Love 'is banned' in Iran

Thu 25 Aug 2011 06:12 GMT | 10:12 Local Time

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News.Az reprints from an article by Amir Mostafavi.

I think, my dear friends, you will agree with me that love is a wonderful feeling. It enlightens a person's life, making it better, more beautiful, filled with wonderful feelings and moments of life. What could be more beautiful than love between a man and a woman? But, alas, our government has encroached on it, too!

It seems that any sane person cannot deny love. But members of our ruling regime can. Officials of the Culture Ministry have announced that music videos about love may be banned from TV! Also, performers of these songs will be banned from performing concerts, as it is "bad”. Naturally, no one took time to provide an explanation for this decision. Maybe this is natural, since only an idiot may ban singing about love in music videos in a country known for its love poetry and beautiful women. But, in principle, there are enough idiots in our government...

Honestly, this is not a trend, but a diagnosis. I sometimes think that authorities already do not know what else to limit for people. Hairstyles should be "exemplary", you should dress in line with their "dress code", you cannot keep dogs, cannot be watered with water, you cannot have a satellite TV, you cannot have a tattoo, you cannot have Western toys like Barbie dolls, you cannot defend your rights at rallies and so on. And then what are we allowed to do? Put portraits of Ali Khamenei and Ahmadinejad before us and worship them as great leaders all day long?

I do sometimes think that the authorities have decided to limit the birth rate just by increasing the number of homosexuals because all of their latest steps just aim to increase their number in the country. Honestly! Judge for yourself. In addition to separate travel of men and women on subway and buses, they are still trying to introduce separate education of boys and girls at universities. On top of all, now here is a ban on love in music videos...

It reminds me of the days following the Islamic revolution, when most theatres were burned down, foreign films were banned and film directors were required to work within strict codes. A music video is also an art work of a director and performer. Obviously, the government saw a threat in a generation of independent filmmakers who formed a new attitude toward life and art. Indeed, in clips they often defend freedom of expression, women's rights and separation of religion and secular life in the country. Of course, this is done in a latent form, Aesopian language. But, apparently, even metaphorically, such criticism failed to suit the taste of the authorities. So, they are tightening the screws.

One can ask what serious consequences a music video ban bring about. I would answer in response that something big starts from something small. We live at a time when Iran is reasonably considered a country where human rights are violated by the authorities whenever they want.

We lose to the authorities, not in political (after all, the 2009 protests strongly scared Khamenei and Ahmadinejad), but in rather social terms. Due to the limitations introduced step-by-step, you feel like you are in a web, where "sweet couple" Khamenei and Ahmadinejad come closer to you instead of an insect.

And the result is obvious. This is blasphemy since by opposing love our government actually opposes God, the Merciful, the Almighty. The Koran clearly says that the love between a man and a woman is a sign of God. Islam advocates a harmonious relationship between husband and wife, encourages husbands to be kind to their wives and wives to be submissive to their husbands. The Koran encourages the pursuit of mutual agreement in family disputes. Our ayatollahs need to know it better than me, and probably they know this. But in fact, they use religion only in order to consolidate their power, but not for the emancipation, moral education and spiritual elevation of man.

Why do they try to set new rules by new bans? The Koran says “…And We have created you in pairs ... arranged affection and mercy between you,” and “Your wives are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like."

So, a love between men and women is unequivocally welcomed. Why then are the authorities discovering America by forbidding talk about love? It's stupid! Love is a great feeling.

Looking at such bans, sometimes I think that the love of power has so much changed Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s senses, their love for others that they no longer understand the ordinary people. Hence, all the problems. Following a ban on music videos, the authorities will ban Leyli & Majnun for the youth and all the great poets of our love lyrics. Indeed, they are able to do this forgetting that love is sent for man from above, from Allah.

It is very stupid to try to ban music videos and songs about love. Well, the government bans them. So what? Will Iranian men and Iranian women no longer love each other? Will our women become less beautiful and worthy of love? Love is a heartfelt desire, not obeying the will of man, even if he wants to give it up. And attempts to limit it, stop talking and singing about love are ridiculous and absurd.

One should admit that the authorities go farther in their reckless and stupid steps each day. That the feeling of love is alien to Ali Khamenei and Ahmadinejad does not mean that we too must give up love, stop loving and talking or singing about our feelings. If they do not like it, let them not watch videos. But you cannot forbid a person to love, because there is no person and no humanity without love between men and women...      

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