A 57-year-old Jewish woman was brutally stabbed to death and her body mutilated by Muslim attackers in the Iranian city of Isfahan, in what her family says was a religiously motivated crime related to a property dispute, Menashe Amir, an expert on Iranian Jewry who spoke with the victim’s family said.
Tuba N., whose family requested not to reveal her last name, was murdered by her Muslim neighbors, who had harassed her family for years in an attempt to drive them from their home and confiscate the property for the adjoining mosque.
“The religious radicals even expropriated part of the house and attached it to the mosque’s courtyard,” Amir said. “The Jewish family appealed to the courts with the help of a local attorney” to seek redress for the conflict, “despite the threats to their lives.”
On Monday, while her husband was in Tehran attending to business matters, “thugs broke into her home, tied up her two sisters who were living with her, and repeatedly stabbed her to death.” Afterward, her attackers allegedly butchered her body and cut off her hands, a sister who witnessed the event told her relatives in the US, who conveyed the information to Amir.
Iranian authorities were said to have not returned the woman’s dismembered body to her family and have tried to cover up the case.
According to Amir, members of the dwindling community fear future bloodshed against Jews in the wake of Tuba’s murder.
Isfahan, Iran’s third-largest city, with a population of over 1.5 million, was home to 1,200 of Iran’s 25,000 Jews as of 2009. Since then, Jewish numbers in the Islamic Republic have declined.
A government census published earlier this year indicated there were a mere 8,756 Jews left in Iran, and Amir told The Times of Israel that Isfahan was now home to fewer than 100 families.