Now I think I’ve heard it all.
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,” said an Iranian cleric, Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, the acting Friday prayer leader in Tehran, the nation’s capital.
In the Islamic Republic women are required to be covered from head to toe, but more and more younger women are wearing tighter coats or scarves that show more of their hair. This immoral behavior [insert sarcasm] has literally caused the earth to shake, according to the religious leader.
This is just utterly ridiculous. I’m not sure how else to put it. Utterly ridiculous.
Iran is one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world. Over the last decade, tens of thousands of people have died in the country’s earthquakes. Are women really to blame for all these deaths?
No, of course not! Now, whether this “logic” is genuinely believed or simply a ploy to encourage the nation’s religiously conservative ideals is questionable, but either way women lose. And isn’t this “logic” insulting to Iranian men? Are they so weak willed that a tighter scarf or revealed hairline causes them to cheat?
On the same token, blaming women for something that is completely out of their control but certainly inevitable is a recipe for disaster. If and when a quake hits will women be targeted, harassed, and live in fear or retaliation or violence? If religious leaders preach that they are the ones to blame this doesn’t seem too far off.
A devastating quake is predicted to hit Tehran’s 12 million inhabitants soon which has caused reason for concern but blaming women is not the answer nor will fully covered women stop a quake in its tracks or save these millions of people.
“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” asked Mr. Sediqi at a sermon at Tehran University. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes,” he said.
Or we can work on building a new capital further from the quake prone zone. I wonder which solution would work better.