The infliction of suffering or harm upon those who differ (in race, religion or political opinion) in a way regarded as offensive.

Courts have cautioned that "persecution is an extreme concept that does not include every sort of treatment our society regards as offensive." Fatin v. INS, 12 F.3d 1233, 1243 (3d Cir. 1993) (treatment of feminists in Iran is not so harsh as to amount to "persecution"). Discrimination on the basis of race or religion, as morally reprehensible as it may be, does not ordinarily amount to "persecution" within the meaning of the Act. See Bastanipour v. INS, 980 F.2d 1129, 1133 (7th Cir. 1992) (distinguishing persecution "from mere discrimination or harassment").