“A Buddhist and a Jew walk into Iran….” This sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it is not. As a matter of historical fact, Iran was once governed by a Buddhist and a Jew, which, in today’s world, is hard to believe.
Arghun was an ardent Buddhist who ruled Iran from 1284-1291. “In 1289 Arghun appointed an anti-Islamic Jew, Sa’d Ad-Dawlah, first as his minister of finance and then (in June) as vizier of his entire empire. The predominantly Muslim population may have resented the rule of a Buddhist and a Jew, but their administration proved lawful and just and restored order and prosperity.”