• Sunnis in Iran: Part III; the Debate Continues

    As a journalist and researcher, I very much appreciate a spirited debate about controversial issues. So I welcome the article written recently by a PhD graduate student about my issue brief on Iran’s Sunnis.

    I agree with the student’s concerns about the map, with which I was not totally comfortable. However, on the more important issue of whether Iran’s Sunnis face systemic discrimination, I disagree with the student’s arguments, many of which echo the Islamic Republic’s official line.

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  • Sunnis in Iran: An Alternate View

    In her issue brief for the Atlantic Council, “Iran’s Sunnis Resist Extremism, but for How Long?” Scheherezade Faramarzi discusses the current situation of Sunnis in Iran. While Faramarzi’s work is valuable given her fieldwork in Iran, in the view of this author, her piece contains errors and misleading information.

    I agree with Faramazi that the Islamic Republic of Iran has failed to properly integrate its Sunni population into the political system by depriving them of higher political positions such as cabinet ministries. However, I disagree with her presentation about the number of Sunnis in Iran, where they are concentrated and their socio-economic status in comparison to the majority Shia population.

    According to Faramazi,“Some fifteen million of Iran’s eighty million people are Sunni Muslims, the country’s largest religious minority.” She suggests that according to Sunni leaders...

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