The culture war is heating up in Iran as new edicts have been issued to control behavior during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Although hard-line officials are pushing to enforce their laws, they face a grassroots rebellion in the form of videos of young girls dancing that Iranian leaders are now treating as a subversive movement.
“My personal advice to women is to respect the hijab even more than before and gentlemen must avoid looking directly at female passersby,” judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili said, Britain’s Telegraph reported Saturday.
“Anyone ignoring these instructions during the Ramadan will be committing an offense and should expect some punishment from the law enforcement units,” he said.
People found eating in public during the time of fasting also will be prosecuted, officials said. Further, they said, police will arrest anyone playing music on a car radio, tow the car and make the offender pay a fine.
Ramadan, which began last week and runs through early June, is a Muslim holy month created to commemorate the creation of the Quran through a revelation to the prophet Muhammad.
One Iranian official said that the nation is, in essence, at war with the West.
“The holy month of Ramadan is a reminder to us for being steadfast in our confrontation with the world arrogance as they seem to have a war deployment against us in all economic, cultural and social fronts, but not in physical manner,” Hossein Salami of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said, according to The Telegraph. “Our mission is to block all their paths and defuse their plots by any means we can.”
The crackdown on behavior comes as Iran is battling social media videos of girls dancing to Western pop music.
— Ashraf اشراف? (@ASJBaloch) May 12, 2019
“The enemy is trying different ways to create anxiety among the people including by spreading these disturbing videos,” Iranian Education Minister Mohammad Bathaei said. “I’m certain there’s some kind of political plot behind the publication of these devious clips in schools.”
Ayatollah Abbas Ka’bi, a member of Iran’s Guardian Council of the Constitution, said officials at the schools attended by the girls shown dancing should be prosecuted, Britain’s Independent reported.
Cabinet member Tadbir Wamid called for an all-out effort to root out the source of the videos, which he said were “causing concern and disturbance of people’s beliefs about education.”
“It’s unclear exactly where the clips are, and how it is made,” he said. “That’s why we need the honorable prosecutor, as well as the cyberpolice, on the source and release of the clips.”
Many clips were posted by the singer Sasy on his Instagram page.
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