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Iran Issues A Fatwa On Men’s Hairstyles

From those defenders of the faith at Associated Press:

Iran offers modest new haircut guidelines for men

By Nasser Karimi, Associated Press Writer

July 7, 2010

TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian fashion organization has issued a new list of culturally appropriate haircuts for men, possibly indicating a new crackdown on male attire after years of strict rules for women, Iranian media reported.

Although the Ministry of Culture has yet to officially adopt the styles presented by the Veil and Modesty Festival, the private organization said approval is pending. It would be the first such rules for men’s hair styles since 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"We introduced the hairstyles to the Culture Ministry," said Jaleh Khodayar, head of the group, telling Iranian newspapers Tuesday that it had been approved informally and an official statement would soon be made.

Clothing and hair styles have become a highly visible political statement in Iran since the first stirrings of the reform movement in the late 1990s. Many young women have tested authorities by allowing more hair to spill out from under their head scarves and wearing shorter and tighter coverings. Some men, too, push boundaries with earrings and long hair and ponytails.

Even shaving habits can take on broader overtones. Beards or heavy facial stubble — worn by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other officials — are considered signs of religious piety and loyalty to the ruling clerics. But many men, including opposition activists, adopt a clean-shaven look.

Hard-line groups have repeatedly launched drives to reimpose more conservative codes for women, but often gave only passing attention to men until now.

The new hairstyles are aimed at confronting the "Western cultural invasion," according to Khodayar, by promoting cuts based on the "law and culture" of the Iranian society.

The group says the styles will be modified for Iran’s provinces based on regional culture and the clean-shaven models will be displayed in barber shops for visibility.

Khodayar said female hair styles will be introduced in future and the styles would be featured in foreign exhibitions in hopes of spreading them to other Muslim countries.

Many trendy young Iranian men favor Western hair styles, including pony tails, inspired by Hollywood movie stars.

The introduction of appropriate hairstyles for men is the latest salvo in Iran’s annual modesty campaign which peaks every year at summer time and is aimed at combatting [sic] any deviation from strict Islamic attire

As the article notes, they go through this exercise every year about this time. The Iranian Mullahs stand astride history and yell ‘stop!’

But try as they might, they cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Or the hair gel back in the tube.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Iran Issues A Fatwa On Men’s Hairstyles”

  1. canary says:

    Iranians with modern Western haircuts will help them blend in on air flights.

  2. proreason says:

    It shouldn’t be a problem to publicize what acceptable hairstyles are.

    They can just put up posters of our female POTUS justices and candidates….and Rachel Maddow.

    • Reality Bytes says:

      Did you have to mention Madcow – I mean right before lunch?!

    • jobeth says:

      Just for fun (ugh) I watched a little (all I could stand was a little) of her show tonight where she was walking down a street, in Afghanistan,I believe, with some guy while they bashed the US government, and I couldn’t help notice her “lovely hair cut” and “delicate walk”.

      And her outfit was so….so…well, kinda…, oh heck…any guy would have been lookin’ good in her outfit.

      I was wondering why she wasn’t being made to wear a burka.

      Nearly every man did a double take as they passed by…then I realized of course they couldn’t figure out if she was a man or a….nawwww…that couldn’t have been a…naw…

      You have to know they were wondering how a lesbian got into Afghanistan! “Where did I leave those those rocks….”

      Perhaps she saw their poster on haircuts and wanted to be in line with the new “look”.

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    “Long Hair! Short Hair! What’s the Hell the Difference When Your Head’s Blown Off!” – Frank Zappa

  4. Gizmo says:

    To think some people believe that this kind of governing should be instituted around the world. Death if you don’t pray in the correct manner. Death if you don’t pray at the right time. Death if you don’t pray hard enough.

    Coming to a neighborhood near you, Death for stray hairs outside of the “Culturally acceptable” norm.

  5. Right of the People says:

    That’s a twist. Back in the ’60s we all grew our hair and beards to protest. Now in Iran clean shaven is a political statement? I guess looking like a scruffy, bum is in over there. Who knew?

  6. Chuckk says:

    Have they issued standards for women’s mustaches?

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