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Iran tries to ban rock ‘n roll

August 7, 2007

Iranian police arrest 230 people at a ‘satanic’ event. Remarkable how much they have in common with illegitimate, aging governments everywhere, fearing the power of youth and change.

According to The Guardian,

Police arrested 230 people and seized drugs, alcohol and 800 illicit CDs after raiding the event in Karaj, 12 miles west of Tehran. Those arrested included young women in skimpy and “inappropriate” clothing, officers said.

Reza Zarei, Tehran’s provincial police chief, said the operation also resulted in the confiscation of 20 video cameras, with which organisers allegedly planned to shoot “obscene” films and then blackmail female participants.

The event included rock and rap performers as well as female singers, who are banned under Iran’s Islamic laws. The authorities described the artistes as “satanist” without elaborating. Iran’s rulers routinely label much of western-style popular music and culture as decadent.

There are obviously some very interesting tensions within Iran at the moment between the forces of reaction and progress. One only has to watch Iranian film, like the one about the women football fans, to realise something powerful is stirring in Persia, and the reign of Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs is probably on the way out.

As Rageh Omaar points out in the New Statesman:

Some facts: two-thirds of this population of 70 million are under 30 years old. Iran is one of the youngest countries on earth. It is also one of the oldest civilisations on earth. The Islamic revolution led by Khomeini is only 28 years old. This means that the overwhelming majority of Iranians have no recollection of what life was like under the shah. They cannot remember the rejection of that period by their parents’ generation, and they have grown up knowing only the edicts of the Islamic Republic.

Like young people anywhere, they are restless, ambitious, unpredictable and often courageous in the face of authority.

Of course, this is rather different from the hysteria about Iran from Pastor Strangelove and the Christian and Zionist lunatic fringe:

“The head of the beast of radical Islam in the Middle East is Iran and its fanatical president, Ahmadinejad,” Hagee intoned. “Ahmadinejad believes if he starts a world war, the Islamic messiah will mysteriously appear and produce a global Islamic theocratic dictatorship. Ladies and gentlemen, we are reliving history. It’s 1938 all over again. Iran is Germany. Ahmadinejad is Hitler and Ahmadinejad, just like Hitler, is talking about killing the Jews.”

In case anyone thinks this is just coming from the Christian Right, here’s almost exactly the same quote from Benjamin Netanyahu:

“It’s 1938 and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs.[Ahmadinejad] is preparing another Holocaust for the Jewish state.”

Of course, this viewpoint is rather undermined by the fact that there are 25 000 Jews living peacefully in Iran, despite being offered up to $60 000 per family by wealthy Jewish donors to settle in Israel. The Society of Iranian Jews was having none of it:

“The identity of Iranian Jews is not tradable for any amount of money. Iranian Jews are among the most ancient Iranians. Iran’s Jews love their Iranian identity and their culture, so threats and this immature political enticement will not achieve their aim of wiping out the identity of Iranian Jews.”

Knowing that the Zionist and Christian crazies have the ear of the US government is cause for real concern. Let’s please not bomb Iran until we’ve seen the workings out of the internal opposition, OK?

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