Video of the day -- Tehran happy, or maybe not
Pharrell Williams's song "Happy" has become a global favorite, with people in cities around the world making videos of themselves dancing to it (notably including, as I posted earlier, Tunisia). When six young Iranians made the exuberant video above, however, they were arrested by police for transgressing the regime's socially-conservative standards of behavior, which forbid women dancing or appearing with uncovered hair in public. (I have to wonder what forms of entertainment the regime does approve of -- mullahs engaging in scowling contests?)
According to comments on the video, the dancers have now been released, though the video director is still locked up -- and Iran's new moderate President Rouhani tweeted "Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy." But this little episode serves as a reminder that once a theocracy gets entrenched, hard-liners will do their damndest to stamp out happiness and joy.
"God did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam." -- Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's theocracy