Today, Sunnis in Iran have a substantial population (around 15 million), and I will now mention some of the problems Sunni communities face in Iran. Some of the following items may surprise you, but it is obvious that there is currently very serious Shiite sectarian discrimination in Iran.
Sunnis living in Iran are not allowed to name their children as they like. There is a book of permitted names at civil registers, and no one can pick a name that is not in this book. For instance, Iranian authorities do not allow people to choose Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, or Aisha as names for their children. Civil registers won’t put these names on ID cards. They tend to refer to the famed Persian poet Omar Khayyam as Khayyam, dropping the Omar part.
Sunnis are allowed to serve in the military, but they are not permitted to become officers.
Almost all administrative or employment forms contain the question, “Are you Sunni or Shiite?”
Printing of Sunni reference books is not free.
Religious courses given in schools in predominantly Sunni regions teach Shiite beliefs. Little information is given about Sunnism.
Several years ago, a political decision was made to introduce a Shiite representative of the spiritual leader (Wilayat-e Faqih or Guardianship of the Jurist) to religious madrasas belonging to Sunnis. This representative enjoys extraordinary power and authority. He can appoint or remove from office anyone at wil… >>>