In an apparent effort to uphold Islamic purity Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the mercurial President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has now decreed a series of implementations with the purpose of ‘de-Westernize’ Iranian society, both in words as well as in deeds.
The Italian daily Corriere Della Ser in fact reports that Ahmadinejad has ordered governmental agencies to fine all those individuals who do not conform to the Islamic code as it serial ghorbaghe relates to clothing and public appearance. This means that gentlemen are not allowed to wear shorts or walk around bare-chested, and that ladies must cover up entirely. Couples, furthermore, are ordered to ‘keep their distances’.
As much as Westerners will find these rulings ridiculous, the Islamic Dress Code is no laughing matter. It finds its roots in the distinction between Good and Evil as pointed out in the Qur’an. Islamic Fundamentalism teaches that human bodies developed skin so thin and fur-free as to require external covering for protection as well as embellishment, because Allah designed it this way so that humans will always need clothing. At the same time, the Creator also put in humans the sense of shame.
And why did He do all that? Very simple. The first act of Satan was to cause Adam and Eve to expose themselves: “So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shameful parts became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the Garden over their bodies.” [Al-A’raf 7:22]. This is the source of the tension we see in human nature – the two opposing forces of Good and Evil. Furthermore, continues the Corriere Della Sera, the Qur’an then warns that Satan was not finished after his first attempt: “Oh Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you in the same manner as he got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of the raiment of righteousness, to expose their shame.” [Al-A’raf 7:27].
But besides the dress code, Ahmadinejad had also something to say against the ‘bastardization’ of Farsi, that is the proliferation of the use of foreign words. The President sees any foreign word as an ‘intrusion’ into Persian culture, so he has now forbidden all newspapers, publishers, teachers, writers and government agencies and private enterprises to make use of words ‘which do not descend directly from our culture’. Hence, he has mandated that all foreign words be translated into Persian, from now on. The notable exception is Arabic, since the Qur’an is written in that language.
The government body in charge of supervising and implementing the translations is the Farhangestan Zaban wa adab Farsi, the Persian Academy and the official language watchdog. This organization has the duty to coin or adapt new words for the non-Persian ones. It consists of 25 Persian language experts and professors who are the final decision-makers. There are several specialized sub-departments covering such topics as Engineering, Medicine, Agriculture, Transportation, Military and Economics.
The Persian Academy has come up already with a few translations, which reflect also a more adherent version to Islamic teachings. For example, pizza will be called from now on ‘extensible loaf’, in line with the pivotal place that bread loaves have in the context of the societies of Islam. Danish pastries instead will be dubbed ‘roses of Mohammad’ Likewise chat will become a ‘short talk’, and cabin will be renamed a ‘small room’.
On the military and political side of things helicopters will become ‘rotating wings machines’, whereas instead jet fighters will be ‘fixed wings machines’. America will continue to be ‘The Great Satan’, but Israel is from now on ‘The Baby Satan’ – to be distinguished from Russia, ‘The Small Satan’.
This is bound for sure to create some confusion in the Iranian military. In fact, what do you do if you see a bunch of soldiers of the Great Satan coming at you in a rotating wings machine while eating extensible loaves and short-talking to the pilot in the little room? Do you sound the alarm or not?
Go ahead, pop up that aspirin – after reading all this you deserve it.