Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Republic of No Fun

It is wrong to assume that you will only be arrested in Iran for political dissent or for not observing the state's Islamic dress code, you risk incarceration if you dare to have fun, particularly if its group fun and if it is in public.

The latest arrests in Iran include those who organised and participated in a water pistol fight in a park in Tehran. The fun event was organised on Facebook:

Desperate to have some fun in the Islamic Republic, lots of people took to the idea, young and old, adults and kids:

It seemed too good to be true, after all, its not even the pre-elections period, where the strict rules are slightly relaxed and a feel good factor induces people to turn up at the ballots and vote for the state approved candidates.

Behnam Atabaki, the General Director of the District,  was the first official to publicly condemn the event and those who participated in it. Atabaki also criticised the Law Enforcement Forces and said they were unable to break up the "immoral" gathering which went on from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon time. Park authorities only managed to stop the massive water pistol fight, only after they thought about cutting the water supplies.

More condemnations of the "morally abnormal" event followed in the sate controlled media. Isfahan MP, Mohamad Taghi Rahbar, condemned the water pistol fight in the park and said "the officials should not show indifference to those who are endeavouring to dilute our Islamic values." Rahbar, who is also the deputy chief of the parliament's legal and judicial commission, added "we are pursuing more information on those who organised this and will deal with them severely. "

Another similar event in another park on the following Sunday was simply too much to ignore for the authorities. Tehran's chief of police, Commander Hossein Sajedinia said "Police quickly turned up and all those who took part in the event have been arrested" He added that "Police will definitely deal swiftly with those who try to break the social order"

All this is happening at a time, when the crime rate is soaring throughout Iran. Police are unable to deal with numerous knife fights and stabbings which have also included lethal attacks on several Iranian celebrities in recent weeks. Some of the knife attacks have taken place in front of the police which have simply looked on without daring to interfere. There is also an alarming increase in gang rapes of women, like the one which happened during a private birthday party in Khomeini-Shahr, where armed gangs which included members of the local Baseej stormed into the party, locked up the men and raped the women which included a pregnant mother. Police took several hours to turn up for the rescue and the official reaction of the local Friday prayer leader was to put portion of the blame on the women who were raped, because they had "provoked the peeping local youth by dancing in their own property without observing the proper hejab!". Comments which seem to have only provided justification for several other gang rapes reported since. Yet an innocent water pistol fight where the young and old can have fun, no one is hurt and all enjoy themselves, unthinkable and un-Islamic behaviour for the Islamic Republic of Iran!

1 comment:

Lord Mullett of Hackney said...

No Fun: