Mullahs, Censorship, & Love Stories

In the recent says, the Mullahs have ordered the censoring of one of the most famous epic love stories in Persian literature. The media reported: “The Mullahs refused a publishing house permission to reprint an edition of one of the best-known classical epic poems. The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance decided that some parts of the epic poem “Khosrow and Shirin” by Nezami Ganjavi needed reworking [!!], despite the fact that the book-length masterpiece has been a classic of Iranian literature for more than 830 years “. As you know, Iran or Persia is the land of poetry and great poets. The Iranian love stories are among the most ancient love stories in the world. Some say: “Even Arabs could not destroy all Iranian love stories, and after Islam new versions of some ancient Persian love stories were rewritten by great Persian poets. But now, the stupid Mullahs think that they can finish the unfinished job of Arabs and destroy all Iranian love stories, but these bastards only disgrace themselves more than before.” Now, all people around the world can understand why Iranians hate the Mullahs. “This poem existed for nine centuries and Iranians were Muslims during those centuries,” says Iran’s famouse female poet, Simin Behbahani. “No one [during that time] had any objections to ‘Khosrow and Shirin’ poem and didn’t think of censoring parts of the poem. Nothing would be left [of the poem] by now, if they had . Those who talk about censoring the poem should be ashamed.” Faraj Sarkouhi, who was a famous victim of the Mullah dogs in 1990s and finally fled to Germany, says that Iran’s censors are obsessed with the idea that romance can be a corruptive force in society. They make Iran a hell for literature, without regard to whether it is contemporary or classical . “It is very harmful for literature, because in stories you write about the life of the people; and in the life of the people there is love, there is sleeping together, kissing, drinking, good things and bad things, because the human being has very different aspects,” Sarkouhi says. Sarkouhi also notes that the dialogue in a recent Iranian version of one of the novels of German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse was altered so that a reference to wine instead became a reference to coffee ! Similarly, if a man and a woman who are not married are in love, the censors feel no compunctions about adding a paragraph to marry them and legalize their situation ! It’s what the Mullah censors do about all films and books ! They call it “Islamization” !

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The people reporters say: “After Khosrow and Shirin, now Bijan and Manijeh is announced as not fit for publication. The Director of Peydayesh Publications, Fariba Nabati, reported that the childrens book Bijan and Manijeh that is in its eighth publication will be banned. “After these kind of decisions you feel fed up as far as any cultural work in this country is concerned,” said Fariba Nabati, which publishes the Khosrow and Shirin book. According to Nabati, after her company had published the book for many years, it decided to change the layout for the eighth edition and sent it to the ministry for approval. The publisher was shocked when the ministry informed her that parts of the work had to be censored, including phrases such as ‘left nothing of the wine while drunk,’ or ‘going somewhere where we can be alone,’ or ‘holding hands’ or where Shirin embracing a male body, that is her murdered husband’s body !“. She added: Unfortunately the problem is that the Ministry of Culture and Guidance is not clear about the reasons or the words that cause them to censor books [!]. If there were a guidance provided to publication companies, they would be followed in order to prevent these situations [!!] Due to this ambiguity, out of 10 books that we sent for licensing to the Ministry of Culture, 7 of them were censored [!!] The RFERL reports: “To defy the censors and still describe the reality of their characters’ lives accurately, some contemporary authors turn to coded language. Thus, a phrase such as “they kissed and that night slept together for the first time” becomes “they looked at each other and then told one another it’s better to have some more time.” The phrase “have some more time” has become a synonym in Iran for going to bed. But classical authors, long dead, are unable to play such games. If the author is someone like Nezami, whose “Khosrow and Shirin” and another epic poem, “Layla and Majnoun,” are pillars of both Persian and world literature, the public’s feeling of indignation is still stronger. Poet Behbahani, who is 84 and a cultural pillar in her own right, says she finds it incomprehensible that officials are concerned with the morality of a woman embracing a dead body when people who protested against the 2009 coup were widely reported to have been raped in detention. “In this country, they take a young, poor boy to prison and rape him. We have heard about it many times … Is it possible that those able to rape such an innocent and fragile creature can also think one would derive pleasure from embracing a dead body? “. It’s really a great tragicomedy. It’s one of the greatest ridiculous tragicomedy. The people reporters add: “The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance regularly bans the republication of up to 70 percent of previously published books. Books are a very sensitive problem in Iran”. It’s really true. The Mullahs are frightened to death of public awareness, and that’s why they censor everything, from books and newspaper to the internet and the ancient poems.

Some Iranian comments about these shameful acts are interesting: “Raping is okay for the Mullahs and their dogs, lying is okay for the Mullahs and their dogs, stealing is okay for the Mullahs and their dogs, But love is forbidden for all, What a system of thought … The Mullah’s logic and reasoning is getting worse and worse or I should better say darker and darker. But “It is always darkest before the dawn” … This is what happen when village goat-boys and those taught to read without understanding or logic gain power. Fear not people, ancient Persia will outlive and recover from these pitiable people. … These people in the government of Iran, the Mullahs, represent nothing more than their own selfish interests and have no legitimacy or represent nothing of Iran or its people … the story of censorship in contemporary Iran proves to be a very long and complicated one, the Pahlavi monarchy also imposed a great degree of censorship on the Iranian cultural and political sphere; which is what the Mullahs have taken up after the Revolution of 1979, setting an extremely larger foot in the footprints of its defunct predecessor … Whenever an author wants to publish a book, first, he or she has to submit his or her manuscript to a specific section of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Event the ancient authors should submit their manuscript to the Mullah Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance !! It’s the Mullah freedom of press ! … Freedom, Democracy, Humanity, and Love are among the meaningless words for the Mullahs”

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