PARIS, 24 Oct. (IPS) A leading Iranian journalist has contested the decision of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution (SCCR) to ban films dealing with secularism, feminism, liberalism or violence and drugs.
According to Iranian news agencies, the SCCR, which is headed by the President, in one of its latest meeting has decided to ban all foreign films promoting secularism, feminism, liberalism, violence, drug abuse and unethical behaviours.
First of all, the SCCR is not empowered to pass laws”, observes Mr. Mohammad Qouchani
“First of all, the SCCR is not empowered to pass laws”, observes Mr. Mohammad Qouchani in the independent daily “Sharq” (Orient), who ask: “Is it possible to pass laws on concepts such as lying or telling the truth, unless a lie harms other individuals, the society or the State”?
After noting that in some regimes like that of the Islamic Republic of Iran where prevails the laws of the religion, those Canons, like the illegality of drinking alcohol or the five times a day prayer or wearing Islamic dress for women etc. are also the laws of the State, Mr. Qouchani says “in any case, one can not ban or even stop thoughts, ideas or philosophies, being it political or ethical”.
“At certain times or in some countries, ideas or doctrines supporting Nazism, Marxism or Fascism are banned or have been banned because of the damages they cause to societies, even though adherents to these ideas are active under different names, but why then not ban anarchism, populism, Fascism, Marxism or Nazism”, he points out.
Some Iranian analysts say the move may be an attempt by the Iran's new President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, a “populo-islamist who comes from an ultra-conservative background, to demonstrate to his conservative supporters that he is upholding the values of Iran's Islamic Revolution by cracking down on corrupt Western values.
In fact, ever since he came to power, Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad did not stop promoting orthodox Shi’a values, above all the so-called “doctrine of Mehdi”, or the philosophy of waiting for the Shi’a’s twelfth imam who went into hiding at the age of eight into a well and would re-appear to establish justice and equality on earth.
In recent months, several independent weblogs and sites, most of them belonging to Iranian women have been shut by the authorities
In recent months, several independent weblogs and sites, most of them belonging to Iranian women, dealing with their rights and problems, like www.womeniniran.org; www.irwomen.com or www.iftribune.com have been shut by the authorities, on the pretext that they are either promoting feminism or are against Islamic values.
“Furthermore, how one can define the secularism, liberalism or feminism nature of a movie, on which basis one can catalogue a film as being liberal, feminist or secular and who has said that dealing with such phenomenon means defending them or making propaganda in support of these concepts?”, Mr. Qouchani, who is the Editor of the paper stressed.
Some Iranian movie makers fears that the decision of the SCCR might also be directed at them, as the new Government, and particularly the Minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance, a former deputy Editor of the radical daily “Keyhan” is known to be both a political hard liner and orthodox islamist.
“Most of the famous Iranian directors and actors are not liked by the clerical-led regime that considers their productions, because of the success in international film festivals, are supported by the so-called enemies of the Islamic Republic because of their critic of the situation”, one movie critic said. FILMS BANNED 241005