He's been at the Jinn and tonic

By Tracy-Ann Oberman, July 10, 2014

Sorcery and witchcraft and Jews. It's a cultural and religious obsession, isn't it? I don't know about you, but once my Shabbat chicken is in the oven, I like to take out my cauldron and concoct some noxious brew worthy of the Three Weird Women in Macbeth. Mr O refers to this as my attempt at cholent. But he's wrong. I'm just your average Jewish sorcerer, like the rest of our kind.

Don't know what I'm on about? Well, listen to the recent interview by Iranian "Jewboy" superfan Valiollah Naghipourfar. He gave a lengthy treatise on Iranian state TV this week about Jinns and the Jews.

A Jinn (for the unenlightened) is a demonic evil spirit. And who controls these Jinns? Us! The Jews. Apparently we lead the world in sorcery and witchcraft. I thought we led the world in accountancy, but what do I know?

I've heard it said that Jews control the media, have spookily creative brains that give them the edge in the fields of arts, technology, psychology, business and law. But leaders in the field of controlling demonic spirits? Why have we kept this talent under our kippot for so long?

During the intense interview, I learnt: "Those who have contact with Jinns are often Jewish. Many sorcerers are actually Jews… In the past, many European Jewish sorcerers were put to death".

Harry's spells are really talmudic prayers…

When the interviewer asked if a whole government could be "manipulated by Jinns", Naghipourfar emphatically nodded and said: "Yes. In Israel. Not Iran. In Israel, the Devil controls the infidels."

You learn something new every day. I thought Jews were put to death in Europe due to rampant antisemitism and power play between religious and political leaders looking for a convenient scapegoat as a means to control the population. So I'd love to know Naghipourfar's sources.

Maybe he is a huge Harry Potter fan and found the recent essay suggesting that Harry Potter is essentially a Jewish book. Hogwarts is the ancient yeshivah. Harry and his fellow full-blooded wizards are the Chosen People. The half-bloods are half-Jewish and the Muggles are not Jewish at all. The power and importance of naming and names is a Jewish/wizarding tradition and Harry's spells are talmudic prayers. Oh, and He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned is of course (no, not Voldemort) that charismatic Jewish carpenter's son.

Perhaps Naghipourfar has seen Sacha Baron Cohen's brilliant Borat film one too many times and the scene where his parody of an antisemitic Kazakhstani spends a night at a guesthouse run by an elderly Jewish couple. On seeing two cockroaches in his room at midnight, he hisses at the camera: "It's those Jews! All Jews are shape-shifters".

Naghipourfar could be a Borat character, a parody of a backwater, provincial Iranian farmer holding on to antisemitic beliefs. But it stops being funny when you discover that the insanity comes from a well respected iman and top lecturer at Tehran University. Now that's not magic.

Last updated: 2:45pm, July 10 2014