Thursday, January 21, 2010

Will Tehran newspaper be banned again, this time for sexy logo?

In the midst of the Islamic Guidance Ministry's recent crackdown on the press, a hard-line weekly has attacked a national daily for its racy new logo.

Partoyeh Sokhan magazine, whose last front page headline was 'We will support the Supreme Leader until our last drop of blood,' published an article decrying what it saw as a dancing woman in Tehran Emrooz (NB Tehran Today) newspaper's redesigned logo.

'The letters of the word Emrooz in Tehran Emrooz's logo have been changed in such a manner that they resemble a dancing woman,' the investigative weekly revealed. The magazine referred to the end of the letter R, which now resembles 'a female leg in the act of dancing,' and the ends of the letter O and Z, which have been modified to look like arms (NB The paper does not indicate whether the arms belong to a woman or a man.). The weekly wrote that other elements in the logo were questionable, but that they were 'not fit to be published.'

Tehran Emrooz daily is close to Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, conservative mayor of Tehran and Ahmadinejad rival. The newspaper was banned in June 2008 for having published a special section on the third anniversary of Ahmadinejad's presidency which was deemed too insulting. The paper was only reopened in January of last year.

'We ask officials of the Islamic Guidance Ministry to address a warning to Tehran Emrouz and demand that it change its logo,' wrote Partoyeh Sokhan, which is not a satirical publication. '[The Ministry] is urged to exercise even greater attention so that other parties do not deliberately or unwittingly take similar steps.' No doubt the Islamic Guidance Ministry will soon be forming a special Rorschach brigade.

Ebrahim Nabavi, journalist and satirist, told the Voice of America, 'Because many occupations do not exist in Iran, people get pulled into other fields. For example, I believe that the person who wrote this commentary has a lot of talent for making pornographic films. Instead of writing stuff like this in Partoyeh Sokhan, he should go to California. [...] You don't even see such imagination in Boccaccio. These are rare talents. To take a letter A or a pen and to see six dancing women. [...] In other places, they get Gabriel Garcia Marquez, we have Mesbah Yazdi. (NB hard-line ayatollah and Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor).'

Readers are invited to participate in the homylafayette competition: 'What do you see in Partoyeh Sokhan's logo?' Please enter your comments below...