No un-Islamic hairdo, makeup, or ties for Iranian men
Monday, April 30, 2007
New reports have emerged detailing the extent of the efforts by the Iranian government to purge Western cultural influence in Iran that is deemed un-Islamic. Based on Iran's Islamic Sharia law, non-compliance results in legal punishment because the state sees itself responsible in executing punishment for Islamic theological sins.
Newspaper headlines such as "Western hairstyles ... have been banned" re-iterated the legal status of Western hairstyles; barbers who offer to what officials consider un-Islamic hairdos, provide make-up services, and pluck eyebrows have been warned that they can face month-long suspension or revocation of their licenses. Barber clients who violate government policies will be subject to lashes, fines and imprisonment. Iranian male youth are not supposed to sport outlandish hairstyles or use gel to make their hair stand.
Additionally, the ban on neckties remains in place. This ban evades the attention of those outside Iran albeit attentive observers realize that, for example, not one of non-clerical members of the Iranian government wears a necktie. Vice squad police are in place to bring non-compliant individuals to Islamic justice.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for moderation and consideration for Iran's image worldwide emphasizing the need for a "cultural rather than disciplinary approach." Hard-line clerics stress that both approaches are needed. Many Iranian women have appeared on state television whereon they praised Islamic dress code effusively and advocated the arrest of offenders.
The Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, created during the Islamic Cultural Revolution, indicated that it would filter immoral video and audio messages sent using cellular phones. According to Iranian television statement, "In order to prevent possible misuse of MMS, immoral actions and social problems, the Telecommunications Ministry will filter immoral MMS." No details of how immoral messages would be filtered such naming the type of software to be used were divulged.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explicitly delineated the threats Iran faces on the cultural front,
|“||More than Iran's enemies need artillery, guns and so forth, they need to spread cultural values that lead to moral corruption. They have said this many times. I recently read in the news that one of them, a senior official in an important American political center, said: "Instead of bombs, send them miniskirts." He is right. If they arouse sexual desires in any given country, if they spread unrestrained mixing of men and women, and if they lead youth to behavior to which they are naturally inclined by instincts, there will no longer be any need for artillery and guns against that nation.||”|
Following the Islamic Revolution, the Revolutionary Guards is reported to have cut women’s lips with razors because the women were wearing lipstick. This was done in public view to deter others.
- Fredrik Dahl. "Barbers warned against Western haircuts" — , Apr 30, 2007
- "Iran to filter ‘immoral’ mms" — , April 30, 2007
- Reuters. "Iran bans Western haircuts, eyebrow plucking for men" — , April 29, 2007
- "No ties or makeup for Iranian men" — , April 29, 2007
- Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "Iranian authorities now "clamping down on Western hairstyles" for men" — , April 29, 2007
- Frances Harrison. "Iran ban on 'Western' hairstyles" — , April 29, 2007
- "Iran to censor SMS messages" — , April 29, 2007
- "Iranian Leader Khamenei: Iran's Enemies Want to Destroy it with Miniskirts" — , June 1, 2005
- Lara Marlowe. "Revolutionary Disintegration" — , June 26, 1995
- Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance
- Iran's Enemies Want to Destroy it with Miniskirts (54-second video clip)
- Iranian police statement