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Iranian state television has come to the conclusion that Harry Potter is a Zionist plot. The documentary, which you can watch here, features several "experts" discussing the wildly popular series of books and movies.

One of the experts quoted in the documentary says that Harry Potter is part of a "cultural crusade" and through the movies "they [Zionists] are indirectly saying: 'join us.'"

The documentary, which shows many of the darker scenes from the series, concludes that elements of the Kabbalah are presented in the movies. One expert says that Harry Potter is portrayed as the Messiah and the film touches on Armadeggon, which he says fits into popular Christian Zionist beliefs.

In 2007, Iran's ultra-conservative daily "Kayhan" called Harry Potter "a billion-dollar Zionist project" and a "destructive bomb" for children's minds. It alleged that the author J.K. Rowling had links to Zionists and that was how she became so well known.

Last June, Iranian television aired a documentary making similar allegations about the animated movie "Chicken Run," where chickens escape from a failing farm in what was widely seen as a parody of "The Great Escape."

According to that documentary, there were references in the movie to the Holocaust and concentration camps.

It's not only the Iranians who are upset by Harry Potter, of course. In the United States, some conservative Christians have objected to the Harry Potter series, arguing that its depictions of witchcraft are damaging to children.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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