ASIDE from its determination to go “nuclear” sometime soon, Iran is also intent on ensuring that its sizeable young population adheres to strict Islamic dress codes – and is about to stage a “Modesty and Veil Festival” to showcase “looks” acceptable to the authorities.
According to this report, “un-Islamic” haircuts are first in the firing line. Long hair and ponytails are definitely out this summer – though a dab of gel is acceptable â€¦ and a beard is no longer required as a symbol of political and religious correctness.
Iran’s dour Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has given the project its vital seal of approval.
“The proposed styles are inspired by Iranians’ complexion, culture, religion and Islamic law,” said Jaleh Khodayar, the festival’s female organiser.
A tantalising foretaste of what is folically acceptable was provided by Iranian news agencies this week, which carried pictures of mostly clean-shaven male models sporting short hair.
Hardliners have frequently raged against youths with “decadent Western cuts”. But rules governing male grooming have never been clearly identified – until now.
Another amusing – nay, annoying – snippet from the mad, mad world of Islam comes from Darlaston in the West Midlands where a state-of-the art swimming pool – part of the leisure centre – has had to be “burqa’d” to preserve the modesty of local Muslim women.
The centre opened in 2000 – and with its striking glass panels has been praised for its “ultra-modern design”.
The windows are now covered by a dark film.
According to the local Express & Star, the move at Darlaston Leisure Centre Â has been slammed by other swimmers.
One, a retired legal secretary Pauline Poole, who uses the baths in Victoria Road up to four times a week, said:
I returned to swimming after having a cataracts operation some months ago and was looking forward to looking out on some lovely trees while swimming. What I found was a situation that reminded me of how it felt like before my operation, like looking at a horrible cloudy view.
If it was done for a minority of people, then why was there no vote on it?
Walsall Council said it acknowledged the request of the Muslim community, adding that it could not afford to put frosted glass in. So instead it covered the windows with the dark film.
Walsall Councillor Anthony Harris exposed the depth of his dhimmitude by saying:
I’m pleased that we’ve been able to make these modifications because not only does it show we’re listening to the views and concerns of our users but also because it enhances the privacy of swimmers.
Haircut hat tip: BarrieJohn