I just read an article about an Iranian model called Elham Arab, who was hauled up before the Revolutionary Court for posting pictures of herself in which her hair was visible – and dyed blonde. This is how she looked in court:
The article included this interesting snippet: “In Islam, hijab can refer both to the headscarf women wear to cover their hair and the principle of modesty that underlies the practice.”
I wondered whether there were parallels in our own culture, and I think I found one: “to be caught with one’s pants down.” In our culture to be without pants is as immodest and shameful as it is for a woman to be without a headscarf in Iran.
Can you think of any more?
There is a ‘metal band’ in Iran called Confess (picture below). The context is music, and I assume that a metal band plays music on a spectrum that has heavy metal at one end. It’s also referred to as a ‘thrash band’. I know about Confess because its members are in prison, charged with a list of offences including blasphemy, which is a capital offence in the Islamic Republic of Iran. You can read the story here.
You can even hear the band playing at this same site. I think it’s god-awful music, but I wouldn’t condemn the perpetrators to death.
I’m stroppy because we are being drawn into something like an alliance with Iran, since the Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah and the Kurdish Peshmerga seem to be the only people with boots on the ground who are effectively opposing Daesh.
I’m sure the people of Iran, the great majority anyway, are decent sensible folk who take their religion with a pinch of salt and are interested in much the same things that we are. I don’t know if Fawlty Towers has been translated into Farsi, but if it has I’m sure it has a huge following. (‘We’ means secular westerners like me, by the way.)
But let us never forget that Iran’s leaders are staunch theists who claim to be guardians of the only true interpretation of Islam; and therefore anything they do, no matter how cruel or loony, must be right. I’m not saying they’re worse than the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia but I don’t think they’re significantly better.