people with a mark on their clothing by the Nazis." If you dig a little deeper you will find that the Nazis were imitating the Islamic conquerors of Iran from 642 A.D.
The battle of Nehavend in 642 A.D. and the defeat of the Sassanid by Arab-Muslims ended the independence of Persia after nearly 12 centuries and it became a part of the Arab-Islamic entity. The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs of Damascus and Baghdad controlled Persia. Arabic words infiltrated the Persian language, and Islam replaced Zorastrianism as the state religion. These changes had a profound impact on the many religious minorities within Persia. Through a covenant of Omar (a Sunni Muslim leader), non-Muslims were deprived of social and political equality, and became, in effect, second-class citizens. Jews were made to wear a yellow ribbon on their arms and Christians a blue ribbon to distinguish them from Muslims. Professor Amnon Netzer of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem told RFE/RL that the yellow patch as a distinctive mark for Iranian Jews reappeared a number of times through Iranian history, most recently at the beginning of the 20th century.